Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


Food Trend Alert: No-Cheese, Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Crust


cauliflower pizza crust

If you've been reading my recipes for a while, you will know one thing about me for sure: I do not back away from weird food experiments. I make cream out of cashews and ice cream out of bananas, I put beans in ice cream sandwiches and spinach in my smoothies. I make desserts out of avocados and chips out of kale. Some days my life feels like one long experiment in strange foods.

But there is one trend I've avoided, and that is the making of pizza crusts from cauliflower. It seemed too strange even for me. I kept seeing it, and hearing great things about it, so eventually I gave in to the siren song of the crazy food experiment.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make a vegan cauliflower pizza crust that would a) hold together, and b) be tasty. This recipe fills the bill! It holds together but it is still quite delicate, so handle with care. There are a few steps involved, but not more than making your own pizza crust from scratch, and the best part is that it's delicious and healthy! Two of my favourite things. Let your freak flag fly, give this a try!


4 cups cauliflower florets (about one large head of cauliflower)
2 tablespoons ground flax
6 tablespoons water
2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
pizza toppings of choice (I used tomato sauce, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, and cashew chevre)


  In a food processor, pulse cauliflower florets until they resemble rice or couscous.

  Place cauliflower "rice" in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for eight minutes, stirring at the halfway mark. Allow to cool.

  Scoop cooled cauliflower into the middle of a tea towel and squeeze the liquid out of it. Repeat this three times until it is very dry and you can squeeze no more liquid out. At this point, the cauliflower will be reduced in size by one half, so you should have approximately 2 cups of cauliflower that resembles cookie dough.

  In a small bowl, whisk together ground flax and water; set in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.

  Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Press the dough onto the sprayed parchment paper and form into a circle. Ensure that the middle is about 1/4 inch thick and the sides are slightly thicker.

  Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the middle is very firm.

  Remove from oven, add your favourite toppings and then bake for another 10 minutes.

  Handle with care, and enjoy!

Yield: Makes one 12-inch pizza crust

Want more cauliflower? Try my Oven-Roasted Cauliflower With Pesto, or my Vegan Mac & Cheese (speaking of food experiments - a "cheese sauce" made out of cauliflower!).