Ain't No Thang Like a [Cauliflower Crust] Pizza Party
Throw your hands in the air like you just don't care. We're having a party and cauli-ZA is on the menu!
As I'm sure many of you can relate, I noticed this cauliflower pizza crust from Trader Joe's gaining traction on the 'gram about a month ago. Believe me, I was boppin' into my TJ s regularly to scope out the scene and do some cauli-snoopin'. No luck.
Then, just this past week, I was passing through the frozen section and EURKEA. There it was. I did a double take. I gasped. Then I plopped that pizza crust right into my basket. Boom pow, we're prepping for a ZA-party!
I reached out to my fellow IG buds looking for ZA inspiration. You all are such crafty, creative cooks! What shall I top my beloved pizza crust with? Tough decision. Veggies, of course, but which kind? I received lots of feedback, as well as suggestions on how to cook the crust.
I was informed that the crust can be a little soggy. It's recommended that you pre-cook it to crisp it a tad before adding your desired toppings. Thank you bunches! I'll get into that later, but I think that's a major must-do in order to keep this recipe as successful as possible!
I decided on a veggie cheese pizza [tomatoes + yellow and green bell peppers] with a piquillo pepper and quinoa sauce. You can find all of these ingredients at Trader Joe's, of course, so it's an easy-peasy one trip meal! I was planning on using a traditional pizza sauce, but then I saw the pepper quinoa sauce and decided I'd give it a whirl. As you'll see below, I ended up mixing in a little tomato paste to bulk it up and create a sauce with a thicker consistency. It's totally optional. You do you!
- Trader Joe's Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Trader Joe's Piquillo Pepper & Quinoa Spread + (1 can tomato paste)*optional
- Shredded cheese blend (mozzarella, monterey jack, cheddar)
- Mini heriloom tomatoes
- 1 yellow bell pepper + 1 green bell pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 and pre-cook the crust for about 15-20 minutes (until it's golden brown) - I'd even suggest cooking one side for 10 min and then flipping to cook the other side for 10 minutes
- Wash and chop veggies; set aside
- (optional) Mix piquillo pepper & quinoa spread with tomato paste. Again, this step is totally optional, but I was looking for a thicker sauce consistency.
- Once crust is done pre-cooking, remove from oven
- Spread sauce evenly over crust, leaving about a 1/2-1 inch gap from the outer edge
- Add cheese and veggies
- Pop back into the oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and veggies are golden brown
As I mentioned before, the key to this recipe is pre-cooking the crust without any toppings. Initially I popped it into the oven for about 10 minutes, but I honestly think I could have let it go a tad longer [I adjusted the instructions above]. The crust was crispy on the edges, but still a tad soft in the middle. Perhaps this is simply the consistently of the cauli-crust, but I am determined to give it another go. It was by no means bad, but there's always room for improvement! Plus, it gives me another excuse to experiment with sauces and toppings.
Also, in terms of the taste of the crust [put your healthy hat on], it's good. It's definitely NOT going to taste like normal pizza dough or even have that same doughy texture, but if you're looking for a healthy, gluten-free alternative I'd say give this a go! I also think the crust itself is slightly tasteless or could use more salt or something [duh, made of cauli, bk!]. But I'd say the flavor of your za all comes down to the toppings you choose. The crust is simply the vessel! So, go bold. I'm feeling pesto and mozzarella or maybe a breakfast-za theme next. Thoughts?!