Pesto Veggie Pizza and Chocolate Pudding.

A while ago, I saw a post on the PPK about pesto. Ever since, I had a crazy pesto craving. I kept thinking “man, pesto on pizza sounds really good.” So I had that in my mind as well. I finally obtained the fresh basil I needed in order to make some pesto, as well as a bunch of veggies to load on the pizza. I sorta-kinda followed the recipe from the PPK, but I didn’t have everything I needed, so mine was a little different. I didn’t have pine nuts, but I did have cashews, and I thought since they’re used in vegan cheese so often, that the cashews may add a cheesy flavor to the pesto — which, apparently, regular pesto usually has Parmesan or some other fancy cheese in it. I know that because I looked for prepared pesto first, and I found no vegan options. Anyway, here is what I used:

1/4 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup cashews

2 cloves garlic

2 small bunches fresh basil 

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/4 cup olive oil

a couple splashes lime juice, since I didn’t have lemon juice

I followed the directions listed on the PPK recipe. Basically, toast the nuts for a few minutes, pulse in the food processor with the garlic until crumbly, then add everything except the oil & juice, and pulse until pureed. Then you’ll stream in the oil and the juice. 


Toasty nuts!


Ready to transform into delicious pesto!


The finished product.

You can refrigerate the pesto until you’re ready to use it. The next step would be to prepare the dough for the crust. I followed a basic recipe I found on VegWeb. Of course, I added some extra awesomeness to it…

1 (1/4 ounce) package yeast

1/3 cup lukewarm water

2 cups all purpose flour  

1 cup wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon oregano

1 clove minced garlic

2/3 cup lukewarm water

Let the yeast dissolve in 1/3 cup warm water for the 10 minutes listed. Then add the rest of the ingredients and knead to form a dough. I ended up needing an extra 1/3 cup water or so. Cover, and let rise for 20-30 mins. 


Doughy goodness.

While the dough is rising, it’s as good a time as any to chop the veggies, right? I used zucchini, yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, red onions, and mushrooms. It might also be a good time to preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 


The Eating Rainbow?


The fungus among us.

Once the dough has doubled in size, oil a cookie sheet (or pizza pan or stone), and flatten the dough. Spread the pesto on, and pile on the veggies. I added spinach for good measure. 



Place in the oven and cook for 20 mins or so. I forgot that I wanted to add corn to the pizza, so I added it halfway through. Ooopsy. 



 I really love(d) to dip my pizza in ranch. Especially Mazzio’s ranch, which from what I hear, is mayo-based. I decided to kind of replicate something to dip the pizza in, so I mixed about a 1/2 cup non-dairy mayo, 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, and some water in a food processor. It actually worked really well with the pizza. Added a bit of tangy creaminess. It’s kind of indulgent, not really the healthiest thing, but I only used a little bit. 


Creamy sundried tomato dressing/dip/sauce.

I get newsletter emails from Whole Foods. Duh. Of course I do. I’m a hippie. One of the recent newsletters had a bunch of chocolate recipes in it, and one of them was a chocolate pudding made with avocados and dates, instead of milk and sugar. Intersting. I decided to give it a try. The recipe is here.

2 avocados 

1 banana 

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 

1/2 cup dates, pitted, soaked in water for a few hours, drained 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Basically, put it all in a food processor and mix together well. 


All aboard.

My dates didn’t chop/mix too well. I didn’t soak them for very long, and I bet that’s why. I didn’t like this right away, but after chilling overnight, it was delicious. I ate it with fresh strawberries. 


What goes better together than chocolate and berries?

The pudding is definitely decadent, and while avocado is good for you, it’s still pretty high in calories, so I’m trying not to eat a WHOLE lot of this, which is difficult, because it’s yummy!

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