Sunday, October 18, 2015

Thai Chickpea and Veggie Pizza

Bear with me for a second.  I know that when I say "pizza," you picture tomato sauce and cheese.  At least that's what I was told when I whipped up this Thai chickpea and veggie pizza, which has no trace of either cheese or tomato.  But this pizza was so delicious, so healthy, so addictive, that even Nick ate a few pieces, and I was so excited to have leftovers.  This pizza will definitely be a make-again.  Let's break down why.

First of all, the sauce.  The tomato sauce is replaced by peanut sauce in this recipe, and the peanut sauce isn't just your average one, either.  It's low fat and low calorie, but it certainly doesn't taste that way.  Secret ingredient: pureed white beans.  They make it thick and creamy without needing to add lots of peanut butter, plus they add protein.  And it tastes amazing, with lots of fun things like lime juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, and peanut butter of course.  This sauce recipe makes a bunch of it so you can make all the chickpea pizzas you want.  Or dip pretzels in it.  Or serve it on veggie burgers.  I did all of the above, quite happily.

Second, the vegetables!  I know that chickpeas, carrots, zucchini, red pepper and scallions may not be the most common pizza toppings, but when said pizza is smothered with peanut sauce, all bets are off.  The cool thing is that you roast these veggies real quick before you put them on the pizza.  That ensures that they are the perfect consistency - not too mushy and not too hard.  It also brings out some of the natural sweetness (is anything better than roasted carrots?!).  Make sure you cut them into matchsticks to make sure they cook at the same time; I used a mandoline and was done so quickly.  I love mandolines.

Please promise me you will try this pizza!  Shake up pizza night a little bit!  I swear to you, it will be better than you are expecting.

Dietary note - this pizza would be super easy to make gluten-free.  Just use your favorite GF crust and swap out the soy sauce in the peanut sauce for tamari.  Good to go!  Vegetarian and gluten-free!


Thai chickpea and veggie pizza
from Veggies Don't Bite

for pizza:
1 pound pizza dough
1/2 can chickpeas
1/2 cup carrots, sliced into matchsticks
1/2 cup zucchini, sliced into matchsticks
1/2 cup red peppers, sliced into matchsticks
2 green onions, sliced
for light and creamy peanut sauce:
1 cup cooked white beans
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
5 medium cloves garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup water


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  While it heats, make peanut sauce by combining all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  You will get about 1 cup and will not use all of it in this recipe; refrigerate the leftovers.  You can also serve it as a dipping sauce for the pizza!

2) Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Place carrots, red peppers, zucchini and chickpeas on cookie sheet.  Roast for 5 - 10 minutes until they are softened a bit.

3) Build pizza by generously coating the crust with peanut sauce.  Add chickpeas and gently press down to keep them in place.  Add the carrots, zucchini, and red peppers.  Sprinkle with sliced onions.

4) Bake according to pizza crust directions, or until your chickpeas get crispy on the outside.  I bake mine at 500 degrees for 5 - 10 minutes.

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