It’s official; I am a freak! If any of you have La Dolce Vegan!, perhaps you’ve seen the recipe for “The Joint’s ‘Cheese Burger’ Pizza.” Well, I hadn’t noticed it for a long time, but once I did, I knew I’d have to make it, mostly because I have a ridiculous love for pickles. Not sweet pickles *gag*, but the salty/sour dill sort.
This is my version of the pizza, mostly because the original recipe seemed to call for a bunch of stuff I don’t really buy, like fake burger crumbles (not a fan of TVP here) and vegan cheese blocks (they’re expensive & plasticky). I’m actually into the oldschool vegan nutritional yeasty sauces as cheese substitutes. Call me crazy, but I like their flavor, appreciate the nummy vitamin B goodness, & they can be tinkered with until they suit whatever you’re creating.
If you want to make this, maybe you should buy store-bought ingredients, unless you really enjoy spending countless hours prepping food like me!
- pizza dough, prepared (this recipe is great; you’ll just use 1/2 of it if you like thin crust)
- 3/4 cup pizza sauce (1/2 of recipe below)
- 3/4 cup dill pickle slices, blotted with a towel to suck up the excess juice
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 cup tempeh crumbles (recipe below, or fake ground beef of choice)
- 1 cup vegan cheese sauce (recipe below, or use grated store-bought stuff)
- 2-4 tablespoons yellow mustard
Preheat your oven to as high as that sucka will go. Mine probably got to 475*F or something like that. If you really want a crispy crust, I recommend a pizza stone (which I don’t have) or this cool pizza pan that is a circle with tons of tiny holes in the bottom. It’s rad.
Lightly grease whatever pan you’re using, or do whatever you’re supposed to do with your pizza stone. Take your dough (1/2 the above blob) & stretch & press it to the desired thinness or thickness. I get mine as thin as possible without putting holes in it.
Spread the tomato sauce all over it. Sprinkle the pickles, onions, & fake meat all over that beast. Drizzle the cheese over it, then squirt some mustard (not too much!) over it as well. Pop it in the oven till the bottom of the crust is golden, then broil it for a few minutes to get some color on the “cheese.” I sprinkled mine with some fresh chopped parsley because it was so damned yellow.
Quick Pizza Sauce
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 6 ounces warm water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon basil
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt to taste
Just whisk everything together & set aside while you prep the other stuff. You’ll only need 1/2 of this recipe for your pizza, so either freeze the extra for next time, or make another pizza or calzone.
Tempeh Crumbles from Vegan Vittles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 4 ounces tempeh, steamed for 20 minutes, then grated
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- several drops of hot sauce
Heat skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil & saute the onion until translucent. While that’s doing its thing, toss the tempeh with the seasonings in a bowl. Once the onion is softened, add the seasoned tempeh, cooking & stirring till it dries out a bit & has a “ground beef” look to it. Set aside.
Vegan Cheese Sauce from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
Whisk the nutritional yeast, flour, salt, & garlic powder in a small saucepan. Slowly whisk in the water to avoid lumps. Turn burner on to medium heat & whisk that sucker constantly, or you’ll have chunky cheese from Hell. Once it’s bubbly, add the oil & mustard, whisking till smooth & shiny. Remove from heat & set aside.
***Just a warning, kids: Broilers are hot & you should really try to avoid touching them. Also, charred flesh smells like burning hair. Good to know!