Tag Archive | pizza

♥ Pesto pizza dough

Aww I had the pleasure of bunny-sitting the bestie’s rabbits last week. They went home on Sunday and the house seems so quiet and empty without them stamping and kicking over their hay rack, haha!

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Gentle Sir meets Kate

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Bad Lad and his tube o’cabbage

Since they were being dropped off in the evening I promised bestie and her fella some noms. I was trying to think of a meal which would cover all tastes (her fella is scared of fruit, hubby is scared of greens and bestie likes everything covered in hot sauce!) when it came to me… pizza party!

So I gave everyone a pizza base each and plonked a variety of toppings on the table: homemade sauce –one spicy, one mild and herby – capers, olives, pineapple, faux chorizo, faux chicken, homemade pepperoni chunks, sweetcorn, onion, vegan cheese and I even used a pastry cutter to cut some Violife mozzarella slices into authentic circles. Then we swapped gossip whilst sipping wine and building our own individual masterpieces, which went into the oven whilst we scoffed some starters.

2015-01-27 18.55.43 ps3Since it was quite an easy tea to prepare, I felt I couldn’t cheat on the pizza bases so I made my own dough. I added pesto to make things a bit more exciting and I was pleased with the results – it gave the dough a subtle depth of flavor without hijacking the taste.

Pesto pizza dough

Ingredients (makes 2 x 10” bases):

  • 2/3 x cup warm water (if it burns, it’s too hot!)
  • 1 x tbsp. soft brown sugar
  • 1 x tsp salt
  • 1 x sachet of dry active yeast (7g)
  • 1 x cup plain wholemeal flour*
  • 1 x cup plain white flour*
  • 1 x tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 x tbsp. pesto (make sure its Parmesan / dairy free)
  • Extra flour for rolling out.

*you can use any ratio of the wholemeal and white flour if you want.


  1. Dissolve the sugar and salt in the warm water.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, olive oil, pesto and yeasty-water mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough starts to form.
  4. Finish forming the dough with your hand and knead for 5 minutes. I try to only use one hand because the dough is very sticky! (If it is too sticky you can add a bit more flour, but don’t add too much or else it will become too dry when you roll it out in flour later).
  5. Cover the bowl with cling-film or a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 hour to prove.
  6. Remove the cling-film / towel and punch gently to deflate. Knead for another 5 minutes before cutting in half.
  7. Dust a clean surface with flour and roll out each half of the dough into your bases using a floured rolling pin.
  8. Transfer to a baking tray (you can lightly grease but I found I didn’t need to).
  9. Pre-heat the oven to 180oC.
  10. Add your base sauce and toppings. If using vegan cheese, I suggest adding it first after the sauce as it burns faster than normal cheese and the other toppings will offer it some protection.
  11. Bake for 15 – 20 mins or until the edges of the pizza are a lovely golden brown colour.
  12. Eat with a nice glass of wine in the presence of good company. Or in front of the telly with a beer!

Hubby is begging me to make another one already :o)!


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Ultimate nachos

# Nacho nacho woman, I want to be, a nacho woman! #

I love nachos. But it makes me sad that I can never have them when we go out anymore. Well I could, but I would have to ask for no
cheese, no sour cream and to be honest I probably wouldn’t even risk the guacamole (the bottled, un-refrigerated stuff usually contains dairy). So if a veg*n chilli isn’t available on the menu, that would leave me with chips and maybe some tomato salsa. Hmpft.

However, that doesn’t stop me chowing down on nachos of epic proportions at home! Introducing my Ultimate Nachos… tortilla chips, mouth-watering “chilli sin carne”, lashings of realistic cheezy sauce and a generous helping of sour cream. Definitely one of my favorite weekend treats!

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Chilli sin carne

I like to use as many different types of tomato as possible to give a nice depth of flavour. Tomato ketchup is my dirty secret ingredient – perfect for adding a hit of sweetness.


1 x tsp oil

1 x medium onion (chopped)

1 x pepper

4 x average sized fresh tomatoes

2 x tsp minced garlic

2 x tsp chopped red chilli (the strength is up to you!
I opted for a medium spice)

2 x tsp tomato puree

2 x tsp smoked paprika

1 x tsp dried mixed herbs (unless you have some nice fresh coriander/cilantro to hand)

1 x tsp sugar

1 x tin black turtle beans – drained (you can also use red kidney, but I’m not a big fan)

4 x mushrooms (quartered)

1 x tin chopped tomatoes

1 x cup grated veggies* (optional)

2 x cups frozen soya mince

2 x tbsp tomato ketchup

1 x tsp soy sauce

Juice of one lime

Black pepper to taste

*I always have a bowl of grated veggies in my fridge, usually consisting of any combination of carrot, white cabbage, red cabbage, celeriac, suede etc. This comes in so incredibly useful for bulking up meals – it can be a side, part of a salad, sandwich filler, a base for soup or can easily be turned into coleslaw by adding some vegan mayo.


Heat up the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion. Fry until translucent and soft.

Add the pepper and continue cooking until soft.

Add the garlic, chilli and fresh tomatoes and cook until heated through. Keep stirring to prevent the garlic and chilli from burning.

Add the tomato puree, dried herbs, smoked paprika and sugar and continue to cook and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the black beans, mushrooms and grated veggies and cook for around 2 minutes before adding the tin of chopped tomatoes.

Cook until simmering.

Add the soy sauce, ketchup and soya mince and keep cooking until the mince has completely defrosted and heated through. Add water if the chilli seems too dry.

Take off the heat and stir in the lime juice and black pepper if using.

Tip: As with most tomato based dishes, this chilli is best if left to cool for a few hours (or better still, overnight) so that the flavours have chance to develop. You will need to reheat however before adding to the nachos.

Eazy Cheeze sauce

I’ve seen a few cheeze sauces knocking around the internet which use carrot and potato as a base. This is my version but I quick
Google search will bring up many more!


1 x large carrot (peeled)

2 x small potatoes (peeled)

½ x cup nutritional yeast

½ x cup olive oil (don’t use virgin!)

½ x teaspoon mustard (or horseradish or wasabi)

½ x tsp black pepper

½ x cup soya milk

¼ x tsp garlic powder

½ x tbsp fresh lemon juice

¼ x tsp white miso paste


Pop the carrot and potatoes into a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and continue to heat until the soft enough to

Add the carrot, potatoes and all other ingredients to a food processor and whiz until smooth and uniform in colour. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides.

Transfer to a pan and heat until the sauce bubbles. Stir the whole time using a silicone spatula. Taste great cold or warm!



Chilli sin carne, eazy cheeze sauce, tortilla chips, vegan sour cream and a melt-able vegan “cheese”.


1. Arrange a layer of nacho chips onto a plate and pop under the grill just long enough for the edges to just start turning a pale golden brown. Don’t overdo or else they’ll burn during step 5.

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2. Dollop a healthy serving of hot chilli onto the top of the nachos. I like to leave an outer ring of un-topped nachos for presentation purposes. Plus it makes the chips easier to pick up and dip.

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3. Add spoonful’s of the eazy cheeze sauce onto the top of the chilli.

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4. Add a nice melt-able vegan “cheese” of your choice onto the top.

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5. Pop under the grill until the vegan cheese has melted, the cheese sauce has gone bubbly and the edges of the nachos have started to go brown.

6. Add blobs of vegan sour cream (I used Toffuti). If I’d have had some spare jalapeños to hand, I’d have added some of those as well. Same goes for avocado… live and learn!

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7. Enjoy with a nice cold beer! I would very much like to recommend Innis and Gunn: http://www.innisandgunn.com – which is my all time favourite beer, even before I turned veg*n!

This recipe will comfortably create either 4 portions of nachos as an appetizer, or 2 healthy portions as a main meal. And if you
have any leftovers, you can stick them on a pizza base and have an ultimate nacho pizza – hell yes!!!

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♥ Gluten free, vegan, cauli and broccoli pizza base.

Everyone seems to be making cauliflower pizza bases at the moment but a lot of the recipes out there include egg. This is my version, easy and sans animal products!


Cauli and broccoli pizza base:


  • Handful frozen cauliflower florets,
  • Handful frozen broccoli florets,
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal,
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds,
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste.



  1. Whizz up the broccoli and cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles a strange green and white rice.
  2. Stir in the dry ingredients. This should form “breadcrumbs”.
  3. Using your hands, squish the mixture together into a dough. Again using your hands, squish into a flat circular shape and place onto a piece grease proof paper on a baking tray (foil also works – grease it first).
  4. Pop into an oven at 180oC for 5 – 8 minutes
    (until edges start to turn golden brown).
  5. Flip using a fish slice and add toppings. (I used mushroom, tomato and vegan pesto). Be careful, the base is much more brittle than a traditional bread base.
  6. Put back into the oven until the toppings are cooked.
  7. pizza

I served mine with homemade coleslaw (made with vinaigrette rather than mayo), kale chips and roasted sprouts – just to be festive. Lovely!







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Vegan pizza

Today was the day of the NERS 1* Cup show in Preston. I can’t pretend I’m not rat-broody after all the gorgeous babies I got to play with today.

was supposed to be taking my Harvey Wallbanger and Terry Triviani but sod’s law struck again, and Harvey started making a chesty-crackling sound pretty much as we were about to leave the house. Sigh! And of course, since coming home we haven’t heard another peep out of him…. Still, I think I shall be taking Bailey back to the vets next week (not convinced his antibiotics are having an effect) so I’ll get him looked over.

So, cut a long story short, I attended rat-less. I did however buy a lovely fabric shelf for the cage (courtesy of www.cosybedsandburrows.com). Here is a photo of Terry modelling how comfy it is!:

terry hammock


So after a hard day playing with rats, I still had enough energy to make a tasty vegan pizza for tea. I couldn’t be bothered with faux cheese so I just made it cheese-less but used extra tomato sauce to stop it drying out.

Ingredients (made two pizzas, serves 4 in total)


  • 700 g wholemeal bread flour
  • 1.5 tablespoons fast active yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoon olive oil
  • Small handful chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Enough warm water
  • Black pepper to taste.

Tomato sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons tomato puree (the stuff in a jar)
  • mixed with 0.5 teaspoons of chipotle chilli Tabasco (addicted to this stuff at the moment! – any other hot sauce would do)


Whatever you fancy!
I used pineapple chunks, fresh tomato slices, red onion and a chopped up Vegusto mushroom burger (which tasted a bit like sausage meat once cooked on the pizza!).


  • Throw the yeast into a cup full of “hand-hot” water, then stir in the salt and sugar and leave to one side.
  • With a food processor (use the kneading attachment) to mix up the flour, chives, paprika and pepper. Whilst being whizzed,  slowly add oil, followed by the yeasty mixture, and then warm water until a dough-ball started to form.
  • Leave the machine kneading whilst the oven pre-heats to 180oC  and prepare the the tasty toppings.
  • Once done, roll out the dough out onto two slightly greased baking trays and cook for 10 mins.
  • After 10 mins, splodge on the tomato sauce and toppings before cooking again for a further 20 mins (or until the crust is nice and brown and the onions beginning to crisp).

I originally intended us having one pizza each, but  we were only able to scoff half each. Ah well, won’t need to cook tomorrow now 😉

Bon appetit!


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