The Backyard

The Backyard

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Vegan Pizza


Rick and I have been pizza eaters for many years -- just like about a gazillion other folks in this country. Although lately not as many slices have been hitting our mouths because we both complain about weight gain afterwards -- we think because of the salty cheese combined with the processed low-nutrient carbs in the crust (we seldom made our own). Bad, bad, bad (for us.) When I first met my husband, he made homemade pizza, but lack of time and convenience of ready-made pizza led us astray over the years. So yesterday, we made our own again (courtesy having time due to a snow storm!) and it was delicious. The difference this time is my half was totally vegan. No, I didn't do the vegan cheese thing -- I really don't care for soy cheeses or soy fake meats -- both are too processed and to me taste bad. Rick couldn't bear the thought of pizza without cheese, so we sprinkled a tad on his half (very little), but we were both happy with the turnout. It was very simple. Here's the Vegan Crust recipe, courtesy one of the Whitegrass cookbooks (our - yes I said "our" - even my meat-eating husband likes the vegetarian fare! - absolute favorite place in the world to eat, although West Virginia is a little far to go out to eat!). And what did I think of pizza without cheese? Like I told my husband, it was different, but something I could get used to very easily. It's all in the veges you put on top - we used broccoli, marinara sauce, tomato, mushroom, garlic, and pepper.
Vegan Pizza Dough
1 package dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup very warm beer (80 to 90 degrees - set opened bottle of beer in hot water to warm it up).
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Place sugar and yeast in mixing bowl - add warm beer. Stir until yeast dissolves. Let sit 5 minutes. Then add salt, pepper and flour, a cup at a time, and mix well. Work the flour into the dough and knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is soft. Let it rise 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until double in size, then press in a greased pan or onto a stone. Load up with the your favorite toppings and bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until crust is brown.
Topping ideas:
Marinara sauce
pesto
sliced fresh tomatoes
spinach
artichoke hearts
garlic
mushrooms
onions
grated carrots
broccoli
basil
spices
hot peppers
cheese

1 comment:

livinginalocalzone said...

Making pizza at home seems more satisfying as a meal than getting it out - and I think that it it more likely to be genuinely nourishing too, not a "once-in-a-while" "bad" food.
I'm planning on making a mini-pizza for lunch today as I have a big ball of dough in the refrigerator from bread making. Interestingly, I just found that the regular bread dough (I use the master recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day) can work just as well for rolls, pizza, etc.
But like you, my toppings tend to be unusual because of my decision to eat locally - no tomatoes now as I didn't can/preserve any from the summer, no fresh broccoli, etc. I don't want to use my freezer stash and defrost something for just that little bit of topping, so its creativity I need. How do carrots taste on pizza? I did kale topping once and it was delicious.