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Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

The blog is undergoing a sweet potato takeover.

Here goes the third recipe in a row, although, this time it’s not breakfast-oriented but rather an awesome lunch or dinner option…That just so happens to be vegan and gluten-free.

High five to my favorite kind of tuber.
Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

With warmer and warmer days quickly creeping in, there’s only a limited amount of time left where I can justify using sweet potatoes on as many occasions as possible.

Here, I tried to create a winter-meets-spring recipe, mixing hearty sweet potatoes with the summer-like vibes of pizza, arugula and tomatoes.

That’s as good of an excuse as any that I can give you to bake up some sweet potatoes in the middle of June.
Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust
This was my first time experimenting with making a sweet potato crust, and while I was a bit nervous with how it would turn out, I was pleasantly surprised by the results.

My main challenge was determining whether to mix the baked sweet potato with oats or chickpea flour to compose the dough. I make socca — a pizza-like flatbread created simply from chickpea flour and water — all of the time, so it seemed natural to go that route.

However, ultimately, I wanted the dough to be a bit chewier, like actual pizza, versus the more tender consistency of socca, so I decided to pulse some oats and create an oat flour of sorts instead.

Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

The result? An incredibly delicious crust that was surprisingly easy to make.

The crust here is certainly chewier than socca, but I would say a bit softer than a traditional dough. That being said, you can both eat this pizza with a fork, like you might socca, or pick it up with your hands, like you would with pizza.

It’s not too hard to cut through, but it’s also durable enough to do a fold-over and devour as you would a large, triangular slice of ‘za.
Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

I also went with a white sauce for the pizza, which I felt might pair better with the subtle sweetness of the crust and the bitter arugula with which I wanted to compliment it.

While the almond milk bechamel is another step in itself, it relies on just four ingredients, which are whisked to create the sauce in just a handful of minutes.

Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

Lastly, let’s talk about the vegan chorizo. I love Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, and a little bit of it goes a long way. However, if that’s not accessible to you, you could easily pan-fry some thinly sliced vegan sausage, instead, or tempeh bacon, or other substitute of your choice. Anything with a hint of spice and smokiness would pair quite well with the crust.

And, of course, the crust could be finished with an entirely different topping combination of your own — feel free to get creative!

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Summer Grilled Whole Wheat Pizza with Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

Summer Grilled Whole Wheat Pizza with Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

This has been the summer of grilling for me.

Crispy broccoli. Caramelized onions. Charred corn. Homemade bean burgers. You name it, and likely I’ve been grilling it with friends and favorites in my life.

And as of last week, we can add pizza to that list, a collab between Emily from Nourishing Matters and I. Dare I say, Emily’s pizza dough recipe may have produced the best whole wheat crust I’ve ever tasted. Add grill marks to it, and it easily surpasses any standard, junkie-white-flour alternative. I could’ve eaten it on its own, sans all the other pizza ingredients, minus perhaps a little smear of her herbed pesto.

Summer Grilled Whole Wheat Pizza with Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

Inspired by the latest bounties displayed at the farmer’s market, Emily and I brainstormed different topping options and settled upon this super summery-themed pizza. Fresh corn, grated zucchini and garden herb pesto…does the season get any better than that?

We added a goat feta on top to lend a punch of saltiness and flavor that wouldn’t take too much away from the sweetness of the fresh ingredients at hand. Perfecto.

Summer Grilled Whole Wheat Pizza with Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

While this might come across as a lot of work to make when giving a quick glance to the recipe below, rest assured this pizza can be fairly effortless.

Emily recommends making the dough the night before, which she ensures takes no time at all. How could that be? A food processor does all of the labor for you. Score.

You could make the pesto ahead of time, too, which again calls in a food processor to do all the work. (Food processors, always for the win.)

Summer Grilled Whole Wheat Pizza with Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

Once those steps are squared way, the pizza becomes as simple as a roughly five-minute stint on the grill. Although, be sure to pay attention at this step! Divert your eyes for too long, and your dough can quickly get charred far past that perfect crispness we’re seeking here with grilling the crust.

Don’t worry though. Grilled pizza isn’t too hard. You just need some quick hands and pair of tongs and an attention span longer than a Pokemon-goer, and the dough will come out fabulous every time.

As noted in the recipe, be sure to have all of the toppings nearby so that you can quickly throw them on top after flipping the crust. This will enable the zucchini to get a nice wilt from the heat of the grill.

Serve with a side of tomatoes and basil drizzled with a little olive oil, balsamic and pinch of salt, and voila. Summer meals don’t get much better than that.

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Herb Socca Pizza with Kale Pesto

Herb Socca Pizza with Kale Pesto

I’ve been cooking quite a bit lately. And blogging…not so much.

Sometimes a girl just needs to let loose in the kitchen, you feel me?

More-so, professional photo work is keeping me busy, and on that note I can’t complain.

Herb Socca Pizza with Kale Pesto

But alas, my creative kitchen-meets-camera-meets-recipe-curation desires have led me back to the blog. Readers, I hope you’ve stuck with me because this one’s a good one. And by that, I mean its made up of a whole lot of tasty and seasonal ingredients to make one heck of a good-for-you pizza.

For the base, we’re working with socca, a long time favorite on the blog. Why? Because it takes fewer than 15 minutes to create, no kneeding, rolling, whipping or anything else complicated required. Plus, it’s packed full of protein from all the chickpeas that go into the flour behind it. Win.

The pesto is derived from kale. It’s prime season for baby greens, which lend themselves so well to raw usages, like in this flavorful, nutrient-dense spread. I mean, look at the color on that pesto. Also a win.

Herb Socca Pizza with Kale Pesto

Feel free to play around with this. Add extra chickpeas on top, straight from the can or crisped up in the oven. You could sprinkle a few nuts around or experiment with cheeses, have some fun with a hot sauce of your choice or switch out the herbs for ones available in your own garden or farmer’s market. Get creative. And get hungry. Your appetite never fails in helping you to lead the way. Cheers!

Herb Socca Pizza with Kale Pesto

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Socca with Swiss Chard, Pine Nuts and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Socca with Swiss Chard, Pine Nuts and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Socca and tahini have pretty much been my main obsessions for the past year. Although, my love affair with tahini really extends much further back than that. If you’re not on the sesame tahini train, I advise you to get on it. (Come aboard the Soom train, and you’ll get an extra smooth ride.)

Socca still feels new to me though, with what seems like a never-ending number of ways I could imagine it being used. In fact, that’s what I love about both tahini and socca – they can be reinvented in so many different ways, including this latest creation where the two team up together.

Socca with Swiss Chard, Pine Nuts and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Swiss chard is of course yet another lovely ingredient. Add it to anything, and what will result is the magical appearance of something beautiful. Those colors…pretty much the embodiment of spring at its best.

It’s as vibrant as the weeping cherry tree and pink tulip filled gardens, and as tasty as the greens that are beginning to show up in them. Magic.

Swiss Chard Stalks

Here, swiss chard gets a simple saute to create a light and healthy, seasonal topping for the tender socca that’s placed beneath. A tangy yogurt-tahini sauce richens it up, and creates a meal you’ll want to make again. And again. And again. Until your tahini jar runs out, and you move onto a new socca creation.

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Cut into quarters and serve as a meal for two, or divide into smaller pieces for a fun pre-dinner or party app. Note, you will want to serve this up with a fork. You’ll find the socca dough to be rather tender in comparison to pizza or other similarly-styled dishes. It’s more than worth the fork though, and even slightly messy hands if need be!

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Socca with Garlic Green Sauce and Lentils

Socca with Garlic Green Sauce and Lentils

Last month a buddy and I did a popup food truck event where we introduced a world of people to Socca. There was socca with beet pesto and arugula. Socca with spicy curried lentils, roasted carrots, and toasted coconut. And socca with black tehina, pomegranate molasses, and roasted eggplant. There was socca galore and it was glorious.

Garlic Green Sauce

Philly has a bar with a food truck inside where they rotate the chef/person who takes it over and who will present the menu each night. It was a blast to partake in that experience and also to essentially bring my blog to life, for the masses.

It only made sense to theme the entire menu around socca, given it’s my current obsession. (Speaking of, have you seen these socca waffles over on Food52?! Dying to try.)

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