Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Challenge #4: DF CF Cheezy Pine Nut Pizza Recipe

December 19th, 2008 yum Posted in Cooking for Karina, Dairy Free, Garlic-free, Italian, JM friendly, Mushrooms, Nuts, Pizza, Soy Free, Sweet Potato, Tomato-free, Vegan, portobello mushrooms, soy-free challenges, walnut 7 Comments »


Thin gluten-free crust with pine nut “cheese”, roasted sweet potatoes, fresh basil, roasted mushrooms and roasted red pepper, prior to baking.

One big challenge to the dairy-free, soy-free lifestyle is that of a cheesy pizza. Sure, you can make a tomato sauce and just skip the cheese, but it doesn’t have that rich mouth feel or decadence. I’ve played with a variety of solutions to this problem. There are a number of lactose free or dairy free cheeses on the market, including almond, rice, and soy cheeses that are also gluten-free. However, finding a commercial w”cheese” that is truly 100% dairy-free as well as soy-free can be another story. Besides, if you’ve ever tried these cheese “substitutes” you know that they taste almost nothing like real cheese, and often don’t seem to add anything good to a recipe besides the idea of cheese. Luckily vegan cookbooks such as The Uncheese Cookbook have more creative alternatives using a variety of “real” foods as the base for their un-cheese recipes. Some of these recipes use soy (frequently) or gluten (less frequently), but there are many options that do work for a gluten,dairy, and soy-free diet.

However, interestingly one of the most successful soy and dairy-free cheese substitutes I found was not in a vegan cookbook, exactly, but on a related raw foods cookbook. Raw foodists might find it sacrilege, but I used it in a baked lasagna to wonderful effect. This recipe for soy and dairy-free lasagna has been one of the most popular recipes at the Book of Yum because it answers a real need in the food-sensitive community for TASTY cheese substitutes. This recipe came to mind when Mother was visiting us this week. She can eat gluten, but is allergic to soy and dairy, so she doesn’t often have the chance to have “cheesy” dishes. She is also allergic to garlic and avoids tomatoes due to RA. When I decided to make a dairy-free pizza, I thought immediately that I should try using the yummy pine nut sauce on it as the “cheese” base. I was also inspired by the season to roast sweet potato cubes and mushrooms for toppings. I decided to simplify the pine nut recipe a bit and found it was just as good, if not better than the original. It was a big hit with my allergy-sensitive Mom, and the DH and I enjoyed it as well. The combination of pine nut sauce, fresh basil, and roasted vegetables was absolutely addicting. Because I had extra pizza crusts I decided to also make a dairy-free walnut pesto and top it with roasted vegetables as well. Yum! And nobody missed the cheese (or soy) at all.

Looking for a gluten-free pizza crust recipe?
Here’s a fun thin-crust recipe- it doesn’t rise much but makes enough for 6 pizzas that you can enjoy over a week’s time.
And, here’s my personal favorite crust- Carol Fenster’s classic gluten-free Pizza recipe with allergen-free pizza topping recipes

Dairy-Free Soy-Free Pine Nut Cheesy Pizza
Ingredients
1 gluten-free pizza crust

Pine Nut “Cheese” (new version)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. brown rice vinegar
1/4 tsp or less salt
1/8 cup water or more

1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed
handful fresh basil leaves, julienned
4 baby portabella mushrooms (between crimini and portabella)
1 red pepper for roasting
olive oil
salt, pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Soak 1/2 cup pine nuts in enough water to cover for an hour. Then drain, rinse, and blend in food processor with dash of salt, vinegar and water until you have a creamy consistency. Put in small container and reserve, refrigerating.

Prepare toppings:
Toss sweet potato cubes with dash of olive oil, salt and pepper if you like. Place on baking sheet. Remove stems from mushrooms and rub with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper if you like. Place whole red pepper on baking sheet or on oven rack along with rest of your veggies. Roast for 15 minutes and check your mushrooms. If they seem done, remove mushrooms from oven, dribbling juices over them and letting rest. If not, check mushrooms again in another 5 minutes. After they have rested, you can slice them. Roast sweet potatoes until they are fork tender but not mushy. Roast red pepper (turning occasionally) until sides are all slightly charred. When you take red pepper out of oven, place in freezer safe ziploc bag, seal, and let steam for 10 minutes on counter before removing. Rub off skin with paper or cloth towel, cut in half and de-seed. Slice and/or cut into bite sized pieces and reserve.

To assemble your pizza, top with even coating of your pine nut “cheese”. If you have some, you could rub the crust first with a bit of blended sundried tomato and olive oil to give the crust a more attractive golden color that will stand out from the pine nut “cheese”. (I didn’t do that this time, Mom is also sensitive to tomatoes). Sprinkle with julienned basil, roasted sweet potato, mushroom slices and red pepper pieces. Bake following pizza crust instructions. The thin-crust pizza recipe I used requires a short bake time (12 min or less) and so is ideal. For a long baking recipe, you might bake the crust halfway before topping the pizza.

Notes
My dairy-free, soy-free Mom loved this pizza, and loved the pine nut sauce.
Walnut Dairy Free Pesto Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
sprinkle salt
1/8 cup roasted fresh onions
1/4 cup olive oil
Directions
Combine ingredients in blender or food processor, drizzling in olive oil as you blend it. Taste and season with more salt or other spices if desired. Enjoy!
Notes
I used this pesto on a gluten-free pizza crust topped with roasted sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes, roasted red pepper, roasted onion, and even half roasted chard. Yum yum yum!
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Gluten free Holiday Recipe: Thanksgiving Breadless Vegetarian Pumpkin Stuffing Recipe

October 24th, 2008 yum Posted in Cooking for Karina, Dairy Free, Dinner Party, Egg Free, Holiday, JM friendly, Mushrooms, Nut Free, Pumpkin, Squash, Thanksgiving, Vegan, Vegetarian 4 Comments »


Recently, the farmer’s market has exploded with a gorgeous selection of pumpkin and squashes of every color, affirming that despite the sunny skies, Fall has finally come to us in California. I haven’t been able to resist bring some home with me. This week I’ve enjoyed their decorative presence in the house while I tried to decide how to use them. Inspiration came from an unexpected source. The other day the DH suddenly had an urge for Thanksgiving-type holiday food and bought a variety of ingredients to make himself a non-veg platter of goodness. Most of it wasn’t really my type of food, but he did make one dish that I found really interesting- a sautee of onions and apples for a fruity “stuffing” sans bread. Somehow as I watched him prepare it, I was reminded of my favorite portabella mushroom stuffed acorn squash recipe that I make every Thanksgiving as my special vegetarian main dish. I love this recipe, but baking acorn squash, toasting the gluten-free bread; and sauteeing and assembling the stuffing does take some effort. I wondered if I couldn’t do something similar but much easier for a special weekend meal with cubes of roasted pumpkin in a holiday “stuffing” recipe. Instead of the cinnamon that the DH used, I tried to amp up the savory elements with poultry seasoning (veg of course). I poked about for instructions on roasting the pumpkin, as I was afraid simply pan frying it wouldn’t cook it well enough and I had visions of mushy, watery boiled pumpkin as the only alternative. I settled on Vegyum’s instructions for the pumpkin portion, and then sauteed the rest, adding in the roasted pumpkin and fresh basil at the end of the cooking process. It does occur to me that you could possibly roast all of the ingredients to marvelous effect- but I’ll save that experiment for next time. The result? A delicious, light but satisfying dish that the DH pronounced “very good- as a side dish” and I enjoyed as my main course. It is an especially nice dish for a holiday party with vegetarians, as it takes little time but is interesting and versatile. To make it even more exciting, you could serve it in an acorn squash or pumpkin, or use it as topping for large broiled portabella mushrooms. What vegetarian, gluten-free guest wouldn’t enjoy this dish?

What are your favorite gluten-free, vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes? Feel free to include the link and description in this post and I’ll do a roundup as the holidays approach.

Vegetarian Roasted Pumpkin Apple Mushroom Breadless Stuffing Recipe
Ingredients
1 small pumpkin-type squash
A few whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
Half of an onion roughly chopped
several Sprigs of fresh rosemary
olive oil
salt, pepper

1 medium onion, chopped
1 portabella mushroom OR 8 crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 peeled apple, chopped in small pieces
poultry seasonings (with sage etc.)
salt, pepper
fresh rosemary sprigs
fresh basil leaves, julienned, to taste

Vegan Nutritional Yeast Gravy, Cranberry Sauce for Serving

Directions
Chop and peel small pumpkin squash into small to medium sized (about 1 1/2 inch) chunks. Heat oven to 450 f and place your pumpkin cubes in roasting dish or cookie sheet with a few garlic cloves, chopped onion, and fresh rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 or 40 minutes and reserve, discarding the rosemary and removing the (still unpeeled) garlic cloves. Keep at least two of the roasted garlic cloves for usage in the recipe later.

Add some olive oil (less than 1 tbsp.) to a dutch oven or cast iron pan on medium or medium high heat and saute onion until it begins to turn transparent. Toss in mushroom pieces in a single layer, moving onions aside so mushrooms are in direct contact with the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Sear mushrooms until golden brown and then turn. When the mushrooms are browned on both sides, you may wish to remove most of the onions and all of the mushrooms from the pan for optimal browning of the apples. If desired, add a touch more olive oil (1 tsp or so) to the pan and heat. Throw in your apple chunks and season with poultry seasoning. Let them brown to taste, turning a few times. Then add your mushrooms, onions, and roasted pumpkin to the pan with the apple pieces. Add extra seasonings and more fresh rosemary. You may wish to add the contents of 2+ of the roasted garlic from the pumpkin roast, but make sure to evenly distribute the contents throughout the dish. Cook for a few more minutes to let the flavors mingle. Then take off the burner and sprinkle with basil, folding into the dish.

Serve with Vegetarian gravy and Cranberry sauce on the side.

Nutritional Yeast Gravy
Ingredients
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp Braggs GF liquid aminos
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp garlic granules (if desired)
1/8 tsp black pepper
Directions
Heat brown rice flour and nutritional yeast flakes in a dry nonstick frypan on a medium temperature, and let them lightly brown and release their fragrance. Take the pan off the heat and slowly add water, braggs, olive oil and seasonings, whisking continuously until mixture is silky smooth. Return to heat and stir until gravy reaches desired consistency.
Notes
I serve this gravy every holiday with mashed potatoes and (on thanksgiving) my portabello stuffed acorn squash dish. It’s so easy you can make it anytime, and top brown rice, pasta, baked potatoes or tofu patties. DH enjoys it too, and it’s considerably easier than the typical American gravy made from scratch.
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