Sunday, December 11, 2011

Garlic-Crusted Sausage Florentine Pizza (Vegan!)

Poor Adam, between his cholesterol and his health-conscious wife (that would be me!), he rarely gets to indulge in his favorite foods for dinner: red meat, chicken wings, garlic bread and pizza.

So I thought I'd treat him to a meal reminiscent of some of his favs, but still super healthy. I generally make pizza that is vegetarian, dairy-free or both anyways, since he is lactose intolerant, and follows the Kosher dietary law of no milk and meat products together.

You could always recreate this dish with animals (butter, ground meat and real cheese), and I am sure it would be divine...just not quite so healthy. But I assure you that this pizza is so good, even carnivores will dig it. Adam did!!

The topping and sauce makes enough to cover 2 1.5 lb balls of dough. I recommend making that much because you'll be happy to have leftovers. It freezes well and reheats perfectly in the oven or toaster oven. But if you don't want to make that much, you can stir the remaining topping into your favorite pasta sauce and serve over whole grain pasta.

2 1.5 lb balls of WHOLE GRAIN pizza dough
2 tbls Earth Balance (or butter), melted
2-4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 2 and it wasn't garlicky enough for my liking)
1 tsp Rustic Tuscan seasoning from Costco (or Italian seasoning)

1 can tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Rustic Tuscan seasoning from Costco (or Italian seasoning)
Hot Crushed chilis, to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp olive oil
1 350g package organic tempeh, crumbled (I diced it and then pulsed in food processor)
1/2 onion, grated (I did it in food processor)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 300g package frozen, chopped spinach (thawed)
1 cup chopped kalamata olives and/or 1 cup sundried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, artichokes, peppers, etc. (optional)
1 package vegan cheese, grated

Mix melted Earth Balance with garlic and seasonings. Spread out dough to desired thickness on baking sheets or pizza pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray and lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.
Brush entire surface of doughs with mixture and bake in the oven at 425F for about 7-8 minutes. Remove crusts from oven and set aside.

In a small saucepan, mix tomato paste with 1/2 cup water and seasonings and heat over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add more water if you want a thinner sauce.

Pour oil into large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, tempeh, garlic and spices. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, spinach and any desired add ins (olives, etc.). Cook until any liquid is absorbed and then turn off heat.

Spread sauce on crusts, sprinkle desired amount of cheese and spread tempeh mixture over top. Return to oven and bake at 425F for about 14-15 minutes or until desired doneness.

I even managed to snap a pic of one just as it came out of the oven. I can't find my pizza pans, so I just made them into rectangles on my two largest baking sheets. Hey, who says pizza has to be round?

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