Tag Archives: pizza

Pizza Two Ways

Andrew and I made pizza today. We cheated on the crust and bought Boboli pre0-made 8″ mini crusts. My pizza featured herb and garlic feta cheese, whole cloves of roasted garlic, dried sweetened cranberries, and tomato sauce. Andrew’s pizza had Italian spicy sausage, pineapple, and tomato sauce.

Feta Cheese Pizza

  • one pre-made crust
  • garlic and herb feta cheese
  • canned tomato sauce
  • dried sweetened cranberries
  • roasted garlic cloves

1. To roast garlic cloves, chop the top off a head of garlic. Pour a little olive oil on top and then wrap in tin foil. Roast for thirty minutes at 375º. Let the foil pouch cool and then take the garlic out. Squeeze cloves to remove garlic.

2. Heat oven to 450º F. Add toppings to pizza crust. Put pizza in oven and bake for 8 minutes or until crust is crispy and cheese is a little melted.

I think that this would have been even better with some pesto or pine nuts added to it. I’m a little burnt out on pesto or I would have used it instead of tomato sauce.

Cheeseless Sausage and Pineapple Pizza

I think Andrew is insane for having no cheese on his pizza. For me pizza isn’t pizza without cheese. Plus, I’m not a sausage fan.

  • one spicy Italian sausage sliced
  • pineapple chunks
  • tomato sauce
  • pre-made crust

1. Slice sausage into small slices. You do not have to pre-cook your sausage. It will cook on the pizza. Add the toppings to the pizza and cook for ten minutes at 450º F or until sausage is cooked.

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Restaurant Reviews

As a recent traitor to omnivorism and convert to cooking vegan, I feel very lucky to live in an area with as many options as Santa Cruz has. Going out to eat is not difficult, it’s not as easy as it was before, but it’s definitely do-able and delicious. There are a couple restaurants in Santa Cruz that are purely vegetarian/vegan: Saturn Cafe, Malabar/Asian Rose, Charlie Hong Kong (I think, though I’m not 100%), Alfresco, and Dharmas.  There is also Black China Bakery which has a great variety of fine vegan desserts. I have only been once to the actual bakery, but they sell their desserts at some local grocery stores and coffee houses. Many of the restaurants have a large variety of vegetarian items.

This weekend Andrew and I got food from Yan Flower, Zachary’s, the Falafel House, and Sitar. Ugh, that’s a lot of eating out, but we almost always cook. On Friday night we got food at Yan Flower before going to see Robin Hood.  Before this weekend Andrew was convinced that there was no Chinese food restaurant that was better than competent. I told him that Yan Flower was pretty good compared to all others in Santa Cruz and therefore could possibly be considered “good”.  We got hot tea, vegetable potstickers, white steamed rice, salty and chilli pepper tofu, and Andrew got Mongolian Lamb. The potstickers were very good, but a little hot (as in temperature) and I almost burned my mouth. The rice was actually good for steamed rice: fluffy and tender. The salty and chilli pepper tofu was fried tofu, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and onions. It was not as salty or spicy as I remember it, but the tofu texture was great. Andrew described it as “egg like” and he enjoyed it as much as he could enjoy tofu. He said the Mongolian Lamb was very good as well.

After taking the night to recover from the mediocrity that was Robin Hood (or Gladiator 2010: Time Travel to The Dark Ages), Andrew and I got breakfast at Zachary’s. Zachary’s is an insanely popular breakfast venue on the main drag downtown. It usually would be insanely crowded at 9am on a Saturday, but we were lucky due to the craptastic weather that we are experiencing mid-May.

I got coffee with soy milk, tofu scramble with avocado, vegan home fries, and oatmeal molasses bread. They make their breads in house and they are all amazing, but oatmeal molasses is my favorite. I thoroughly enjoyed the bread with the avocado spread on it and the home fries were tasty. Tofu scramble just isn’t my thing and this had a rotting garlic scent to it. Andrew enjoyed his scrambled eggs, sausage, and pancakes with Earl Grey Tea.

Later that day we went to check out the Greek Festival in downtown Santa Cruz. There wasn’t anything to it this year: just a bunch of different food booths. This was mostly desserts with a gyro place and another place where you could get souvlaki. There was no falafel which was what Andrew was looking for. Instead we ended up going to the Falafel House on Walnut Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz. The Falafel House is a Syrian/Middle Eastern restaurant. I got the vegetarian combo platter which consisted of baba ghanoush, pita bread, taboulleh salad, falafel, and hummus. Now, I fucked up. I ate the regular yogurt sauce on the falafel instead of the vegan tahini sauce. I didn’t know that they were going to put the yogurt sauce on the falafel and I didn’t feel like bothering them to change it.

I enjoyed the falafel, hummus, and pita bread. I liked the baba ghanoush as well which surprised me since I don’t like eggplant. I definitely think I make better hummus though. I didn’t like the taboulleh salad too much, but I still tried to eat it and it wasn’t wretched. I think I don’t like taboulleh. Another great thing about the Falafel House is the fact that they are always playing Syrian MTV or some other music video channel. Oh and they’re onion rings are amazing.

Today we went out for lunch/dinner instead of cooking because we were bummed after the Sharks losing the first game of the conference finals. Andrew got pizza at Pizza My Heart (a local San Francisco Bay Area chain that began in Capitola). My favorite slice at PMH is pesto. It was the first thing with pesto that I ever liked and converted me to a pesto lover. Screw you campus dining halls for making me afraid of pesto for so long.

At Sitar, I got Chana Masala (vegan chickpea/garbanzo bean curry), vegan naan, basmat rice, ice berg lettuce crap in a compartment, and raita (which I didn’t eat since it’s made with yogurt). The chana masal had wonderful texture: thick sauce, creamy garbanzo beans, melt in your mouth pieces of onion, but it the curry could have been spicier. The rice was a good texture and the naan was good.

Two Kinds of Pizza

Andrew wanted to make pizza today, so we made two different kinds of pizza: one with sausage, pineapple, kalamata olives, garlic, and mozzarella rice cheese and the other with bbq “chicken”, pineapple, garlic, and mozzarella rice cheese  (seitan marinated in bbq sauce). I really liked the way the whole wheat crust turned out. I have to get used to the texture of the seitan, but it actually worked very well on the pizza with the cheese.  The rice cheese melted very well. It was missing that nice, greasy cheese component that is what makes pizza so divine, but at least it wasn’t clogging my arteries. Andrew said he really liked the way his came out, but he wouldn’t use olives the next time.

Pizza Crust Recipe

Ingredients (Crust)

Adapted from The Martha Stewar Living Cookbook

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sunflower oil

1. Pour the warm water into a small bowl. Note: It’s very important your water is the right temperature. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast; if it is too cold the yeast will not be activated. Add the sugar, and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir the mixture until the yeast is dissolved and water has turned tan. Let yeast stand until foamy, about ten minutes. In a bowl, combine flour and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and oil. Stir until dough comes together, adding more flour as needed until dough is smooth, not tacky, when squeezed. Transfer to clean surface; knead four or five until it turns into a ball.

2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, smooth side up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about forty minutes. Note: Our dough did not rise. I think our water was too hot or we kneaded it too much. It did not make that much difference. Our crust was a little thin and chewy. Remove the plastic wrap, and place your fist in the center of the dough to punch it down. Fold the dough back onto itself four or five times. Turn the dough over, folded side down, cover with the plastic wrap, and let rise again in a warm place until the dough ahs doubed in size, about thirty minutes. Top with whatever you like and cook in a 400º F. oven for 17 minutes.

Pizza Sauce Recipe

Adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 14 oz. can peeled, stewed tomatoes
  • dried oregano (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato paste

1. Pour peeled, stewed tomatoes into food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add tomato paste and sunflower oil. Pulse until mixed. Pour into bowl. Add spices.

Andrew’s Pizza

Ingredients

  • one whole wheat pizza crust
  • 1/2 recipe of tomato sauce
  • pineapple slices
  • mozzarella rice cheese
  • 1/4 pound of bulk pork sausage
  • kalamata olives
  • garlic cloves

1. Assemble pizza then cook in oven for seventeen minutes at 400º F.

Hayley’s Pizza

Ingredients

  • nuggets of pre-cooked seitan marinated for an hour in homemade bbq sauce
  • rice mozzarella cheese
  • tomato sauce
  • sliced pineapple
  • garlic

1. Heat nuggets of pre-cooked seitan on low heat until heated through. Cut into smaller, bite sized pieces.

2. Assemble pizza: sauce, cheese, seitan, sliced garlic, and sliced pineapple. Cook in oven for seventeen minutes at 400º F.

Polenta Pizza with Hummus and Olives

This week I made a polenta pizza with hummus, olives, salad greens, sprouts, and seaweed. It was pretty tasty and filled with yummy, healthy things.

Recipe:

Adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup polenta (cornmeal)
  • 4 cups water
  • hummus (I made homemade hummus earlier in the week, you can use store bought or make your own)
  • kalamata olives, sliced
  • salad greens
  • clover sprouts
  • dried seaweed (nori, mine was green tea flavor)
  • carrots, peeled and julienned

1. Bring 4 cups of water or vegetable stock to the boil. Reduce the heat and whisk in 1 cup coarse polenta (cornmeal). Continue whisking 5 minutes. Replace whisk with a wooden soon and stir until spoon can stand and polenta comes away from sides of pan. Stir in two tablespoons of softened Earth Balance and season with salt and pepper.

2. Spread the mixture over the base of a deep pizza tray (I used a spring form pan because I don’t own a pizza pan). Set aside to cool (this step is essential, I forgot to do this and I think it messed things up a little). Brush the polenta with oil and bake in a preheated oven 400º for ten minutes.

3. Remove the polenta from the oven and spread hummus on top (now, I would suggest cooking the polenta for a little longer and making sure your hummus is room temperature, I had some difficulty spreading it).  Top with olives and carrots. Bake for another twenty minutes. Then add salad greens, sprouts, and seaweed.

I had a really difficult time removing mine from the pan. I think this was because I didn’t let my polenta cool down before putting it in the oven again.