Sunday, March 20, 2011

Take a Little Pizza My Heart

Ooh, pizza! One of life's greatest and most beloved pleasure foods. It's not the top of the healthy foods list, but it's quite fulfilling and can actually, if you make it right, be not so terrible for you. I'm all about pleasure without guilt!

Pizza My Heart


the crust
2 C Flour (1C + 1C to use later)
1/2 C warm water
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
1 tbsp garlic powder (or more, to taste)
1 tbsp onion powder (ditto)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning (double ditto)

the sauce
1/2 can of diced tomatoes (you can approximate and just add a whole small tomato)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
dash sea salt

the rest
vegetarian protein nuggets
3-5 cloves garlic, peeled
cheese or cheese substitute (optional)

1) First, make the crust by combining the dry ingredients for it. Only use 1 C of the flour to start with, and save 1 C for later. Mix with a wire whisk until completely blended. Then add the warm water slowly, stirring it in thoroughly the whole time, until totally blended. You may have to add slightly more water than 1/2 C, but if you do, it's no sweat. Mix the dough completely.

It should not be runny, but it should be quite sticky. Cover it with a tea towel and put it in a warm place like the unheated oven for around 15 minutes.

2) While the dough is resting, make your tomato topping! Before you start, drain off excess liquid from the tomatoes. Then crush them with a potato masher. Add the olive oil and salt, and mix thoroughly.

3) Once the dough has had a chance to rest, take it out and uncover it. Prepare your counter by scattering some flour on it, and rub it around. Flour your hands as well, then add 1/2 C of the remaining flour to the dough, kneading it and working it in. Turn it out from the bowl once it's not as sticky, and continue to add the remaining flour, kneading it in, until it is not very sticky at all. It can still be slightly sticky, but it shouldn't feel sticky all over.

4) Dust your pizza stone or pan with flour, then sprinkle a handful of cornmeal on it, making sure to scatter it around. Preheat your oven to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 205 Celsius.

5) Form your dough into a ball and place it on the pizza stone or pan. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a circular shape. Make sure it's not totally flat, but not too thick either.

6) Spread the tomato topping on it, then slice your fresh garlic on top of that. If you are using vegetarian protein nuggets or other substitutes, you can add them now. You can also add various other toppings such as peppers, olives, or whatever you want!

7) Add a couple of handfuls of cheese or cheese substitute, to bring it all together.

8) Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot!

Tips and Such

- There are many wonderful toppings for pizza. I like to use Nutrela, a delicious textured soy protein from India. These are delicious and actually quite nutritious! They're very popular and you may be able to find them at a local Indian grocery. I prepared mine by soaking them in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes, then squeezing them dry. I added some liquid smoke, which gave them an amazing flavour.

- Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! Dough is best when it is kneaded by hand.

- Have flour ready in a cup, so that you can add more if you need to. If you're concerned about wasting it, just handle the cup's outside and dust the dough with the flour. Then you can pour the remainder back into the bag or jar if you don't use it.

Pizza is a wonderful food for comfort, but it's also very easy to make, and quite inexpensive! You can make pizza more nutritious by developing your own recipe, with toppings that satisfy you and fulfill your nutritional needs.

A friend of mine decided to try my recipe. I think it turned out delicious. What do you think?

Mouth watering?

Eat well!

};) Dhiar <3