Thursday, September 5, 2013

Veggie Pizza with a Bonus!

Happy National Cheese Pizza Day! Somehow, that sounds weird saying. You know, because I don't eat "real" cheese. And I don't miss it. Although, it was the hardest and last thing I gave up in pursuing a vegan, plant-based lifestyle. But I don't miss what it represents or how it made me feel after I ate it. Blech. 

Anywho, I AM a lover of all things cashew. Especially cashew cheese. And today, I have a recipe and pictures that will make you love it, too. If you haven't already tried it. 

Have you ever seen Despicable Me? It's an adorable and hilarious movie that my kids love. Honestly, I love it, too. We don't watch much TV, but I'll sit down to watch it with them if they ask. So, as a result, I have a lot of the lines memorized. Like, one from this scene…

So, now every time the kids get sassy with me, for some reason, I've been saying, "I'll stuff you all in the crust!" Well, after one such incident, my husband and I looked at each other and said, "OOOhhhhh, stuffed crust!" And I knew, it had to be done. 

And it was a success. I stuffed that crust full of cashew cheese, rolled the sides up and sealed it. Super easy. And then I topped it with vegan, Italian Field Roast Sausage, and made it sinful.

BUT, I had to redeem my veggie-loving self, with something a bit healthier. So I made this:

And it was just as amazing, if not better. 

For the pizza crust, I adapted this recipe to fit my needs. I doubled it for the two pizzas. 

This recipe is for ONE crust.

1 tsp coconut sugar
1 1/2 c warm water
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder, optional
1 tsp onion powder, optional
3 1/2 c sprouted wheat flour (doesn't have to be sprouted)

Preheat your oven to 425*. Add the sugar to a large bowl and pour warm water over. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over and wait around 5 minutes, until it starts to bubble. Then add in the oil, salt and spices. Then add in the flour 1/2 c at a time. Once your dough gets thick, take it out of the bowl and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Oil a large bowl, preferably glass, and place the dough ball in it. Cover the bowl with a warm, wet dish towel and place in a warm space for an hour. After the dough has risen, punch it down and knead into a ball again. Place a newly warm, wet dish towel over the bowl for another hour. The double rise is key for the whole wheat crust, at least in my experience with this recipe. Now you can roll out your dough onto a floured surface into whatever shape you like.

For the sauce. I made two and then combined them. I made a simple marinara and a spreadable cashew cheese.

For the marinara:
4 c chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp sage
1 Tbsp chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion and garlic in the oil, in a large pan, until translucent. Add in the tomatoes. let simmer for 30 minutes, to thicken. Then add in the spices. 
For the cashew cheese:

1 c raw cashews, soaked for a few hours, then rinsed
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp basil, chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
1/4-1/2 c water
Combine all of the ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add more water, if needed.

To assemble the pizza, roll out your dough into your desired shape. Poke the crust a few times with a fork. Mix the marinara and cashew cheese together, if desired. Spread out onto the dough. Or just layer them. Then start adding toppings. I added yellow squash, heirloom tomatoes, red and green peppers, portabella mushrooms, red onions and jalapenos. Bake at 425* for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

1 comment:

  1. My kids and I are big fans of Despicable Me, too! How can you not love Grue? Your pizzas look fabulous - cashew cheese stuffed crust? Count me in!