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Recipe: Greek-Style Pizza with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and a Lemon Garlic Crust

April 3rd, 2013 12:42 pm by Kelly


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Lately I’ve been super-into Greek flavors – lemon, garlic, red peppers, Kalamata olives, spinach – and, after combining them in the usual suspects (salads, tofu scrambles, baked potatoes, frittatas…mmm, frittatas), I decided that it was high time to put ‘em on a pizza (P.I.Z.Z.A.!).

You guys, I know I say that about all the pizzas, but this is one ridiculously good pie. Instead of red tomato sauce, I used a roasted red pepper and garlic sauce adapted from a recipe (one of my favorites!) in Donna Klein’s Vegan Italiano. It requires a little extra preparation, but trust me when I say that it’s worth it. Plus you can make your own roasted red peppers at the same time – simply set aside a few pepper strips before pulverizing the rest into sauce. Homemade roasted red peppers are way tastier than the ones in a jar. Cheaper, too.

And the lemon garlic crust? Takes this pizza to a whole ‘nother level. Using our trusty of Fluffy White Pizza Crust as a starting point, I swapped out 1/4 cup of water for lemon juice and added garlic powder and lemon peel for extra zing. I’m not really sure whether it’s just a coincidence or if the lemon juice affected the rise of the dough, but it came out a bit thinner than normal. Not thin-thin, but medium-ish. And very tasty! Definitely a winner.

If you’d rather play it safe, go with the Fluffy White Pizza Crust; for something different – but not lemony – may I suggest a Spinach or Kalamata Olive Crust?

Topped with roasted red peppers, black and Kalamata olives, sundried and fresh tomatoes, mozzarella Daiya cheese, and a bit of parsley. Spinach and homemade vegan feta cheese would also make nice additions, though I didn’t use them here. Feel free to swap out or add to the parsley with your own favorite spices – oregano, basil, lemon zest, and red pepper are all fine choices. Cinnamon and nutmeg are also common to Greek spice blends, though I can’t vouch for their pizza compatibility.

 

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Greek-Style Pizza with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and a Lemon Garlic Crust

…for the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

(Adapted from the Roasted Pepper, Tomato, and Garlic Sauce in Donna Klein’s VEGAN ITALIANO.)

3 red peppers (or some combination of bell peppers)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper to taste
a dash of crush red pepper (optional)

…for the Lemon Garlic Pizza Crust

3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
a dash of lemon peel (optional)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

…for the pizza

Sundried tomatoes (dried, not oil-packed)
Roasted red peppers (left over from the sauce)
Black olives
Kalamata olives
1-2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
Vegan mozzarella cheese (we used Daiya) and/or homemade vegan feta
Parsley
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan

Directions

1. Begin my making the sauce. Preheat the oven to 475F. Lightly oil a 9″x12″ glass baking pan. Wash and seed the peppers, then cut them lengthwise into long, thin strips. In the pan, combine the peppers, oil, tomatoes, garlic, and basil; mix well. Bake at 475F for about 30 minutes, or until the peppers have begun to brown a bit. Stir halfway through. When done, allow to cool on the countertop.

2. Once the peppers have cooled, set aside six to eight strips for use on the pizza; slice them into bite-sized pieces if necessary. Pour the remaining pepper-tomato mix into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add the salt and pepper and crushed red pepper (if desired) and continue to blend. Sample the sauce and add any extra spices to taste. Set aside.

(If it’s more convenient, you can make the sauce up to a day or two in advance. Simply transfer the sauce and peppers to separate airtight containers and refrigerate until ready for use.)

3. Several hours prior to making the pizza, prepare the dough. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, lemon juice, and water; mix until completely blended. Add the salt, optional lemon zest, and olive oil and mix well. Add the flour in stages (about 1/2 cup at a time) and mix until the flour forms into dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough by hand and shape into a ball. Cover loosely with a towel and leave the dough to rise, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

4. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

5. To assemble the pizza, start by spreading a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.

6. Next, add your toppings. Start with the roasted red pepper sauce, followed by the sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, black and Kalamata olives, mozzarella and/or feta cheese, and finally the tomatoes. Finish off with a little more cheese to bind everything together, and top with bit of parsley to taste.

Pro tip: if you have any leftover sauce, save it for use on a “personal” pita or French bread pizza, or put it on a bowl of pasta as intended. You can freeze it for longer storage.

7. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas. Enjoy with a spinach salad. Sike! Pizza is its own vegetable.

 

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Recipe: Kalamata Olive Pizza Crust

February 27th, 2013 11:55 am by Kelly


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Right about the time Shane was craving a Kalamata olive crust pizza, I was contemplating the Olive Croutons in Donna Klein’s Vegan Italiano cookbook. Luckily, the crouton recipe proved easily adaptable – and the rest, as they say, was dinner. And a rather delicious one, at that!

 
Kalamata Olive Pizza Crust

Ingredients

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, processed into small pieces in a blender or food processor
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan

The toppings of your choice; in this case, homemade pizza sauce, mozzarella Daiya cheese, and black and Kalamata olives.

Directions

1. To prepare the dough: stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and Kalamata olives. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

2. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

3. As the oven’s heating, spread a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.

4. When you’re done shaping the dough, add your toppings.

5. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas.

 

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Pizza stack! Don’t worry, I waited for the cheese to cool before
performing this daring feat, and no toppings were compromised in the making of this photo.

 

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Recipe: Beer Crust Pizza

January 9th, 2013 12:08 pm by Kelly


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Pizza #1: a vegan cheeseburger beer crust pizza, with cheddar Daiya cheese,
Yves Meatless Ground Round, onions, tomatoes, black olives,
and my own homemade pizza sauce!


 

When I spotted a beer crust pizza on B’klynHeart’s tumblr, I knew I had to try it. Luckily, she was nice enough to share the recipe, which as it turns out is from King Arthur’s website. Score!

Shane, who made this over the weekend, complained that the dough was a little elastic and thus difficult to work with. (“Stay, pizza, stay!”) We didn’t have any semolina on hand, and had to sub in flour; I don’t know how much of a difference this made, if any. Or it could’ve just been bad luck. You make as many pizzas as we do, you’re bound to encounter a batch of stubborn dough sooner or later.

That said: I’m all raves on the consumer end! The crust is medium-thin and somewhat crispy, with just a hint of beer flavor. Super tasty, and thinner than we can normally manage. (Thin crust pizza, why so elusive?)

Pro tip: this recipe makes two pies, so plan accordingly. (We almost ended up with three pizzas worth of dough on our hand. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.)

 

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Pizza #2 was a bit simpler, with just two toppings:
mozzarella Daiya cheese and homemade marinara sauce.


 

Beer Crust Pizza

(Based on this recipe from King Arthur. Makes two pizzas.)

Ingredients

…for the crust

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semolina*
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups room-temperature beer (for a list of vegan beers, check out Barnivore)

Optional: spices to taste (e.g., cumin, basil, cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano, red pepper, tomato powder, chili powder, ground flax seeds, and/or nutritional yeast, to name a few) – we used garlic, thyme, and oregano

*Substitute unbleached all-purpose flour if you don’t have semolina.

…for the pizza

Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan

The toppings of your choice: red sauce, nondairy cheese, vegan meats, nuts, seeds, fruits and/or veggies

Directions

1. To prepare the pizza dough: mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until you’ve made a smooth, soft dough. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

2. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

3. As the oven’s heating, spread a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Divide the dough in half. Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly. Shape each half into a 10″ to 12″ round.

4. For a thin crust, continue to step #5 immediately. For a thicker crust, leave the dough to rise for 30 to 60 minutes.

5. Bake for five minutes, then remove from the oven and add your toppings: sauce, veggies, “meat,” cheese, fruit, nuts, etc.

6. Return to the oven and bake at 450 degrees, for an extra 15 minutes for a single pizza, or up to 30 minutes for two pizzas.

7. Serve hot, with a cold beer!

 

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Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Pita Pizza with Daiya Cheese

December 3rd, 2012 12:58 pm by Kelly


Say that five times fast!

Sam’s Club has the best hummus, y’all. Truthfully, I’d love to make the stuff myself, but my food processor just can’t get it as smooth and creamy as the store-bought stuff. Thankfully, Sabra hummus is delicious and vegan – and comes in giant, 25 ounce tubs! The only downside? Using it all up before the expiration date. (Or at least not too long after. It’s a guideline!)

Enter: hummus pizza! I’ve wanted to try a hummus pizza for what feels like forever, and some soon-to-expire Roasted Red Pepper Hummus provided the perfect opportunity. Since I didn’t want to commit to a “real” pizza, I started small with a person pita pizza. Pita and hummus, they go together like Dandies and vegan nutella!

The result is about as tasty as you’d expect (read: very), though methinks I might want to do some tinkering with the hummus. It dries out a bit during cooking – not to mention, the store-bought stuff is thick enough that it might be difficult to spread on dough – so a thinner hummus might work better here. If you’re making your own hummus special for the occasion, keep this in mind; otherwise, maybe try blending a tablespoon of water with a cup of hummus before spreading it on the pizza? Might work! I’ll try it and let you know, okay?

The recipe below includes the toppings I used, but feel free to swap them out for your own favorites!

 

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Pita Pizza with Daiya Cheese

Ingredients

1 piece of pita bread, freshly baked or frozen and defrosted
Roasted red pepper hummus (store bought or freshly made)
Mozzarella Daiya cheese (or your own favorite vegan cheese)
black olives, diced
sundried tomatoes, diced

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

2. As the oven’s preheating, place your (defrosted) pita bread onto a pizza stone (or lightly greased pan). To defrost a frozen piece of pita bread, just pop in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds.

3. Spread a generous amount of hummus on the pita bread, followed by the sundried tomatoes, cheese, and black olives.

4. Bake at 425 degrees F for ten to fifteen minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

5. Enjoy warm and crispy!

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Recipe: Easy, Cheesy Stacked Tortilla Pizza

November 27th, 2012 12:33 pm by Kelly


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This one’s for the Daiya cheese lovers in the house: a multilayered tortilla cheese pizza in which each tortilla is “glued” to one above and below it with a healthy (or not!) dollop of melty, oozy, gooey Daiya cheese. Is your stomach rumbling cries of assent yet? The idea came to me while I was doing yoga – make of this what you will!

I kept the pilot pizza simple, since I wasn’t sure how well it’d turn out. (As it just so happens? AMAZING!) Topped with red sauce, more mozzarella Daiya, and a generous serving of black olives because YUM. (Olive haters, take it outside!) The tortillas are corn – though in all honesty I prefer flour – since that’s what we had on hand. (Leftovers from the South-of-the-Border Potato Tacos I made for Vegan MoFo. FRIED. Yeah, you heard me right!) I only used three tortillas, but you can stack ‘em as high as you think your mouth can stretch.

I photographed my pizza next to the latest edition of Best Friends magazine, to provide some scale, and also because this month’s cover dog is too adorable for words. (The winter issue is dedicated to senior dogs, yay!) The tortillas are on the small size – smaller even than the pita bread I normally use for pizzas on the go – which makes for a nice lunchtime personal pizza. You can use any size/flavor tortilla your heart desires – the principle remains the same!

 

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Easy, Cheesy Stacked Tortilla Pizza

Ingredients

Two or more tortillas
Mozzarella Daiya cheese (or the vegan cheese of your choice)
Red sauce
Your favorite vegan toppings
Parchment paper
Cooking spray

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. When the oven’s almost done heating up, assemble your pizza. Spray the bottom of one tortilla with cooking spray and lay it (wet side down) on the parchment paper. Sprinkle a moderate amount of cheese on top and add the next tortilla. (Don’t coat anything but the very bottom of the pizza with spray.) Repeat these steps until you reach your final layer. Top with a good amount of red sauce (relative to the height of your pizza, that is!), more cheese (if desired), and your favorite vegan toppings.

3. Bake at 425F for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted to your liking. The pizza will flatten out a bit as the layers of cheese liquefy.

 

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Cheesy!

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