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Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Black Mung Bean Curry

February Cooking By Color – White, Brown, and Black

Hope you had a great weekend folks! I’ve been back home in Dallas cooking for someone in town for a conference who needed a macrobiotic chef. It’s funny because I moved to Austin and then my business blew up here in DFW! Thankfully it’s only 3 hours away and I can stay at my dad’s house so I’m happy to travel (and cook for my dad!). If you are in DFW or even Houston keep in mind that I travel for food coaching, private cooking instruction and cooking parties. These things make awesome gifts to your loved ones, so hit me up! As we continue our Cooking By Color theme, what is the most beautiful white food you can think of? Cauliflower is unique and tasty but there are only so many things you can do with it. I bought one and then I pondered. What the heck can I make with this? Stir-fry, curry, roasted, as steaks, buffalo-style, pizza crust, as rice in sushi, as bulgur in tabouli. I reached out to my Facebook page yet again for a wealth of ideas. I ended up going with a cauliflower pizza crust!

cauliflower-pizza-crust

Cauliflower pizza crusts were all the rage on the blogsphere last year and once again I am late to the party! I’m all for making gluten-free pizza crusts. I especially like using polenta to make a crust that does not include baked flour. Unlike last Monday’s super easy black-eyed pea and potato stew recipe this one has many parts and takes a bit more time. But believe me, it’s worth it. This has got to be one of the tastiest recipes I’ve made in a long time. I couldn’t stop eating the crust just by itself (bottom right image is hiding the huge chunk I took out, which continued to grow and resulted in me cutting 3 inches off the side of the pizza LOL!). So I got the idea for a cauli pizza crust from Happy Go Lucky and Veggie Fixation. You can find many different recipes online. I kept mine pretty simple, but the addition of minced ginger was phenomenal! Word to the wise, use a food processor to chop the cauliflower. I grated mine and it was a pain and took forever. As I did the grating the large florets that fell off ended up going into the topping (as seen in the top right photo). Don’t forget to save some cauliflower for the topping!

black mung beans

Now onto the topping of the pizza. I’m a big fan of Indian food and as you can see from the Indian pizza in my cookbook I figured it would be a good idea for this cauli crust. I took a look in my pantry and low and behold I had black mung beans! Boy was I excited to feature this beautiful black legume. Have you tried them before? You are welcome to use the usual green mung beans if you can’t find black.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Black Mung Bean Curry sliced

Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Black Mung Bean Curry
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Crust:
1 huge head cauliflower
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup oat flour
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds mixed with 4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Topping Mung Beans:
1 cup black mung beans soaked 2 hours
1 inch piece kombu
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil or 1/4 cup veggie broth
1 cup diced onion
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Water

Spiced Cauliflower:
Remaining cauliflower
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon tamari
1/2 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
5 dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:
Crust: Take 3/4ths of the head of cauliflower and grate it into a large bowl. Same the remaining 1/4th for the topping by cutting it up into small florets and placing in a bowl. Or save yourself time and pulse the 3/4th amount in a food processor until grated but not a paste. (I cut the whole thing into large chunks and as I grated the bigger florets that fell off ended up being the 1/4th that went into my topping)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place grated cauliflower in a large bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients until well combined. Make sure that the gelled chia is mixed thoroughly into the cauliflower. Use your hands to knead it all together. Spread out cauliflower onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Carefully form a rectangle about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. You don’t want it too thin or it will fall apart. Bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make your topping.

Topping: Heat up oil or broth in the pressure cooker (or saucepan) and saute onion with spices for a few minutes. Drain mung beans and add them along with water to cover (or more for regular stovetop cooking). Lock lid in place and bring to pressure (or bring to boil and cover). Simmer according to manufacturers instructions (or cook until tender). Drain and remove kombu. Season with a little sea salt.

Meanwhile heat up skillet and add remaining cauliflower and all ingredients for Spiced Cauliflower except cilantro. Bring to a boil then simmer with lid on until cauliflower is tender about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Check on your mung beans. To assemble: Spread a layer of mung beans along with pizza crust. Sprinkle the cauliflower across the top of the mung beans and garnish with chopped cilantro. Feel free to use French lentils or any other bean for the topping.

What are your favorite things to do with cauliflower? Do you ever make unusual pizza toppings like I did here? 

Posted in Lunch/Dinner Ideas, Protein, Recipes, Vegetables on 02/18/2013 04:08 pm
 

25 Comments

  1. I actually have those beans in my pantry, I think the packet says “urad dal” but I’m almost certain they’re the same. My Mum saw them and knowing I love new foodie finds bought them for me!

    This looks so good- I love both Indian and pizza so this suits me perfectly!

    I actually had a curried cauliflower + cashew rice dish for dinner this evening. As for unusual pizza toppings, I quite like less conventional barbecue sauce with veggies + avocado or a white pizza with sweet potato slices + caramelized onions.

    Reply

  2. Favorite cauliflower dish is Gobi Manchurian, which I make every couple of weeks when cauliflower is in season. When I’m traveling, I like to carry cauliflower nuggets a snack food.

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  3. Going to try this cauliflower pizza crust soon.

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  4. Hi Christy, I love the photos. Especially the last one with the mega-blurry background. And anything I see cauliflower + India related is likely to get a comment. btw You think you’re always late to the party? I have to confess I’m just now hearing about cauliflower crusts for the first time. 😉

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  5. That crust looks yummy, Christy!!!!

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  6. I’ve never had black mung beans before, need to put that on my to-try list. That crust looks awesome!

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  7. Hi Christy! I am very excited to make this for dinner tomorrow. Do you think I could use coconut flour instead of almond flour?

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  8. I made this tonight and it was AMAZING! I took pictures so I’ll have to post one for you. I also drizzled some tahini dressing/sauce on top with a sprinkle of coconut when serving, which added a nice flavor. I did have one problem, my crust didnt get firm. It browned nicely but wasn’t firm and fell apart when cutting. I might try either dehydrating it overnight next time for a raw crust or maybe cooking it on a pizza stone. Any suggestions?

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    • Awesome Michele! My crust wasn’t super firm either but I just ate it with a fork and didn’t care because it tasted so good! If you want it to really firm up I would say a flour with gluten would help that like whole wheat pastry or barley. BUt if you want it gluten-free and super firm like pizza crust you’ll have to do some playing around. Dehydrated sounds awesome. Let me know if that works!

      Reply

  9. Hi Christy- just wanted to let you know we loved this dish! The cauliflower crust was amazing and I’m thinking of making it often so my 17 month old will get some veggies in. Do you think adding zuchini would work? The mung beans were great and the cauliflower topping had such wonderful flavor. Definitely a family favorite. Thanks again!

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  10. Thanks Christy, I actually was thinking of adding zucchini to the crust- I think I’ll try it this week. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

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  11. Shabd Khalsa

    I made this tonight and it turned out fantastic! At first, I was skeptical about the crust but it turned out to be delicious. Also, I especially like the apricot and cilantro flavors in the mix. Thanks for the recipe Christy.

    Reply

  12. THANK YOU for posting a bean-free, gluten-free pizza crust! I have food sensitivities, and I’m really looking forward to trying this!

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  13. Misha Lentz

    Made this for my family tonight, and we REALLY like it A LOT! I made a few substitutions based on what I have around the house, and it still worked perfectly. Specifically, cashew meal for almond, wheat flour for oat, regular soy for tamari, green mung for black, and tomatoes for apricot. I’m sure the flavor with the apricot is much different, but this version worked beautifully as well. Thank you for this! It is now on the ‘favorite’ list! 🙂

    Reply

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