Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pesto Pizza with Gardein "Chicken" and Tomatoes

This is my second time making pizza at home and I can see that I've improved a lot from the last time I attempted. My problem last time was that I did not knead the dough for as long as I should. The result was the dough wasn't as smooth and was left feeling really sticky.
Another thing that I changed was I rolled my pizza dough straight on the pizza pan. It's a lot faster and easier, since you don't have to transfer the dough from the rolling board to the pan.

If you haven't tried Gardein's chicken strips yet, I recommend you do. This was my first time and I was so surprised at how much it smelt and tasted like real chicken. I try not to buy a lot of pre-made, processed "meats" but it was so good that I think it might just become one of my guilty pleasures of eating with some sweet and sour sauce mmmm! : ]

Okay, okay back to the pizza. I left it simple and just added the "chicken" and tomato slices but feel free to load on the different toppings. I used a 13" pizza pan and that gave out 6 decent sized slices. It baked for a little under 20 minutes, so keep an eye on it after 20 minutes to make sure the cheese doesn't burn.


Printer Friendly Recipe Here

Pizza Dough

* 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
* 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 2 cups whole wheat bread flour
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons brown sugar

Basil Cilantro Pesto ( Recipe from Veganomicon )

* 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
* 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
* 1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 2 Tb fresh lemon juice ( about 1/2 a lemon )
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 cup olive oil


* 1 package of faux chicken strips ( such as Gardein or Morningstar )
* 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
* 3/4 to 1 cup thinly shredded vegan cheese ( such as Daiya 'Italian' cheese )

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt, sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine.

3. Knead for about 5 minutes, until a smooth dough is formed. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile start making your pesto...

4. Place the basil, cilantro, almonds, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and blend until pasty, scraping down the sides occasionally. With the food processor still running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until relatively smooth and no large chunks of almonds are left. Set aside.

5. Cook the "chicken" according to directions on package and set aside to cool. Once cooled, use a sharp knife to roughly chop each chicken strip, until it starts to resemble shredded chicken.

Preheat oven to 400 F

To assemble the pizza

6. By now the dough should have risen to double its size. If not, wait a couple minutes longer. When ready, turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Form dough into a round and roll out into a pizza crust shape.

7. Pour pesto over the crust and spread.

8. Sprinkle half a cup of shredded cheese over the sauce. Place the shredded "chicken" and tomato slices over the cheese. Finally sprinkle another 1/4 cup cheese over the toppings.

9. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 18 to 25 minutes or until your cheese is melted and the crust has hardened.


  1. I am planning to spotlight and feature throughout the month of November cookies that vegans can enjoy for the Holidays.

    I would like for all the vegan bloggers on my blogroll to participate.

    I would like to include you as one of my blog guests for that month.

    Every 4 days I will highlight one of my vegan bloggers from my blogroll with their photo and their best holiday cookie recipe, which will highlight their blog and the written information they send me about themselves and their recipe for those 4 days.

    After the 4 days I will highlight another blogger friend. Once I have highlighted you, you then need to post it on your blog sending your blogger friends towards my blog to see your guest post.

    Make sure your recipe is not complicated.

    If you are interested to join me fir the month of November with your best vegan or raw cookie recipe, please email me all the information I have requested by October 20th.

    Your entry must be in writing and sent to me via email. I need you to send me a photo of yourself and a photo of your family. In your summary tell me a little bit about yourself, where you live, your marital status, your career and of course your recipe complete with the recipe & a photograph of your cookies. Please let me know whether you are participating or not...I truly appreciate your response.

    Thank you.

  2. Sounds like an absolutely delicious combination. We like the gardien strips too...I usually keep some in the freezer...they come in handy for a lot of things...I'll have to try this pizza.

    I love all your photos too; it's like watching a cooking show. It really gets me into the recipe.

  3. I'm glad you now have pictures for a pizza recipe. (:

    I actually don't like Gardein that much! The only one I seem to like is the Rosemary Gardein they prepare at Whole Foods. D:

    So that's the flour you use? I have that, but it doesn't say "whole wheat bread flour" -- is that why you have active yeast in the recipe?

    Bahhhh why do there have to be a gazillion flours? XD