Vegan Pizza. For some, it’s the final challenge. All that meat and cheese is just too hard to give up, right? Not so fast. All you need is some of the mock “ham” from my Plant Based Meats Cookbook and some pistachios to make a really satisfying, savory pizza.
Vegan Pizza Needs a Good “Cheese”
If you’ve tried some of the commercially made vegan “cheese,” you may have found them to be disappointing. The really good ones are expensive, making them more of a treat than a staple. But if you have a blender, you can make quick nut purees that give you much of the creamy, savory cheesiness you crave. Vegan pizza can be a genuinely fantastic experience.
Pistachios are Stars in Their Own Right
Pistachios are so craveably tasty that you might forget that they are incredibly good for you. Lower in fat and calories than many nuts, they are rich in antioxidants- notably the lutein and zeanthin that protect your eyesight. They also lower your cholesterol, protect your blood vessels, and protect against cancer.
An ounce, or about 1/4 cup, has:
Calories: 156/ Carbs: 8 grams/ Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 6 grams/Fat: 12 grams (90% are healthy fats)
Potassium: 8% of the RDI/ Phosphorus: 14% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 24% of the RDI/ Thiamin: 16% of the RDI
Copper: 18% of the RDI/ Manganese: 17% of the RDI
Plant Based “Ham” Boosts the Protein and Meatiness
Of course, this pizza is built on a whole wheat crust, and features the “ham” from my book, Plant Based Meats. I made the ham, portioned it into 2 and four serving-sized packs of sliced and cubed ham, and froze several of them. Then I had it on hand for sandwiches, split pea soup, fried rice, you name it. Anywhere ham might go.
A Creamy, Green Vegan Pizza Topping Made from Pistachios
All it takes is a blender. This one is not soaked or fermented, just pureed and poured over the pizza. If you wanted, you could empty in a few probiotic capsules and let the mixture sit our for a day to ferment a little. But, really, this is a quick solution to the DIY vegan pizza cheese.
It Really Came Together Faster Than You Think
Mix dough, let rise, puree pistachios, quick saute some tomatoes. The ham is already made, in this scenario. The cast iron pan gave the whole wheat crust a lively crisp edge, and held the heat to keep the pizza warm at the table as we worked out way through it.
It might serve four, or if you are two hungry people, you might have one slice left over for lunch.
Maybe. And that’s a sign of a good pizza!
"Ham" and Pistachio Cream Pizza in Cast Iron
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano chopped
- 4 ounces mock ham, cubed 3/4 cup
- First, make the crust. In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast and salt, then stir in the water and olive oil. Mix well, but don't knead. Let rise, covered, for an hour.
- In a powerful blender, place the water, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Add the pistachios and blend, scraping down, until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and reserve.
- Scrape into a bowl and reserve.In a small saute pan, heat the remaining olive oil and saute the grape tomatoes and garlic until the tomatoes are softened. Stir in the oregano and stir for a few more seconds.
- Preheat the oven to 425. Oil a 10 inch cast iron skillet.Pat the dough into the pan. Let rise on the back of the stove while the oven pre-heats.
- Sprinkle the tomatoes and oregano over the crust, cover with "ham," and drizzle the pistacho puree over the pizza. Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the crust is golden. Serve immediately.