Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Whole Grain Spelt Pizza with Peanut Sauce, Black Beans, and Local Veggies

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Whole Grain Spelt Pizza with Peanut Sauce, Black Beans, and Local Veggies

I don't want to take anything away from this pizza since I haven't even told you about it yet, and it was actually really good - but I have a little bit of trouble with pizza toppings now that I no longer eat cheese. I haven't found any non-dairy "cheese" that I have really been sent by (and no, I've never had Teese, I've never seen it at the stores and don't really want to get in the habit of buying something online). I especially don't like non-dairy "cheeses" in the quantities used on most pizzas, so I always try to do some "weird" pizza, something that you wouldn't want to put cheese on any way. But I don't have too many ideas in that department either. Maybe I'm being dense here, or making something like pizza a lot more difficult than it should be, I just wish I could think of some more "normal" ways of having pizza that is dairy-free by not reliant on dairy-free "cheese". Maybe I should wish upon a star....

Now that I have probably made you think this pizza was bad - let's talk about it! ;-) I actually thought this was really good. I love peanut sauce, and made a spicy-sweet version for a whole grain spelt pizza. I had lots of good veggies around to choose from for toppings - including oyster mushrooms. This was the first time I had ever had oyster mushrooms and man do I hope they have some at The Root Cellar again when I go later this week, they were amazing! They have a great texture when cooked and have a meaty quality, in the way that portobellos do, but they don't taste the same at all - if that makes any sense. Needless to say, they are wonderful and you should try them if you get a chance.

The only thing I am going to change next time is the size of the pizza. This pizza is much too large for two people and it doesn't keep for more than a day - at least well that is. I think I am going to halve the recipe and make a half sized crust. Whole grain spelt is so filling even Brett can't eat more than a couple of pieces and he can usually easily eat an entire one on his own (and somehow he's still really skinny, either he has a tapeworm or it is all that walking).

The local booty legend (aka revealing my sources):
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

Whole Grain Spelt Pizza with Peanut Sauce, Black Beans, and Local Veggies

Creamy Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup natural peanut butter +
1/2 cup plain hemp milk ++
2 tsbp shoyu
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp agave
2-3 tsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tbsp flour (to thicken)

Combine all ingredients in a sauce and mix well. If not thick enough, add 1 tbsp flour and stir while sauce thickens.

The Rest of the Stuff:
1 cup fresh butternut squash, sliced thin
ground ginger
safflower (or other) oil in spray bottle

1/2 cup black beans, cooked ***
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced +
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced ++
6 oyster mushrooms, chopped

1 recipe of whole grain spelt pizza dough

Preheat oven to 400.

Spray a small baking dish with oil. Toss butternut with just a few dashes of ginger and a pinch of salt.

Roast, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, or until mostly soft.

Reduce oven heat to 375.

Top crust with peanut sauce and toppings.

Bake on a pizza stone for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

To make this even better - put a little more sriracha on top while before you eat it. Spicy!

'Til next time.


VeggieGirl said...

Peanut sauce + black beans + loads of vegetables + spiciness = PERFECT PIZZA!!!!!!!!!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I have a similar problem with pizza, and that's why I don't usually eat it. But I'm sure there's a better solution than fake non-dairy cheese, which I don't like either...
But anyway your pizza looks fantastic!

Daphne said...

My mom was complaining about how to make pizza for my dad. He is allergic to wheat and milk. Though there are other flours to use, cheese just doesn't have a good substitute.

Heather @ SGF said...

I was just looking at your spelt pizza dough yesterday thinking I needed to give it a try. Mmmm! No cheese isn't so bad if you have a good sauce. I tried it this week and loved (put cheese on hubby's part of the pizza and mine was just crust and sauce. I loved it!

Never tried the vegan cheese, but I've heard it's weird. I'd rather do without that buy something with a bunch of weird ingredients.

Heather @ SGF said...

I have a question, now that I think about it. Have you tried the spelt dough with whole wheat as the other flour (I noticed on the recipe you use some white flour)?

Scott said...

So what's the problem with cheese? Lactose issues?

T said...

What a cool and bizarre pizza idea! I know what your saying about on-dairy cheese... its just always a risk and it rarely pays off as far as I'm concerned.

I also wonder how this would taste as a wrap, since I have all these ingredients except for pizza crusts... yum!

Also, I just thought of the "Isa Pizza" from Vegan with a Vengeance- she makes tofu ricotta and pesto and it looks really delish...

shellyfish said...

That pizza looks so good! I think pizza is one of my favourites, even though I'm in my 30s, it hasn't changed! (Though I love plenty of other stuff!).`When I first went vegan I really missed the cheese on my pizza, but now, it grosses me out! All I have to do is think about what it "is" and blek! I didn't ever like fako cheese, either - just more packaging & waste.

jessy said...

i hear ya on the pizza toppings/fake cheese thing. we tried teese a while ago, in fact we still have a tube in the fridge, but i stopped buying it 'cause i can only find it online - and it's yummy - but i don't like a TON of it on a pizza. follow your heart cheese are "okay", but i feel bad about the darn packaging, too. it's a no-win situation in my head. ahahahaa! i think the pizza sounds rock'n! i would have never thought to use a peanut sauce! hooray for creativity! i love that you've got beans on your pizza, too. i've been thinking lately of making some sort of white bean spead (with a littl olive oil, rosemary, roasted garlic, etc.) and using that as a "sauce" on a pizza - then topping with veggies and squash and such - but i've just been too damn lazy to make one. plus, i'm not too sure what veggies to top it with. i guess squash & greens?! maybe some caramelized onions. i dunno. pizza confusion - argh!

i keep forgetting to grab some whole grain spelt flour - it's frustrating me 'cause i really want to give it a go and try it out. i've gotta write it on my list AND remember to bring a bag if it's in bulk (which i believe it is at our store). so forgetful.

but back to the pizza - it looks scrumptious! and yeah, leftover pizza doens't hold up too well - good to know spelt flour's so filling! :D

bill said...

Hey, we're peanut sauce twins! Haha. And wow, this pizza is full of stuff I never would have thought would be good, but it looks AWESOME! I'll for sure try this on my next pizza; I make them pretty rarely though so it'll be a while!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Veggie Girl - You and I would get along in the kitchen just fine. ;-)

Alice - I'm glad I'm not the only one. I am going to try to work with some tomato sauce based pizzas at some point, I just have to come up with a good sauce.


Daphne - Wheat AND milk? Wow, that DOES have to be tough. Yeah, cheese is hard to substitute. I've found a few things that add the same type of "something" - such as avocado and mashed white beans (seasoned with roasted garlic and such), but I can't imagine avocado being good on pizza and haven't tried the white beans.

Heather - Well, I hope you like it if you try it. So true, that is the part I have trouble with. If I could think of a good stand alone sauce, the ingredients come to me after that. I saw your post today, and that crust sounds amazing!

Vegan cheese is weird. Now, I have to admit my bias, a lot of people like it, but I don't. I'm one of those "freaky" vegetarians who doesn't like tofu, tempeh, or seitan either. I prefer beans, rice, and veggies, what can I say? Not to mention, yes, the ingredients lists are a bit alarming, and the packaging is something I can do without.

No, I haven't, if I had a suggestion, it would be to use whole wheat pastry flour, as it is finer than regular whole wheat flour. I always added a little bit of white flour to give the crust a bit of chewiness, but now you have me wondering if subbing in whole wheat flour would be good too. If you try it before I do, let me know!

Scott - Yes, in short. I spent a good portion of my life stuffy, then finally, I asked my doctor if this was normal. She suggested that first, I try eliminating dairy from my diet, as it is a mucus producer and see if that helped. Once I stopped eating the dairy, I stopped being stuffy (well except when I am sick of course). So while it is frustrating at times to make food without cheese or other dairy, it is a lot nicer than constantly being stuffy.

T - Haha, thank you! A bizarre pizza made by a bizarre girl - seems fitting. So true, I mean, I TRIED to like them. I also tried not to have any expectations of them tasting like cheese, but I just can't do it, they are not very good. Some of them are downright gross. The Follow Your Heart Monterrey Jack is alright and for certain things I will buy a block. But I haven't bought any in months and don't plan on it anytime soon!

I think this would be really good as a wrap! Seriously, you should try it like that and let me know how it is. That would be a lot easier to make than a pizza!

"Isa Pizza", I have that cookbook, I'll have to check it out and see if I can turn it into white bean ricotta, I just can't really do tofu beyond tofu sour cream (only occasionally) or our tofu potato burritos (even more rarely).

Shellyfish - Thanks! Pizza is really good and it is such a comfort food. Cheese IS pretty gross when you think about what it is (cow breast milk - yummy!). I don't miss it per say, I don't miss eating cheese, or the flavors, I just feel like I am backed into a corner now that I don't use it for certain things. What I REALLY need is to look at this as a challenge and be creative!

Jessy - Doesn't that stink when there is a product only available online? I keep myself from even trying things like that as I cannot justify ordering FOOD online.

I love beans - that is pretty much our protein source, a large variety of different beans, and I wouldn't want it any other way. I LOVE your idea with the white bean spread. As I was saying to T above, when she mentioned tofu ricotta, I thought perhaps white beans could be subbed in. I hope you make this pizza soon so I can copy you. :-) I would say squash (butternut, acorn, pumpkin, etc), peppers, caramelized onions, perhaps even mushrooms, olives, or sun-dried tomatoes. Oh my, my head is swimming with how good that sounds. I REALLY hope you make this soon!

Spelt is really good - I did find, however, that the gluten content isn't really high enough for things like brownies and blondies. I made some peanut butter chocolate chip blondies out of it this weekend and they didn't rise at all and they were a lot denser than I thought they should be (hence why I didn't blog about it), they turned out more like a cookie bar (and they were still really good), just not what I was looking for.

You remind me, I need to get some of those reusable produce bags!

It IS really filling, just a couple of pieces and you'll be stuffed to the brim.

Bill - I know! I personally think yours sounds a little better - I think the coconut milk must make it really creamy and add a little extra something to the flavor.

Hahaha, when you don't eat cheese (real or fake) you have to be creative. I have all sorts of crazy ideas, sometimes they work, other times, EW! This was a winner. We don't make pizza too often either, I hope you like it if you ever do make it!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I share your feelings about pizza! I've yet to find a non-dairy cheese I like. I might try a cashew cheese topping sometime. The peanut sauce and black beans sounds great!

Cyn said...

Have you tried cashew or tofu ricotta on pizza? I love that and pesto together on pizza

Joanna said...

i haven't found a cheese that i like either! i was eating veggie slices because i assumed that they were vegan, but i was wrong and pissed!!!

if you find a good cheese, let me know. i really miss it and i feel replacing real cheese is next to impossible.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Lisa - I kind of figured I was alone with having some difficulty with dairy-free pizza. The cashew cheese sounds like it could be a great option. I haven't tried making any of the nut or bean based "uncheeses" yet, I am having a hard time deciding which ones to start with.

Thanks, it was really good!

Cyn - I don't like tofu, so that one is out, but I would be very interested in trying cashew ricotta. I've never had that before, but I imagine it might be pretty good with the pesto. Thanks for the suggestion!

Joanna - I haven't tried too many, just the Follow Your Heart, VeganRella, and shredded rice cheese, and none of them are very good. I still think it is crazy that they make dairy-free "cheese" substitutes and there are still animal products in some of them. That is pretty frustrating.

I will do that. Some folks have suggested using nut or bean based ones and I will have to try that out.

Cookiemouse said...

That's a fantastic pizza. Spelt is a cool alternative to wheat. I love real ricotta or gorgonzola on pizza.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Cookiemouse - I agree, I've really enjoyed working with spelt. Though it has a lower gluten content, so it doesn't work well for everything.

I don't think I've ever had either of those cheeses on pizza. I'm actually not sure I've ever had gorgonzola, but alas I'm lactose intolerant, so what are you gonna do?

4rx said...

The most delicious pizza I've ever taste in my whole life! simply awesome!