After a year of veganism, I have grown to see pizza in a new light.
I’ve never been a huge fan of a ton of cheese on my pizza. In fact, I used to peel the cheese off 90% of the time. Nonetheless, at the beginning of my vegan journey, the thought of pizza without cheese forever seemed a bit tragic.
I tried to go the vegan “cheeze” route, but that was just a grave disappointment. I hate cheeze. You might melt, but you’re not cheese and you never will be, so please just stop.
Finally, I started experimenting with different base sauces. At that point, I finally felt like I had gotten somewhere! No longer does pizza require a tomato base and a cheesy topping. In fact, it’s a lot more interesting, eco-friendly, and humane without it. I’ve tried a refried bean base, garlicky coconut milk base, oil & garlic base, and now, a hummus base.
I can’t take credit for the entire thing. I had help from my sister’s boyfriend, Adam, who happens to be a chef. He gave me some great tips to help give this pizza the wow factor.
Oh, and before you begin, just know that making this pizza is somewhat of a circus act. Between the homemade GF pizza crust (optional), pan-fried chickpeas, cucumber cream sauce, and the normal veggie-chopping prep, you’ll be preparing and cooking several things at one time, so an extra set of hands would be ideal. Don’t let it discourage you, though; this great-tasting pizza is totally worth it!
By the way, having cute pets in the kitchen always makes the cooking process more enjoyable.
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
GF Crust: Bob’s Red Mill’s website provides my favorite GF pizza crust recipe here.
If you plan on using the recipe above, you’ll need the following
- 2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 3/4 cup Warm Water
- 1 tbs flax seed, combined with 3 tbs warm water
- 1 Tb Olive Oil
- 1-1/2 cups GF All Purpose Baking Flour
- 2 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 4 tbs GF All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 can (or 7.5 oz) of organic chickpeas, rinsed and damp
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbs coconut oil (for the pan)
Cucumber Cream Sauce:
- 1/2 cup cashews, milled
- 1 cup cucumber, pureed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8oz of your favorite hummus
- 2 cups portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbs olive oil
- lemon juice
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup spinach leaves, chopped
STEP 1: Prep the pizza crust.
If you’re making the GF pizza crust, follow the directions here. Once you allow the crust to rise, or when you’re putting the GF pizza crust in the first time (to solidify), you can get started with the other prep work.
STEP 2: Prepare the chickpeas.
Put the chickpeas in a strainer and rinse. Place the GF all purpose flour, salt, and pepper in a sandwich baggie. Here’s the fun part; place the damp chickpeas in the bag, seal, and shake it up! It’s satisfying to see them coated so perfectly. From there, throw the coconut oil on a skillet with the chickpeas and cook at medium heat for 20-30 minutes, shaking the chickpeas around often.
STEP 3: Make the cucumber cream sauce.
To make the cucumber cream sauce, start with milling the cashews.
I’ve tried soaking cashews overnight to make cream sauces before, but for this last-minute cooking girl, it wasn’t an ideal situation. Not only that, but my soaked cashew result left me with cashew chunks in my cream, which was less than desirable. I found out that by milling the cashews to a pulp using the milling blade on my NutriBullet, I achieved a smooth, creamy finish instantly.
Once you mill the cashews, set aside. Puree the cucumbers until liquidy smooth. After that, mix the cucumber juice, cashews, salt, pepper, lemon juice, agave nectar, and lime juice together. When that’s all done, place your concoction in the refrigerator until your pizza is ready.
STEP 4: Cook the vegetable toppings.
Place the onions on a skillet with medium heat and the olive oil and cook for 1 or 2 minutes. After that, mix in your portobellos for about 5-8 minutes. Actually, the 5-8 minutes is an estimate, as I unprofessionally didn’t keep track. Squirtce on top of the mushrooms as they are cooking. Cook the mushrooms until they look like the picture below. They should be juicy and browned. Add in the minced garlic 2 minutes before you take the mushrooms off the heat. Oh, and don’t forget to squeeze lemon juice on them as they’re cooking.
STEP 5: Prep the pizza crust for final cook.
Once you’re done prepping the mushrooms, phase 1 of the GF crust should be completed. Spread the hummus as the base, place the mushroom/onion/garlic on the pizza, and place in the oven. The pizza should stay in the oven until the crust has turned golden brown.
By the way, I bought this cheap, local hummus from Whole Foods. Basil and Tomato hummus? It doesn’t get much better than that.
STEP 6: Chop up raw vegetables (if you haven’t done so already).
While your pizza is in the oven, chop up your remaining veggies.
The crust is golden, and soon, you will be, too. Take out that pizza and put the chickpeas and fresh veggies on top. Retrieve the cucumber cream, and by the spoonful, drizzle the cream on top until you’re satisfied. We like our pizza nice and wet, so at a glance, it looks pretty bizarre… bizarrely delicious, that is.
Yum! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!