Meatlovers Eggplant Tempeh Pizza

This fresh-from-the-garden vegan veggie pizza is to die for and will make even the heartiest of meat lovers swoon. Give it a try and I’m sure you will agree. You can adjust just about anything to your taste preference, including the amount of peppers depending on your spice tolerance level (I like mine pretty hot). Set aside a sunny weekend afternoon, and you will be glad you took the time to make such a delicious good-for-you dish.

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Pizza Crust

You will need:
2 cups organic corn (masa) flour (I used blue corn to be different)
4 cups warm water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

Bring 4 cups of water to boil on stove. Slowly add in your corn flour until smooth and free of lumps. Continue stirring and add nutritional yeast (for a cheesy-crust flavor).

Nutritional yeast is – for those that don’t know – a great substitute for recipes that call for cheese, and is also a great source of B-vitamins, including B12 (although I would not recommend relying on it as a sole source).

Spray a round pizza pan with olive or coconut oil and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once masa has thickened up nicely, spoon onto greased pan and begin to smooth out with a spatula so that it is dispersed evenly onto the surface. I like my crust thin, so I had to save some of the flour mixture for another batch. Bake the newly made crust in the oven at 375 for about 10 minutes, or until crust begins to harden. Remove and spray the surface of your dough with a little more olive oil, and place it back in the oven for about another 5 minutes. Check your crust often to be sure it doesn’t burn. Remove when your crust is no longer completely soft to the touch, but soft enough that it won’t burn when you cook it again with the toppings.

The recipe I used didn’t use any oil or eggs, but if you want to experiment with adding coconut oil or a binder, such as ground flax seed or egg replacer, try it and let me know how it turns out for you.

Tomato Sauce

You will need:
2 garden fresh organic tomatoes
1/2 can diced organic tomatoes
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 sm. banana pepper (optional)
2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1 tbsp organic coconut sugar

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until well blended and set aside. Adjust spices to your taste preferences.

Eggplant and Tempeh Topping

You will need:
1 medium garden fresh organic eggplant, sliced into pepperoni-size circles
1/2 organic gluten-free tempeh cake, sliced into thin strips
3 tbsp tamari (or to taste)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
1 1/2 capfuls gluten-free smoke flavoring
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup (or agave if you’re out)
1 1/2 tsp paprika (or to taste)
2 tsp black pepper
1 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients, add spices, and mix well. Add thinly sliced eggplant and tempeh, coating well with the mixture in your bowl. Toss as gently as possible unless you would like crumbled tempeh rather than sliced. Make sure mixture is evenly distributed onto pieces. Set aside in your fridge and let mixture marinate for about an hour.

If you want a different texture to your topping and to give it an extra cheesy boost, add this step: Fill a small bowl with nutritional yeast. Take out your bowl of marinated toppings, and begin to coat each piece of eggplant/tempeh one by one with the nutritional yeast mixture. Shake excess marinade off each piece before coating it. Set these coated pieces to the side.

Other Toppings

You will need:
1 small bell pepper (optional), sliced into thin strips
3/4 bag Daiya mozzarella cheeze
1/2 cup fresh, chopped organic basil
1 medium diced shallot or white onion, chopped
1/2 can diced organic tomatoes

Once your tomato sauce mixture is ready and crust is cooled, add sauce to pizza, using your spatula to distribute as evenly as possible. Add chopped basil, and cover with Daiya cheeze. Add your coated tempeh and eggplant, and any additional toppings. Place pizza back in the oven and cook at 375 for about another 10-15 minutes, or until cheeze is melted. Check often to make sure your crust doesn’t burn.
When the top of your pizza looks slightly golden-brown, remove from heat. Then slice it up, and scarf it down! (And if you made your pizza thin-crust like mine, try not to drop it all of the floor since it will be pretty flimsy). Good luck, and ENJOY!! Let me know how you like it.
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