One of my all time favorite comfort meals is pizza and beer. I discovered this beautiful combo in college (I know, shocker) and it’s been a favorite ever since. One of the ways I’ve been taking advantage of my kitchen since graduating (I didn’t have one while in school) is by finding ways to create healthier versions of all my old favorites. So since I refuse to give up this combo even though I’ve left the 2 am Cro runs behind (Cro being our student snack shop), I created my own healthier version that’s vegan, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and oil free! Since mushrooms are one of my favorite foods and portobellos are nice and round like a pizza I used them as the “crust.” Then, inspired by this pasta recipe from the New York Times, I decided to use caramelized lemons on top in place of pepperoni. And of course, I made my own cashew mozzarella cheese and fresh tomato sauce.
½ cup raw cashews soaked overnight
½ lemon, juiced
4 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
½ garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp nutritional yeast
Sprinkle of himalayan salt
Soak the cashews in filtered water overnight, then drain the next morning when the nuts are nice and plump. Add all the ingredients into a food processor or high speed blender and blend until you have an almost whipped cream consistency (Note, I tried using both a food processor and a high speed blender and the blender definitely worked better, but if you don’t have one a food processor should be fine as well. It probably just won’t be as creamy)
Homemade Tomato Sauce
4 San Manzano tomatos
Sprinkle of himalayan salt
Slice tomatoes and sauté them in a pan for a minute or two (no need to add oil or anything. the tomatoes are filled with enough water to cook well on their own). Once the tomatoes start to brown thrown them into a food processor with a sprinkle of Himalayan salt and blend.
Portobello “Pizza Crust”
1 portobello mushroom (note: you might want to make more then one of these because they are just that good. But the proportions listed in this recipe are for 1 pizza. If you make 2, just double everything)
1 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, crushed
Sprinkle Himalayan Salt
Scoop out the inside of the mushroom to get rid of the brown gills and remove the stem. Marinate the mushroom overnight (or for 20 minutes) in the lemon and garlic. Preheat oven to 327 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. You only want to lightly cook the mushroom in order to bring out all its wonderful flavors and to break down the cell walls just enough so that you can absorb all its nutrients, but you still want the mushroom to be firm enough to support your pizza.
½ lemon, sliced
1 tsp maple syrup
Mariante lemon slices in maple syrup overnight or for 20 minutes. Sauté the lemons. Just toss them in the pan and cook until they start to brown a bit and are caramelized. I just threw them in right next to the tomatoes and it worked perfectly.
⅓ cup parsley
1 tsp red pepper flakes
½ tbsp pine nuts
After you have prepared all the ingredients start by spreading tomato sauce on top of your mushroom “crust.” Then add the cheese. And finally add your toppings.