Cauliflower Buffalo Bites with Spinach and Capers Pizza + Mindful Vegan Meals Book Review

 
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I was excited to review this new vegan cookbook by Food by Maria.

Seriously, she has 163K followers on Instagram, so you know there is something special about not only her photos but the vegan food she creates.

She also have a beautiful website that I would describe as ‘real’. Her realness is displayed in lifestyle and beauty tips and the way she writes is like talking with a good friend – the style just invites you into the conversation!

Mindful Vegan Meals by Maria Koutsogiannis

This same ‘realness’ is carried through into her book. Each recipe has a story of her journey of food – but I would almost say more than just a journey of food – a journey of self discovery and learning to love who you are from the outside in.

I love also that not only is there beautiful photos of food, she brings her personality to the book by including many pictures of herself! I think that is always fun to see photos of the person behind the food and camera.
 
The book brings together a great collection of recipes and I love that she tells the story of how each recipe came about in the recipe introduction. The anecdotes again bring you into getting to know Maria and her Greek upbringing – and she sounds like someone that would be super fun to hang out with!
 
The book contains a whole section on ‘Back to My Roots’ food, which I think was my favorite part of the book to read. Many of the recipes are veganized versions of Greek food that her mom or grandmother’s would make. After looking through the book and earmarking many of the recipes though, I decided this Buffalo bite pizza was the one I wanted to share. It is from her Carby, Hearty and Comforting Mains section of the book.
 
If you are worried you don’t have all the ingredients, don’t be! Feel free to customize it how you want!

I opted not to make pizza dough, as I am gluten free – so I just used store bought. I totally love her pizza dough recipe, though and how it even includes how to make and freeze it for later. So I will definitely be doing that for my pizza loving family.

We are in fresh garden season, so I used fresh dill instead of dried and fresh arugula instead of spinach. I didn’t have capers on hand, so I used red onion. I also had some leftover Core + Rind Creamy Cashew Sauce leftover from our Layered Taco Salad Cheesy Bake recipe so I drizzled that on top.

Back to the dill though, I loved how the dill added such a layer of flavor to the buffalo bites! So be sure to use that – whether fresh or dried! And be sure to check out Maria’s new cookbook –Mindful Vegan Meals!
 
 
 

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites with Spinach and Capers Pizza

Recipe by Maria KoutsogiannisCourse: main

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (120 ml) almond milk

  • ½ cup (46 g) chickpea flour, any flour works really!

  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp dill powder

  • ½ head of cauliflower, chopped into small bite-sized pieces

  • ½ cup (120 g) buffalo hot sauce

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 ball Team Pizza! Simple Pizza Dough (page 43 of the book) or 8 oz (230 g) store-bought dough

  • 3–4 tbsp (45–60 g) Pomodoro, or leftover hot sauce mixture from buffalo bites

  • 1 cup (115 g) vegan mozzarella

  • ½ cup (15 g) fresh spinach

  • 2 tsp (6 g) capers

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C), line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl combine the almond milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper and dill and stir till well-combined. Add the cauliflower and stir until well-coated. Using tongs, place the individual pieces of coated cauliflower onto the baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  • While your cauliflower bakes, combine the hot sauce and oil in another medium-sized bowl and stir well.
  • Remove the cauliflower from the oven and bathe in this magical hot sauce until completely submerged and covered! Using tongs, remove the cauliflower pieces from the hot sauce and place back on a baking sheet and return to the oven. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until you can tell they have dried out a bit. Save any remaining hot sauce to use as pizza sauce if you would like, or save for another time.
  • Set aside the cauliflower and increase the oven heat to 525°F (275°C).
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of ⅛ to ¼ inch ( 3 to 6 mm).
  • Spread the sauce over the dough to within ½ inch (13 mm) of the edge to leave a crust. Top with mozzarella, cauliflower buffalo wings, spinach and capers. Be careful how much cauliflower you add as it may affect cooking time; I suggest about ½ cup (115 g). Press a fork all the way around the crust, leaving an imprint, then brush with olive oil.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through. Keep an eye on the crust; you want it to be golden, not burnt!

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