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Archive for the ‘Pizza’ Category

This dish was an awesome pairing of two of our favorite seasonal offerings:  asparagus and morel mushrooms.  I’ve found that roasting [rather than steaming] asparagus takes this already sublime stalk to its ultimate level of tastiness as those natural sugars caramelize and the tips slightly crisp.  I figured that if I then smothered that roasted asparagus in some earthy mushrooms, cooked in a tartly sweet and creamy balsamic sauce, and then further wrapped it all up into a calzone that had been spread with a lemony cashew “cheese”, it might just delight H.  Phew…what a mouthful; and it was!  I was right, but I had a pretty good hunch going in that this would be a winner.

This recipe yielded 4 calzones.

 

Creamy Balsamic Morels

Ingredients:

½ cup diced shallot

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 oz mushrooms, diced [I used morels; you could use whichever mushroom you enjoy most.]

1 T olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup plain non-dairy yogurt [I used So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt]

Directions:

Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat.  Sauté the shallots and garlic until translucent.  Add the morels and sauté until softened.  Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until the mushrooms have absorbed the liquid.  Add the yogurt and mix well.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Lemony Cashew “Cheese”

Ingredients:

½ cup cashews, soaked for one hour

1 tsp lemon zest

1 T lemon juice

Directions:

Drain the cashews and place in a food processor.  Add the lemon zest and juice.  Pulse until a paste forms.

12 roasted asparagus spears [Toss in olive oil and roast at 450°F until they start to caramelize ~10-15 mins.]

One large pizza dough at room temperature [I buy this at my local grocery; your local pizzeria would probably sell you a ball of pizza dough]

***

Assembling the Calzone:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. [Also preheat your pizza stone or sheet pan.]

Divide the dough into 4 portions.  Stretch each into a small pizza-sized round.  Add ¼ of the cashew cheese to ½ of each round.  Lay 3 spears of asparagus [trimmed to fit] atop the cashew cheese.  Add ¼ of the creamy balsamic mushrooms.  Fold the top of the pizza round over the bottom and seal the edges by crimping and rolling over as you make your way around the semi-circle [as you would a pie crust].  Using a knife make a couple of vent holes on the top to allow steam to release as they cook.  You can also brush the surface with some olive oil.

Place upon a pre-heated pizza stone or sheet pan.  Bake until golden.

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This is an unabashedly cheese-less pizza, and it is all the more delicious for its absence.  The savory richness of the chili-peanut sauce,  the fresh and vibrant vegetables, leafy greens, crunchy peanuts and chewy pizza crust will have you craving this combination from the first bite forward!

Spicy Thai-Style Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

⅔ cup peanut butter [creamy or chunky works equally well]

⅔ cup warm coconut water [warm water could be substituted]

⅓ cup soy sauce [I use low sodium]

2 T lime juice

2 tsp freshly minced ginger

2 garlic cloves

1-2  tsp garlic chili sauce, depending upon your heat tolerance

1 tsp dark [roasted] sesame oil

Directions:

Mix the peanut butter and warmed coconut or plain water together first, dissolving any clumps with a whisk.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pizza Ingredients:

1 large portion of pizza dough or large pizza crust  [Whichever type you prefer.  I do not make this from scratch, but rather buy it premade at a local grocery store.  It is in the refrigerated section in a plastic bag.]

1 block of tofu, broken into medium-sized crumbles

1 large zucchini, sliced

1 carrot, cut into thin strips using a vegetable peeler

1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced into rings

2 cups mesclun lettuce mix

1 cup mung bean sprouts

½ cup cilantro leaves

½ cup sliced green onions

4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

⅓ cup whole peanuts

1 T Bill’s Best Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning [This seasoning tastes like powdered chicken soup, without the chicken ;-)]

Pizza pan [I have an aluminum pizza pan that was really inexpensive price-wise but that has become an invaluable kitchen tool.]

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Stretch out the dough to the size of a large pizza and place upon a pizza pan.  Set aside to rest.

Sprinkle the tofu with the Chik’Nish and sauté over medium heat until lightly browned.  Set aside.

Sauté the zucchini, bell pepper and garlic over medium heat until slightly browned.  Set aside.

Assembling the pizza:

Spoon out a generous amount of the spicy peanut sauce over the pizza dough and disperse evenly. [Remember to save a bit of the sauce to dress the mesclun salad greens.]  Next, simply spread out the cooked ingredients:  tofu, zucchini, bell pepper and garlic.  Top with an even layer of carrot strips and peanuts.

Bake in the oven until the crust and toppings are browned.

Dress the mesclun greens with some of the spicy peanut sauce.  Top the pizza with the sliced green onions, cilantro, mung bean sprouts and dressed mesclun.

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We were in Trader Joe’s recently and picked up some whole wheat lavash.  It’s a bit thicker than a tortilla and far thinner than the traditional pizza crust Americans are used to piling toppings upon.  If you’re in a hurry, or want a lighter style pizza, this is the way to go.

 

Eggplant,  Zucchini and Kale Pizza with a Sun-Dried Tomato and Cashew Cheese

Ingredients:

one eggplant, peeled and cut into a medium dice

2 zucchini, medium dice

1 bunch kale, washed and cut into ribbons

1/3 cup dried apricots, cut into slices

1/2 onion, diced

1 head garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

fresh oregano

For the Sundried Tomato and Cashew Cheese:

1 block extra firm silken tofu

1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil

1 tsp dried oregano

2 cloves garlic

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice [about a tablespoon’s worth]

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. 

Lightly spray eggplant with olive oil and toss to coat.  Spread upon a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Cut the top off the entire head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap in foil and place in the oven.  Bake the eggplant and garlic for 45 minutes, tossing the eggplant halfway through.

While the eggplant and garlic are in the oven, sauté the onion in a bit of olive oil until softened.  Add the zucchini and sauté until the edges are caramelized.  Transfer to a bowl.  Place the pan back on the stove and, once heated, add another drizzle of olive oil and add the kale.  Toss until coated then add a cup of water and the dried apricots.  Turn down to a simmer and cook until the greens have wilted and the apricots are rehydrated.  Drain, if necessary, and set aside.

To make the cheese:  Add tofu, cashews, sundried tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and oregano to a food processor. Pulse until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.

Once the eggplant and garlic have roasted, remove and add the eggplant to the sautéed onions and zucchini.  Place a lavash bread upon a baking sheet and pop into the oven for 4-5 minutes to crisp up a bit.  [You do not want the lavash to get gooey when you add the toppings.]  Spread the cheese onto the lavash using a spatula.  Top with the cooked vegetables and cloves of roasted garlic.  Bake for a few minutes until warmed.  Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and fresh oregano.

 

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The folks over at Chicago Soydairy sent us another sample of Teese to taste test.  This time their goal was to create a mozzarella-style “cheese” that had more authentic melting properties [creaminess and stretchiness] and a better flavor.  For the record, neither of us are huge fans of faux cheeses because, in all honesty,  most of them are pretty nasty.  Daiya has remained supreme when it comes to a melted texture, and if your recipe calls for a cheesy texture, then it’s been the gold standard.  Problem is that, at least to us, it tastes plasticized and artificial.  Now along comes Teese with their new formulation, and we were eager to try it. 

There are a great many things we could have made with it, and we do still have half the sample left *wiggles eyebrows*, but in order to test their new claims, we really had to start with making a pizza.  We ended up making a very simple pizza with few ingredients [mushrooms and red peppers on one half each] so that the Teese would be the star, and it was.  Not only did it melt exceptionally well and was gooey and stretchy [as a great cheese pizza should be], but it actually tasted more like mozzarella than any faux cheese we’ve tried.  Chicago Soydairy is going to make vegans and those with lactose-intolerance very happy once this product hits retail; they’re seriously going to dig this mozzarella.   We don’t eat many processed foods, but on those rare occasions when we feel that urge to indulge, we would buy this product.

 

Quick Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:

1-14 oz can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

2 T tomato sauce

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tsp dried oregano

pinch red pepper flakes

olive oil

Directions:

Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook until the garlic gives off an aroma.  Add the tomatoes and tomato paste.  Whisk together, add oregano and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

 

 

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Mediterranean-style Pizza

Mediterranean-style Pizza [hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, zucchini, bell pepper, fennel, green olives, pine nuts, capers and olive oil]

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