Monday, 9 October 2017

You Don't Win Friends With Salad

I've been trying to follow a more plant based diet recently and all I can say is that I've never appreciated cheese more. My Greek blood is making the transition incredibly tricky. Here is a groovy cauliflower pizza recipe which I think represents how a Vegan lifestyle is anything but boring, as I've been experimenting in the kitchen more than ever lately!

Serves: 4-6 (makes two large pizzas) / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cooking time: 25 minutes 

Base: 4 tbsp chia seeds / 2 cauliflowers, roughly chopped / 200g apple purée / 300g buckwheat or brown rice flour / juice 2 lemons / 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce / 4 tsp dried oregano / 4 tsp dried basil

Toppings (optional): tomato purée / sliced tomatoes / canned sweetcorn / sliced mushrooms / fresh basil leaves / handful rocket / olive oil

1. Place the chia seeds in a bowl with 280ml of water. Leave for 10-15 minutes, until the chia has formed a gel. 

2. Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas mark 6. Place the cauliflower in a food processor and blend it until a flour-like substance forms - this should take about a minute (you may need to do this in two batches). Place in a nut milk bag *or straining bag) and knead out excess water. It make take a few minutes, but it's a really important step, so don't skip it!

3. Add the cauliflower to a mixing bowl with the chia and apple puree and stir until blended. Mix in the flour, lemon juice, tamari, some slat and the dried herbs. Slowly pour in 150ml of ice-cold water, using your hands to mix it into a sticky dough. Divide the dough into 2 pieces.

4. Line  baking trays with baking parchment and spread each piece of dough out over it to forma  pizza base. Bake the crusts in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

5. Once they are firm and slightly crispy, add the tomato purée and your toppings (except any basil or rocket), then cook for another 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, the leaves if using, and a drizzle of olive oil, then slice and serve!

What's your favourite 'za topping?