Saturday, June 29th is Vegan Pizza Day! Since summer is now in full swing and it’s too hot to turn the oven on, we’re celebrating with this Italian “Sausage” Pizza from Amber Shea Crawley’s Practically Raw. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off – this recipe comes together pretty quickly. If you’re too impatient to make your own nut cheese, you can use store bought vegan cheese instead. You can also replace the “sausage” with your favorite pizza toppings. Try bell pepper strips, chopped olives, sliced mushrooms, diced red onion, fresh basil, or anything else you please.
Ingredients:

For the Crust
:

  • 1 very large or 2 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 
1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseed

For the Pizza Sauce:

  • 1⁄2 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
  • 1 small ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 small pitted date
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup filtered water, as needed to thin
For the “Sausage”:

  • 1 cup dry walnuts
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

For the “Cheese”:

  • 1 cup macadamia nuts or cashews, soaked for 2 to 4 hours and drained
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 teaspoon probiotic powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

To Serve:

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

 

Preparation:
For the Crust
:
Combine the zucchini, garlic, nutritional yeast, almond butter, oil, lemon juice, basil, oregano, and salt in a food processor or high speed blender and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. 
Add the flours and blend again until smooth.
 Add the flax and blend until well‐incorporated.
The batter will be very thick and sticky.
Make it Raw: In 8 portions, scoop the batter onto two Teflex‐lined dehydrator trays (4 scoops per tray). Using a spoon or small offset spatula (moistened with water), spread each portion into a round crust shape about 1⁄4 inch thick. Dehydrate for 2 hours, until dry on top, then flip over onto a mesh‐lined tray and peel off the Teflex sheet. Dehydrate for 4 to 6 more hours, until firm (though not crisp).
Make it Cooked: Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. In 8 portions, scoop the batter onto the baking sheet. Using a spoon or small offset spatula (moistened with water), spread each portion into a round crust shape about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 8 minutes, then flip the crusts over with a spatula. Bake for 7 to 8 more minutes, until dry and lightly browned. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before handling.

For the Sauce
:
Combine combine all sauce ingredients, including 1/2 cup water, in a high‐speed blender and blend to combine.
 Add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to help it blend smoothly.

For the Sausage:
Combine the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add all remaining sausage ingredients and pulse until well‐combined.

For the Cheese:
Combine the nuts, water, and probiotic powder in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Line a strainer or colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, letting the excess cheesecloth hang over the sides. Place the strainer over a large bowl and pour the cheese mixture into the cheesecloth, then fold the excess over the cheese so it is covered. Place a weight on top that is heavy enough to gently compress the cheese without pushing it through the cheesecloth. Place the bowl with the strainer on the countertop for 24 hours to allow the cheese to culture at room temperature.
After at least 24 (and no more than 48) hours, take the cheese out of the strainer and unwrap it from the cheesecloth, placing it in a small bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours or overnight before using.

Serving the Pizza:
Top each pizza crust with 3 tablespoons of the pizza sauce. Scatter the “sausage” bits evenly across the pizzas. Crumble 2 tablespoons of the Basic Nut Cheese onto each pizza. Top with freshly cracked black pepper, and serve.

Substitutions:
▪       Tomato: 1/2 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
▪       Date: 1 teaspoon agave nectar, coconut nectar, or any other liquid sweetener
▪       Basic Nut Cheese: 1 cup store-bought vegan shredded mozzarella cheese
▪       Tamari: soy sauce, nama shoyu, or liquid aminos

Makes 8 personal pizzas

 

From Practically Rawby Amber Shea Crawley. ©2012 Amber Shea Crawley. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

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