Mar 01, 2013

Broccoli Spinach Pesto Pizza. Vegan. Gluten-free.

When I used to eat SAD (Standard American Diet) food, I would love to go to the food court in the mall and get an enormous slice of broccoli stuffed pizza. It had oodles of broccoli and spinach hiding inside the gooey cheese and white-flour dough. Yes, I used to eat all of it. But I always enjoyed the veggie part of it the best.

Being from New York, pizza is in my blood. I worked in Greenwich Village and a visit to Ray’s Famous Pizza on West 11th Street (no longer there) was a must, at least once per week. So I can say that I do know pizza and this recipe will not let you down. It is LOADED with greens and nutrient-rich which is why I love it so much. If you’re hankerin’ for a pie with lots of healthy STUFF on it, here it is…

mid-assembly
Ingredients:

  • Two 12″ pie crusts. You can buy them frozen in health food stores. I’ve purchased them in the past, and they have gluten-free crusts, too. But they can be costly and sometimes they wind up with freezer burn. My guess is that not enough people buy them and they are in the freezer too long. I used Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust mix. It was pretty easy to make and turned out great. Just follow the instructions on the side of the package. I used flax meal in place of eggs (those directions are also on the package).
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
you’ll need two hands to handle a slice of this!

     ~ for the pesto sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil
  • a few sprigs of fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces and steam with onion just until slightly tender. DO NOT OVERCOOK or the broccoli will turn that funny, ugly gray-green. It is still going to cook some more on top of the pizza!
  2. Put steamed broccoli and onion into a bowl and toss with the spinach. Set aside.
  3. Prepare your crusts. Set aside.
  4. Place all pesto sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. When your crusts are cooked (if you’re making Bob’s dough) and ready for toppings, spread some of the sauce over the top of them and then top with the veggies. Drizzle some more sauce over the veggies and then top with a little vegan mozzarella cheese of your choice (I use Daiya brand).
  6. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. If you can fit both pies in your oven, go for it. Otherwise just bake them one at a time, but wait until the first one is almost done baking before assembling the second.

Serves 4 hungry folks. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

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