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Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza

Welcome to my latest installment of “You made WHAT with cauliflower???”  This time, I used the dependable crucifer to make a version of spicy plant-based Buffalo wings. And while I was at it, I thought it would be fun to use it as a pizza topping. Recalling that classic Buffalo wings are often served with ranch dressing, I made a ranch-style sauce to spread on the pizza dough before topping it with the spicy cauliflower.

Jon is used to my cooking experiments, but even he thought this was a bit odd – until he tasted it, that is.  In his words, “Wow, this is really, really good!”  Fact is, we couldn’t stop eating it!  Spicy, creamy, doughy, crisp, delicious – all in one luscious pizza.
This recipe uses a very straightforward classic-style Buffalo wing sauce for the cauliflower, but it would be equally good coated with your favorite barbecue sauce.  Likewise, the Buffalo cauliflower can be enjoyed without the pizza crust, with the Ranch sauce used for dipping. (Note: if you don’t like cauliflower (gasp) you can instead use strips of seitan, tempeh, or extra-firm tofu that has been baked or sauteed and slathered with the hot sauce.)

I had some roasted asparagus on hand, so I arranged a few thin spears as spokes between the pieces of cauliflower. You can make your favorite pizza dough (such as the one in Vegan on the Cheap) or save time and use the pizza dough from Trader Joes or another source.  Here’s the recipe:
Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza
If you like lots of hot sauce, you can double up on that part of the recipe (it freezes well, too).
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 pizza dough
Ranch Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup cooked white beans
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
Hot Sauce: 
  • 1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Remove the leaves and tough core from the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower on a cutting board, cored side down and cut it into 1/4-inch thick slices, as if you were cutting a loaf of bread.  Arrange the cauliflower slices on a baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper, lightly oiled, or sprayed with cooking spray. (You may need more than one pan.) Season the cauliflower with salt and pepper to taste and roast until tender and nicely browned, about 20 minutes, turning once about halfway through with a large metal spatula. 
While the cauliflower is roasting, stretch the pizza dough onto the pizza pan and set aside, then make the hot sauce and Ranch sauce.
For the Ranch Sauce: In a food processor, combine the Ranch Sauce ingredients and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Set aside.
For the Hot Sauce: Combine the hot sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring until hot and the Earth Balance is melted.  Set aside.

To assemble the pizza: Keep the oven at 425 degrees F. Spread a layer of the ranch sauce on top of the pizza dough and set aside. Pour the hot sauce over the roasted cauliflower, turning to coat.  Arrange the coated cauliflower on top of the pizza, drizzling any remaining hot sauce onto the cauliflower. Bake until the crust is nicely browned, about 15 minutes.  Serve hot.
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Heart Healthy Pizza: Review + Cookbook Giveaway!

I first mentioned Heart Healthy Pizza: Over 100 Recipes for the Most Nutritious Pizza in the World on my blog last week. Now I want to tell you more about this breakthrough cookbook (and also give you the chance to win a free copy!)
Heart Healthy Pizza is the first and only cookbook dedicated to the fine art and science of making vegan pizza.  In this book, author Mark Sutton guides the reader on how to make a variety of innovative crusts, sauces, and toppings, with separate sections in the book dedicated to each component. Heart Healthy Pizza has been five years in the making – I know this because I’ve been in touch with Mark as he was developing his book, so I know firsthand how much effort he has put into it.
All of the plant-based recipes contain no added oil and many of the crusts are gluten-free.  The toppings and sauces are made with a wide variety of vegetables, grains, beans, and other plant-based ingredients and include many “cheesy” sauces in a variety of textures and flavors. Sauces include a Quinoa, Artichokes, and Dijon Mustard Sauce, shown in the top photo (photo by Valerie Wagner); as well as a Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, and Chiles Sauce shown here:
There is also a chapter devoted to innovative pizza creations made with different combinations of the crusts, sauces, and toppings.  Readers are encouraged to “mix and match” the various components, allowing for seemingly infinite variety.  The recipes are super-nutritious, cost-effective, easy to make, and delicious. 
If you like the idea of making delicious, inexpensive, no-added oil, plant-based pizza, then you’ll love Heart Healthy Pizza — Mark Sutton’s gift to vegan pizza-lovers.  You can buy the book direct at HeartHealthyPizza — where you can also see more pizza photos (there are no photos in the book) — or you can buy it through Amazon.  Below is a sample recipe from the book for the Millet, Sunflower Seeds, and Oregano Sauce shown in this photo: 
(Note: Recipe and photos ©2012 by Mark Sutton.)
Millet, Sunflower Seeds, and Oregano Sauce
For the sauce:
1 cup cooked millet
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 T. corn starch
2 T. dried crushed oregano
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup water

Pizza dough
Toppings of choice

METHOD:
1. Combine all the sauce ingredients except the sunflower seeds and water in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times, gradually adding the seeds and water until the mixture can be processed into a smooth and thick pancake batter-like consistency.
 2. Pour the sauce over prepared dough and pizza toppings, then bake at 425 to 450 degrees F. (depending upon your oven) for 15 to 20 minutes.
Recipe Notes:
• This recipe makes a very thick sauce. As blobs on top of the pizza, it is reminiscent of raw mozzarella slices on a Margherita-style pizza. Works well for one 12″ to 14″ pizza.
• Soaking the sunflower seeds for 2 to 4 hours, then draining, will make the sauce a bit more fluffy in texture.
COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY:
And now one lucky winner will have a chance to win a copy of Heart Healthy Pizza.  Here’s what you need to do:  Leave a comment at the end of this post telling me what your favorite pizza topping is.  That’s it!
For extra chances to win, do any or all of the following and then leave a separate comment for each, telling me what you’ve done:
* Mention this giveaway and link to it on Facebook.
* Mention this giveaway and link to it on Twitter.
* Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.
* Friend me on Facebook.
* Subscribe to my blog.
The contest closes Sunday night 2/26 at midnight.  A winner will be chosen at random and announced on this blog on Monday morning. Enter now: What’s YOUR favorite pizza topping?