Simply Great Pizza

1 large pizza, serves 4

Pizza always ends up on our menus for special occasions as not only does it seem the perfect meal for fun and casual events, it can also be made ahead of time — which means more time to enjoy being with family and/or guests. I make my own sourdough whole grain pizza crusts, however if you prefer just to buy them, frozen whole grain crusts are readily available.

The same goes for the pizza sauce. While I would have to say the recipe for my sauce below is pretty darn good, and quite easy to make, if you're in a pinch, you can always opt, instead, for substituting 2-3 cups of a prepared sauce. And the cheese? Topping pizza with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese is always delicious, but when we're interested for a non-dairy option, we get creative with mochi, a traditional Japanese food made from steamed and mashed sweet rice dried in shallow pans and cut into squares-typically found in the refrigerated or frozen food cases in Asian, specialty, and natural food stores. If you can't find it, mochi can be made at home with sweet brown rice, although it takes some time and effort. For instructions, check out the book, Japanese Foods that Heal by John & Jan Belleme and Christina Pirello.

Pizza sauce: Tempeh & mushrooms: Mochi "Cheez" option:

The sauce: Heat olive oil in a pot and sauté chopped onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add herbs and fennel, stirring constantly for about 1 minute and then add the remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat, covered, for 35–45 minutes.

The tempeh and mushrooms: Heat olive oil in a skillet/fry pan, add rosemary, and sauté tempeh and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, for a couple minutes before adding the tamari soy sauce. Cover and steam over low heat for 25 minutes.

The broccoli: Bring approximately ½ cup water to a boil in a skillet, add broccoli, reduce heat, and lightly steamed for 3-5 minutes until just tender. Drain, reserving cooking water, and set aside.

Mochi "cheez" option: Combine all ingredients. The mixture will seem fairly "wet" but the moistness will help create a creamy cheesy topping when baked.

Putting it all together: Spread pizza sauce over crust and evenly distribute cooked tempeh, mushrooms, and broccoli, topping with cheese or mochi "cheez". If baking later, cover with foil and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 450°F and, if available, place a pizza stone on a rack in the over to warm while the oven is preheating. When the pizza is ready to put in the oven, reduce heat to 425°F and bake the pizza for 10–15 minutes (test at 10 minutes).

Print Recipe | Back to List