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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Homemade Pizza (a.k.a Love Pie) with Tempeh "Meat" & Cashew Parmesan (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This Valentine's Day is a bit different for me because I won't be spending it with just the accompaniment of my Chocolate Strawberry Parfait. Don't get me wrong, the parfait was a totally delightful date, but I'd much rather spend it with a person who I adore enough to actually want to share Valentine's Day dessert with. ;-)

I posted a recipe for a mega delicious Mexican Pizza awhile back, but I haven't posted a recipe for the real deal... until now. And anyone who knows me well knows I am a serious pizza lover. If I was going to post a pizza recipe, it had to be right, and this moment feels right to share my love for pizza. I also thought it'd be a fitting Valentine's Day post because homemade pizza is always really fun to make with a significant other or a friend. Although the crust isn't my own, I hope you'll find some inspiration on this post and dive in to the utopia that is pizza land. You could even go as far as calling it your own love pie, if you're as weird as I am.

Here are a few of my favorite homemade pizza crusts: Blissful Basil's Sweet Potato Crust and Detoxinista's Cauliflower Crust. Cauliflower crusts can be really tricky to get just right. Every single one I have made hasn't cooked through all the way and never ends up completely firm, but Detoxinista's is the best one I've made so far and I really enjoyed it! It's the one shown in the first picture below. Quinoa-based crusts are quite popular, too, although the one time I made it, I felt it was too dense and didn't enjoy it very much. I'd get it another shot though.

Now, the excitement really begins with the toppings. You may choose whatever your heart desires, but my ideal pizza looks like this:

*Toppings in picture above: Garlic marinara sauce (I get this from Sprouts), sautéed bell peppers, caramelized onions, green & black olives, fresh basil, and spinach or arugula + sprinkled with cashew Parmesan. I also sometimes add on tempeh "meat", which adds a whole lot of flavor, but that's only if I feel up for it. Sometimes I cannot be bothered and it's pure torture to wait another second to bite into my pizza, so oftentimes, the tempeh must be sacrificed. Banana peppers and Follow Your Heart Mozzarella Shreds are always welcome though.

When you're feeling up to making tempeh "meat" to add atop your pizza, do it and don't look back! You may never have a homemade pizza without it again. Tempeh has become one of my favorite plant-based protein sources. I love it can be turned into smoky tempeh bacon or taco meat (see my recipe below). This tempeh "meat" has received high acclaim from my friends and their friends... you know a recipe is a winner when it gets passed along. The seasonings come together perfectly to create a delicious meat alternative that is much better than animal meat in every way.

*If you're looking for the tempeh "meat" in the first picture, they're not there. They're hidden underneath all of the toppings in the second picture.

Tempeh Bits (can also be taco "meat")

• 1/2 (8 oz.) package original tempeh
• 2 1/2 tsp low-sodium tamari
• 1 tsp pure maple syrup
• 2 tsp grapeseed oil or any other light-tasting oil, divided
• 1/4 heaping tsp cumin
• 1/4 heaping tsp garlic powder
• 1/4 heaping tsp smoked paprika
• 1/4 heaping tsp chili powder
•  1/8-1/4 tsp fine sea salt, to taste
• A few shakes black pepper

1. Heat a medium-sized skillet (I use non-stick) and 1 tsp oil over medium heat. 
2. Crumble the tempeh into small pieces in a small bowl. Mix all ingredients together, including 1 tsp oil, in the same bowl until well combined then add to the skillet. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn down the heat to medium-low, if needed. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Whatever your relationship status may be this Valentine's Day, just remember that it's just another day. We should celebrate love for ourselves, other people, animals, and the planet everyday. xoxo.

"Sometimes you meet someone, and it's so clear that the two of you, on some level, belong together. As lovers, as friends, as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you're in love or you're partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don't know if that makes me believe in coincidence, fate or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something." Unknown


  1. Looks so healthy and so yummy! Definitely one to try.




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