Hey guys – I hope you’re all well!
I’m finding myself spending a LOT more time at home than usual at the moment. Of course, my answer to this worrying and frustrating situation is recipe development because, well, I love food and I love creating healthier alternatives that make you feel good but never deprived!
I was in the mood for pizza this week, but a really really goooood pizza. I had a pizza a couple of weeks ago when I had just started the 30 day vegan challenge and it wasn’t great. The crust was thin and crisp and perfect but I ordered a mushroom pizza with no cheese – so essentially it was just crust, tomato sauce and sliced mushrooms and to be honest, the tomato sauce really wasn’t great. I guess topped with melted cheese I wouldn’t have noticed but this way, I realised how much that part of the pizza could be improved.
Since I’m still doing the vegan challenge and I don’t have any vegan mozzarella (locally that’s not something you can just go out and buy from a small market or convenience shop & I am avoiding large supermarkets to in turn avoid large crowds), I thought I’d simply improve the sauce and toppings.
ALSO, and more importantly, since it seems as though we’re all going to be spending a lot of time at home for the foreseeable future, which for most of us also means eating more (GUILTY) and probably being less active, this PIZZA, with a wholemeal base and no cheese, is much healthier, has more nutrients and is much lighter in calories than your traditional pizza.
The idea here is to have comfort foods but to make them healthier and lighter without missing any of the comfort or flavour!
Before I get into details about the sauce, here’s the recipe for my easy-peasy pizza dough! Click here: https://holisticnutritionninja.com/2019/05/22/easy-peasy-pizza/ – SPOILER ALERT: It’s really easy and quick to make! Enjoy 🙂
Now, here’s my PERFECT pizza / pasta tomato sauce. I used this on my vegan pizza, together with some cooked leeks, bell peppers, olives and a few dollops of vegan cream cheese and it was divine! We used the extra tomato sauce with pasta and it was really delicious – full of flavor, cheesy and just perfect!
1 tablespoon olive oil
600g fresh tomatoes
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon harisa pasta (chilli paste; you could also use chilli flakes here – use 1/2 a teaspoon though because it will be very hot otherwise)
1 teaspoon concentrates tomato paste (kunserva)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Start by adding a tablespoon of olive oil to a small pot over medium heat. Dice your red onion into small chunks and add to the pot. Finely slice garlic cloves and add to the pot also – make sure you let the onion cook for a couple of minutes and soften before doing this to avoid burning your garlic. Once you’ve added the garlic, add the tomato paste, harisa paste (or chilli) and the sugar. Mix well and allow to cook for a few minute.
Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes into small chunks – you can use any tomatoes you like. I’ve made this sauce using many different varieties and it turned out great regardless. Add your tomatoes to the pot together with some salt and pepper and cook for 15 to 20 minutes on medium to low heat.
Remove from the heat and mix in your nutritional yeast – this really is an essential ingredient if you’re making vegan pizza or vegan pasta sauce and you want a cheesy flavour – this is what gives the sauce an earthy and cheesy flavour. Here’s some more info below!
Nutritional Yeast is a deactivate yeast often sold in the form of yellow flakes, granules or powder. It is a significant source of B vitamins and contains trace amounts of several other vitamins and minerals. This brand, which is in flake form, also contains B12 Vitamins which, especially if you’re avoiding dairy, is really important because this particular Vitamin is not found in plant foods. Nutritional yeast has a strong nutty or cheesy flavour, which makes it an ideal cheese substitute.
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Until my next post, be well xXx