Friday, April 29, 2011

Mostly Homemade Pepperoni Pizza (100% Vegan and Sandra Lee Free!)

 Sometimes I cannot believe my luck in the kitchen. I mean, while I’m all for experimenting and trying new things, so often it’s in the bakeshoppe area of my life and I rely on the feedback of others to find out if what I did was successful or a dismal failure. When it comes to cooking for myself though, even I can’t believe how limited the rotation of my meals tends to be. Generally, the same dry-baked tofu gets traded out with salads, sometimes a pita or other wrap, soup and occasionally some gluten free pasta or rice with vegan parmesan and veggie balls. Because I eat so often, and love my snacks, I keep the “meal” portions of my day fairly small – I fall into that “ideal eater” category of habit by chowing down on 6 mini-meals daily, more out of the inability to stomach that much food at once than any attempt at a “holier than thou” attempt. Once I find a mixture or two of flavours that I like (or at least can stomach) it falls into step until I get sick of it. Sometimes I get sidelined with the oddest cravings for things, too, which demand attention in some way, shape or form, and that’s how my vegan tofu pepperoni pizza came around.

Without cheese, but lavishly capped with thin-sliced tomato and portabello mushrooms, my storebought tortill-za would have been delicious anyways (maybe with some broccoli too!). I made up an impromptu garlic and oregano “sauce” out of ketchup (yeah, I know) and it actually paired so well with the hot and smoky spicing on the tofu that I made it again. And again. And again. Yeah – seeing a pattern here??

The tofu marinade / spice mixture I came up with was nothing short of fan-freaking-tastic when I tasted it. Super-spicy, smoky and (dare I say) meaty, it really embodied everything I remembered pepperoni to be. The best part was that since the blocks of tofu that I buy give me 3 servings (it’s probably more, but what can I say? I like food) the last ones I baked off tasted the best! It’s not like only having one day’s “sit” made them bad at all, but the true essence of the traditional topping has soaked into the bean curd by day 5 or so.

The baking of the slices was just as integral to the whole experience – on a perforated sheet tray, they got crispy with a hint of a chewy centre, and the mustard seed in the marinade toasted and made such a great crunchy texture too! When paired with the meltingly soft tomato slices and dense mushrooms, it was a texture party like no other.


So there you have it – the tastiest, least preservative-filled vegan pizza topping flavoured like meat I've ever had - homemade OR bought and my all-time favourite ‘za. I’d love to make it with pineapple the next time we have some around, but for now, I can really say it’s not delivery!

Tofu-roni
This is fairly spicy, so modify the pepper flakes to taste
Serves 1
100g pressed tofu
2 tbsp water
¼ tsp soy sauce
½ tsp liquid smoke
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp mustard seed
½ tsp fennel seed, slightly crushed
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp smoked salt
  1. Slice tofu crosswise into thin squares or rectangles and place into a shallow dish.
  2. Combine water, soy sauce, liquid smoke, pepper, mustard seed, fennel seed, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, paprika and salt.
  3. Pour over the tofu, stir to coat well and refrigerate, covered, 24 hours (or up to 5 days), stirring partway through.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F and place a lightly greased rack on a cookie sheet.
  5. Remove tofu from marinade, place on the rack and mist with cooking spray.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes, until crispy.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 94.8
Total Fat: 2.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 671.4 mg
Total Carbs: 11.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 14.2 g

Tofu-Roni, Fresh Tomato and Portabello Pizza
Serves 1
1 ½ tbsp ketchup (or tomato paste if you have it on hand)
1 tsp dried oregano
pinch salt
dash tamari (adds a depth of flavour)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 12" brown rice tortilla
½ large or 1 small portabello mushroom, thinly sliced (you can also use creminis)
½ medium tomato, thinly sliced
1 recipe Tofu-Roni (see above)
  1. In a small dish, mix ketchup, oregano, salt, soy sauce and garlic. Set aside for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375F and place the tortilla on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Spread with the ketchup mixture and top with mushroom and tomato slices.
  4. Place into the oven and bake 5 minutes, then add Tofu-Roni and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 213.5
Total Fat: 5.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1,435.8 mg
Total Carbs: 34.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 11.0 g
Protein: 24.9 g

1 comment :

tanita davis said...

I'm actually glad you didn't attempt to add a vegan cheese; I just haven't managed to LIKE those yet (except for mac-and-cheese type with the nutritional yeast - because that's not "real" cheese anyway), but the tofu-roni recipe I will keep and use. Yum.