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Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not MY recipes, just a compilation of great veggie food I've found from all over the place, usually tweaked just a little. It's intended to be a reference you can consult again and again rather than a daily inspiration. After more than 25 years of being a vegetarian, I know what tastes good.
Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

TVP Pizza

TVP stands for Texturized Vegetable Protein.  It's fairly bland when you first rehydrate it, but it's got a wonderful texture once you spice it up and put it in something.  This pizza is DELICIOUS.  I wish I still had some right now, but even the leftovers from this pizza go fast.  I made some last week, and we ate all the leftovers the very next day.

The crust recipe is basically from Annie Somerville's fantastic cookbook Fields of Greens, with only a minor adjustment.  It's simple to make, but it takes about an hour.  If you don't have time for this, use a store-bought crust, but I guarantee it won't be as delicious.  This makes two 14- or 15-inch pizzas.


For the crust:
2 T. cornmeal
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. bread yeast
1 1/4 c. lukewarm water (The best test for the temperature is to let it run on the inside of your wrist.  If you don't really notice it, it's the right temp.  If it feels warm or cool, adjust the temperature.)
1 t. salt
3.5 cups of all-purpose white flour, plus more for kneading and rolling the dough

For the topping:
1 c. TVP
7/8 c. boiling water
1 t. salt
oregano, to taste (optional)
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 - 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 handfuls frozen broccoli pieces
your favorite jarred tomato spaghetti sauce or a can of tomato pizza sauce
6 oz. organic mozarella cheese and/or goat cheese (optional)
Toppings, as desired (e.g. kale, spinach, banana peppers, whatever)

In a 2-quart bowl, mix the cornmeal and the crust's olive oil.  In a separate small bowl, combine the lukewarm water and yeast and allow the yeast to grow and become fluffy for about 5 minutes.  Pour the yeast mixture (You may have to manually scrape out all the yeast.) and the crust's salt in with the olive oil/cornmeal mixture and combine.

Begin adding the flour to the olive oil mixture, 1/2 c. at a time.  Stir to mix after each addition.  Once it gets difficult to stir, pour out onto a clean, lightly floured countertop.  Knead with your hands, adding more flour to prevent stickiness if necessary.  (If you don't know how to "knead" dough, you'll press in with the heel of your hand, then sort of pull the edge over on the rest of the dough and combine it using the same heel-of-the-hand motion.)  After vigorously kneading for about 5 minutes, your dough should have the consistency of an ear lobe.  If you pat it with your hand, it feels like someone's stomach, maybe.  At this point, pour a small amount of olive oil in the 2-quart bowl you used, and return the dough to the bowl.  Turn the dough over to coat it with the oil.  Cover with a tea towel or cloth napkin or something similiar, and put it in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 35-40 minutes.  (NOTE:  I often turn the oven on 200 degrees F for 1 minute to make it a "warm place."  Be sure to turn the oven OFF reasonably quickly before putting your dough in there!  You'll need to take it out about 10 minutes before cooking time so you can preheat the oven.)

While the dough is rising, mix the dry TVP with the boiling water, the optional oregano, and 1 t. salt in a medium bowl.  Allow this to stand for 10 minutes to rehydrate.

Heat the topping's olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion, garlic, and broccoli pieces to the warmed oil.  Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.  Scrape everything from the skillet into the TVP, and mix.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.  (Be sure you've taken your dough out if you were warming it in there!)  Mix tomato sauce into the TVP mixture until it has reached the consistency you like for your pizza topping.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your fist.  It will deflate slightly.  Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.  Roll the first piece out to about a 14- or 15-inch circle or square, depending on the size and shape of the pizza pan or baking sheet you're using and also depending on how thick you like your crust.  Move the rolled crust to your pan, and spread 1/2 of the mixture over the crust.  Apply desired toppings.  Top with 3 oz. of cheese, if desired, or omit cheese for vegan pizza.  Repeat with the other piece of dough and the other half of the topping.

Bake each pizza for 12 minutes at 500 degrees F, until cheese (if using), is melted and browned and crust is risen and browned.  Top with crushed red pepper or serve with pepperoncini, if desired, and enjoy!  However, remember that you cooked this pizza at 500 degrees F.  It is hot, so please let it cool down before you put it in your mouth!  ;o)

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