CAULIFLOWER PIZZA WITH CHICKPEA "PEPPERONI" & MOZZARELLA
My diehard pizza lovers out there might be looking at this pizza and thinking, "Nope. Not real pizza." I'll just stop you right there—if you're looking for a "healthier" way to enjoy the cheesy, saucy goodness, this is your new BFF. You get all the good stuff—a serving of veggies, non-meat protein, and calcium, duh. And, obviously, it's delectable. Even my non-vegetarian boyfriend says so.
You can rice your own cauliflower, but I am lazy and just buy bags of it pre-riced from Trader Joe's. You can also find this at Hy-Vee in the freezer section or sometimes refrigerated by the other produce. Just ask! The trick to making it into a crispy crust? Squeezing all the water out. So if you're making this with frozen cauliflower like me, heat it up on the stove first so you can actually press some water out.
Goat cheese, parmesan, and and egg are what bind the crust together (and give it tons of flavor!).
You'll bake the crust by itself for about 15 minutes, then flip and keep baking for 5-7 more.
And these CHICKPEAS. They actually *kind of* taste like pepperoni! Paprika is what does the trick. You'll just fry these pups up in the skillet.
I just used big slices of whole-milk mozzarella and regular marinara sauce. Feel free to use buffalo mozz or spicy marinara to suit your taste preferences!
1 bag riced cauliflower
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
pinch of salt
1 (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained + rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1-2 teaspoons crushed red peper flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce
8 ounces regular mozzarella, sliced
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 cup fresh basil, roughly torn or chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Wring out as much water as possible from the cauliflower rice—this step is really important in achieving a good crust. If working with frozen rice, cook down on the stove, then wring out in paper towels.
3. Add the dry cauliflower to a large mixing bowl, add the goat cheese, parmesan cheese, egg and a pinch of salt. Mix until evenly combined.
4. Press the mixture into a 1/4 inch thick round or rectangle shaped crust on the prepared baking sheet. Make sure there are no thin spots in your crust.
5. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is dry and golden yellow. Using an extra large spatula to help, carefully flip the crust over and bake another 5-7 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, make the chickpea pepperoni. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add all of the ingredients & toss well to evenly combine. Stir often until the chickpeas are warmed through and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
7. Remove crust from the oven. Spread with marinara and top with sliced mozzarella and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes + parmesan cheese. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Add the chickpea pepperoni (you may not need all of them) and bake another 3 minutes or until warmed through. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil. Slice & serve!