Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hummus Pizza

Vegan meals are on my mind, so is loosing weight. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Except that hopefully I can loose some weight eating vegan for a month or so...

First: We began our Advent today, so that's why I'm thinking vegan. We'll go 40 days (sans Thanksgiving at the in-laws) eating no dairy or meat. Most of our kids observe this fast as well, except the littles.

Second: One of my very good friends is getting married! And wants me to be her matron of honor! I am, obviously, honored. But I also have been off the "pregnancy" diet, as I call it, for 4 years now, and can no longer rely on my sweet baby's gestation period helping me shed many, many pounds of unwanted fat. Alas, if I want to shed my fat, I'm on my own, no baby in the womb to help me these days. (Why do you think I have had so many kids? Very good pregnancies!)

So, here I am already somewhat entrenched in my second winter of gym membership. I go 1x per week lately, if I'm lucky. If I hope to loose just a couple inches before the wedding, still no date but maybe February, I'd better be getting my weight lifting on and re-vamping better food habits. Last winter I did great! That's because I was a new gym member and I had a great personal trainer I met with 2x per week. I also had a cool program to enter food data into so it made me aware of my eating habits. I know my very worst habit is eating after kids go to bed, and pizza is my very favorite midnight snack. That's TERRIBLE for someone watching the waist line, but never-the-less, when that time of night rolls around my will power is gone and munchies power takes over.
The other night the idea of hummus pizza struck me, it sounded delicious in my brain and sure enough there are many people who have made and blogged about the delicious treat. Mostly vegans. I did some scouring around and then made up my own.

I had soaked 4 cups of whole grain flour (including prairie gold wheat, spelt, millet, rye, hard wheat, etc) with 4 cups of water last night. The grain had been ground already and I have recently discovered how much better grains are for you if you can soak them overnight. Ground and soaked (to me) seems just as good, so I'm trying to do that before bread baking now. I knew that today I wanted to make either pancakes or pizza...I made both. We are really secret hobbits. We had first supper and second supper. Anyway, I soaked the flour then divided it evenly this morning when I couldn't decide on one and chose to make both. I won't go into the details of the pizza crust as there are hundreds out there and it's just a basic formula of oil, water, salt, sugar and flour. Don't forget the oil. I made our basic bread recipe but added more oil then normal and let it rise coated in oil rather than flour. Then divided into 5 pans.

Oh, the other thing about this recipe. My hubby doesn't love hummus. If I eat it he usually avoids it unless he has to eat it for some reason (like it's on his pizza) but I didn't really want him knowing what it was. So I only did a thin layer. If you love it, add more! Also that's the reason I pre-spread the crust with garlic oil and also why I added the nutritional yeast flakes, though it did taste very good.

Vegan Hummus Pizza

-Pizza crust, what ever kind you like. I used dough I had made today.
-Smart Balance or Earth Balance, a tablespoon or so per pizza, melt add garlic powder, parsley and oregano.
-Spread the "butter" (if you eat butter, for Pete sake, use butter!) onto crusts, go onto the edges with it.
-Take hummus (I had some homemade, cheapest!) and be sure it's smooth and spreadable. Mine needed a bit of olive oil added to it and mine wasn't garlic-y enough so I added more garlic powder.
-Roast your peppers: This was my first time roasting peppers...I have seriously been missing out! Slice up, throw on a pan, douse in olive oil, sprinkle salt, roast at 400-450 for 15-30 min. Yum! I only used about 1 pepper per 1/2 of each pizza.
-Mushrooms: hubby loves mushrooms and I the peppers, each pizza is 1/2 and 1/2. Slice and place mushrooms.
-Onion (RED!): it doesn't matter what color, red is pretty. I used one onion for 5 pizzas but I only barley "decorated" husband's side with them, he's not a big onion fan.
-Kalamata olives: Be sure you have these! I didn't . I will be buying some and adding them to the pizzas in the future. You really don't need them, I just had a piece with out and it was sooooo good.

Since I wanted to freeze these pizzas and didn't really know how with raw dough, I pre-baked them. Then I'll freeze them on the pan, then I'll pop them off and wrap them in saran wrap. Thanks Laura for the tip on that.

3 pizzas ready to bake, could have used more mushrooms.

4 in the oven. These smelled soooo good.
I had made 5 pizzas and the kids had helped me assemble them. I couldn't very well tell them they couldn't have any, they are our midnight snacks, so I cut up one and the big kids and I and hubby enjoyed a piece or two. I asked hubby what he thought (hoping the hummus wasn't too obvious.) He claimed that his friend had used this recipe once. "What recipe?" I asked. "Making the fake cheese stuff as the base of the pizza." He said. Well, that was good enough for me, it was his way of saying he approved and it wasn't terrible and possibly even good. He is NOT a fan of my experimenting, in fact tonight he was quite skeptical of my pancakes I had made when I told them they had protein in them. (I'll post that recipe later.) He doesn't like it when I do silly things like add cabbage to a giant pot of chili and burn the giant said pot of chili then call it, "smoked chili". What's funny is that a friend thought I was serious and loved the chili. It wasn't over burned and I did NOT scrape the burned parts into the rest of the pot, I learned that lesson a long time ago.

The pizza we "tested". Not too bad for no cheese or peperoni!

So, we're set with 4 midnight snacks with a few less grams of fat than our standard frozen pizza from the grocery store. Now to drag myself to the gym more than once per week...

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