vegan roasted cauliflower + caramelized onion pizza.

A vegan BBQ pizza that is so unbelievably delicious, you’ll crave it over BBQ chicken? It’s true!

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Cauliflower again? I know. But trust! This pizza is super satisfying, and I added a slightly cheesy flavor by using a vegan parmesan cheese substitute that I found at my local grocery store, Wegmans. Many vegans use nutritional yeast because it has a flavor that is very similar to many cheeses. If you’re not a vegan, feel free to swap in freshly grated parmesan cheese, pecorino romano, or any other hard cheese. You can also leave it off entirely — the cauliflower and sauce is so flavorful, you won’t miss it!

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Now, I¬†tried¬†making a whole wheat pizza dough for you, but alas, it was an utter failure. I tend to use Jim Lahey’s famous no knead pizza dough, but it can be a bit fragile, and for this recipe I wanted something a bit more substantial. I thought the nuttiness of whole wheat would go perfectly with the roasted cauliflower, as it did here. Unfortunately, after my crumbly, dry attempt at dough sat pathetically in the oiled bowl refusing to rise, I succumbed to store bought dough, which worked out just fine here. I would have preferred whole wheat, but all the whole wheat dough was close to frozen so I went with the more readily available white. Next time I would stretch the dough a bit further, to make a thinner outer crust. If you’re purchasing dough like me, make sure to weigh it out to 16 ounces; I had to cut about 1/3 off and freeze it to ensure the correct toppings to dough ratio. If you want to skip all of nonsense, I’m betting a pre-baked crust would work out as well. ūüôā

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My finished pizza had quite a kick due to the spicy bottled barbecue sauce I used, so make sure to use a sauce that caters to your heat tolerance. If you like a spicier pie but have people with milder palates, a dash of crushed red pepper over your slice(s) would be my recommendation!

vegan roasted cauliflower bbq pizza.
barely adapted from this savory vegan. 

ingredients
1 ball pizza dough, 16 ounces (I used store bought)
2-3 cups cauliflower florets (about 1/2-3/4 of a head), cut into small florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup barbecue sauce, plus one tablespoon reserved (homemade, or your favorite)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped for garnish (can sub parsley)
1 tablespoon vegan, non-dairy cheese or nutritional yeast (optional)

directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take the dough out of the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to make the pizza. In a mixing bowl, combine small florets with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper. Stir well to combine. Spread out into a single layer onto a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway during cooking time. Once the cauliflower is tender,remove to a bowl and toss with the 1/2 cup barbecue sauce.

While the cauliflower is roasting, heat a skillet to medium low/low and add a small teaspoon of oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally being careful to not let burn, until they are soft and light golden and caramelized. Add small splashes of water to prevent burning. This should take about 20-30 minutes.

Increase the heat to 450. Dust the dough ball with flour if needed. Stretch the dough to your desired shape (I had a square-ish oval) and place the dough on a pizza stone, or a baking sheet pan lined with foil/sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Add the cauliflower mixture to the dough and top with the caramelized onions, spreading evenly. Top with an extra drizzle of barbecue sauce and the tablespoon of vegan cheese if using. Bake in oven for 14-17 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

Remove, top with chopped cilantro. Add extra dash of vegan cheese and/or crushed red pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as a main, 8 as an appetizer.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

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summer squash pizza.

In case you were like me and didn’t know, zucchini pizza is definitely a thing. A very easy, very delicious dish that is oh-so-perfect for late summer evenings. A side note: how is late summer already?! Wasn’t it just Memorial Day? I suppose that old adage is true, time really does speed up as we get older. But I digress. Today’s recipe is absolutely perfect for your overwhelming supply of fresh zucchini and yellow squash. If you have a garden, I’m sure you’re overloaded with it. If you’re like me and get yours at the farmer’s market, well, they are practically giving them away! This is the perfect use for them. Hello, it’s pizza!

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I used a mix of yellow squash and zucchini, but you can use all yellow, all green, or a combo like I did — whatever is easiest for you. I used gruyere, as the nuttiness adds so much flavor to this pizza topping. If you can’t find gruyere or want a less expensive option, I would use swiss. I would stay away from fresh or packaged mozzarella, as it’ll be a little too bland for this recipe. If you have any fresh herbs in your garden like chives, oregano or basil, go ahead and add them! I particularly think fresh basil torn over the top of the cooked pizza would be divine.

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The squash and cheese mixture should be a little heavier at the edges, where the oven will brown it first. I noticed that I should have rotated the pizza halfway during the cooking process, and will do so next time for a more even all over cook. If the pizza seems a little limp, it may be because you didn’t squeeze out enough moisture from the zucchini before mixing in the cheese; make sure all excess moisture is removed.

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This is before going into the oven… sprinkle with bread crumbs and¬†parmesan cheese, if using.

Cut after removing from the oven, and serve immediately. This is also delicious at room temperature or even straight from the fridge; making it ideal for leftovers or for easy entertaining!

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summer squash pizza.
slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

ingredients
2 pounds of zucchini or summer squash of your choice (about four small/medium squash), shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic gloves, crushed and finely minced
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups gruyere cheese
3 tablespoons whole wheat panko
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1 pizza dough recipe (recipe below)

pizza dough recipe
2 cups minus 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoons sea salt
2/3 cup tepid water

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, yeast and salt until well combined. Add the water, and mix for about 30 seconds, using a wooden spoon or your hands, until well combined. Cover, and let rest for 2 hours, or until the dough has more than doubled in size.  Proceed with recipe below.

directions
Shred the zucchini and yellow squash with a food processor fitted with the grating blade or grate on the large hole box grater. Add to a colander nested inside of a mixing bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes or longer, tossing occasionally. With a clean dish towel, add the squash to it and drain well.

Add the squeezed squash to a large bowl.

Add the gruyere, crushed red pepper, salt and minced garlic to the drained squash and mix to combine.

Spread the tablespoon of olive oil on a half sheet baking pan (9×13) and with oiled fingertips, add the pizza dough. Work the dough with your fingers (it will be delicate) into a thin, even piece, nudging the dough towards the ends of the pan. If the dough tears (mine did), simply pinch together. An even shape is not necessary or easily achieved, you just want to ensure the dough to be an even thickness.

Top the dough with the squash and cheese mixture, piling the mixture a little thicker at the edges, as it will brown first. Sprinkle panko and parmesan, if using, all over the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking after 12, and rotating the pan halfway if needed. Remove from pan, and cut into squares, serving immediately.

Serves 4-6.

*Please use organic/local vegetables and cheese as appropriate* 

sometimes you just need pizza.

Sometimes, I just want a quick and easy dinner. Usually it’s on a Monday (or Friday!) after a long day, like today. I was away at a work conference all last week, so even though I ran all my errands and went grocery shopping over the weekend, I got home after a full and busy day at the office and had little desire to cook. As tempting as it was to just devour an entire tub of hummus (recipe coming soon!) and pita chips and veggies, I resisted. After all, I basically ate my weight in food at the conference in New Orleans‚Ķ I need to get my butt back in gear! As a compromise, I decided to make my favorite personal pizza, and it’s even relatively guilt free! Swapping a carb-laden, doughy crust for a flour-less, sprouted grain tortilla, loaded up with fresh vegetables and topped with a light sprinkling of cheese, and I have piping hot pizza in less than fifteen minutes! Love when a craving gets satisfied with minimal guilt! Of course, a big salad would’ve been even healthier, but hey, a girl’s gotta live!

Product shout out: I first heard about the Food For Life Ezekiel Sprouted Tortillas on Vani Hari’s site, Food Babe. If you haven’t heard of Vani, she’s an activist for GMO labeling and clean eating. She often endorses products, and these tortillas are some of my favorite. You can usually find them in the organic freezer section, and they’re great to grab from the freezer, thaw, and load up with your favorite pizza toppings!

quick and easy tortilla pizza.
inspired and adapted from Food Babe.  

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ingredients 

1 sprouted grain tortilla
1/3 cup pizza or marinara sauce
1-1.5 cups assorted fresh veggies (I used broccoli florets, white baby mushrooms, baby sweet bell pepper, onions and one fire roasted bell pepper from Trader Joe’s)
1/3 cup shredded cheese (I used an Italian cheese blend) – use more or less to personal preference
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If frozen, thaw tortilla. Top with pizza sauce, assorted vegetables, and cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and place directly on oven rack. Place a baking sheet underneath to catch any wayward toppings or cheese. Bake for eight to ten minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Let rest for two to three minutes, cut into four pieces and serve. Serves 1.

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