Oh my lawd, I loves me a pizza. Don’t let the other kids tell you you can’t eat pizza anymore if you don’t consume animal bits. Untrue. Observe…
The story behind my above prize pizza pie begins with a happy accident and my own inability to play by the rules…
The pie crust dough is super savory thanks to my fabulous co-worker, Eneris, screwing up a quiche she made for my birthday. The crust called for a tub of regular Tofutti cream cheese, but she grabbed the herbs and chive version on accident — and a star was born.
And now on to my inability to follow instructions.
I recently got on a calzone kick. The only problem is I can’t quite stop myself from piling on the ingredients, and then my calzones explode and, while they are tasty, they don’t look very pretty.
So, one day I said to myself, “Self, screw this calzone business. Tonight we create a pizza pie.”
I hopped on Google for a recommended baking temperature and time and this caught my eye: a Tebow family recipe for all my football- and meat-loving friends.
Then I gots to the cooking…
- 1 1/2 cups of flour (I used one cup whole grain whole wheat and a half cup pastry flour to make the crust flakier)
- A stick of vegan butter (Earth Balance buttery spread is the stuff of dreams)
- An 8-ounce tub of vegan cream cheese (I prefer Tofutti Garlic and Herb)
- A half cup each (or however much you’d like) of diced: mushrooms, green peppers, red onions
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- A 6 oz. can of pizza sauce (I like Muir Glen organic basil and garlic)
- A link of Tofurky italian sausage, cut into bite-size bits
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme (strip the leaves off the stick and discard it)
- Italian seasoning (to taste)
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Preheat your oven to 400 and grease a standard 9-inch pie plate/tin.
- Flatten your yumtastic dough with a floured rolling pin (or wine bottle, if you don’t have a rolling pin handy) and place it in the pie pan.
- Warm 2 Tbsps of olive oil in a medium skillet, then throw in your sausage to warm it up.
- Add the pizza sauce to the skillet, stir in your veggies, thyme, italian seasoning and garlic and then let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove skillet from heat, and fold in the spinach and basil.
- Pour contents of skillet into your pie pan.
- Top with vegan cheese, and a touch more Italian seasoning, if you so desire.
- Pop the pie in the oven for 40 minutes, until the cheese is melty and the crust starts to brown.
- Let the pie cool for about 15 minutes, so it’s easier to cut.
I hope you love this pizza as much as my roommate and I do, which is to say we ate the whole thing in less than a day.
Have fun playing with the toppings, and by all means let me know how your experimenting goes.