Raw Food Recipes: Vegan Pizza Pizzazz

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Rod Rotondi poses with one of his vegan pizzas.

The following is an excerpt from Raw Food for Real People by Rod Rotondi (New World Library, 2010). The excerpt is from chapter 7: Dehydration: Crackers, Croquettes, Pizza, and Bread.

My dad explained that a truly great pizza always has three levels. First, the bottom of the crust should be crispy, so the first experience of biting into a slice should be the crispiness. The second level is a slight chewiness where the crispy crust blends with the topping to create a chewy middle ground. Finally, a warm and moist top finishes off the perfect pizza bite. All right, so let’s start with the crust.

Pizza Pizzazz
Makes 1 large pizza

For the Crust:

1 small yellow summer squash, diced (about 1/2 cup)
4 to 5 medium carrots, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup sprouted buckwheat
1/2 cup sprouted sunflower seeds
3/4 cup sprouted lentils
Dash of sea salt
1/4 cup golden flaxseeds, ground
1/4 cup soaked almonds (soaked 8 to 10 hours, drained, and rinsed)
1/8 cup diced yellow onion

For the Cheeze Sauce:

1 1/8 cup chopped yellow onion
1 medium clove garlic
1/8 cup soaked pine nuts or macadamia nuts (soaked about 1 hour, drained, and rinsed)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup mild miso paste
1 cup water, plus additional (up to 1/2 cup) as needed
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 cup sprouted sunflower seeds

For the Marinara Sauce:

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
2 to 3 medium cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
4 fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 1 hour if not already soft

For the Rawmesan Cheeze:

1 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Chopped basil leaves for garnishing

1. To make the crust: Put the squash and carrots in a food processor and blend well. Slowly add the remaining crust ingredients and continue to blend until the mixture reaches a doughlike consistency. (You may add herbs such as rosemary, tarragon, or basil, or sun-dried tomatoes or olives, for variety.)

2. Remove the dough to a ParraFlex sheet on a dehydrator tray and spread it evenly to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.

3. Dehydrate for 4 to 5 hours, then flip by placing another tray (without a ParraFlex sheet) on top and inverting the crust onto the new tray. Remove the ParraFlex sheet, return the crust to the dehydrator, and continue to dehydrate for another 4 hours.

4. To make the Cheeze Sauce: Put all the ingredients except the sunflower seeds in a blender and blend well. Add the sunflower seeds slowly while blending, adding more water as needed to achieve a melted-cheese consistency.

5. To make the Marinara Sauce: Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have a nice chunky sauce. Remove half the sauce to a bowl. Blend the remaining sauce until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add the blended sauce to the chunky sauce and mix well. Your sauce should have a perfect texture — smooth but with real chunks.

6. To make the Rawmesan Cheeze: Finely chop the walnuts with a knife or process them in a food processor, and put them in a medium bowl. Add the sea salt and nutritional yeast, and mix well. That’s all there is to it.

7. To assemble the pizza: Generously spread the Marinara Sauce evenly over the crust; the sauce layer should be about 4 inch thick. Top with the Cheeze Sauce (using a squeeze bottle is easiest) and garnish with chopped basil and Rawmesan Cheeze.

8. Put the pizza back in the dehydrator for about 30 minutes to warm it up. The 30-minute warm-up also allows the top part of the crust to marinate in the Marinara Sauce, which softens it and makes it a little chewy. This way, we end up with a crisp bottom of the crust, the softer, chewy top part of the crust, and the warm, gooey, and yummy topping — perfetto! Remove from the dehydrator and serve. Buon appetito!

Printed with permission from New World Library.

For more raw food recipes, read the article, “Raw Food Recipes: Sprouted Chickpea Hummus.”

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