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I’m not one to go in for ‘fad’ foods, I never jumped on the flax seed train or stuck chia in all my puddings, and I bought a spiralizer but used it once. But the new cauliflower craze that is sweeping the food blogs did perk my interest. Cauliflower gets a bad rep, and I have always loved, I love to slice it and pan fry it with cumin seeds a salt. I am also trying to get rid of my Christmas weight (those after eights start to count up after the second box….) so when I saw these cauliflower pizza bases in my slimming world book I thought, why not give it a go! I was dubious to say the least, but I knew that it was time I invited my lovely mum and stepdad over and that mum is strict on the slimming world at the moment (as she is nearly at her target!) so it seemed like the perfect time to try a ‘Cauli-pizza’.
I wanted to make my mum a proper feast without any of the fat, so decided to make some fat free chips too which are my speciality at the moment. If I am feeling like crap I will make these chips, cover them in baked beans and vinegar and scoff them down. Proper comfort food. So this post is a bit of a mix of recipes; I used the slimming world cauliflower base, a Jamie Oliver tomato sauce, and my own chip recipe.
For this meal you will need a good food processor, I came to realise that I am missing a piece on mine, so I tried first blending the cauliflower in a smoothie maker, which didn’t work, then with a handheld whizzer which resulted in bits of cauliflower going everywhere! Then I tried mashing it with a fork (?!) none of this worked so I had to send Jack out to get mums, which was much better! This recipe is a bit of a ‘faf’ I would give it a medium difficulty rating. There was also a horrible moment where I thought it was all
about to go terribly wrong! I mixed all the ingredients together in a pan and was presented with this very sloppy, wet mixture. Both mum and I agreed it didn’t look right, but we put it on a roasting tray anyway! It came out looking a bit flat and worse for wear, when we tried to get it off the tinfoil I honestly thought it was all over! It was crumbly and breaking apart, but with some very careful handling we managed to hold it together. And once all the toppings had been put on and it had come out of the oven for the second time it was looking much better. I am still not 100% sure I got the base correct, but it tasted pretty good!
Now I am not sure if you have noticed or not but the pictures for this post look very professional, that’s because my stepdad is a photographer and brought all his equipment so he could take some pictures of the food! I wish my food pictures could look this good every time!! He says I will just have to keep inviting him for dinner 😉
Surprisingly everybody loved this meal! It’s really hard to describe the taste of the base, but it’s not very cauliflower-y or too eggy, it kind of made its own flavour which I have never tasted before! I wonder if I could have made it a little thicker as it wasn’t particularly sturdy. The sauce I made was really nice, and there was loads left over which we are going to have with spaghetti! I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it is the best tomato sauce I have ever made; I even put some in a little dish and everyone dipped there chips in it!
We all voted on the flavour and this dish came out at an average of: 7.5
Slimming World/Fat Free Chips
Low fat spray
Vegetable OXO cube
1) peel and chop potatoes into chip shapes
2) spray with low fat cooking spray until all potatoes are coated
3) crumble the stock cube over the potatoes until all are coated (if cooking loads of chips, use two cubes)
4) Spread potatoes evenly on roasting tray
5) Spray a bit more low fat spray just to be safe
6) Put into the oven for about 25minutes or until they look good to eat!
Cauliflower Pizza Base
- 1 large cauliflower head, trimmed and cut into florets
- 2 medium eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Low-calorie cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to Gas 5 180°C/160 fan.
- Whizz the cauliflower in a food processor until very fine, then tip it into a microwavable bowl, cover with clingfilm and cook for 5 minutes. Add the two beaten eggs, seasoning and oregano. The mixture should be quite wet.
- Line a large baking tray with nonstick baking paper, spray with low-calorie cooking spray and put the cauliflower mixture on the tray − use the tips of your fingers or a spoon to shape it. Bake for 15 minutes on the middle shelf then move to the top shelf for another 10 minutes, after which the base should have solidified and have gone golden.
- Remove from the oven and with a palette knife release from the paper. Flip over and cook again for another 10 minutes. When both sides are golden, remove from the oven and your homemade pizza sauce and toppings of your choice.
- Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately in slices.
Homemade Pizza Sauce
For this sauce I used some elements of Jamie Oliver’s sauce and some of my own knowledge and came up with the following recipe:
- olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic , peeled and finely sliced
- 1 bunch fresh basil , leaves picked and torn
- 3 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more to taste
- Pinch of sugar or sweetener
- Place a large non-stick frying pan on the heat and spray with low fat spray. Add the garlic, shake the pan around a bit and, once the garlic begins to colour lightly, add the basil and the tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat.
- Pour the sauce into a food processor and blitz to a smooth consistency.