It’s been a couple of weeks now since we embarked on our healthier eating programme. I’m so proud of my hubby who overnight cut out gluten and dairy from his diet (although there was one wobble last weekend when he went to the Nacho Libre Mexican wrestling with friends and there were rumours of a steak baguette and a bottle of beer!!) I haven’t been as strict with my diet but I’ve interestingly found that I noticeably feel worse after a meal when I’ve eaten gluten which wasn’t something I’d considered before. It’s been an interesting exercise to understand how different foods actually make us feel when previously we’d just eat everything we wanted without too much thought. Having said that, it’s so easy to enjoy salads and lighter food in the summer and I never thought kale would become a staple ingredient in our house!
We love pizzas. The boys especially, but I must confess that I’m partial to a tasty margarita too! So I love exploring new (and healthier) ways of eating pizza. The children aren’t converted yet but these cauliflower and spelt pizza bases make a very tasty weekday lunch for two and I cook them in my beloved mini skillets which immediately makes them 1000% cuter and the perfect portion size for lunch - or for dinner with a salad on the side.
I bake these pizzas on greaseproof paper which makes them easier to remove from the pan with a spatula as the cauliflower base does tend to stick to the bottom. You can of course customise your pizzas any way you like but my favourite is tomato, mozzarella and a few slices of parma ham, finished with some fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil. Simple? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely.
Going back some years now, the mistake I made when creating this kind of food was to expect it to taste like, for example, pizza and then be really disappointed when it was different. This doesn't taste like a traditional dough base and it's not crispy as biting into one - it's cauliflower, cheese and spelt flour after all - but it has a softer and flavoursome texture. And the additions of my favourite pizza toppings add those flavours that I really love - the tomato with the stringy mozzarella, salty parma ham and fresh basil with a drizzle of beautiful olive oil. So it doesn't replicate a pizza like for like, but it still has all the beautiful flavours I love.
I hope you enjoy these little pizzas as much as we do. We're totally enjoying this food journey - it's not always easy but it's definitely making us think about the way we eat :)
cauliflower + spelt pizzas
makes 2 mini 6 inch skillet pizzas or 1 large freeform 12 inch pizza
- 300g cauliflower, broken up into florets
- 60g spelt flour
- 30g parmesan, grated
- handful parsley
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella
- 3 slices parma ham (to taste)
- a few basil leaves (for decoration)
- olive oil (to drizzle)
I used a mini 6 inch skillet pan but you can just make this on a baking tray if you prefer - place a piece of greaseproof paper on the baking tray and form your cauliflower & spelt base on this
- preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan)
- if you don't have grated parmesan, I pop the block into a food processor and process until it's crumbly; then remove the parmesan and set aside
- next process the cauliflower until it too is small crumbly pieces
- add the spelt flower, parmesan, parsley and eggs, season them with salt and pepper and process until they're combined
- Line 2 x 6 inch skillet pans with greaseproof paper; alternatively put a large square (around 13 inches) onto a baking tray
- divide the mixture between the 2 skillet pans or free form on the baking tray and press the mixture together and flatten it into discs
- bake these for around 18-20 minutes - you want the base to be lightly golden brown
- then spread the base with the tomato sauce, and top with torn mozzarella and parma ham
- bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the pizza looks lovely and golden brown
- add some basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil
- enjoy it straight from pan or using a spatula, carefully slide it between the base and the paper so you can transfer it to a plate - the base does stick to the paper so you need to do this carefully otherwise it will tear
- And enjoy :)