What to do with ‘cauliflower rice’ + cauliflower pizza

Have you heard of cauliflower rice?

I first discovered it almost 2 years ago when I attended a vegan cooking and yoga retreat in Hepburn Springs {a lovely part of Victoria}.

I met a lady at the retreat who enjoyed eating raw vegan foods. When she told me she uses raw cauliflower rice as a rice substitute for nori rolls, I thought she was a genius!

Of course, now I see it everywhere. People on a paleo diet ~ meaning they’re on a hunter-gatherer diet, avoiding all types of grains and legumes ~ are in love with it too.

If you haven’t heard of cauliflower rice, may I introduce you to it?

It really is rather ingenious and so easy to make.

IMG_5259

Take a head of cauliflower, and cut it into florets. Then blitz the florets in a food processor until it resembles grains ~ et voila, what you have on your hands is cauliflower rice.

You can use cauliflower rice raw or cooked ~ I prefer it cooked, as it has a milder taste and is easier to digest. You can use it in all sorts of ways ~ as you would use rice, cous cous or quinoa even.

You can make pizza bases with cauliflower rice too. Yes, I was sceptical at first, too, but having made it twice now, I know it works and tastes delicious! It’s the perfect example of getting more bang for your calorie.

Before we get onto the pizza base recipe, however, here are some ways you can enjoy your cauliflower rice by replacing the grain component:

  1. nori rolls {if you want your cauliflower cooked, lightly steam florets first and then process when cool}
  2. middle-eastern inspired pilafs
  3. fritters/patties
  4. tabouleh instead of cous cous  {if you want your cauliflower cooked, lightly steam florets first and then process when cool}
  5. fried rice
  6. soups
  7. as a rice side to curries, stews and casseroles {just steam first before processing into rice}

{Note: A traditional grain offers to two macronutrients ~ carbohydrates and some protein {which when combined with a legume gives you a complete protein}. So if you are on a vegetarian or, more importantly, a vegan diet, you will need to take this into consideration when substituting a grain with cauliflower rice.}

Now let’s eat some pizza.

Recipe

cauliflower pizzaRecipe adapted from The Green Kitchen cookbook

Serves 2 | Cooking time 45 minutes | Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free option

  • 3 cups cauliflower rice
  • ¾ cups besan {chickpea} flour or almond meal
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme {or a mix of dried herbs}
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese {optional}

Preheat oven to 190 C / 375 F {170 C / 340 F fan-forced}

Line a baking tray with parchment paper

Mix the ingredients in a bowl until the mixture loosely holds together

With wet fingers spread the mix into a thin-ish, even shaped base onto the lined baking tray

Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until golden

Spread cooked base with your choice of toppings and bake for another 5-10 minutes

For my first cauliflower pizza, I spread the base with my roasted red pepper and tomato sauce {I had some in the freezer which I defrosted in the bench about an hour beforehand} then topped it with roast pumpkin, steamed broccolini, homemade dairy-free pesto {had some in the freezer}, labne, shaved red onion, and olives. I added some organic prosciutto for the husband. Colourful and delicious!

You’ll find more variations for the base in my ebook Nourished, including a vegan one, and with different flours other than besan. 

17 thoughts on “What to do with ‘cauliflower rice’ + cauliflower pizza

  1. lucy says:

    LESH! that looks incredible!

    must admit that i saw the recipe in the book, thought it very clever, but was skeptical as there was no finished shot of the pizza itself…SOLD, baby!

    x

    • Lesh says:

      Hi Margie, you can try a chia gel ~ 2 tsp ground chic mixed into 90 ml water, allow to sit for 10 minutes stirring occasionally until you have a gel, then add as you would the eggs. If your daughter doesn’t need to eat glute-nfree, try using a spelt flour instead of the almond meal or besan flour. If she does need GF then use the besan over the almond meal.

  2. susan lagats says:

    Love your recipie ideas. Tried the cream cheese recipie and not only me but my son loved it. Saves buying it and can make fresh smaller batches. Thankyou so much for being so inspiring with alternatives. Cannot wait to try the cauliflower rice ideas.

  3. Mariam says:

    Looks delish! I love the idea of caulu rice but as you pointed out, it’s lack of carbs and protein can leave me hungry if not paired with an adequate portion of protein! Can’t wait to try your pizza 🙂

  4. Louise says:

    I made cauliflower rice for the first time tonight as an accompaniment to a coconut-curry-throw-together. I sauteed it off with a few cumin seeds and threw in some left over boiled egg. I asked my husband to ‘guess’ what it was, he had no idea but guessed millet (and he’s pretty good with food). When I told him, it was obvious but we were both pretty impressed with how it passed off as a carb. Thanks for the post!

  5. Sandy says:

    Woweeee! Just made this tonight, didn’t think it would turn out half as good as it looks in your pics, but to my surprise it looked AMAZING and tasted even better! Holy Moly Im so impressed!! Thanks so much for sharing Lesh.

    • Lesh says:

      Hi Subsz, it’s not a question of whether vegetables have protein, it’s the fact of how much. You need to eat more plant foods like grains and legumes to get enough protein then you would get in a piece of meat or fish. Even then, for some people that may not be enough. Everyone is different. 🙂

  6. Jae says:

    I do quite a bit with cauliflower rice/cous cous but never thought of using it for a pizza base. I have been so looking forward to trying this recipe once I came off the strict eating plan associated with my sport. Well, I have to say, it worked perfectly and was exceptionally tasty. Definitely sharing it with my team mates. I think I’ll try to wizz in a bit of broccoli next time. Thanks for such a great recipe!!!

  7. lesley says:

    Hi Lesh

    Thank you for the wonderful recipes. A quick question about the eggs in the pizza base, I am a phenylketonuriac and cannot have more than 6 grams of protein a day. Chia seeds would not work for me but would psyllium husks in water do the same job or would I have to use a processed shop – bought egg replacer instead ?

    Thanks

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