At university, living down the road from a 24-hour Dominos was dangerous, to say the least. Orange Wednesdays at Pizza Express was tradition and Sainsbury’s own brand pizza was a cheap and easy option when budgeting and feeling lazy.
On the FOMDAP diet, pizza is, of course, a big no. Not only is the base made of wheat, the tomato sauce is full of garlic and onion. This leaves us fodmappers with one option: homemade pizza. I was disappointed by the lack of flavour and crumbly texture of pizza made with gluten-free flour, and even more so when I discovered cauliflowers were high in FOMDAP, meaning cauliflower-based pizza is also a no-go. So with everything going green these days, from juice to the environment, I thought why not pizza too?
Broccoli is full of vitamins, particularly vitamin K and vitamin C, giving it antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing qualities. It’s also proven to be healthier than cauliflower – there’s no loss there! So I embarked on the challenge of turning this into a pizza:
Ingredients: (makes 1 large pizza)
- ½ broccoli or 6-8 large florets
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- 1 tsp garlic oil
- ½ can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- Chilli flakes
- ½ aubergine
- ½ courgette
- 1 tsp garlic oil
- ¼ cup grated mozzarella or cheddar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Start off by preparing your toppings. Thinly slice the courgette and aubergine, place the slices on a baking tray, drizzle with garlic oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook them in the oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then put aside.
Then move onto the pizza base. Cut the broccoli into small florets and put them in a food processor. Alternatively, you can grate the broccoli with a regular cheese grater.
Remove the mixture from the blender and mix in the grated parmesan for a stronger flavour and the egg to thicken the mixture and help it stick together.
Pour the mixture into a circular cake tin. Alternatively you could use a baking tray. Whatever you’re using – make sure it’s lined with baking parchment or butter to ensure the pizza doesn’t stick.
Put the base in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the mixture becomes firm and slightly golden around the edges.
While this is cooking, prepare the sauce. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into a pan over a low heat and leave it to simmer. This will bring out all the flavours and cook the tomatoes. After about 5 minutes, strain the sauce using a sieve to remove the big lumps. You can save these to use as topping if you wish.
When the base is ready, remove from the oven and evenly spread on the sauce. Add the grated cheese and vegetables. Pretty much any combination of toppings would work – whatever takes your fancy. This should now be starting to look like a pizza!
Put the pizza back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until cooked to your preference. When ready, remove from the cake tin, slice and eat up!
This pizza smells amazing, is full of flavour and will leave you feeling great. No bloating, no regrets.