Ah, Pizza. Filled with gluten, cheese and meat. So lucious… So NOT a part of my healthy eating plan.
Last week I was craving pizza something fierce, but actual pizza smells gross to me now. The greasy cheese smell actually turns my stomach a bit. Such a sad state of affairs. I went to my trusted standby, Pinterest, and pulled a couple of different recipes to come up with something that fit the bill. The result was actually very tasty!
I combined several recipes to come up with the finished product. The first recipe was for the crust. Vie de La Vegan’s Lentil Pizza Crust. It was actually very simple and delicious.
I placed 2 cups of dry red lentils in my VitaMix and blended to form a fine flour. I sifted the final results to keep the bigger, unground pieces out of the crust.
I seasoned the flour with 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp Italian seasoning…
… although my lovely glass bottle of Organic Italian Seasoning shattered on the floor, because I am awesome like that. *sigh* I had to use a leftover plastic bottle of Walmart brand I had left in the back of my cupboard. Not ideal, but whatever!
I mixed up the dry ingredients with 2 cups of water.I placed the batter on a hot griddle and swirled it flat with the back of a spoon.
3 minutes on one side and another 2 on the other until they were done.I set them aside and made some Pumpkin Seed Pesto. Pulse 1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) with 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast, and salt and pepper to taste, in the blender. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup olive oil, but I only used about one Tablespoon and the rest water. Blend but don’t liquefy.
Once it is blended you will have a nice creamy pesto. It is actually much more delicious than I had hoped! Spoon directly onto the pre-cooked lentil pizza dough. I topped mine with fresh, thinly sliced tomatoes and sliced olives. I wasn’t sure how everyone would feel about the pesto, and since I had some leftover marinara sauce with sautéed mushrooms from the night before, I got a little creative and made a second batch with Cashew Cheese and olives.
The cashew cheese does require a bit of forethought, since the cashews need to be soaked overnight (or at least two hours) before you blend them, but I usually have cashews presoaked in my fridge since I use them so often. The recipe says you can also boil them for 10 minutes to soften them, but it seems like that might kill some of the nutrients and I am all about the nutrients! To each his own.
Blend 1/2 cup soaked cashews (drained), 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (I prefer the vinegar and in fact used 1 Tbsp.), 1 1/2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. garlic and 1/2 tsp pepper in a high speed blender until smooth. You can add a bit of water if needed to get it to blend properly. Pour the mixture into a pan and place over medium heat. Stir until mixture becomes a sticky, cheese-like texture. It doesn’t take long.
Assemble the pizzas.
We actually found the best way to eat them was a combination of the red sauce and the pesto with the cheese and toppings. It was really tasty!
A small side note that really isn’t so small for me; the end of this month marks 5 months of healthy eating. I am down 43 pounds and feeling great.
I know how much this has helped me and I sincerely hope it has been some encouragement to you, too.
Here’s to health!