Three plant-based "cheese-like sauce" recipes that firm up on a pizza (or in pasta, etc.) from an article I wrote not published. It was for the Engine2 Diet Blog and there were editorial differences of opinion on using low-quality snapshots of photos I spent hours on versus the higher quality supplied. Here's an edited version that shows how easy making a heart healthy pizza is, especially if you already have a crust prepared or purchased. There's a link below to an article that includes my gluten-free oat crust recipe, the most popular of my gluten-free crust recipes. Enjoy!
"PIZZA CHEESE-LIKE TOPPING SAUCE RECIPES: A PLANT-BASED TRIAD"
One of the biggest problems with the Standard American Pizza (SAP!) is that according to recent surveys, the toppings most people prefer are (in order): pepperoni, cheese, and sausage. All of these animal products are very high in fat (in the case of pepperoni, surprisingly high in saturated fat), and the consumption of nutritionally sub-standard pizzas using these toppings will most likely contribute significantly to the development of any number of health problems for an individual (including, but not limited to, obesity, Type II Diabetes, and Coronary Vascular Disease).
Fortunately, it's very easy to make a plant-based pizza, one that doesn't employ meat, dairy, or high-fat oil-based high-processed "fake" non-dairy cheeses. "Cheese-like" topping sauces providing excellent taste and texture profiles can be creatively made with simple and inexpensive ingredients. They "firm up" when baked! Here's how it's done:
The basic method for making delicious and nutritious plant-based pizza topping sauces is to blend all selected ingredients in a blender or food processor, being careful to add the "harder" ingredients like nuts (if used), in incremental amounts with water, slowly achieving a smooth and thick pancake-like batter.
The sauce is then poured on the prepared pizza dough or crust (followed by vegetable fillings), or on top of vegetable fillings (in the same way some people prefer cheese on the "bottom" of a pizza, others, on top). When baked, the sauce will "thicken" to varying degrees, depending upon the recipe.
To finish, optionally sprinkle on such spices as ground black pepper or paprika, and put the pizza into a pre-heated 425 to 450 F. oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until your pizza fillings and toppings are cooked to your satisfaction.
The following recipes were designed for pizzas generally containing a lot of "heat and spice" from their vegetable fillings, so plant-based pizza cooks may want to add more spices, a little salt, and/or herbs during the initial blending process.
MILLET, CASHEWS, & MUSTARD SAUCE
Cultivated for over 10,000 years, millet is a significant source of niacin, B6, and folic acid (B vitamins), as well as magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. In this recipe, millet combines with tasty cashews (containing manganese, phosphorus, and copper) to make a thick, almost custardy "cheese-like" topping sauce .
• 2 cups cooked millet (see recipe below)
• 1/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
• 2 T. nutritional yeast (optional)
• 1 t. garlic powder
• 1 t. salt (optional)
• 3 T. corn starch
• 1/2 T. wet mustard
• 1 3/4 to 2 cups water
1. Process everything in a blender or food processor until the mixture is a smooth, thick pancake-like batter. Adding the water incrementally will help facilitate assessing the sauce's thickness as it's blending.
2. This is a longer processing due to amount of millet being used.
• Using 1 3/4 cups of water yields a very thick sauce that makes nice "clumps" on top of a pizza, whereas more water will enable it to be poured easier from processing container.
• Dijon mustard will provide a tangy taste, while substituting chili-garlic "Sriracha" sauce adds a nice kick in addition to a reddish tinge.
• Left-over sauce plays well with cooked pasta, steamed vegetables, and baked potatoes. You may need to thin it some with a little liquid of choice.
• Using raw sunflower seeds instead of cashews is an interesting and inexpensive substitute, as well as being a very good source of Vitamin E. The sauce's texture profile will be a bit lighter, while still maintaining a nice taste feel.
• This makes around 3 cups of sauce.
COOKING MILLET: combine 2/3 cup millet with 1 1/3 cup water in a pot, bring to a slow boil, then turn heat down low. Let simmer, covered, 15 to 20 minutes. Note: this recipe differs from some in that it doesn't produce a very fluffy millet. Yields about 2 cups cooked millet.
SWEET POTATO, OATS, CARROT, & GREEN CHILI SAUCE
Sweet Potatoes are a good source of Vitamins A and C, and manganese, while carrots double-down the overall nutrition with Vitamins A, C, and K. Combined with oats, these three main ingredients not only bring fiber to the game, but help make this a somewhat "fluffy" topping sauce.
• 1 cup raw sweet potato (peeled, 1/2" dice)
• 1/2 cup carrots (1/4" dice)
• 2/3 cup rolled oats
• 4 oz. can chopped, diced chilies (undrained)
• 1 T. Dijon mustard (to taste) or 2 T. of nutritional yeast
• 2 T. corn starch
• 1 to 1 1/4 cup water (water plus leftover cooking broth)
1. Cover potatoes and carrots with water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for a few minutes until "fork tender." Remove cover, let cool.
2. Add drained vegetables and remaining ingredients to a blender or food processor, reserving the water.
3. Add liquid in incremental amounts, blending carefully until a smooth and thick pancake-like batter consistency has been achieved.
• This recipe makes more than enough sauce for two 12" to 14" pizzas (around 3 1/2 cups).
• Experimenting with adding different types of mustards or other condiments is encouraged.
BARLEY, WHITE BEANS, & HORSERADISH SAUCE
More than 1,800 years ago the gladiators of Rome were known as "hordearii" (literally, barley-eaters). They were vegetarians by choice! Preferring to fuel themselves with barley and legumes, they took advantage of the fiber, iron, niacin, and manganese in barley with the protein, fiber, folate, and potassium in beans. This thick and filling topping sauce does, too.
• 1/3 cup pearl barley
• 1 1/4 cup water
• 1 cup cooked white beans
• 2 T. corn starch
• 1/2 T. prepared horseradish
• 1/2 T. wet mustard (optional)
• 3/4 cup water
1. Rinse and drain the beans (to remove any salt).
2. Bring 1 1/4 cup water and barley to a boil, cover, turn down to very low, simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes or less (until the water is absorbed). Let cool to room temperature.
3. Add all ingredients except the water to a blender or food processor, pulse a few times, and add half the water, pulse, and then the remaining water to blend until it's a smooth and thick pancake-like batter.
• Makes enough sauce for two 12 to 14" inch pizzas (around 3 cups).
For a gluten-free oat flour pizza dough recipe, see:
Photos and text all ©2014 by Mark Sutton. These recipes are variations from those first published in: "Heart Healthy Pizza: Over 100 Plant-Based Recipes for Making the Healthiest Pizza in the World,"
http://www.hearthealthypizza.com • firstname.lastname@example.org