CAULIFLOWER CRUST

I'm into the final week of my 21 Day Detox and loving all the inspiration from my fellow MCLers on their clean meal ideas. I love how the group bounces off each other with encouragement and support when we need a boost as well as celebratory whoops as appropriate! The brand new Low Impact 21 Day Detox is coming up on Monday, be sure to check it out and join up if you need some motivation to get out of those bad habits we've all fallen into over Christmas! 

The plan coupled with my Pescetarian January month means I am downing veggies by the bucketload. I'm packing them in as main courses rather than just sides (made some fab veggie fritters this morning) and also as a carb substitute. 

My new best friend is the humble cauliflower. You can rice it and have it plain or warmed up with some added spice or seasoning for a perfect carb-free side to chilli or curry or you can create a crust which can be used as a base for pizza, veggie tarts or as I did recently for a MCL meeting, as a substitute naan bread. It really did the trick! 

Most recipes just use cauliflower but I find by adding some ground almonds to the mixture it's  easier to work with, holds beautifully when cool and creates a much softer lighter 'bread'. I served mine drizzled with hot coconut oil which had been flavoured with garlic and coriander to create a garlic naan bread of sorts. I've also smothered with passata and basil and topped with garlic prawns for an amazing mini pizza. I actually prefer the taste and texture to pizza dough and there is no bloated heavy feeling afterwards. 

Here is the basic recipe for the crust, use it in whatever way you like - use your imagination! Oh and get a candle ready for when you've finished... microwaved cauliflower stinks the house out!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower pulsed to a 'rice' in food processor 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g ground almonds 
  • salt and pepper to season
  • any other seasoning of your choice, the following work well: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, mixed dried herbs

Method

  1. Microwave the riced cauliflower for approx. 4 minutes (until the kitchen pongs of cauliflower!)
     
  2. Spread out on a tea towel and allow to cool slightly. 
     
  3. Use tea towel to squeeze out as much moisture from the cauliflower as possible. I use a 'nut bag' from Amazon which I use for making oat or nut milk but a tea towel works fine. This is a very important step as the more moisture you can remove, the firmer the crust. 

4. Add the beaten egg and seasoning of choice and mix well. 

5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and grease liberally with coconut oil.

6. Make one large crust or several small ones by placing a mound of cauliflower onto the tray and shaping into a crust with the back of a spoon or your hands (hands work best), keep the mixture as compact as possible and about the thickness of a pound coin. 

7. Put tray (split between 2 if easier) into a preheated oven (200°C/180°C fan) and bake for 15-18 minutes. 

8. Allow to cool before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool underneath. 

9. This is the fun bit! Decide what you're going to use your crusts for, top and return to the oven, or use as an accompanying bread for a curry.

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Let me know what you decide to do with yours! 

Until next time, 
Mandy xx