Quick (no yeast) Vegan, Gluten-free Midweek Pizza

29937088_UnknownIt’s been a long time since I had pizza. To be honest, it was the melted cheese I liked, so when I became gluten-free and tried commerical free-from pizza (and found it disgusting), I stopped eating them. Going vegan therefore made no difference. But just occasionally I’d like to be able to have some, especially when the family are here. There isn’t time to make a one-off just for me, so I usually miss out. (Elsewhere in this blog is a recipe for Amazing Tomatoless Sauce for a vegan and gluten-free pizza).

The base is a quick, healthy, yeast-free version, using up leftover veg and tomato purée. It was inspired by Thalia, but I changed the flours as I don’t like commercial gluten-free flour if I can use more nutritionally-dense naturally gluten-free flour in its place.

This tasty pizza has a higher nutritional content than the usually high-fat, high-salt commercial varieties. Chickpea flour has protein, calcium, B6, iron, magnesium and fibre, tiger nut flour is gut-friendly, high in prebiotic fibre which helps balance blood sugar levels.

The base is sweet, crisp and filling, makes enough for about 3-4 servings depending on your appetite and what you have alongside it. (I’m thinking of trying the base recipe as savoury or sweet biscuits too, watch this space).

Ingredients

Base:

1 Cup Chickpea Flour (aka gram flour, besan flour)

1/2 Cup Fine Tiger Nut Flour

1 Tsp G/F Baking Powder

1/3 Cup Water

3 Tbsps Olive Oil

Pink Himalayan Salt & Black Pepper

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Tomato Purée or Paste, or passata

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Toppings: I used

Chestnut Mushrooms

Courgette (Zucchini)

 Spring Onions

Finely chopped Broccoli

Spinach

Sweetcorn

Green Beans

Olive Oil to drizzle over toppings

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Fresh Basil

Nutritional yeast sprinkled on when cooked.

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Method

Oven Temp: 180C

Sieve the dry ingredients, gradually add the water and oil in the middle and mix until it comes together like dough, adding more flour or water if necessary until it is the right texture to roll out. (If you have time, chilling it for a while may make it easier to handle, but I did it without). You can add spices or herbs if you want to flavour your crust.

29937008_UnknownFlour the surface and rolling pin well, and roll gently until you can lift it without it breaking – don’t overstretch it –  and place it on a pizza tray – one with holes in so both sides will cook without having to turn it over. (I tried turning it and it stuck, best to leave it in situ for the full cooking time). Once on the tray, press it with your fingertips so that it spreads more thinly and becomes the shape you want.

Cook for 10 minutes.

I stirfried the beans and broccoli very lightly as the green beans in particular wouldn’t have cooked before the rest was ready.

Spread with tomato purée or paste (or ready-made sauce if wished)

Cover with toppings, a couple of twists of black pepper, drizzle some olive oil over them

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Cook another 10 minutes until it’s the colour and texture you like.

Sprinkle with fresh basil

I don’t use vegan cheese so I sprinkled nutritional yeast over it after it was cooked.

29937136_UnknownServe with green salad and/or Sweet potato chips

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

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Cal’s Sweet ‘n’ Sour Red Cabbage

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This was my grandson, Cal’s, contribution to our family achristmas meal last year and is a great way to spruce up this traditional winter vegetable. It takes up to 2 hours to cook on the hob at a gentle simmer and is even better the next day when all the flavours have blended together. (See below for YouTube video of Sia’s Elastic Heart feat. Shia Laboeuf & Maddie Ziegler to watch while it’s cooking!)

It makes a welcome change from the annual jar of pickled red cabbage in the middle of the table at this time! In our house its only purpose seems to be to stain the tablecloth and then sit half-full at the back of the fridge for several months until I decide I can legitimately throw it out without anyone complaining!

Red Cabbage is packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals – including B6, Folate, Vitamin A, C, and K, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. It also contains the antioxidants Lycopene and Anthocyanin’s (they give red vegetables and fruits their colour), which help protect against cancer and are heart healthy.

In other words, Red Cabbage is Good For You!

Word of warning: it stains!

All measurements and timings are approximate

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1/4 to 1/2 Red Cabbage, depending on size, washed and chopped small or shredded

1 Cooking Apple or Tart Dessert Apple, chopped

1 Small Onion, diced

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar

1 Dssp Raw Coconut Palm Sugar*

Handful Raisins

1 Tsp Organic Fruit Spread (no refined sugar or nasties!)

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon

Some Grated Whole Nutmeg, sparingly as it’s quite strong

Optional: Chopped Walnuts

Method

Melt the coconut oil and when hot, add onions and allow to sweat, gently, stirring occasionally

After a couple of minutes, add red cabbage and sweat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally

Add apple, vinegar, raisins, sugar, fruit spread and spices

Cover and cook on very low heat for up to 2 hours or until it is the desired texture and consistency

Stir occasionally

Adjust seasoning

Add chopped walnuts, if using, when nearly done and a few more to garnish

I like a bit of a bite to the cabbage, but others like it well cooked.

It goes well with nut roast, vegan sausages and so on. Here I have placed it centre-stage, surrounded by home-sprouted mung beans. (Apologies for the picture, this was one of my early posts when I was unused to taking food shots and there’s absolutely no natural light at this time of year). 

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com

Copyright: Chris McGowan