Hey! It's me Lauren...
One of the things I miss the most since becoming plant-based is the simplicity and ease of a good ole fashioned pizza...sigh.
From frozen to delivery, pizza was our classic go-to when we wouldn’t want to be bothered with cooking or making any serious culinary decisions.
However, once I become plant-based, pizza was no longer the uncomplicated dish it used to be. I’ve learned over the years that a lot of my favorite pizza restaurants… well... just aren’t as good as I once believed (and they shall not be named). In fact, I had to change my entire perception of what a good pizza was!
What I realized was that underneath the globs of gooey cheese, there’s usually just a bland sauce and an even blander crust. Ask any Italian, and they’ll tell you the true testament of a great pizza begins with its foundations.
Nowadays, my pizza is distinctly lacking in cheese and instead sports a delicious pile of fresh vegetables. Since Jeff is only about 80% plant-based though, he still loves a pizza with all the classic fixings. Luckily for us, we’ve been able to find a few great places that accommodate both of our tastes.
But at home….things can get a little trickier.
So, we created a pizza we both like! And today, we’re going to share it with you.
To make things easy, we use premade pizza crusts and simple ingredients. If you have time to make a homemade crust, be my guest!
Pesto Corn Pizza
Serves 2 - 3 (depending on your appetite)
Note: If you have a pizza stone, this is a great recipe to use it!
1 ½ cups frozen corn, preferably organic
½ sweet red bell pepper, diced OR 1 roasted red pepper, diced
½ red onion, cut into strips
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
Note: You’ll use about half of the pesto for the pizza. If you don’t plan on using the leftover pesto within a few days, it freezes and defrosts well for future uses.
2 ½ cups fresh basil, loosely packed
⅔ cup raw cashews
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (or, if it is the summertime, start the grill).
While the oven (or grill) is heating, make the pesto. Add all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor and blend until cashews are a little smaller than what I describe as ‘crunchy peanut butter consistency’.
Put your Flatzza on your pizza stone or baking sheet. Spread about half of the pesto batch on the Flatzza, or as much as you would like. Freeze the rest of the pesto for another time OR save for our Smashed Avocado Chickpea Pesto Sandwich for lunch the next day!
Next, get out a non-stick skillet and bring it to a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the red onions. Consistently stir the onions so they do not stick to the pan. If they start sticking, add about 1 tablespoon of water or vegetable broth at a time and as needed. Once caramelized (about 5 - 6 minutes), add the onions to to a bowl and set aside.
Note: Our goal is to limit oil in our foods. And since the pesto has oil, we caramelize our onions without oil. To learn why, check out one of our recent posts -- reducing added oils.
Use the same pan you cooked the onions in (using the leftover flavor) and add the frozen corn, sweet red bell pepper, salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 5 - 6 minutes.
Then, add the corn and red peppers to the top if the pizza. If you like grape tomatoes, add them on top. Then add the caramelized onions.
Add your pizza to the oven or grill for about 10 - 12 minutes.
Top with our Vegan Parm, if desired.
And just like that, you’re all finished!
❤️l a u r e n