So how as a nation can we sit around and eat Mexican food, and drink beer and make friends? That’s the question. If we can do that on a broader scale, I think we’ll come out of it all right.Sandra Day O’Connor
For the next 7 weeks I am in a class on Friday afternoons. I asked my partner if he would make lunch on those days. We got our weekly food delivery on Monday so when Friday rolled around I was worried we wouldn’t have enough fresh produce for him to work with.
I was so wrong! He made the most amazing burrito I’ve ever tasted. One surprise ingredient I didn’t expect him to use was cucumber. We were out of zucchini so he used cucumber slices in the burrito. Seasoned with cumin, coconut aminos, and siracha, wrapped in a tortilla shell with melted cheddar cheese, it was truly an outstanding meal.
For this week’s pizza I wanted to see if I could recreate that delicious blend of flavors on a pizza. The answer is yes. What we loved in a burrito easily works well topped on a homemade thin crust pizza. We both rank it among our top three favorites so far this year (and we’ve been eating a LOT of pizza!).
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half and sprinkled with salt
- 1/2 a cucumber, sliced into thin rounds, then sliced in half
- 1/4 of a small red onion, diced
- 1/4 of a small red onion, sliced into rounds
- 1/2 a can of black beans, rinsed
- 2 large handfuls of spinach leaves
- 1 cup vegan cheddar cheese shreds
- 1/2 cup of red enchilada sauce
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- Salt, pepper, cumin
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons siracha
- Pizza dough of your choice
- Heat oven to 450°.
- Make your pizza dough, if you haven’t already. Recipe for perfect every time 15 minute dough is below…
- Heat frying pan over medium high heat. After 3 minutes or so of heating the pan, add a glug of oil. We love avocado oil, olive and other vegetable oils also work.
- Stir fry the 1/4 cup of diced onions in the oil for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add cucumber slices and beans. Stir for about 2-3 minutes.
- Season with salt, pepper, and cumin, to taste.
- Add the coconut aminos and siracha, to taste.
- Add spinach and gently stir to combine. (We used pre-washed, bagged spinach)
- When the spinach wilts, it’s time to turn off the heat and assemble your pizza.
- On a piece of parchment paper, roll out your pizza dough to desired size. We used 2/3 of the recipe below and saved 1/3 for garlic knots the next day.
- Spoon 1/2-2/3 of a cup of red enchilada sauce on your dough. In the Italian tradition, and let’s face it, they’re the pizza masters, sauce should not be too thick. There should be areas of the pizza where the white dough shows through a thin layer of sauce.
- Sprinkle vegan cheese over the sauce.
- Layer with your pan fried veggies, leaving 1/2 inch of dough around the perimeter.
- Top with sliced tomatoes and the onion rounds.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 450°. (Baking time will vary depending on your pizza size and thickness, and your oven. If you smell the pizza, it’s probably time to take it out of the oven.)
- Let cool for 5 minutes. Top with slices of ripe avocado. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Notes & Tips
- We love Violife brand vegan cheese. If it’s available where you live, I highly recommend you try it. Yes, you can make your own vegan cheese from cashews and other nuts. I have made a few vegan cheese sauces that were pretty good. For pizza, my “go to” cheeses are Violife’s mozzarella or cheddar cheese. It’s already shredded, which to me is another plus. If I am making a pizza, it’s nice to have some ingredients ready right from the fridge. (Note: We get no compensation from Violife, we just genuinely appreciate their products. And I ate artificial tasting, gritty vegan cheese for three decades of my life. No more!)
- I ran out of sugar and made a conscious decision to wait a few weeks before buying more. When making the pizza dough, I remembered that yeast needs a sugar boost, so I used a tablespoon of honey instead. I know many vegans do not use honey. We buy honey from a family a mile away that has a backyard beekeeping project. If you don’t use honey, agave also works.
- This is our “go to” pizza dough recipe. You can absolutely make it in 5 minutes, let it rest for 15, roll it out and bake it. I’ve used this recipe at least 15 times so far and it’s tasted great each time. It was a happy accident to discover that honey works well in the dough. It gave the pizza a slight sweetness which we both liked.
- For this pizza, I rolled the dough as thin as I could without it tearing. It was still fairly thick because I am a home cook and not a pizzaiolo, but I tried! One tip is to bake the pizza for 2-3 minutes before topping it so that it will crisp up in the middle. We don’t mind a slightly doughy taste, especially with melted cheese and avocado.
- If you don’t happen to have a jar of red enchilada sauce in your cupboard, don’t worry. You can use jarred pizza sauce or easily make your own red sauce from a can of tomatoes. If all you have on hand are ripe tomatoes, crush a few, add salt and oregano, and make that your base layer.
This pizza goes especially well with margaritas, beer, or Trilogy kombucha. If you make this pizza or any other vegan pizza from this blog, we’d love to know. Provecho!