Cauliflower Pizza Bites

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Cauliflower Pizza Bites on coconutcourtney.com https://coconutcourtney.com/2014/05/21/cauliflower-pizza-bites/

I love pizza. I know, I know, who doesn’t? It’s just that I’ve recently realized how much I miss eating this scrumptious treat.

Cauliflower Pizza Bites on coconutcourtney.com https://coconutcourtney.com/2014/05/21/cauliflower-pizza-bites/Cauliflower Pizza Bites Being allergic to yeast hasn’t been too big of an issue, until suddenly I am struck with a pizza craving. Yeast free bread? No big deal. But yeast free pizza crust? A bit trickier. That’s when I stumbled on cauliflower pizza crust. Whaaaat?! I had no idea that this was a thing!

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The cauliflower “dough” after squeezing out the excess water.

https://coconutcourtney.com/2014/05/21/cauliflower-pizza-bites/

Pizza sauce and my chosen toppings. Roasted garlic, arugula, green onions, bell pepper, basil, and sliced tomatoes. YUM!

https://coconutcourtney.com/2014/05/21/cauliflower-pizza-bites/

The crust before cooking.

DSC_0019DSC_0021I searched around and found this lovely recipe for The BEST Dairy Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust by The Lucky Penny. With one minor change to make it vegan, it was perfect! I decided to use the base crust recipe to make mini pizzas. Because let’s be real, they’re adorable!

DSC_0025 DSC_0026Along with being super cute, the smaller crusts also get crispier, making them easier to pick up with your hands. If you are new to the cauliflower-crust-world, the downside of adding another veggie to your pizza is that the crust typically doesn’t firm up enough to pick up. Using the method of squeezing out the excess water, along with making these fellas mini allowed me to battle the crumbly-cauliflower issue.

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The cauliflower is such a mild flavor that it tastes truly amazing with the spices mixed in. Add on some delicious and super easy pizza sauce, and you’ll find your pizza craving dancing with happiness! And the absolute best thing about this? It’s stupidly fun! Using your hands to mix the dough and form the crusts, then adding the sauce and toppings to make your perfect pizza… there’s nothing better than that!

DSC_0039 DSC_0040 DSC_0043I’m excited to try this with my oldest niece and nephew. They won’t eat it, because they’re picky they have yet to realize that vegetables taste great, but I’ll enjoy hanging out with them in the kitchen!

DSC_0046 DSC_0041CAULIFLOWER PIZZA BITES
Prep time: 20 minutes   Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 flax egg (1 TBSP flax meal + 2.5 TBSP warm water)
1 medium sized head of cauliflower – should yield close to 3 cups once processed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil (crush it even more between your fingers)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (crush it even more between your fingers)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
A few shakes of crushed red pepper
2 TBSP almond meal
1 TBSP nutritional yeast*
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pizza Sauce:
4 oz tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1.5 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 pinch of salt

Toppings:
Use whatever your heart desires! Here are some examples:
Daiya cheese
Bell peppers
Sliced tomatoes
Mushrooms
Onions (carmalized onions are unstoppable on pizza!)
Roasted garlic
Basil
Arugula
Pineapple

*The nutritional yeast is optional if you have it. It adds great flavor!

Directions:
Place a pizza stone or pan in the oven. Preheat oven to 450. Place a piece of parchment paper aside for later use.

In a small bowl, prepare your flax egg by adding 2.5 TBSP of water to 1 TBSP of flax. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Cut the florets off the head of cauliflower. Add the florets to your Vitamix or food processor. Pulse until the mixture is mostly fine grains, yielding about 3 cups. Pour the cauliflower into a cheesecloth or tea towel and squeeze out the excess moisture.

Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl and add in everything else, except the egg. Mix well. Add the flax egg and mix again.

Using your hands, form the cauliflower dough into small crusts on the parchment paper on top of a cutting board or an upside down baking sheet. Make whatever size you wish—the smaller they are, the more crispy they will get, but I’ve also made one large crust out of this recipe and was still able to pick it up. Using the cutting board or baking sheet, transfer the crust on to the pre-heated pizza stone in the oven.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges are just turning golden brown and crispy.

While your crust is baking, mix up your pizza sauce. Combine the tomato paste with the water and mix well. Add in the spices and mix again. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Remove from the oven. Add your toppings and return to the oven. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, depending on your toppings. I went with 10 minutes since I wanted the peppers to soften up a bit.

ENJOY!

Roasted Parsnip and Garlic Mushroom Soup

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Before September, my cooking experience consisted of mac and cheese (and not the good kind) and microwave lunches. Oh man. Vegetables? Nah, bro. Who likes those, anyway? As it turns out, I’m a pretty big fan of those nutrient-packed fellas!

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While living with some incredible friends (shout to the Felvernackis!), we were faced with a conundrum: what the heck do we do with all of these parsnips?!? I did some searching on one of my top 5 fave blogs, Fat Free Vegan, and found this beauty: Roasted Parsnip and Garlic Soup with Mushrooms. My roommates and I loved this creamy, garlicky goodness, with chunks of meaty mushrooms throughout. This soup marks the beginning of my utter obsession with all things involving mushrooms. And that roasted garlic! Are you kidding me? Delicious!

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The most recent time that I made this soup, I didn’t have any navy beans or white pepper on hand, so I improvised with some garbanzo beans and red pepper flakes. The result was great. The boyfriend and I ate this over some rice to turn it into a full meal. It was super filling and the leftovers are just as awesome.

 

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Roasted Parsnip and Garlic Soup with Mushrooms
Prep time: 10 minutes            Cooking time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 rib celery (including leaves), chopped
  • 4 to 5 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
  • 10-12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Place the parsnip cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat . Cut the top off of the head of garlic, just enough to expose the tops of the cloves. Spritz it with olive oil (or don’t, if you are avoiding oil) and wrap the entire thing up in foil. Place it on the baking sheet with the parsnips. Bake for 15 minutes, turn over the parsnips, and cook for 15 more minutes until parsnips are tender and just touched with brown. Remove from oven and allow the garlic to cool in its wrapper.

Heat a non-stick saucepan and cook the onion until it’s translucent. Add the celery and cook for 2 more minutes. Add 3 cups of the broth, the parsnips, and the red pepper flakes. Squeeze the garlic out of the cloves into the pan. Cook for a few minutes, until parsnips have softened. Add the beans.

Carefully pour the soup into your blender. Split into 2 batches if necessary. Add more veggie broth if you prefer a thinner soup. Return the pureed soup to the pan and warm over low heat. If the soup is too thick, add more broth until it reaches your desired consistency, keeping it covered to prevent any spattering.

Cook the sliced mushrooms in a small skillet until they soften and release their juices. Season them with salt and stir them into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Variations:
I definitely like the added texture from the mushrooms, but if you want a creamier soup, add the mushrooms with the celery and cook until softened. Blend with the other vegetables as directed.

If you enjoy parsnips, then chances are you also like carrots. Try these delicious carrot cake pancakes!