Plant-Based Pizza with Za'atar & Vegan Cheese
If you've never tried za'atar before, then you need to go to a Middle Eastern store in your area or order it online and try it. Do that before you ask me why.
The last time I had junk pizza was during my freshman year in college. We were hanging out in the dorms and as any typical school, we had a pizza party. The pizza smelled SO good at that time so I decided to have a piece (I wasn't vegan at the time) and the second I took a bite I was so disappointed as the smell didn't match the taste. It was so gross I couldn't even finish it. Oh, and it didn't end there, but I'm gonna spare you what happened after.
I know that a lot of people feel bad for me at pizza parties or similar gatherings because I'm "missing out" on whatever junk food is at presence. And on the other hand, I feel bad for them. I wish everyone could realize that you can eat delicious food that won't make you feel like crap and without harming any animals or the planet.
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 tbsp yeast
- 1/4 cup homemade applesauce or 1/2 large ripe banana
- 1/2 red onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 can (28-32 oz) diced tomatoes drained
- salt, black pepper, chili pepper, oregano, and a hint of ground ginger
- 1 tbsp tomato paste optional
(this recipe is taken from Advanced Lifestyle Medicine with minor changes)
- 1/4 cup cashews soaked for ~4 hours
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- salt & pepper
- a hint of paprika + turmeric
- 2 1/2 tbsp tapioca flour (this is what's going to make it thick)
- lemon juice from half a lemon (+1 tbsp)
- Za'atar or oregano
- Any veggies your heart desires. Tip: saute or roast them for a bit before topping them on the pizza.
- Dough:, mix everything in a stand mixer (or with your hands for a good arm workout) until the dough is somewhat sticky. About 7 minutes.
- Form into two balls then cover and let it rise for one hour.
- Tomato sauce: saute the onions then the garlic in a little bit of water then add the seasonings then the tomatoes. Let it cook for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Roll out the dough and use extra flour so it doesn't stick to the surface or your hands. You want it to be somewhat thin.
- Now start making the cheese.
- Mix everything in a food processor or a blender. It'll be very watery but don't worry.
- Heat a non-stick skillet on low-medium heat, add the cashew mixture and keep stirring constantly as it thickens.
- Top your pizza with the tomato sauce, veggies if using, then add the cheese while it's hot and stretchy.
- Za'atar pizza: add a generous amount of tomato sauce, but a thin layer of za'atar, otherwise it'll be too bitter.
- Place the pizza on the second to last shelf in the oven and bake for 20 minutes
- Broil for 1 minutes or less while keeping a close eye on it.
- Leftovers: preheat the oven to 350F and place the pizza on the second to last shelf. When your oven is heated to 350F then your pizza will be all warmed up.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.