Saturday, April 22, 2006
Yes, it is that time of the week again when I share with you one of the items in my ‘weekly menu,’ and this week it is my Friday meal, muffin pizzas. Obviously pizza is one of those very personal things – some people like strange and delicious combinations while others prefer to stay more traditional in their toppings. For some it is all about the cheese but others prefer to have none. Personally, I was a cheese lover when it came to pizza –I would have tomato paste then a layer of cheese, some toppings and then another thick cheese layer. Now, I still have cheese but not in the traditional sense. When I first became vegan I was desperate to get my hands on some vegan mozzarella but now even if someone offered it to me I don’t know if I’d take it – too much fat, too processed. I don’t claim that the cheese sauce I use actually tastes that much like cheese, and certainly not mozzarella, but it has nice flavour of its own, its fat free and really good for you – what more could you ask for?
Anyway, this is how I make my pizza but it’s not an art form or anything and the amounts are all very approximate. By, the way, the pictures do NOT do these pizzas justice. They normally look much better and I seriously need to work on my lighting. And yes, the plate does have teddy bears on it. It was a gift from my grandparents at least five years ago and I eat off it every night (despite my mother’s attempts to get rid of it!)
• 1 wholewheat English muffin (check that it’s free of whey powder and other nasties)
• 3 or 4 tbsp no-salt tomato paste
• ½ tsp basil (dried)
• ½ tsp oregano (dried)
• 3 tbsp firm tofu, mashed
• 1 tbsp brown onion, finely sliced
• 2 tbsp capsicum (I use 1 tbsp red, 1 green)
• about ¼ cup baby spinach (packed in), finely sliced
• mushroom (any sort, but I’m loving field mushrooms at the moment)
• tinned pineapple pieces
• 1 ½ or 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
• ½ tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
• ¼ tbsp rice flour
• 1/8 tsp garlic granules
• about ½ tsp lemon juice
• ¼ cup plus about 2 tbsp water
• sprinkle salt
In a small bowl mix together the tomato paste, herbs, mashed tofu, chopped onion, capsicum and baby spinach. Divide the muffin into its two halves and spread the tomato/tofu etc mixture onto both halves (you may have some left over – I just eat it raw!) Then stick on your mushroom and pineapple (basically as much as you can fit).
To make the cheese sauce, place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a wire whisk until the flours and yeast are all dissolved, then pour into a non-stick saucepan. Place the sauce over medium heat and leave to sit for about 30 seconds. At this point, it should have started thickening. Stir very briskly in circular motions around the pan with a wooden spoon – the sauce will begin to bubble and thicken. Don’t stop stirring! When the sauce is thick and smooth, reduce the heat to as low as it will go and then leave for about a minute. By this point it should be quite thick and gooey. Place the two muffin halves on the grill tray and then pour/spread the cheese sauce over the top. Place the pizzas under the grill and cook for about 5- 8 minutes, checking regularly. When the cheese is browned to your liking, remove pizzas and enjoy! Yum!