Friday, April 8, 2011

Amazing Veggie Pizza!

Friday night = pizza night at our house...definitely the right way to wrap up the week!  We look forward to sitting down with a slice (or two) and a glass of red wine, knowing that we can completely unwind for the evening.

I'm sure you're wondering 'what about the cheese?' The answer is slightly complex.  In Mexican food, avocado and olives are so rich and creamy that I forget there used to be cheese.  Pizza is the only time that I really, truly want something that I don't eat, sooo there are weeks when I add a little mozzarella, just because.  Recently, I discovered soy cheese at Trader Joe's and it tastes great on this pizza!

If you decide to alter this pizza to your own taste, I would recommend keeping the oven roasted garlic and caramelized onions.  They add amazing flavor and a creamy texture to every bite.  Prepping them ahead will make your life much easier too.  And don't be afraid of the spinach!  You can barely taste it!  If you don't have access to a Trader Joe's, there is a great recipes for whole wheat dough here.


1 bag Trader Joe's Wheat Pizza Dough
1 container TJ's fresh pizza sauce (from the cooler)
Shredded mozzarella or soy cheese
1 medium onion + oil for caramelizing
10-20 cloves garlic (seriously!  don't skimp!)
1/2 jar TJ's fire roasted red and yellow peppers
Kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 bag organic baby spinach
**optional: fresh basil leaves


1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.) Peel garlic cut the stems off.  Put garlic cloves into a small, foil-lined bread pan and add a little water.  Cover with foil and bake for around an hour, or until cloves are soft and slightly brown.
**I prefer to buy the pre-peeled garlic, which makes this step much quicker!
3.) Cut onion into slices and saute in oil over med-high heat until soft and brown.  Be sure there is enough oil, or add some Earth Balance if you want!

4.) Set dough out on a floured surface for 20min. and rub a little flour into the top

5.) Cut the Kalamata Olives and slice up the fire roasted peppers

6.) After 20min, stretch dough onto a greased cookie sheet.  This may take a little patience.  If there are small holes, just patch them one will know once the toppings are on!

7.) Spread the entire container of sauce onto the dough, then sprinkle with a layer of cheese

8.) Smash roasted garlic cloves between your fingers and put onto your pizza.

9.) Add onions, peppers and olives (and optional basil leaves)

10.) Top you pizza with almost the entire bag of spinach and then sprinkle a little more cheese on top

11.) Bake at 450 for 16-20min

....I know there are alot of steps to making this, but it is well worth it!!!  Enjoy!

Just a few tips I have learned....
*Baking two pizzas at once = burnt pizza
*Sauteed mushrooms are a delicious addition!
*For you die-hard meat-lovers out there...TJ's Italian dry salami is delicious (that's what goes on the other half of the pizza...)

Today's Ingredients:
Pizza dough and sauce - Trader Joe's
Soy-Sation Soy Cheese - Trader Joe's
Mozzarella option (no added hormones, please) - Trader Joe's
Kalamata Olives - Trader Joe's
Fire Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers - Trader Joe's
Peeled Garlic Cloves - Trader Joe's or Costco
Organic Baby Spinach - Trader Joe's
Organic Basil Leaves - Trader Joe's