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 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!
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
Makes 6 to 8 servings
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
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
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?