Monday, 22 December 2014

Once, twice, three times a pizza…

…..and I lo-o-o-ve you.

Yes. It is safe to say I am having a love affair with pizza. Ever since I got that cookbook called Vegan Pizza we have had a different pizza every weekend. Each one different but all equally delicious. Every fortnight on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I make a big batch of dough and then half it and freeze it. For the next 2 weeks all I have to do is take the dough out the night before to defrost and BAM! Practically instant pizza. Honestly, it takes less time than ordering from Dominoes.

 The three most recent varieties we have had were:

1) Spinach, onion and spicy mushrooms. Sorry the picture is pretty crap, the steam kept fogging the camera lens. But the pizza was good.

can you see the steam rising off that hot pizza?

You layer the spinach close to the sauce and cashew cheese and then add onions, regular mushrooms and spicy mushrooms. I made the spicy mushrooms by cooking the mushrooms in a bit of tamari soy sauce and liquid smoke and some Italian spices plus lots of paprika. Lots and lots of paprika. Perhaps too much paprika. Will cut back next time. I also think I might try just marinating/coating the mushrooms in the spices and then putting them on the pizza to cook in the super hot oven instead of pan frying them first to save a step. But the spinach on there was yummy and we’ve almost always got spinach so that would be good to just tuck onto any old pizza.


2) PB/BBQ pizza I know you are thinking ????what???? But trust me on this.

Mix ¼ cup Peanut butter with ¼ BBQ sauce and add 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 tsp maple syrup and 1 TB very hot water to help it mix up and you have a crazy good sauce. Top it  with cashew cheese sauce, bell pepper, onion and sweet corn and yum it up. 


3) Taste of India pizza. Oh my goodness this was bloody amazing.


For the sauce you mix 2 TB curry paste, 2 TB tomato puree (paste) 4 TB cashew cheese sauce and 1.5 TB mango chutney. Top with onion, bell pepper, carrot and mushroom. The sauce was eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head delicious I just wish I had put on more veg as they shrank up considerably in the super hot oven.


We almost always have Patak’s Balti Curry Paste in the fridge as it last for 6 weeks after opening and makes many a quick healthy dinner. Cook up some lentils and veg and throw a bit of curry paste in there--POW! Instant curry. I prefer curry paste to curry powder as it has more depth of flavour. It does have some oil in it but also tomato puree and spices. In my humble opinion, curry powder can make a meal taste “chalky” but curry paste makes it rich. Curry paste is a cheaper buy economically but I spend roughly £2.19 on a jar of curry paste and it lasts 6 meals so that is really only 36.5p per meal. The chutney on the other hand was a new brand for me. We used to buy Geeta’s spicy mango chutney because it used sugar and not high fructose corn syrup like many of the cheaper brands.  But it cost £2.09 and we are on a budget so I tried a new kind from Lidl. It was a brand I did not know but used sugar and not HFCS, you got 50g more than the Geeta’s and only cost 89p. That is a big savings.

The verdict: The budget brand (Kanpur Garden) was delicious. It was sweet, tangy and spicy like a chutney should be. There was a real depth of flavour because it had the exact same nine spices that Geeta’s did (mixed spices, garlic, cumin, kolonji seeds, fenugreek, black pepper, paprika, cloves and cardamom) but it was smooth rather than chunky.  I can live with that.

I have to say every unknown brand we have bought at Lidl has been delicious. Some have slightly strange names (Crusti Croc comes to mind--it sounds like an alligator with impetigo) but they sell tortilla crisps that tastes almost exactly like Doritoes Chilli Heat Wave but without the MSG and less than half the price. Plus the El Taquito brand of salsa is really delicious and every few months goes on sale for half price making it 32p a jar so we stock up.

So that has been our pizza weekends. Just because we are on a budget doesn’t mean we still can’t have fun food that is delicious and nutritious and with a homemade wholemeal spelt crust and lashings of veg, it is a pretty good deal.

Oh and since all the recipes use the cashew cheese sauce, here it is again for viewers at home who want to make it.
Cashew Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup cashews (if you don't have a high powered blended soak them for a few hours to soften them and then drain)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast like Engevita
½ cup plant based milk (we like Oatly)
2 TB lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard (we like Grey Poupon)
Pinch salt
1 tsp onion powder (optional)
1 clove of garlic, minced (optinal)
Put it all in a blender and whiz until smooth. That’s it. This freezes well and can be defrosted overnight in the fridge for additional pizzas. It is less pourable after being frozen so I “blop” it on the pizza and smoosh it around the sauce a bit. Freezing doesn’t affect the taste, just the thickness.
Bon appétit! Possibly Bwyta'n dda! in Welsh but don't quote me on that just yet.


1 comment:

  1. these are pretty heretical...........Pizze should be Italian!! Most of them sound delicious, however, except the weird PB one. I just can't quite imagine its flavor, so I would be skeptical. Bon Apetit, cherie!