Week-night Pizza with Walnut Bolognese Sauce and Jerk Tempeh

I’m forever trying to unite a whole-foods, plant-based diet with my Jamaican heritage.  I’ve heard of people making tofu jerk.  So then, I thought to myself, “Why not make jerk tempeh?”  I took it a step further and thought, “Why not put said jerk tempeh on a pizza?!!”

And thus, I created the illest pizza this side of the hemisphere.  Sometimes I amaze myself.

Crust — I will post recipe for this soon, although there are many pizza crust recipes out there.  You could even use a pre-baked, store-bought crust.

Cheese

1 cup sunflower seeds (you can use soaked cashews.  I try to stay away from cashews because they make me ill, so I used sunflower seeds here)

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

¾ cup water

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, deseeded

Pizza Sauce

I used the following recipe on my pizza, and the pizza went from average to amazing: Walnut Bolognese Pizza Sauce

Jerk Tempeh

1 block of tempeh, sliced

1 cup of water

3 tbsp soy sauce, tamari sauce (gluten-free), Braggs liquid aminos, or coconut aminos

1 tsp paprika (I recommend smoked paprika)

1 tbsp maple syrup, coconut nectar, or blackstrap molasses

¼ tsp liquid smoke

Jerk marinade (Grace Foods, Walkerswood or make your own – I’ll post this soon)

For the jerk tempeh:

  1. Slice the tempeh into strips.  Place all of the ingredients and sliced tempeh in a glass dish, making sure the tempeh is covered.  Marinate for at least an hour in the fridge (the longer, the better.  Overnight is best).
  2. Pan fry/saute the tempeh (using a bit of the marinade liquid) for 3 mins.  Set aside.

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For the cheese sauce:

The cheese sauce resembles other cashew cheese sauce recipes floating around the internet, so you can substitute another recipe if you’d like (although I don’t know why you would).

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a high speed blender.  It should have a thick and not runny consistency.  Empty out the blender container and set the cheese sauce aside.

For the pizza sauce:

Follow the recipe for the Walnut Bolognese Pizza Sauce.

For the pizza:

Layer your pizza sauce, toppings and cheese sauce on the crust.  Customize any way you want to.  Place in oven at 350 degrees Celcius and bake until the cheese sauce turns golden (like real cheese).  This should be about 30 mins.

It may not look like much, but it was VERY good.  I may have overdone it on the cheese-side…just a bit…

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Pizzas Galore!

I’m pretty sure that pizza is loved universally the world over.  It transcends time, space, culture and language.  It tastes good cold and it tastes good hot.  It can even be vegan (as you can see below).  The following are pizzas I have made over the years.  Toppings I frequently use are Daiya (any of their shredded vegan cheeses, or their wedges, which I shred myself and which melt better than their vegan shredded cheeses), Yves vegan pepperoni (available at Provigo, Great Canadian Superstore and Loblaws), broccoli, green peppers, red peppers, tomatoes and tomato sauce.  The possibilities are absolutely endless!

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AFTER: This is from my pre-vegan days when I actually used cheese. I used store-bought pizza dough (from Metro grocery store) and vegan pepperoni.

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BEFORE…

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Here, I used a pre-baked pizza crust. I don’t like these as much, since they tend to get really crispy and hard (and sometimes crack, as you can see) once baked. Here, I used vegan pepperoni and vegan cheese.

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BEFORE: Store bought pizza dough, broccoli and two types of vegan cheese — Teese (from Chicago Vegan Foods) and Daiya. Teese melts well, but Daiya tastes better and is easier to find.

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AFTER

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I wanted to recreate (read: veganize) Pizza Pizza’s chili chicken thai pizza. So I used sweet chili sauce instead of tomato sauce and topped it off with sundried tomatoes, vegan chicken strips (you can use Gardein, or Morningstar, or Yves), and broccoli, as well as Daiya pepperjack shredded cheese on sundried tomato and herb pizza dought. It tasted lovely!

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I grated the Daiya cheddar wedge (hence the globular bits of cheese) and used the pre-shredded Daiya cheddar cheese, along with zucchini, vegan pepperoni and broccoli.

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I made this pizza dough. I grated the Daiya cheddar wedge and added tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, vegan pepperoni and broccoli.

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I used a different kind of vegan pepperoni for this pizza (pictured above and below). It’s seitan (gluten/wheat meat) and I bought it at Aux Vivres in their take-out section.

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Pre-baked.

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Food, Friends and Finals

Today, a friend from law school graciously invited myself and another law school companion over to her place for studying, essay writing and food to celebrate Easter Sunday.  We cooked a three course meal together in her lovely apartment.  The recipe for the zucchini ribbon pasta with marinara sauce can be found here.  The salad was made with mixed greens, dried cranberries, orange pegs, smoked almonds and tossed with organic raspberry dressing.  The pizza was topped with pesto, parsley and small tomatoes and cheese (which is optional — you can tell which one is mine because it has the least amount of cheese).  Not pictured: the vegan rice pudding and chocolate fondue for dessert.  Super yummy!!

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