Comfort and kiddie foods are still on the cards and there is a definite sense of ‘when Anna’s away the stomach will play’. On Saturday morning, in my absense, Marge woke up with a huge urge to eat a bacon sandwich – a food which, according to recent headlines and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has been classified as a ‘definite’ cause of cancer. It is becoming almost ironic…
But I am not one to stand in the way of someone’s cravings. Plus, I cannot do anything about the food Marge eats when I am out. As I mentioned previously, I am just over the moon that she has managed to maintain a healthy appetite up until now. So, if the stomach’s going to play, then I am going to play it at its own game. It was Saturday night… what food is associated with a cosy night in, watching something crap on TV? Pizza seemed to be the obvious and only choice.
This plan also gave me the opportunity to feel rather ‘on-trend’ and have a go at something I had been eager to make for a while: Cauliflower Pizza. It would be the perfect way to make sure mum was getting a healthy dose of vitamins whilst still exuding the the tantalising aromas of oozing mozzarella and intense tomato. It would also mean that mum could have some input, choosing her own toppings so that her stomach wouldn’t rebel in defiance later.
I have to say it was a complete success. It may be because she was slowly recovering from her side-effects and returning to normality (however I like to think it was my world-class culinary skills…), but she managed pretty much the whole thing and said it was ‘delicious’. I can even make it again apparently. I never thought the humble pizza would make me feel so triumphant; I have genuinely never felt so delighted to receive a simple compliment about my cooking. Knowing that I am helping mum through this experience and giving her small moments of pleasure is indescribably touching and incredibly rewarding. Even if one meal in every 10, every 100, causes this reaction, that would be enough.
Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth as well significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function. It is also rich in vitamins C and K, beta-carotene, magnesium, fibre, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese.
Artichoke is among the top 10 highest antioxidant-rich foods. It is high in dietary fibre so can help alleviate stomach upsets and promote bowel regulation. It is also known to ‘clean the blood’ by detoxifying the liver and gall bladder, balancing blood sugar and reducing cholesterol.
Recipe: Cauliflower Pizza
Makes 2 pizzas.
For the base:
- Coconut oil, for greasing
- 1 large cauliflower, washed, dried and blitzed in a blender into small ‘rice’
- 1 large whole egg
- 1 tbsp gluten-free flour
- 30g grated parmesan
- 2tsp Italian herb seasoning
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
For the tomato sauce:
- 100ml passata
- 1tsp Italian herb seasoning
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Entirely your choice! We had roasted peppers, mushrooms, artichokes and mozzarella
- I also like to put some dressed salad leaves and olives on top, for a bit of freshness
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/fan 160°C.
- Grease two baking sheets with coconut oil, then live with with parchment paper and grease this too.
- Steam the cauliflower for 3-4 minutes. Don’t let it go mushy. Then put it in a tea towel and squeeze out any excess water.
- Put the cauliflower rice into a large bowl, add the egg, herbs, seasoning, flour and parmesan and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture – it should still be a little wet – over the lined baking sheets and spread it out evenly over the paper. Make sure there are no holes in the mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Remove the baking sheet and leave to air for a few minutes.
- While the bases are cooking, make the tomato sauce by combining all the ingredients in a pan and heating through.
- Spread the tomato sauce over the pizza bases, top with your chosen toppings and then pop back in the oven for 10 minutes until the toppings are warmed through and the cheese (if using) is melted.
- Top with a dressed salad, if you like.