Dr. Padma Garvey

The plant-based Doctor Mom 

Don’t order pizza ever again.  It is so easy to make at home.  Generally Friday’s are pizza night at our house.  Most grocery chain stores sell very good pizza dough.  Some even sell whole wheat pizza dough.   There are even pre-baked crusts.  One really good product is 

Pizza Gourmet Wood Grilled All Natural Whole Wheat Pizza Crust.  I buy it at Adam's Fairarce Farms but you can order on line as well.  We place our sauce, veggies, and nutritional yeast on the premade crust.  Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.

If you want to make the pizza from dough, the key is to let the dough rest for two to three days.  Yes…..let it rest in the fridge for about three days.  This allows for extra fermentation and gives the dough such a wonderful, complex taste.  We make two types of pizzas: traditional thin crust and Sicilian thick crust.  For the traditional, roll out the dough with a rolling pin or your hand and place on top of your pizza tray.  For the Sicilian style, lightly spray olive oil on a deep baking dish and place your dough into the pan.  Cover with saran wrap and let it sit in the fridge for three days.     The dough will expand to over fill the baking pan.  Punch the dough down into the pan again when you are ready to add your toppings.  The whole wheat pizza dough can be used for traditional pizzas.  It doesn’t work as well for Sicilian pizzas.

For the homemade dough:

Use whole white wheat flour.  Add two packets of yeast to 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and mix with 3/4 cup of warm water.  Let sit for five minutes.  In a separate bowl, add 3 cups of whole white wheat flour, one cup of all purpose flour, one teaspoon of salt and mix well.  Then add the yeast mixture and mix well.  Add warm water, in small increments while kneading the dough until you get a pliable, slightly sticky dough ball.  Cover and let rise in warm area in house for about one hour.  You can roll out and use for pizza or for best results let the dough rise in your fridge for three days and use. 

For the sauce:   

Traditional red sauce:

Saute four crushed cloves of garlic in one teaspoon of olive oil.  When the garlic releases its aroma, add two cans of crushed tomatoes, one tablespoon of basil, one teaspoon oregano, one teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, one teaspoon fennel or anise seeds (optional).  Let the sauce cook down.  I make a large pot ahead of time and freeze packets of sauce to use for a later date.  Many times we roasted an eggplant, peel it, smash it and add to the sauce.  We also add veggie crumbles to our sauce.

Basil Pesto sauce:

Rinse one cup of fresh basil leaves and place in blender.  Toast 1/3 cup of pine nuts or raw almonds.  Crush three cloves garlic.  Add all the ingredients to your blender, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and black pepper.  Add as little water as you need to in order to grind the mixture into a thick paste.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  

For traditional thin crust pizzas:   place sauce first.  We have stopped using any of the vegan cheeses on our pizzas because of the oil they contain.  Nowadays we use nutritional yeast in place of cheese.   Another option for cheese is to soak one cup of raw, unsalted cashews in one cup of water.  Grind to a paste.  Spread the cashew paste on your pizza. 

For our Sicilian pizzas we spread the pesto sauce and top with caponata (Sicilian eggplant relish and red peppers)