Recipe: Vegan cast iron pizza

I made a delicious pizza for dinner tonight. I cheated and used frozen pizza dough, though… so all I really did was assemble ingredients and add heat. It turned out really well but I’m sure it would’ve been even better with a handmade crust! My version is vegan so it fulfills my diet requirements while satisfying my pizza cravings. If you make it, feel free to use whatever toppings you want and top with the shredded cheese of your choosing (Mozzarella, most likely).

Equipment
Well-seasoned cast iron skillet, 10 or 12 inches in diameter

Ingredients
(measurements are estimated because I just winged it — adjust to your own tastes!)

    Vegan cast iron pizza

  • 1 ball pizza dough (thawed overnight, if frozen)
  • 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 4 pieces quartered marinated artichoke hearts
  • 3 baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (green), sliced thinly
  • 1 Roma tomato, sliced thinly
  • 1 handful of leaves of fresh basil, sliced or ripped into bite-size pieces
  • Olive oil for brushing

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce and spices (including the nutritional yeast, if using it).
  3. Roll the dough into a large circle. Line cold cast iron skillet with the dough. (No need to coat the pan with oil if skillet is seasoned!) If there’s more dough than skillet, cut off excess dough (leaving an inch or two along the sides) and fold/press down the edges to create the crust. Brush dough with olive oil.
  4. Add a light coating of seasoned tomato sauce.
  5. Layer with your toppings in the order given (first artichokes, then mushrooms, etc.) except the basil.
  6. Heat skillet on a high flame for 3 minutes to get the pan piping hot.
  7. Place skillet in preheated oven for 18 minutes, until the crust is a golden brown.
  8. Remove the pizza with a spatula (it should slide right out!), top with the basil, and cool on a rack for 3 minutes. (The lack of cheese means no gooey hotness to burn the roof of your mouth! Score! If you’re using cheese, though, let cool for a few more minutes.)
  9. Cut into slices and enjoy!

I couldn’t roll out the dough very much (no rolling pin and no upper-body strength) so it made a very small pizza. I sliced it into four relatively large pieces and ate two for dinner. The remaining two slices will be reheated tomorrow for dinner… or perhaps for lunch. Mmm! So tasty, I’m tempted to eat the rest right now. Om nom nom nom nom…

Many thanks to Nick at Macheesmo for the inspiration with his cast iron skillet pizza recipe! His pizza looks amazing and I’m sure it has something to do with his handmade crust. Next time I decide to make pizza, I’m going to try his pizza dough recipe, too.

On a totally unrelated note, I love Better Off Ted. I’m sad it wasn’t popular while it was in production–it was canceled too early! Two seasons was not enough. If you’ve never seen it, check it out on Netflix–it’s available to watch instantly.

Recipe: Swamp Thing

This is a very simple but delicious recipe that Alex concocted that yielded about 32oz of a sweet-sour-salty juice that he calls:

Swamp Thing
½ pineapple
1 Granny Smith apple
3 sticks celery

Throw all the ingredients into a juicer and go. It’s light and refreshing. I highly recommend it!

I’ve been here so long, I think that it’s time to move

Yesterday, I tried to make a loaf of banana nut bread.  It didn’t turn out so well.  (I ended up throwing out the ceramic dish along with the half-baked batter… because I dropped it and it shattered. D’oh.)  So I decided to prove to myself that I am not a completely incompetent baker so I made these muffins today.  Because I had a surplus of Macintosh apples (I bought a 3-lb bag at the supermarket for cheap) and some leftover cranberries, I hunted down a recipe for apple-cranberry muffins.  All I was able to find was a recipe for Autumn Muffins so I altered it to include only those ingredients I had on hand:

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 cup chopped cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped, peeled apple
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease muffin pans or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, white sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture. Add the applesauce, melted butter, milk, and eggs. Mix until smooth. Stir in the cranberries, apple, and nuts.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Cups should be at least ¾ full.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Yield
18 muffins

Enjoy!