Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Vegan Pizza

In my lifetime, I think I've met about 3 people who claimed they did not like pizza. Something about how they didn't like the combo of dough, sauce, and cheese - it was too heavy...I never really understood.

Being half Italian, I feel it's my duty easy to love pizza. It's such a happy marriage of salty, sweet, and savory - I don't know who couldn't love it.

When I started to sway more towards a vegan lifestyle, I was nervous pizza would become an extinct part of my diet. I read about vegan cheeses being rubbery and hard to melt; I tried some vegan cheese melted on top of some loaded sweet potato fries, found it not too bad, but couldn't imagine eating it in copious amounts.

I had to think of a solution - something that would be smooth and creamy, flavorful, and would combine well with a variety of traditional and non-traditional pizza toppings. Out of this, my creamy vegan pizza "cheese" was born!

It's the light green spread seen above.

Creamy Vegan Pizza"cheese"
You'll need:
1 can of Great Northern white beans, drained and rinsed
1 ripe avocado
1.5 T lemon juice
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t adobo light seasoning
a dash or two of season salt
(I imagine you could also put nutritional yeast in this to add some actual cheese flavor...but I haven't gotten to experimenting with that yet)

To make:
1. Put whole can of drained, rinsed beans and avocado meat in a food processor
2. Pulse until contents are well combined and smooth
3. Add the lemon juice and spices. Pulse for about 30 seconds to mix in the spices.
4. Have a taste and add any extra spices to match preference

This spread is so smooth and creamy - it's the perfect healthy, vegan replacement for cheese. It retains its smooth, creamy texture after cooked and doesn't dry out (even on leftovers the next day).

We usually buy a pre-made crust since we get home late and don't have much extra time to make dough from scratch. A good vegan crust is Rustic Crust Ultimate Whole Grain.


Tonight, we wanted to try something new on our pizza - roasted veggies. We made the above pizza spread and put a thick layer on the crust. Then, we rummaged through the crisper and found baby portabella mushrooms, zucchini, and brussel sprouts.
We chopped them up, put them in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, lightly seasoned with Adobo light, Italian seasoning, dried parsley, cracked pepper and a little salt, and tossed to combine. We roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for roughly 25 minutes, turning over vegetables once. 

When they started to smell really good and feel soft when poked with a spatula (a very precise method of testing tenderness, might I add), we took them out of the oven and spread them out over the pizza. For a little juiciness, we sliced some roma tomatoes and layed them out on top of everything a little shake of Italian seasoning on top for good luck and once more in the oven it went; 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

This pizza was a winner. The veggies were soft and bursting with flavor from the roasting. The spread gave the pizza a nice creamy, balanced base.

Overall, this took roughly 45 minutes total to prepare and cook! An easy, delicious, healthy weeknight meal!

Do you make pizza? What's the best/worst/most surprising topping you've used?


Post a Comment