Monday, March 5, 2012

Pizza Night and a Vegan Pizza

This started as another test recipe, this time for The Chubby Vegetarian's Beer Pizza Crust recipe. I had never made pizza dough before, and I gotta say it was fun and much easier than I anticipated. The recipe made enough for three pizzas, and I should be embarrassed to say we had no trouble polishing them off. But not before we had a lot of fun topping them.
Graham may have been a little heavy handed with the topping for this one, but nothing a little rearranging couldn't fix. For two of the pizzas, I brushed the crust with olive oil and Italian seasoning then topped with chopped fresh garlic, part skim mozzarella cheese, fresh baby spinach and halved grape tomatoes.
When G2 found out I was making pizza, he also wanted to get involved. On a recent business trip to Ohio, he had a vegan pizza at a place called Starliner Diner and wanted to recreate that pizza. So, he looked up the menu and did some research on the sauce. This is what we came up with.

For the "Smoked Chili Sauce"
olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 head of garlic (5-6 cloves), chopped
8 oz tomato sauce
2 Tbsp cumin
salt and pepper

Sweat the onions, pepper, and garlic in a little oil until they are soft. Add the tomato sauce, cumin, salt and pepper and cook on medium for about 20 minutes. Blend it all together (I used my little mini prep).

For the toppings
1 small yellow squash, sliced thick
1 small zucchini, sliced thick
1/2 red onion, sliced thick
1 ear of corn, shucked
grape tomatoes, halved

Thread the onion, squash and zucchini onto stakes and grill with the corn until slightly charred. Remove the corn from the shuck, cut veggies into smaller pieces and top the sauced pizza. Add the tomatoes before baking.

I have never had the Starliner Diner's pizza, but G2 said it was a good copy. It didn't taste very pizza-y to me. Definitely had a South West thing going. But, it was a fun experiment and worth a try for something different. G3 liked to pick off all of the grilled corn.

*The main benefit of making pizza is ingredient control. I love being able to add lots of veggies and use lighter cheese. It really is a great vehicle to get lots nutritious foods in, for kids and grown ups. Of course, it takes a lot more work than picking up the phone, but also takes some of the guilt out of pizza eating.

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