I really don’t know any kids who like cauliflower. I can remember, as a kid, rejecting cauliflower in any form –
cover it in cheese, add it to pasta, whatever. I hated it. And the funny thing is, the cauliflower really doesn’t have a strong taste. So I figure that the problem is the look of the cauliflower. So, as parents, we have to sneak the cauliflower into our kids’ food, because there is no way they’re gonna eat it otherwise. So let’s get sneaky.
Well, we are all in luck. These amazingly decadent cauliflower crust cheese pizza bites win any kid over from the first bite.
I’ve tried about a million cauliflower crusts. What I realized was, for most people, they were making these to be gluten-free. So it was super difficult to get a good consistency, and almost never worked out. I always came out with a big mess that was more like scrambled eggs than crust. So I came up with this recipe – the goal is NOT to be gluten-free. The goal is to be delicious, AND to have cauliflower in it. Goal number 1 achieved.
What You Need
- One Head of Cauliflower. I’ve never tried this with frozen, so I make no guarantees if you don’t go with the real-deal cauliflower.
- 6 Eggs.
- 1/2 cup Cream Cheese.
- 2-3 cups Cornmeal. This will depend upon the size of your head of cauliflower. I’ve got pics of the process below, so really what matters in terms of the amount of cornmeal you use is the consistency of the batter you end up with.
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda.
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder.
- All the things you need to make pizza…pizza sauce, your fave (or kids’ fave) cheese, and any other toppings you want. If you have really young kids, cheese is probably the way to go. If your kids are a little older, maybe you make a whole spread and get them involved with topping the pizza themselves – plus that gives you some time to grab a glass of wine and chill while they entertain themselves. Goal number 2 achieved.
What You Do
- Preheat your oven to 350, as per usual.
- Wash and cut your cauliflower into small-ish pieces. Don’t spend a lot of time on this – it can be ugly. You just wanna be able to fit the pieces in your ninja/food processor/whatever you use to blend things. My ninja is tiny, so I have to do it in two separate batches. No stress on this. It’s called “ricing” the cauliflower, but really you’re just blending it up so it’s in little pieces.
- Place your cauliflower in a colander that is lined with paper towels. We need to get any water out of it, so place something heavy on top of your little parcel, to weigh it down and press the water out. Set aside.
- Using the same food processor-type device (don’t need to even rinse it!), add your eggs and cream cheese. Blend until you have a nice, smooth liquid. Should take just a sec. Pour the liquid into a big mixing bowl.
- Before adding your cauliflower to the mixing bowl, take your weight off the parcel of goodness, and press on it firmly with your fist. You’ll be able to feel even more water come out. Just do that for a minute or to, so it’s as dry as you can get it. Then add it to the egg mixture.
- Now you have a very liquidy mess. So how do we fix that? Cornmeal! Mix 2 cups of cornmeal with the baking soda and baking powder (also, not the end of the world if you don’t have these – they just make the crust rise a bit, which is nice, but it works just as well without them) in a separate small bowl. Get any lumps out. Add salt and pepper if you want. Then add this to your liquidy mess.
- Here’s where you have to trust your instincts. Look at your mixture – is it solid enough to plop onto a sheet pan without running all over the place? If you answered yes, move on to the next step! If you answered no, add maybe 1/2 cup of cornmeal, and test your instincts again (I do have a picture of the perfect texture below, if you need some help, but I trust your judgement, and so should you).
- Get out a sheet pan, top it with parchment paper, and spray it with some kind of oil, or spread the oil on with a paper towel.
- If you’re NOT Type A, and you don’t need your pizza bites to be a uniform shape, you don’t need to do this step at all (just plop out the batter right onto a sheet pan). BUT, if you are like me and want everything pretty, put your batter into a piping bag (you know, what you use to pipe icing onto a cupcake). Use a big round nozzle – we don’t need any shapes on the nozzle, plus even if you have a shape on the nozzle, when the bites cook, it’ll round out. Pipe the batter out into nice little rounds – whatever size fits in your kids’ hands. It will grow a hair, but not much, so you can generally expect that what you pipe out is what you’ll get.
- Put your rounds in the oven for 10-12 minutes, and get stoked.
- Once you remove the rounds, let them cool for just a couple minutes before topping. If you can pick them up with bare hands, you’re good to go. Top your pizza bites with pizza sauce, cheese, and anything else your little heart desires. Put it back in the oven for about 5 minutes, and BOOM. Dinner is served.
What it Looks Like