Tropical Veggie Pizza with Cashew ‘Mozzarella’

As much as I still enjoy pizza without the cheese there is one thing that still bugs me. I can’t manage to get my ingredients to stay on top of the pizza. Even when I have tried using pre-bought vegan cheeses, the ingredients  still slide off and don’t stick the way that regular dairy cheese does. Ok its probably partly my fault. Even though I love real Italian pizza with minimal topping, I just can’t help myself from adding when I make my own pizza. So my pizza ends up so heavy that I have to eat it with a knife and fork. Marco does the same, but his cheese manages to keep his together.

A couple of days back Marco decided we were having pizza, which is always a good since he likes to make the dough himself. He preferred using white flour, but luckily we only had lots wholemeal and a little bit of tipo 00 flour to use. I didn’t have any vegan mozzarella so I got online trying to find a cheesy alternative for my pizza. I remembered seeing Vedged Out’s recipe for Fresh Moxarella Cheese. I also found another similar recipe from Vegie Project, Cashew “mozzarella”. I decided to go with the Vegie Project recipe since it Nutritional Yeast.

I was really easy recipe to follow. I just put everything in the Vitamix, then heated the mixture over the stove. The recipe makes enough for 2 large pizzas. The consistency and taste is similar to other vegan cheesy sauces, but the color is much lighter. It also has a stringly texture, which is similar to melted cheese. The recipe is gluten and soy free as well.

To make sure that my ingredients stuck to the pizza I put some Cashew ‘Mozzarella’ under the ingredients as well as on top. I didn’t cover the whole pizza it in, rather I tried to drizzle it around the pizza. The ingredients I used include red capsicum, yellow capsicum, green capsicum, red onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, mushrooms and tuscan kale.

I was really happy with the result of my pizza. The cheese managed to hold just about all the ingredients in place and the taste was really nice and creamy. I let Marco taste mine and even he agreed it was pretty good for a vegan pizza and would be happy to have that ‘next  time’.

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Tropical Veggie Pizza with Cashew ‘Mozzarella’ (vegan, gluten free option, soy free)

Ingredients for Pizza:

1 wholemeal pizza base (or gluten free pizza base)

2-3 tablespoons homemade/bottled pasta sauce

variety red capsicum,  yellow capsicum and green capsicum, chopped

red onion, diced

garlic, diced

cherry tomatoes, halved

pineapple, chopped

mushrooms, sliced

tuscan kale, sliced

Ingredients for Cashew ‘Mozzarella’ (enough for 2 pizzas):

1/4 cup cashew nuts

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons arrowroot flour (tapioca starch)

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.???????????????????????????????

2. Place all in the ingredients for the Cashew ‘Mozzarella’ in the Vitamix or high speed blender. Blend until smooth.  Then heat mixture in a small pot for 3-5 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Stir constantly while it is cooking.

3. Roll out pizza dough, then spoon on pasta sauce on the base. Drizzle or blob some Cashew Mozzarella on the base as well.???????????????????????????????

4. Top with the rest of the ingredients. Add some more Cashew mozzarella in blobs ontop if you like.

5. Bake pizza for 15 min or until base is cooked.

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Pizza, Soup and a Chocolate Berry Breakfast Suprise

A  couple of nights ago we got invite out to dinner with some friends. But with the rainy weather and my cold feet about going somewhere that didn’t cater to me, we decided invited them over for homemade pizzas. We had some leftover pizza dough so last night I made the most delicious pizza with a few simple ingredients. This wasn’t the main event but to accompany this Red Lentil and Root Vegetable Soup.

For breakfast I prepared the most delicious overnight oats. I included a few extra healthy ingredients such as cacao, maca, chia seeds and goji berries.  I nice to be able to have guilt free chocolate oats for breakfast.

Just as I was writing this post, I got a call about a job. I’m going in for an interview tomorrow. I only send in an application yesterday to them for a different job, but they liked my previous work experience in mentoring and in a call centre. Fingers crossed they hire me!

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Browned Onion and Garlic Pizza (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

pizza dough for 1 pizza (wholemeal or gluten free)

1 large brown onion, thinly sliced

1-2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more to brush pizza)

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 tablespoon fresh/dried rosemary

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Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

2. Heat a large pan with olive oil, then add the onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until onion has softened, but not browned (Its best to use a nonstick pan for this).

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3. In the meantime roll out pizza dough and place into a pizza pan/stone. Brush base with olive oil. (If you are using a pizza pan brush that with oil before placing the pizza ontop, so that the base will brown)

4. Take pan off the heat, then add garlic and stir though the onion.

5. Top pizza with the onion and garlic. Then sprinkle some rosemary, sea salt and black pepper.

6. Bake pizza for 15 mins or until the base is cooked and the onions are lightly browned.

*Makes 1 pizza

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Red Lentil and Root Vegetable Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 large brown onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 stalk of celery, diced

1 swede, diced

2 parsnips, diced

2 red skinned potatoes, diced

1 sweet potato, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground ginger

4 cups vegetable/vegan chicken liquid stock

sea salt to taste???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot, then add the vegetables and spices. Saute for a couple of minutes.

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2. Add the liquid stock and bring to the boil, then cover and place on a simmer. Cook for 20 mins or until the vegetables begin to soften.???????????????????????????????

3. Add the red lentils and sea salt if you need. Continue to cook covered on a simmer, until both the lentils have cooked and the vegetable are completely cooked.

4. Take off the heat and puree the soup with a bar mix, until you have the desired consistency. If the soup is too thick add some filtered water to thin it out.

5. Reheat on the stove to you are ready to serve.

*Serves 6

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Chocolate Berry Overnight Oats (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup instant/rolled oats, preferably organic

3/4 cup plant milk (coconut, rice or oat;  almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1/2 cup mixed frozen berries

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1/2 tablespoon maca powder (optional)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1.5  tablespoon maple syrup (I used blueberry maple syrup)

1 teapsoon goji berries to serve

1 teaspoon cacao nibs to serve DSC05483

Method:

1. Combine the oats, milk, frozen berries, cacao, maca, chia seeds and maple syrup in an airtight container and stir to combine all.

2. Seal the container and place in the fridge over night.

3. In the morning serve with goji berries and cacao nibs. If you don’t have these any other dried fruit, nuts and/or dark chocolate chips would go nice. If the consistency of the oats is too thick add a dash of milk.

*Serves 1

Pit Stop Pita

Today was the opening of Marco’s sister and brother in-law new Pastry shop, Pit Stop Pita! They specialize in Serbian Pitas and Pizzas, however they also have some delicious Eastern European desserts. So today we went along to congratulate them and try some of their delicious goods. We tried some pizza, pita, baklava and some Serbian biscuits. We are really proud of them. The store looks great  and all the food tasted amazing. Although they haven’t got all the signage up yet or their whole range of goods, so far they have done a great job and I think it will be a really big hit. The store is in West End, Brisbane on Vulture Street, next to the Cupcake Parlour.

So if your vegan or vegetarian what do they have to offer you? Well they will be making fresh pizzas to order, as well as mini pre-made pizzas. So you can get a fresh pizza with no cheese or meat or a mini vegetarian pizza to go. The pastry for the pita’s are completely vegan, but so far they only have meat and vegetarian options, such as Ricotta & Feta and Feta & Spinach. Hopefully they will come up with some vegan options as well soon. All the sweets are vegetarian obviously, but only the baklava is vegan. They had two flavors of baklava that we sampled today, Prune & Walnut and Coconut, Raisin & Walnut. I don’t usually like Baklava, but these were delicious! I have never seen these flavors of Baklava anywhere else, but I much prefer them. So lucky for me I got to have something sweet out for a change.

If you are in Brisbane I really recommend paying a visit to them. They are really lovely people and they have something that no one else offers in Brisbane. When they get more settled in I will share with you their progress and some more pictures of their delicious food.

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Pumpkin Soup Mantua Style, Broccoli Salad; Mushroom, Walnut and Spinach Pesto Spelt Pizza

I have heard about liquid smoke from other blogs for a while, but its not something that is easy to find in Brisbane. I really miss smokey flavour that cured meats bring to soups and stews. I have noticed in a few Italian recipes and many Serbian ones, that smoked meats or bones are often added to dishes for flavor and then removed before serving. However, the food wouldn’t really be vegan if I added them just for that reason.The only place I have seen liquid smoke is the Green Edge Vegan Supermarket, as it is imported from America. So I finally remembered to buy some a couple of days ago before they close for their move.

First thing I want to try with the liquid smoke was this hearty pumpkin soup from Mantova, Italy. I found this recipe in my mums old recipe book, Giuliano Bugiallis Foods of Italy. According to Bugiallis, this soup is famous in Mantova/Mantua. There are many variations of this soup, although most use milk. This version with the broth instead and is made in nearby towns.

I adapted the recipe slightly, adding liquid smoke instead of prosciutto and using vegan butter and vegan beef stock. The  liquid smoke really gave that smokey taste that cured meats bring to soups. Together with the ‘beef’ stock this soup tasted fantastic. Its was unlike any pumpkin soup I have ever had before. I couldn’t stop eating it and the rest of the family loved it. They couldn’t figure out what was in it and when I told them they were surprised. Marco especially loved that smokey flavor, as that is what he has grown up on.  If you can’t get hold of liquid smoke, I still recommend trying pumpkin soup with ‘beef’ stock for more heartier flavor.

Another recipe I found in Giuliano Bugiallis Foods of Italy was Broccoli in insalata. I haven’t made a salad like this before, but it was quite easy to put together. Suprisingly Marco really liked it. I didn’t mind it either. Broccoli and lemon go really well together.

The Pizza is adapted from In Vegetables We Trust, Rocket pesto cookie sheet pizza. I didn’t have any rocket or pine nuts left, so I tried it with spinach and walnuts, which worked really well together. I also used spelt flour, so it would be more nutritious. If you haven’t checked out In Vegetables We Trust, then you should! There are so many delicious dishes you wouldn’t know are vegan by looking at the photos.

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Minestra di zucca alla mantovana (Pumpkin Soup Mantua Style) (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

800-900g pumpkin

8 tablespoons nutlex/vegan butter

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

3 cups vegan beef liquid stock (I used Massel)

sea salt & black pepper to taste

basil/oregano leaves to serve (optional)

Method:

1. Remove the skin and seeds from the pumpkin. Cut it into small pieces. Then place it in a bowl with cold water for 1/2 hour.???????????????????????????????

2. Melt nutlex in a large heavy based pot over a low heat. Once it has completely melted add pumpkin pieces and liquid smoke. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 mins.???????????????????????????????

3. Add vegan beef stock, then cover it again and simmer for 15 mins or until pumpkin is very soft.

4. Take the pot of the heat and puree it. Then adjust seasoning with sea salt and black pepper. Cook for a further 10 mins then serve.

*Serve soup topped with a few basil leaves. I didn’t have so I used oregano leaves.

*Serves 6

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Broccoli in insalata (Broccoli Salad) (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 bunch of broccoli

2 small carrots

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

juice from 2 lemons

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Soak broccoli in cold water for 1/2 hour.

2. Bring a pot of cold water to the boil. Meanwhile separate the florets from the broccoli stems and cut into bite size pieces.

3. Place broccoli stems in boiling water and cook for 5 mins.

4. Then add the brocolli florets and cook for a further 4 mins.

5. Remove all the broccoli and place into cold water for 10 mins.

6. Peel and grate the carrots then place in a bowl with cold iced water and leave for 5 mins.

7. Combine the oil, lemon juice, chili flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

8. Strain the broccoli and carrots. Then combine half of both into a bowl, add half of the dressing. Then add the rest of the vegetables and dressing, then serve.

*Serves 4 as a side dish

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Mushroom, Walnut and Spinach Pesto Spelt Pizza (vegan, soy free)

Ingredients for pizza base:

1.5 cups wholemeal spelt flour

1 cup tipo 00 flour

2 1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast

1 teaspoon raw sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup warm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for pizza topping:

2 cups baby spinach leaves

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

sea salt & black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons chopped walnuts

6 medium/10 small mushrooms sliced

Method:

1. Combine the spelt and 00 tipo flour in a bowl.

2. Combine the warm water, yeast, salt and suger. Leave for 5 mins or until it has bubbled.

3. Add olive oil and yeast water mixture to the flour.

4. On a floury board knead the dough for 10 mins. Then leave for at least 1 hour in a warm spot.

5. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200 degrees and place the spinach leaves, garlic, basil, oregano, olive oil and salt and pepper in the processor. Process until it is all ground together.???????????????????????????????

6. Stir in the walnuts then set to the side.

7. Once dough is read, spread it onto a rectangular pizza pan.

8. Saute the sliced mushrooms with a little bit of oil in a pan for a few minutes.

9. Lather the pesto onto the pizza base, then top with mushrooms. Cook in the oven for 20 mins, then slice and serve.

*Makes 1 pizza base, cut into 12 smal slices

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Pesto alla trapanese used two ways

I have been wanting to make Pesto alla trapanese for a while. 8003267902010_A_L This is a traditional Western Sicilian pesto that is used to make Pasta con il pesto alla trapanese or pasta cull’agghia in the Sicilian dialect  This is a typical dish from the province of Trapani, in Sicily. The pesto is also a traditional Sicilian food products, which is recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, in Italy.

F030_trapaniPesto alla trapanese is an ancient sauce, that originated from the the port of Trapani. It was influenced by the Genovese, who arrived on ships to the Trapani ports with their Agliata ligure, a traditional garlic sauce, made of garlic and walnuts. The Trapanese sailors, then developed their own interpretation using typical produce from their region, tomatoes and almond.

The main ingredients of this pesto is basil , tomato and almonds. Other ingredients that are added to classic recipes include red garlic, extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and sometimes grated Sicilian Pecorino cheese.

Busiati

Busiati

The pasta that is traditionally paired with this pesto is fresh Busiati pasta, which is also typical of Trapani. It is a type of macaroni-like pasta that has been twisted around a branch of the Mauritania grass (dis grass).  Another pasta that is often use is Gnoccoli, which is about 15 cm long and has a large cavity. They also use Linguine or Bucatini, which are also long pastas. Pasta con il pesto alla trapanese  can be served hot or cold and is usually served along side Eggplant, Fried Potatoes or Fried Fish.

Making this pesto is really easy. I have never blanched almonds before, but it doesn’t take long and worth the effort, as blanched almonds usually cost more. I noticed initially the color of my pesto was quite green, unlike many recipes I saw online which had a yellow-orange colour. However, this color changed the next day, after it had been sitting in the fridge in a sealed container. Nevertheless still tasted the same.

I first used the pesto to make a sauce for my pizza. It went really well with the spicy red chili  salty black olives and slightly bitter rocket. I ended up eating my whole pizza. It was so moresome. Today I used the pesto again to make Pasta con il pesto alla trapanese . I just used spaghetti, as this pesto requires long pasta as it coats it better, than short pastas. I added some vegan cashew parmesan, more salt and pepper and a handful of olives again. The almonds in the pesto make this dish really filling and the tomatoes and cashew parmesan bring a beautiful creaminess to the dish.

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Pesto alla trapanese (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

50g almonds

250g cherry tomatoes

1 bunch of basil

1 red garlic clove

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

1. First blanch almonds by bring a small pot to the boil, then cooking them for 2-3 mins. Remove almonds and rinse with cold water, then remove the brown skins.

2. Peel the tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for 1 minute, then emerging them in cold water. The skins should easily peel off now.

3. In the processor (or mortar and pestle) add the almonds, basil, and garlic. Process until they are ground down.

4. Then add the tomatoes, followed by the olive oil, salt and pepper. Processor until it liquefy into a dense consistency.

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Pizza with Pesto alla trapanese, Chili, Black olives and Rocket (vegan, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 pizza base

3 tablespoons pesto alla trapanese

2 small red chili, diced

1/4 red onion, sliced

small handful of black olives (deseeded and halved)

cashew parmesan

large handful of rocket leaves

sea salt and black pepper to taste

extra virgin olive oil to taste???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Roll out pizza dough, then cover the base equally with the pesto.

2. Add red onion, garlic, black olives. Sprinkle vegan parmesan, then cook the pizza in the oven until base is cooked.

3. Add the rocket, salt, pepper and lightly drizzle some olive oil.

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Pasta con il pesto alla trapanese (vegan, gluten free option, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 serve spaghetti (use gluten free if you prefer)

3 tablespoons Pesto alla trapanese (recipe above)

2 tablespoon cashew parmesan

sea salt & pepper to taste

small handful of black olives, deseeded

Method:

1. Cook 1 serve of pasta according to pack directions.???????????????????????????????

2. Once the pasta is cooked, use a tongs to move it from the pot into a mixing bowl.

3. Add the pesto, vegan parmesan, black olives, sea salt and black pepper. Toss until the pasta is coated. Then serve immediately.

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Cauliflower Red Onion and Garlic Pizza

Tonight we decided to have Pizza Night and catch up on Revenge. I really wanted to do something with cauliflower, so I came up with this. I used ajvar, but after it cooked it didn’t have that strong smokey taste. The rest of the ingredients did have a great strong taste. Marco hates cauliflower, but even he liked my pizza. Although he still preferred his smoked ham and salami pizza.

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Cauliflower Red Onion and Garlic Pizza (vegan, soy free)

Ingredients:

dough for one pizza

3 tablespoons ajvar or tomato pasta sauce

3 garlic cloves, chopped in quarters

1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped into small florets

1/2 red onion, chopped

olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped basil

sea salt to taste

vegan parmesan (cashew/brazil nut)

Method:

1. Roll out the dough to make a pizza base.???????????????????????????????

2. Combine garlic, cauliflower, red onion, basil, olive oil and sea salt in a bowl and mix through.

3. Spread ajvar on the pizza base. Then add the rest of the ingredients from the bowl.

4. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan and cook for 20 mins or until base is cooked.

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Also check out my Spicy Hawaiian Pizza and Baked Panzarotti with Mushrooms, Sun-dried tomatoes & Pine nuts

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Red Wine Barley & Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach, Vegan Parmesan and Turkish Bread Pizzas

Good evening guys, hope you had a good weekend. We just caught up with friends and finally celebrated our engagement with my parents. So didn’t do a lot of cooking. I have been feeling really tired lately. It’s not as hot as it was, but still a bit sticky. I have been finding myself craving meat, chicken mostly. Its strange because I really don’t want to eat it and it’s been the only thing I think I haven’t even tasted since I stopped eating it all together. I am still eating a bit of fish, but I know my body is craving whole grains and fresh greens. So I have been trying the past couple of days to get back on track.

I have also been trying to get back into exercising. Six months ago I was walking every where all day and all night. Now I have been barely walking, except for the occasional dog walk. It’s started to cool down as I said so there is no more excuses for not going for more walks and started back up with pilates. I went for a couple of walks today and it was really nice to get out by myself. The sun stays out till 6.30 and there are lots of people about walking. I won’t take the dogs by myself again, after what happened a couple of days ago. My dogs went crazy at a woman who walked too close to us, then they saw a cat, then a man walking a baby, then two people walking two boxes, then another couple walking a dog. They were out of control. I still have sore arms and blisters on my hands from them trying to pull away from me and attack all these ‘threats’. It was very embarrassing and scary situation. They were scared and they knew I didn’t have full control of them. But it is not their fault, so more walks are needed for them to get more social and for me to get back in shape.

Tonight I wanted to make something with a little bit of barley I had in the cupboard. I didn’t have enough so I also used brown rice to make a risotto. I adapted this recipe, Red Wine Barley Risotto with Silverbeet & Mushrooms, from Madison. I was a bit scared using merlot in the cooking, so I used a bit less then I could have, but it turned out lovely with a mild hint of the wine and gave the grains a beautiful color. Although not a traditional risotto, the vegan butter really brought a creaminess to it at the end.

Since I couldn’t use parmigiano, I looked for a vegan alternative. I found this lovely recipe for a Vegan Parmesan Cheese from Veggieful. It is made from cashew nuts and nutritional yeast and it tastes amazing. I actually never liked parmesan. Even my Nona knows not to put parmesan on my pasta from when I was a little girl. I always thought it smelt like throw up. But this parmesan is delicious! It is soft, with a creaminess to it and a bit of a cheesy salty taste. I really recommend it, even if you don’t like parmesan either.

Lastly, I put in a simple recipe from the night before. We weren’t going to have dinner, since we had such a late lunch. We made turkish burgers with Fry’s Traditional Burger patties (can’t get enough of these). But after a long walk with the dogs we got really peckish late that night. So this is what we came up with.

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Red Wine Barley & Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms & Spinach (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

4.5 cups (1 Litre) vegan chicken or vegetable liquid stock

1.5 cup filtered water

1.25 cup merlot

1 cup pearl barley (use another cup of brown rice instead to make gluten free)

1 cup brown rice

4 tablespoons olive oil

20g dried skiitake mushrooms, soaked & sliced if not already

5 white mushrooms, sliced

4 garlic cloves, diced

1 red onion, diced

200-300 g baby spinach, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons parsley, diced

50g vegan butter

sea salt & pepper to taste

vegan parmesan to serve (optional, recipe below)

Method:

1. Take a large pot and bring to the boil the liquid stock, water and wine. In the meantime rinse the barley and brown rice.P1000605

2. Once pot comes to a boil, add the barley and rice and let that come to a boil. Then let it continue to boil uncovered for 30 mins. Most of the liquid should be absorbed during this time. Remove any excess material from the top of the liquid as it cooks. Once it is finished take off the heat and put the lid on it and leave it for at least 5 mins before adding the rest of the ingredients.

3. Take large pan and heat the olive oil on medium heat. Then add the red onion, garlic and all the mushrooms. Cook for 10 mins. P1000606

4. Add the baby spinach and parsley to the mushrooms and cook for 2 mins or until spinach has wilted.

5. Then add the barley, rice and any extra liquid from the pot to the large pan and stir through.

6. Add the vegan butter  and season with sea salt & pepper. Heat through on a medium heat for 1-2 mins

* Serve with vegan parmesan

* Serves 5-6

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Vegan Parmesan (from Veggieful) (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp sea saltP1000604

Method:

1. Whiz in the processor or grinder until it becomes a powder.

* Makes about 1 cup

* Store in the fridge in air tight container. Should last a few weeks.

Turkish Bread Pizzas (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 whole turkish bread

olive oil

cherry tomatoes

garlic, crushed

roasted capsicum

marinated buffalo-style tofu mozzarella (or store-bought vegan mozzarella)

baby spinach, chopped

fresh basil or parsley

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to grill.???????????????????????????????

2. Slice the turkish bread in half, lengthwise.

3. Combine the tomato, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl. Then spread onto the turkish bread base. Then add roasted capsicum, tofu/vegan cheese, baby spinach, herbs and sea salt.

4. Grill in the oven for 5 mins or until the bread is toasted

* Serves 2

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Baked Panzarotti with Mushrooms, Sun-dried tomatoes & Pine nuts

Tonight’s Panzarotti were the best vegan version I have made thus far. In the past I have made them with fakin ‘bacon’, vegan cheese & tomato; onion, cavolo nero & tomato; or potato, vegan cheese & tomato. But they were never as good as Marco’s tuna & potato or ham, cheese & tomato. But I think tonight’s filling  topped his  (so long as you like mushrooms of course).

If you haven’t seen my early post and wondering what Panzarotti is, it is like a miniature calzone pizza, which can be fried or baked. If you are in the USA or Italy you probably heard of it, but I discovered it in Milan, Italy. It is one of my favorite dishes and is a great crowd pleaser. We use to fry them, but now we bake them. Baked they are way more healthier.  They can be made with gluten free or whole wheat pizza dough.

Marco made the pizza dough this afternoon and he used this Taste recipe. Considering the yeast is not activated separately in warm water before being added to the flour, the dough rose very well and baked perfectly. He made his with tomato (passata sauce) ham/salami and mozzarella cheese. But for mine I used the filling below. I really love this Redwood Co ‘mozzarella’ style cheese. It taste really good uncooked and melts really well. But if you don’t have any vegan cheese, you can go without with this filling.

Baked Panzarotti with Mushrooms, Sun-dried tomatoes & Pine nuts (vegan, soy free)

Ingredients:

Pizza dough (recipe made 13 Panzarotti)

garlic

mushrooms

sun-dried tomato

fresh basil

pine nuts

sea salt

tomato passata sauce

vegan ‘mozzarella’ cheese

Method:

1. After making dough, letting it rise,  separate the dough into 13 small balls and preheat oven to 200 degrees. 

2. Cut the garlic, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, basil.

3. Take a pan and heat the olive oil, then add the ingredients you just chopped and the pine nuts. Saute till the mushrooms are browned then set to the side.

4. On a floury board, roll out you dough balls into a flat circle shape. Then add 1 tbsp of passata sauce and then add the cooked ingredients and seasalt. Top with vegan cheese and fold the dough over like a half moon shape. Close the ends with your fingers or with a fork.

5. Cook in the oven for 15 mins or until the dough is cooked.

Baked Panzarotti

Tonight Marco suggested something I don’t like to make very often, Panzarotti. It’s not that I don’t like it, its just that it’s fried, so I only really make it for special occasions. I had never heard of it until I went to to Italy this year. It is quite a popular snack over there, so I’m surprise with all the Italian restaurants I’ve never seen it here.

Panzarotti is actually from the region of Puglia, the heel of Italy, but it is also make in Calabria (where my family is from) and Sicilia. While I was living in Milano, we discovered shop called Luini, just behind the main street,  near the big Duomo. They make Panzarotti, with all different fillings, sweet and savoury, baked and fried. They don’t have many vegan or dairy free options, so I always got the Tomato, Olive and Onion Fried Panzarotti. Marco’s favourite was Prosciutto and Cheese or Spinach and Ricotta. For only a few euro’s it was a great snack. Plus it is write next door to CioccolatItaliani, one of the only cafe’s in Milano that will do a Soy Cappuccino. The only other place is Juice Bar. Otherwise prepared to get laughed at if you ask “Prendo un cappuccino di soya”.

Anyway, so after telling my family in Milano how I had discovered this wonderful Panzarotti, they taught me how to make it. It’s actually quite easy to make. Its just mini calzone that is deep fried in olive oil. Since I couldn’t

The family’s Panzarotti

have cheese, they made me tuna and potato or spinach and anchovies  I have made it a couple of few times since I’ve been back. But mine  doesn’t look like theirs. It tastes just as good, but the dough gets these kind of bubbles on the outside. It maybe the quality of the oil or the type of flour.

My fried Panzarotti

Tonight I said to Marco the only way I was making it, is if we baked it. Reluctantly he agreed, since we both know the fried is better then the baked. We tried a baked one at Luini one did and it just wasn’t as good. Perhaps thats because we had experienced it fried. Anyway tonight it actually turned out really good. I use tipo 00 flour, so I think that make the dough a lot more lighter when it was cooked. I told Marco so long as we are baking it from now on I will definitely make it once a week.

I didn’t have many ingredients to work with,  so I made ham & tomato and tuna & potato for Marco and these vegan ones for me.  I was really excited when I saw the Cavolo nero at the shops the other day, so I used that in mine. But really you can put anything in them. Just don’t be too tight on the ingredients, so long as it can close its fine. Cavolo nero is an italian cabbage or black kale. Its got plenty of lutein, vitamins K, A and C, manganese, copper, fibre, calcium, iron, the B vitamins and more vitamins. Its doesn’t have a strong taste and it is versatile. You can use it in a stirfry, a pasta dish or even a pizza.

Panzarotti is a great treat to make with friends or for a lazy night infront of the tv. After making them tonight I do really recommend baking them. They are really crispy and have the great fresh pizza taste.

Baked Panzarotti (sf, nf)

Basic Pizza Dough- 3 cups Italian Tipo 00, 1 tsp dry yeast, 1 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tsp salt, 1 pinch raw sugar, 1 tbp olive oil & more for brushing

Filling Ingredients- 380g jar passata sauce, 2 onions sliced, 1/2 bunch of cavolo nero (tuscan cabbage)

First prepare the dough

1. Take a large bowl & brush with oil.

2. Take a bowl and add warm water and yeast. Put some plastic wrap over the bowl and leave it  to sit for 5 mins.

3. Add flour salt and sugar to the large bowl and mix it through.

4. Slowly add water to flour and mix. (add more flour if to stick)

5. Place dough on board and knead for 10 mins.

6. Place dough in a large bowl, place somewhere warm and leave for 1 1/2-2  hours to rise.

Prepare Panzarotti

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. 

2. Heat olive oil in large pan and cook onions for 10 mins, till soft.

3. Heat olive oil in large pan and cook cavolo nero for 3mins.

Panzarotti before cooked

4. Separate dough into 12 balls.

5. On a floury board roll dough ball out with rolling pin.

6. In the centre of rolled out dough add 1 tbsp of sauce, capsicum, cavolo nero & onion (don’t fill them too much).

Panzarotti, after baked

7. Fold into a half moon and close the edges with a fork.

8. Repeat with the rest and brush tops with olive oil.

9. Put panzarotti in the open for 15mins and serve. 

Spicy Hawaiian Pizza

I was doing so well this week, until today. I fell off the wagon, for my partners niece’s birthday. It was a big Serbian get together, so of course the key component of any Serbian party is meat. I had plans to only eat the salad, but that would of meant just eating cabbage. Don’t get me wrong, the Cabbage salad is delicious, but so is Russian salad (ham,  lots of mayo, potato, carrot, peas) and BBQ meats. I figured if I only had 1 small piece of pork, 1/2 a chicken wing and a bit of Russian salad, then it can’t do too much damage. Well that’s at least what I told myself. I think it’s going to be harder for me to give up meat if I make it sometimes ok. Problem is that I really don’t hate meat. I just don’t like the risks to my health if I continue to eat it. Anyway, I expected I would slip sooner or later. The most important thing, for the most part, is I have been learning to live without it. And so has my partner, who can’t cook, so he’s being forced to cut back too. I knew this wouldn’t happen over night, so not feeling too guilty.

Anyhow, tonight for dinner I needed vegan deliciousness. We had left over pizza dough from last night, so we decided to have pizza again. Making our own pizza is so satisfying and really it takes just as long to cook as it would to order it and pick it up. Minus the preservatives and questionable quality of the toppings. Pizza stones have also recently become really popular here and they really are a good investment. Robins Kitchen have a permanent sale of 2 for $20, so if you don’t have one, then I recommend you get one.

Even though I come from an Italian family, I was born in Australia. So pizza with pineapple is what I grew up with. I’ve really miss a typical Hawaiian Pizza. After making this pizza, it really satisfied my craving. It really didn’t need the ham, in fact it tasted like it wasn’t missing. Even my official taste tester, my boyfriend, said it tasted like a ‘normal’ Hawaiian Pizza. I also found that the pizza dough, left for a day to rest, made a better base. It was much more fluffy and it rose in the over more. I’ve heard this before from so family friends, but never tried it myself. Definitely a good tip, if you don’t mind preparing the day before. For the dough we just used this recipe and it makes 3-4 pizzas.

Spicy Hawaiian Pizza (vegan, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 portion of dough, plu extra flour

3 tablespoons passata sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1-2 tablespoons of sliced capsicum

1-2 tablespoons of sliced red onion, 2-3 tablespoons sliced pineapple

1 teaspoon chopped basil

vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)

sea salt to taste

1 teaspoon olive oil

big handful of baby kale

Method:

1. Heat oven to 250 degrees. If using pizza stone make sure it is in the oven before turning it on and add a bit of flour to the stone, so that the pizza will not to stick.

2. On a floury board roll out or press out the dough with fingers, to form the shape you want your pizza to be.

3. Mix passata sauce with cayenne pepper, then spoon onto the pizza base.

4. Add garlic, onion, capsicum, pineapple, basil, vegan cheese (I used grated Notzarella & 1 slice of Tofutti cheese slice), and herbamare.

Pizza before cooked

5. Carefully place pizza onto the stone or just into the oven. Cook pizza for about 10mins

6. Rinse kale in a strainer, then place in a bowl and add olive oil and herbamare.

7. Check pizza, it should only need another 5mins. For the last 3-5mins add the kale to the top of the pizza. It should become crispy.

8. Once pizza base is crispy, remove from oven and serve.