I finally decided to try my hand at making a healthy, vegan grilled pizza/flatbread. I have no idea what took me so long because it was FANTASTIC!!! After trying to find pre-made pizza dough in my local stores (no one carries anything remotely healthy), I just made my own dough and made enough to freeze so next time it will be even easier. The only time consuming part is making the dough and waiting for it to rise so once you have that done it’s easy and fast! If you can find a good pre-made pizza dough go for it.
I made garlic cashew cream to spread on the bottom, grilled some just-picked garden veggies and tossed arugula with some olive oil and balsamic glaze for the “salad” layer. Pesto would also make a nice spread on the bottom but you should try the Garlic Cashew Cream at least once. I could eat one of these every night all summer long and use whatever fresh vegetables are in season! For the crust I used organic unbleached flour but want to try a gluten-free flour crust, too. If you have your dough prepared you can make one of these in the time it takes to grill the vegetables and crust, just about 1/2 hour. Here are recipes for the dough, the garlic cashew spread and the grilled veggie and salad layers.
RECIPE for GRILLED VEGGIE SALAD PIZZA (makes 4 eight to nine inch pizzas)
GARLIC CASHEW SPREAD
Ingredients & Directions:
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight (or add them to about 2 cups of boiling water, turn off heat and let sit for about an hour).
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
- 1 to 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/4- 1/2 cup water
- handful of dried herbs like basil, thyme and/or oregano
Drain the water from the cashews and add all the ingredients plus the soaked cashews to a blender. Blend until smooth. It should be the consistency of ricotta cheese. Set aside (you can also make this ahead of time and keep in fridge for a few days or freeze it.
Ingredients and Directions:
- 3 cups organic, unbleached flour
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 package rapid rise yeast
- 1/4 tsp honey or agave (just to get the yeast going)
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 cup warm water
In a small bowl, add the warm water, yeast and honey. Let sit for about 10 minutes until foamy. In a food processor add flour and salt, pulse a few times to mix well. Add warm water, yeast mixture and olive oil to food processor and pulse until the dough just comes together. You might need to add a bit more water but you don’t want a sticky dough so be careful about adding too much water.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 8 – 10 minutes, until the dough is nice and smooth with no stickiness. Place in bowl, cover and let it sit for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until it doubles in size. When it has doubled, punch it down and form it into a ball, flatten slightly and cut into 4 pieces. You can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put in a freezer bag and freeze so you will have some for your next pizza!
GRILLED VEGGIES and ARUGULA SALAD
- 2 cups arugula (or spinach or other greens)
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP Balsamic Glaze
- 5 or 6 large mushrooms
- 2 -3 small zucchini or eggplant (or both!)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- handful of freshly chopped basil
Put arugula in a small bowl and toss with the olive oil and Balsamic Glaze (you can use balsamic vinegar if you don’t have the Glaze). Set aside.
Slice the mushrooms, chop the garlic into fairly large pieces, cut the cherry tomatoes in half and thinly slice the zucchini. Toss them together with 2 TBSP olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and 1 tsp each of dried oregano, basil and thyme. Put them in a grilling pan or a BBQ wok lightly sprayed with nonstick oil. Grill on a medium hot grill until the veggies are tender and roasted. This takes about 10- 15 minutes.
While the veggies are grilling, roll out a piece of the pizza dough until fairly thin and put it on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the hot grill next to your grilling veggies and cook for about 5 minutes until it gets stiff enough so you can pick it up without it folding. Grab your tongs and carefully place the crust directly onto the grill. You don’t want a super hot grill or it will char before the dough is completely cooked. When it gets nice and brown on one side turn it over and grill the other side. It only takes about 5 minutes on each side, depending on how hot your grill is so check it often to avoid burning the crust!
Remove your nicely grilled pizza crust and grilled vegetables and then the fun begins 🙂 Spread a thick layer of the Garlic Cashew Cream over the pizza, then add a layer of the arugula salad, top with the grilled vegetables and garnish with fresh basil. You can use a pizza cutter to cut your pizza into four slices. Depending on how hungry you are one of these could serve two people or one normal teenager.
Even though this has NO CHEESE of any kind, you will not miss it, I guarantee. This is one delicious and very healthy pizza 😋 Seriously good!