Saturday, February 26, 2011

Plan Ahead Pizza

Most people, myself included, automatically associate pizza with cheese. I'm avoiding cheese since the new year so I had to come up with an alternative to put on top of my old favorite. One option was Daiya, which seems to be the new favorite vegan alternative to cheese. Thanks to its tapioca, vegetable glycerin and xantham gum, it melts like real cheese. While this sounds like exactly what I would need for a pizza, I try to stay away from processed products (as the "for real" part of the blog tittle indicates), even if they're vegan. I instead decided to make a version of Choosing Raw's Goat "Cheese". I'm not going to pretend it's even close to mozzarella, but it certainly does the trick when baked on a homemade crust and topped with a ton of delicious veggies.

Overnight Pizza Dough
Inspired by Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread

Makes 1 approximately 16-inch diameter crust
  • 13.5 oz / 380 g / 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 9 oz / 255 g / 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant of fast-acting yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Mix the flour, yeast and salt in large bowl.
2. Add the water, warmed approximately to the temperature indicated on the yeast package if you want to do it by the book. When it comes to water temperature, err on the side of caution; if your water is too hot it will kill the yeast and your dough won't rise. I confess that I used cold water -- I wasn't paying attention -- and it didn't really make a difference due to the long rising time.
3. Mix the ingredients together until they form a smooth dough. No need to knead (ha!) the dough because we're going to let the yeast do the work for us.
4. Coat the dough in the olive oil, cover it and let it rest in warm place for 12-24 hours. I realize this is a long time, but if you plan ahead it won't be a big deal.
5. Preheat your oven to 450 F / 230 C. If using a pizza stone, put it in the oven. Punch down the dough and roll it into your desired shape, using some flour or oil to keep the dough from sticking. Once the oven is hot, place your dough on a greased baking sheet or, in my case, a very seasoned pizza stone sprinkled with some cornmeal. Add your sauce, "cheese", and toppings (I used shiitake mushrooms, fresh and sun dried tomatoes, sliced garlic, onions, peppers and spinach).
6. Bake for 12-18 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through. Optionally, top your finished pizza with some crushed red pepper.

Cashew-Macadamia "Cheese"
Inspired by Choosing Raw's Goat "Cheese"
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons of miso
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • About 3 tablespoons water
1. Soak cashews and macadamia nuts in water for 8-24 hour. If you can, change the water half way through. Drain the nuts. 
2. Blend all ingredients together in the food processor until smooth. This can take several minutes of processing and scraping down the sides frequently.
3. Store your "cheese" in the fridge. You can spread it on wraps or sandwiches, crumble it into a salad or use it to top a pizza.


  1. Looks delicious Sara!!! I love reading ur recipes... I'l hopefully find time to try them out.. Good job!! :D

  2. Thanks Viola!! I enjoy writing them. Let me know how the recipes turn out if you try any of them.

  3. Sure I will!! :) :)