Cauliflower Crust Pizza, Nutritionally Dense (Vegan) Style - Ellen's Tastes Blog at - 265749

Ellen's Tastes

Cauliflower Crust Pizza, Nutritionally Dense (Vegan) Style 
Jan. 29, 2012 10:28 am 
Updated: Jul. 13, 2013 2:59 am
My new friend, Patricia (Rosebud), turned me onto a recipe for Cauliflower Crust Pizza and it was such a surprising combination of ingredients, I had to try it. The only problem was that the recipe called for egg and cheese, and I'm generally not eating dairy these days.

So I searched the web for other Cauliflower Crust Pizza recipes that didn't include dairy product but I came up empty handed. I'd need to "veganize" the recipe using my own wit and wisdom (some jazz cooking). No problem, thought I. I've just finished reading "The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook" which offers an alternative to egg (ground flax seeds and water). And, as for the cheese, I'd use nutritional yeast flakes and Veggie Rice Cheddar Flavor Cheese. The results were almost perfect.

For those of you interested in making the recipe as it's found elsewhere (non-vegan), here's one of them:

Preheat oven to 450°


1 c. riced cauliflower
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1 egg
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. parsley


1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
garlic powder to taste

Steam the cauliflower, and when it's done, grate it into rice size pieces.

Sautee the topping veggies.

Mix together the crust ingredients and stir well, then spread evenly onto a metal pizza pan which you've lightly coated with olive oil. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the crust begins to brown at the edges.

Remove crust from the oven. Add the toppings. Set oven to broil, and broil pizza with topping for 4-5 minutes, until crust is crispy.

And here's my vegan version:

Preheat oven to 450°
Prepare yourself for flying bits of cauliflower which will find unbelievable places to land throughout your entire kitchen.
Also, ensure the flax seed container hubby hands you is actually ground flax seeds and not still whole. In other words, look more closely than I did. I can't tell you how hard, and messy, it is to grind wet flax seeds. 


1 c. riced cauliflower (blended in a high-speed blender, in 3 batches)
1 c. nutritional yeast flakes (the cheese ingredient)
2 tbsp. ground flax seeds mixed with 5 tbsp. very hot water (the "egg")
2 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
a touch of salt

olive oil (enough to sautee the veggies in)
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
1-1/2 c. sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. dried fennel
1/2 c. pizza sauce (ideally organic with no preservatives added)
Veggie Rice Cheese (I used Cheddar flavor 'cause it what I had on hand)


I opted to cut my large size cauliflower into small bits, about 3/4-1" in circumference. Then I ground them in a high speed blender (using the "ice crush" setting) until it took on a rice looking texture. It took me three batches to get it all done and looking nicely "riced". Of course I ended up with roughly 4 cups of riced cauliflower, and needed to use only one cup for the recipe, so the 'fridge is now saving the rest of the cauliflower for more pizza or for mashed "cauliflower potatoes". Either option will be tasty.

Next, I microwaved the cauliflower for 8 minutes (on high).

Then I mixed together the one cup cauliflower with the flax seed "egg" mix and the nutritional yeast flakes. I also added the seasoning to the batter and stirred well. The results were sticky, so I had to coat my hands with olive oil in order to spread it evenly on the lightly oiled metal pizza pan. (Why metal? I don't know yet.)

I placed the crust in a 450° oven for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, I sauteed the veggies for the topping in some olive oil.

When the crust was done, the edges were slightly burnt, which was okay because hubby and I both love it when that happens. Anyway, I removed the crust from the oven, and then topped it with about 3/4 c. of pizza sauce, then with the sauteed veggies, then with about 3/4 c. Veggie Rice Cheddar cheese. I popped it back in the oven (which was now set to broil) and cooked for 5 minutes, until the cheese was melted. 


The problem with my version is that the crust didn't fully bake. It was toasted at the exterior, but mushy in the middle. That didn't stop either hubby or me from devouring it though. He's quicker than I am, so he downed nearly 3/4ths of it before I got to it. To say he was enthused would be an understatement. He's been living with my efforts to make tasty nutrient-dense foods for several months now and although he's been supportive, he's missed his old favorites. Texture issues aside, this tasted exactly like the pizzas I made using flour dough crusts. Whoever thought to use cauliflower instead is WAY more imaginative than I, and I tip my hat in their direction.

It took forever for me to clean up, given the flying bits of cauliflower and flax seeds, but I learned a few lessons about it in the process and suspect all with go smoother next time. I might (just maybe) use a real egg in the crust next time to see if that's the problem. Otherwise, I've got a home run on my hands.

Try it: you'll like it!

Riced (post blended) cauliflower
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"Egg" and "Cheese" for crust
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Crust before baking
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The finished product!
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Jan. 29, 2012 10:50 am
Ellen, I'm so pleased that you liked it and were able to work around the dairy part. It looks wonderful. I hope you enjoyed it. I also found another recipe you may like. Sometimes its all about color. Beet Hummus 3 medium beets, cleaned, roasted, peeled then cut into chunks (stick whole beets in oven at 375* then roast until a knife inserts easily) 2 Tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste) 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 clove garlic, chopped 1/4 cup olive oil salt to taste Process all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Tasted and adjust seasoning. Serve with a hefty drizzle of olive oil.
Jan. 29, 2012 10:57 am
BLACK BEAN + BUTTERNUT SOUP Serves 4-6 Inspired by Coconut and Quinoa Some of my measurements are pretty vague, but in a stew-like soup, perfection is not necessary. Taste as you go, add more spice if necessary but beware that both chipotle and cayenne are SPICY, so start small. You can cook your beans from scratch or used canned for the sake of time. 1 Tbsp. coconut or extra virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1/2 a small head of cabbage, chopped (heaping 2 cups) 3 cups cubed butternut squash (sweet potato would be good too) 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth 1 tsp. cumin 1 tsp. cocoa powder pinch of chipotle powder or cayenne pepper 2 cups cooked, black beans (about one can, rinsed and drained) salt to taste avocado, for garnish cilantro, for garnish // tortilla crispies // 3 corn tortillas scant 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp. sea salt In a heavy bottomed pot, warm the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until just beginning to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, cabbage, squash and broth. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, cover the pot and cook for about 15-20 minutes for the vegetables to cook. Add the spices and the beans and stir. Let everything continue to cook another ten minutes for the flavors to blend. Salt to taste. At this point, I did a few pulses with my immersion blender through the soup, because I wanted to thicken up the broth a bit. This is optional, but makes it seem a bit thicker. You could alternatively, run just a bit of the soup through a blender or food processor, and add it back in to the pot. OR a sprinkle of cornmeal will help thicken it as well. For the tortilla crispies, preheat the oven to 375'. Stack them and slice into thin matchsticks. Spread on a baking sheet, dirzzle with the oil, sprinkle the salt and toss gently to coat. Spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes until they are light brown and crispy, giving the pan a shake halfway through. Garnish each both with some diced avocado, a handful of chopped cilantro and some of the tortilla crispies! **Ellen, this is a nice change and warming. I did not put any chicken into it and skipped the cayenne. It was great. Have a great day. Good to hear from you.
Jan. 29, 2012 11:44 am
I saw this on Pinterest and wondered how the middle crust would get done. they said the taste was so good they didn't mind if they had to eat it with a fork. May have to try it some day.
Jan. 29, 2012 1:02 pm
That does sound good. I've been subbing ground flax seed for egg in pancakes for years so it should work here as well. I'm glad you are having some fun with your eating plan.
Jan. 29, 2012 2:13 pm
How funny that you should post this when I posted a similar recipe on the cooking forum I belong to and was boo'd! Pfft! I think it's an awesome idea to get your pizza fix! :o)
Feb. 1, 2012 5:48 am
Good morning Ellen. I just found this recipe and its terrific. I am sending it your way. I really wish you could see the pics though. Hope you enjoy it.Fried Sesame Brown Rice with Edamame Ingredients: 2 eggs, beaten 2 cups cooked, cooled brown rice 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, plus more for drizzling. 2 carrots, grated or shredded 1 cup shelled edamame, thawed from frozen 2 scallions, chopped (about 1/2 cup) 1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 tablespoons soy sauce 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar Directions: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the beaten eggs and stir with a spatula almost constantly for 3 minutes, until scrambled, fluffy, and cooked through. Remove to a small plate. Wipe out the skillet. Add sesame oil to the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the carrots, edamame, scallions, mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the rice. The pan of veggies and rice will seem dry but you want the rice to brown and become crispy. Saute the whole mixture for about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into the pan. Stir the mixture to coat everything evenly. Drizzle everything with additional sesame oil (about 2 teaspoons- important for flavor) Add the scrambled eggs back to the pan and mix well. Serve. serves 2
Feb. 1, 2012 3:12 pm
Oh Patricia... what to do with the dairy?? Looks so wonderful otherwise!! I suppose I could try the flax/water thing, but it hasn't yet responded as we'd like on a textural basis. Pfffft.
Feb. 2, 2012 9:31 am
Good question. I'm sorry about that. I will check around and see what I can find. How are you doing otherwise? Think of you so often during the course of my day. (big hugs)
Feb. 2, 2012 2:13 pm
Hi Ellen, I don't know if you saw this or not but thought I'd forward it to you...Check out 'The Gerson Therapy' and enter into an alternative world of cancer cure with a proven track record. RECIPE for Dr. Gerson’s Hippocrates Soup 1 big or 2 small fresh organic leeks 1 pound fresh organic potato or several small ones 1 1/2 pounds organic fresh tomatoes 1 large organic onion or 2 small onions 1 sm/medium organic celery knob (I have found that the smaller, fresher knobs are more delicately flavored) or 3/4 stalks organic celery 1 small parsley root (if unavailable, can substitute 3/4 sprigs of organic parsley) Instructions: Don’t peel any of the vegetables as many of the minerals and nutrients are stored directly beneath the skin. Scrub carefully and cook SLOWLY at low heat for 3 hours with a small amount of clean pure water, then mash and eat. You can add small amounts of fresh organic parsley and fresh pressed raw organic garlic to taste. It’s hard to for anyone to say why this soup holds such particular power. I have attempted to creatively altered the recipe and not received the same results. Is it the placebo effect? I’m not sure. But even Dr. Gerson remarked that this soup was very special and highly effective in his regimen even if he wasn’t absolutely sure of the dynamics. I now actually look forward to having this soup. ~~~ Gerson was able to heal terminally ill cancer patients through his therapy. He was also able to cure other patients with diseases such as tuberculosis, multiple schlerosis, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, ulcers, heart disease, arterioschlerosis, mental disease, kidney disease.
Feb. 3, 2012 6:23 am
Good morning Ellen!!!! Check this out. I found a site that is dairy free and meat free. It has a section on milk subs. I really hope this will help you. It is: Look for the Milk Subs category. Good luck. Hope you have a wonderful day.
Feb. 17, 2012 2:10 pm
Ellen, I hope you're okay. You've been on my mind alot lately - and in my prayers. Take good care of you. Hope to hear from you whenever you get some time.
Jul. 13, 2013 2:59 am
Is there anything I can replace the yeast with?
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About Me
I've loved cooking since I was a kid, and still have my first (very battered) cookbook. Other than cooking, I adore interior design, writing, and playing bridge. Oh... and tasting new wines (or old favorites).
My favorite things to cook
As I've grown older, my tastes and philosophy have changed. I now use organic ingredients whenever I can, and I prefer using unprocessed ingredients.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Well, my mother (bless her) had 8 people to feed, so she made foods that were easy to prepare. My favorites were her baked ribs with barbecue sauce; english muffins topped with cheese, tomato, and bacon, and then broiled; and spaghetti noodles with tomato soup and cheddar cheese stirred in. I wouldn't make these dishes today, but they're full of fond memories.
My cooking triumphs
Adding orange juice to diced tomato sauce • Adding Cointreau to fresh fruit salads or a chocolate sauce • Adding tequila and bittersweet chocolate to chili • "poaching" salmon in orange juice, sprinkled with Old Bay and tarragon • adding cidar vinegar and soy sauce to vegetable soups • adding fresh mint to steamed red potatoes • knowing how to bail out a botched dish (example: over-steamed broccoli mashed with bleu or swiss cheese isn't nearly as bad as over-steamed broccoli on it's own).
My cooking tragedies
Over-steaming broccoli and most any other veggie... and a lasagna that was so loaded with oregano, no one could eat it.
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