Tuesday, February 9, 2016

BRAZEN BITES: VEGAN CHEESE PIZZA

vegan cheese pizza recipe

Happy national pizza day everyone!  Given that this momentous holiday is upon us I thought what better time to share one of my favorite go-to vegan recipes.  If you’ve been following along with my year of “Choosing the Bigger Life” (you can check out that post HERE) you’ll know that this month is dedicated to getting rid of the junk in my diet, and with that all animal products have gone out the window.  Now while I have eaten a mostly vegan diet for the past four years, vegan cheese is always something that has stumped me.  I have been able to find an awesome dairy substitution for just about everything (shout out to Luna & Larry’s Coconut Ice Cream, you are the bomb!!), but my ventures into edible vegan cheese have been far from successful.  They have been downright awful.  And oh have I tried them all…Daiya, Go Veggie!, $8 for a block of Kite Hill Gouda...I still have nightmares.  So while I went sulking about thinking my future held a cheese free existence, I was pleasantly surprised when I was introduced to cashew cheese.  I had tried to make cashew cheese in the past and been unsuccessful always ending up with a gritty texture, but the culinary genius that is my friends boyfriend introduced me to a whole new way to make cashew cheese, and guys, it’s AMAZING!!  Seriously, it is so good.  Last winter he was kind enough to bring this recipe to our annual cookie party and it was a raving success amongst the melting pot of diet profiles.  So with his permission I bring you the best vegan cheese pizza ever….

oven roasted tomato sauce

Vegan Cheese Pizza
Makes one 14” pie (Serves 4-6)

Crust
For this don’t be an all-star and just pick up some fresh pizza dough from your local grocer.  (Trader Joe’s is my favorite.)  Make sure to let the dough sit out for at least an hour before rolling so it’s easier to manage.  If you really want to be an overachiever this is a great pizza dough recipe though.

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
Ladies, we’re better than that canned stuff.  This sauce recipe is so quick and simple and seriously makes all the difference!  It has such a fresh and delicious flavor.

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • ½ tsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Slice tomatoes in half and add to large bowl.
  • Add all toppings making sure to mix and evenly coat tomatoes.
  • Roast for 30-40 mins on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Once done add roasted tomatoes back to large bowl and pulse with an immersion blender to reach sauce consistency of your choosing.

cashew cheese

Cashew Cheese (The star of the show!)

Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup Raw Cashews
  • 1 cup Hot Water
  • 3 tsp. Tapioca Flour
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp.  Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

Directions:
  • First thing you want to do is boil cashews for 10 minutes in a small pot with ample water to cover.  Once cashews are done boiling, drain and add to a food processor.
  • Add one cup of hot water to food processor as well. (You can use the water you boiled the cashew in, but be sure to measure it!)
  • Add the rest of your ingredients and blend for a good minute or so, you really want to give ample time to let those cashews be thoroughly pulsed. 
  • Once blended add mixture back to your small pot and let simmer 3-4 minutes over medium heat, stirring often to give the cashew cheese time to thicken.

vegan cheese pizza

Now it’s time to assemble your delicious pizza.  Roll out that dough, slather on your delicious homemade sauce, and you can drop your vegan cheese right on top using a spatula to smooth it out.  Bake at 425 degrees farenheit for 15-18 minutes and you’re done!

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe, I was so excited to share it with all of you.  Seriously if you’ve eaten as much crappy vegan cheese as I have over the years you would understand my enthusiasm over finding an awesome cashew cheese recipe.  And I’ve found the trick with this recipe that makes it so great is the boiling of the cashews.  Most recipes I’ve seen suggest soaking them overnight to soften their texture, but I’ve found the boiling technique really contributes to an out of this world creaminess.  Hope you guys enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

xoxo Nicole

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