Sunday, 13 October 2013

Chicken and Vegetable Pizza with Cashew 'Cheese' and Guacamole

This year in keeping with the eating real food lifestyle we have embarked on, I have decided to make a conscious effort to find more time to plant a vege garden. I have done a little bit each year, with mixed success but this year I am going to make a resolution to grow more than just a whole load of zucchini and mint!

Now you may be reading this thinking that is not such a big deal, and shouldn't any good 'clean eater' be eating home grown vegetables? Well, you haven't seen my lifetime of efforts with anything green and growing! When I was a uni student my Mum bought me a small plant called a Flaming Katie (yes Mum, my name is Kate and I do have a fiery temper at the joke!). The plant had pretty little yellow flowers on it and it took pride of place in my lounge. Being a uni student there was not a huge amount of effort put into decoration of the lounge so I felt pretty proud of my little plant. Anyway, due to either too much water, or a lack of water, or too much sun, or not enough sun (I had no idea what I was supposed to do with this little living thing in my lounge - so I swung between watering it every day with a big cup, to not watering at all for days or weeks, and full sun to deep in a corner of the room!) the poor little thing just shrivelled up and died. I didn't want to tell Mum that the plant she had gifted me had met its end (who has seen the scene from that Kate Hudson movie where the guy kills their 'love fern'?!!), so I very cleverly went down to the local plant shop and bought another one. Or at least, I thought I was clever! Anyway, turns out my Mum doesn't have the best memory which served me well in this instance as I proceeded to go through about 3 more of these plants before I finally gave up hope and confessed to my Mum that I couldn't seem to keep it alive. Mum, bless her lovely naivety, was totally surprised and had no idea that I had been killing them and had not even noticed that about once every 3 months my plant would suddenly be breaking out in a beautiful bloom of flowers that were a different colour each time! Since those days I have gained a little more gardening experience, but not much. For the most part, anything that grows well in our garden does so out of sheer good luck and perseverance on the part of the plant!

In order to get the ball rolling, my eldest and I put a few seeds into trays yesterday to get some seedlings going. Today, I cleared away some of the jungle that was growing over our vege patch and dug in some blood and bone (no idea why, I just remember my parents doing that when I was young!), and planted a couple of pumpkin seedlings my stepdad-in-law gave me. If I could just ask everyone to cross their fingers, I may in time have some pumpkins to be proud of...maybe!

That is a little bit of a digression from Pizza, so I'll get on with it!

The other night hubby was craving Pizza, so being the good little wifey that I am, I decided to go about making one that was family friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, soy-free, sugar-free...and I think the end result was pretty successful! A huge thankyou to the wonderful Petite Kitchen for the recipe for the base - I have made my own in the past, but the other day I used her recipe to make some bread rolls for lunch and they were so yummy that I decided to make the recipe into a pizza base (with a couple of minor modifications!)

You would think that a pizza without flour or cheese was not really a pizza at all, but hubby was seriously impressed! I don't like to rate these things too highly, as I know that everyone has different ideas of what good food is, but on this one I am dealing with somewhat of a pizza expert...hubby has eaten a LOT of pizza over the years (he's no connoisseur - his all-time fave is Hawaiian!), but for him to say he loved it meant that it must have been a pretty good resemblance of a pizza!

I served the pizza with a side salad of cabbage, cucumber, orange and purple carrot with a lemon and olive oil dressing. This recipe made 1 large and 3 small pizzas, or 2 large pizzas.

Three small size bases (about 15cm in diameter) baked an ready to top.

Chicken and Vegetable Pizza with Cashew 'Cheese" and Guacamole with Cabbage Salad

Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar


(you can use pre-made bases of your choice if you do not want to make them, but these are so easy and you won't be disappointed)
6 tbsp psyllium husk
8 tbsp coconut flour
2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed herbs
8 egg whites
1 cup boiling water

Pizza Toppings:
500g chicken tenderloins
1 capsicum, any colour
3 large portobello mushrooms (the flat dark brown ones)
4 tbsp tomato paste (divided evenly over all pizza bases)
1/4 cup jalapenos (optional)

Cashew 'Cheese':
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
juice of half a lemon

1 avocado, mashed (after removing pip and skin)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 a tomato, finely diced
1/2 a spring onion, finely sliced
a pinch of chilli powder, or a couple of drops of tabasco sauce, or half a fresh red chilli finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cabbage Salad:
1/2 a cup of red cabbage, finely sliced
1/2 a telegraph cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 medium sized orange carrot, grated
1 medium sized purple carrot, grated (you can just leave it out if you can't find purple carrots!)
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 a tsp ground cumin
1/2 a tsp ground coriander (or 1 tbsp fresh coriander)
salt and pepper to taste


Pizza Bases:
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper (or grease with butter or coconut oil)
2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (psyllium, coconut flour, baking soda and herbs). 
3. In another bowl, separate the egg whites (save the yolks for other yummy goodies!), and whisk until slightly frothy. 
4. Add the apple cider vinegar and mix, then pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. 
5. Mix well until all combined. 
6. Add the boiling water, and mix well. 
7. Divide the mixture in half, and either use each half to create 2 large pizza bases, or use divide the mixture evenly to make as many bases of whichever size you would like. 
8. Place your chosen sized piece of 'dough' on the baking tray and press down into a circle shape until about 1cm thick. Repeat process as necessary depending on how many bases you are making.
9. Bake for around 20 minutes until browned and firm to touch.

Pizza Toppings:
1. In a large frying pan, heat coconut oil over a medium heat and panfry chicken tenderloins until cooked through. You can either flavour simply with salt and pepper or you could add whichever seasoning you wish ( I used a little bit of paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander and a pinch of chill). 
2. Slice mushrooms and capsicum into thin sticks, and finely dice jalapeƱos

Cashew 'Cheese':
1. In a small blender or food processor place all ingredients.
2. Blend until smooth and creamy. If it seems a bit thick, add either a little more lemon juice or a little more water depending on your taste preference. 

1. In a bowl, mash avocado, and add tomato, spring onion, lemon juice, chilli or tabasco. Mix well and season to taste.

Cabbage Salad:
1. Prepare all vegetables as directed above, then place in a bowl. In another small bowl, combine ingredients for dressing (lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper). Combine dressing with vegetables and mix well.

To Assemble the Meal:

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place pizza base on a baking tray and spread tomato paste over the whole base. 
2. Top with mushroom, capsicum, cooked chicken, and jalapenos. 
3. Place in the oven, and cook for around 10-15 minutes until vegetables are cooked, and pizza is hot.
4. Remove from oven and top with dollops of cashew cheese and guacamole.
5. Serve with cabbage salad.