I’ve recently bought Anna Jones’ book “A Modern Way To Eat” and, after obsessing over every single delectable recipe, chose a few to have a go at myself. The book is solely vegetarian and, as we’re trying to cut down on our meat consumption a bit, it’s the perfect introduction to a veggie diet for novices (me). It totally challenges any misconceptions that meatless meals are repetitive or bland and is really quite a lovely cookbook to lazily flick through (one of my favourite hobbies).
I’ve cooked about five things so far and not one of them has disappointed. I was particularly keen to give her “Any night of the week pizza” a go as we all love a bit of pizza but I always, without fail, feel heavy and bloated after eating it. This pizza’s base is made from cauliflower, ground almonds and oats and is a serious appetite satisfier whilst still feeling quite light. It probably won’t make you shun traditional pizzas for life but, for me, it comes pretty close to being my New Thing.
I made two mistakes the first time I made it – I didn’t put enough seasoning in the base (don’t be shy with the oregano, salt and pepper) and I didn’t bake the base for long enough, so it was still a bit soggy. The next time though the pizza was pretty much perfect and everyone, including the 10 month old and the toddler, loved it. (Note: I wouldn’t personally give this to very newly weaning babies as the base can be a little crumbly and could be a bit of a choking hazard).
I’ve included the topping suggested by Anna but you can really do whatever you want here. I made a big batch of tomato sauce with hidden veg and kept it in the freezer for meals such as this – great for adding more veg to your family’s diet. My topping of choice is spinach, peppers, fresh tomatoes and cheddar cheese. Yum.
Ingredients for 1 pizza, serving 2-3 people
For the base:
- 1 medium cauliflower, cut into large chunks
- 100g ground almonds
- 100g oats
- good pinch of dry oregano
- salt and pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- olive oil
For the topping:
- 1/2 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- big bunch of fresh basil
- 1 x 125g ball mozzarella
- 2 x big handfuls of leafy greens
- 1/2 bulb of fennel, shaved into thin slices with a vegetable peeler
- Pecorino cheese, for grating
- Preheat oven to 220/200 fan and line a baking tray with baking paper
- Put cauliflower in a food processor and give it a whizz until it has a fine, rice like texture.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add the ground almonds, oats, oregano, salt and pepper along with the cauliflower and work it into a ball with your hands. It will feel quite wet and not as firm as traditional pizza dough.
- Rub the baking paper with a little olive oil then press the mixture into the tray until it is about 1/2cm thick (slightly thicker round the edges)
- Bake for approx 20 mins, making sure it’s lovely and golden. Meanwhile, blitz the tomatoes in the food processor with half the basil, salt and pepper to taste and a good drizzle of olive oil.
- Remove the base when ready and spread over the tomato sauce, top with mozzarella, greens and shaved fennel. Drizzle with a tad more oil then put back into the oven for 8 minutes to cook.
- Once cooked, finish the pizza with basil, oil and pecorino
Anna Jones’ book “A Modern Way To Eat” can be purchased here.