Health Underpins Everything

carol's gluten free vegan pizza

Eat

This is one of my favourite vegan meals and is very satisfying.

Beets are alkalizing so this is a good one if you're feeling stressed and they have just been identified as natural performance enhancers - in the sports sense.

Adapted from Thrive. The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life by professional Ironman Triathlete and vegan Brendan Brazier.

Serves 3-4

Sunflower Seed and Beet Pizza Base

Ingredients

  • Ground sunflower seeds (2 cups)
  • Grated raw beetroot (1 cup)
  • Coconut oil (1/4 cup)
  • Parsley (1/2 tsp) - optional - you can use any kind of herb you like
  • Sea salt to taste

If you don't have coconut oil you can use olive oil but if you can try coconut - get the best you can afford - organic unrefined if you can - a jar will last you for ages and you can use it for all kinds of things.

Method

  • Preheat oven to 300F/150c/gas mark 2
  • In a food processor whizz all ingredients until the mixture starts to form into a ball. If you don't have a processor you can do this by hand in a bowl, it just takes a bit longer and a bit more effort.
  • Lightly oil the baking tray with coconut oil - you can use olive oil but coconut oil smells REALLY good.
  • Spread the crust mixture on the tray to about 1/4 inch thick. I put half the ball on and press it out with my fingers, then add the rest till it's all nicely even. I've found that marking out the slices with a knife at this stage makes it easier to get out of the tray later.
  • Put the crust in the oven to dry off a bit while you get the rest of the topping ingredients organised. Leave it for about 5 -7 mins - but check it! It just needs to be firm to the touch but still with a bit of give.

WARNING: It's not going to be like a lump of dough that you can pick up in one hand and walk about with - the base can be a bit crumbly - but it tastes great and you'll feel surprisingly satisfied.

Topping

Ingredients

This can be anything you fancy that you would normally put on a pizza. I usually use:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions (I suggest frying onions and garlic in a little oil before putting on the base)
  • Mushrooms
  • Courgettes

(If you want to use root vegetables like carrots you'll need to shred them or they'll still be hard when the crust is ready. Which is fine of course if you like your vegetables crunchy!)

Method

  • Remove the base from the oven
  • Spread the crust with whatever pizza base you like - Alex's homemade tomato sauce is a good one, or just tomato puree mixed with a little water for easier spreading
  • Add some mixed herbs - dried or fresh if you have them will work fine.
  • Slice and add your vegetables.

"Cheese"

  • Raw cashews (2 cups)
  • Water 1 1/2 cups)
  • Red pepper (1/2) - if you don't have one you can leave this out just add a bit more water at the end if you need it)
  • Nutritional yeast (6 tbspn)
  • Lemon juice (2tbspn)
  • Sea salt (1/4 tspn)

Method

  • Put everything in a food processor and whizz till smooth - adjust the salt if you need to.
  • Spoon over whatever toppings you have on the pizza

You could just buy some vegan cheese but it's not so much fun!

  • Put the pizza in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
  • Be sure to test it because the timing will depend on what toppings you use and how cooked you like them.

Serve and enjoy with a nice crispy salad.

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