Without a doubt, pizza is my favourite food. I love it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a pizza I didn’t enjoy, but let’s be honest, even a bad pizza is still better than pretty much any other food. Amirite?
Thanks to the wonder that is Slimming World, pizza is not off the menu even though I’m trying to lose weight and I get to have it pretty frequently. My favourite way to enjoy it is using a wholemeal pita for 6 syns, or a Bfree gluten free tortilla wrap as my HEXB. I have pita pizza and SW chips most weekends, topping the pita with syn free tomato sauce made from passata, herbs and garlic, sliced chorizo or veggie sausage, peppers, onions, and my HEXA reduced fat cheddar.
I also make the perennial SW fave ‘Pizza topped chicken’ quite often, with either actual chicken or Quorn fillets. This is a nice alternative, and it means I don’t have to use my HEXB on bread for the base.
On Saturday night though, I fancied something a bit different. A proper pizza. Well, ish. I wasn’t about to spend all my syns on a single slice of supermarket pizza (I needed them for wine, obvs) so I decided to make a cauliflower pizza base. These have been going around food blogs for a few years now, and Slimming World put a recipe online last year when spiralising/vegetable replacements to carbs/cauliflower-based everything were all the rage. This is the third time I’ve made one and while it is a fair amount of faff, I really like the finished product. Obviously it doesn’t taste like a thick, doughy slice of Dominos or proper homemade yeast pizza, but for very low syns it’s pretty awesome. And, it means I can go nuts in the morning and use my HEXB for toast or cereal instead! (I know, I need to calm down.)
The recipe is pretty simple and you can really add as few or as many toppings and extras as you like/can be bothered to chop.
Slimming World Cauliflower Pizza
For the base:
1 head cauliflower
salt, pepper, garlic powder, italian herbs to taste (you can’t really go wrong here, we’re just trying to flavour the base a bit)
For the sauce:
Balsamic vinegar, italian herbs, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper (again, this is just what I add to my pizza sauce, all pretty much guessed amounts and it turns out just fine every time!)
I used spinach, basil, red onion, vegetarian sausage, tinned mock duck (all free) and synned black olives and mozzarella.
80g reduced fat cheddar (2 x HEXA as I ate the pizza in 2 servings)
Start by chopping the cauliflower into florets, and then chuck into the food processor. Blitz it until it resembles rice and is all evenly sized.
Pop the cauli-rice into a bowl and microwave for 6/7 minutes until it’s cooked through. Now, here comes the fun bit. Most recipes call for you to put the cauliflower into a clean tea towel and squeeze it until all the moisture comes out. I tried this for about 2 minutes with kitchen towel as we didn’t have a clean tea towel, and let’s just say it didn’t go well. I burned my hand with the steaming hot cauli, and the kitchen roll cracked under the pressure and ripped. Thinking on my feet, I decided to just gently dry fry the cauli in a pan so it would get rid of all the moisture that way. Spoiler alert – this works really well!
Here’s the pan-fried cauliflower all dry and lovely.
Then add the beaten egg and all the herbs and seasoning. Food bloggers who aren’t following SW generally add grated parmesan in here, and while I don’t doubt this is delicious, ain’t nobody got time for parmesan syns on Saturday night when there’s a bottle of wine in the fridge. Stir the cauliflower and egg together and you’ll be left with a bowl of wet mush. Mmmmmm. It won’t go doughy so don’t worry if it doesn’t look like you’d expect, the egg works as a binder in the oven and dries it out.
Pop your base onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and shape it into a nice circle. Bake it for 10 minutes, flip it over, and bake it on the other side for another 10 minutes. It’ll be quite delicate when you try and flip it so be gentle – let’s not forget it’s essentially egg and cauliflower so not structurally sound!
Here’s the finished crust! Yummy!
Then, add all your toppings! Here’s my cheese and ‘meat’ (I was on a veggie kick this night so all fake meat.)
Here’s the finished product pre oven…
Et voila! I baked it for a further 20 minutes on 180 until the cheese was bubbly, and it was perfect. I ate it quite simply with a green salad and the slices were just sturdy enough to be held, so it felt like a real treat.
I’ll definitely be making this again. As I said, it was time-consuming but not hard work, it’s just because of the number of steps involved in making the base. I believe some supermarkets now sell pre-made cauliflower rice which would speed up the process a bit, but I’m not about to spend £2 on 100g of cauliflower when I can buy a whole one for 90p. Each to their own, though!
Let me know if you try making cauliflower pizza, and I’ll be back soon with some very much non-Slimming World Orlando food bloggage!