For me, one of the easiest, yummiest and filling snacks to have is a slice of pizza. Sometimes it’s also the meal for me. That is why I am glad that I first discovered pizza when I was visiting a vegan Indian home in Bahrain. It was my first encounter with the famous Neapolitan invention called pizza. It was topped with diced green capsicum, fresh tomatoes and cheese. After that pizzerias near where I live began to mushroom all over.
Having developed a fetish for pizza, I read up on its history and discovered that Neapolitans claim that it was first made by Raffaele Esposito 1889, a baker, in honor of the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy in the 1900s. Raffaele called it Pizza Margherita, a pizza topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, to represent the Italian flag. Back then, Pizza Margherita was considered a poor man’s meal because it contained very few toppings. I had the chance to visit Naples many years ago and immediately had a taste of authentic pizza where it was invented. The roadside shop I went to only served one kind, garlic and cheese. It was so delectable along with a glass of rosé.
Zucchini and Cherry Tomato Vegan Pizza is my new vegan pizza recipe. It is truly a deliberately healthy dish. First of all, the dough uses spelt flour. Do you know that spelt is an ancient type of wheat grain? There are studies that say spelt grain was popular in Europe since 5000 BC. Ancient spelt is believed to be more nutritious than modern wheat.
Also read: Cauliflower Besan Pizza
Next, one of the main toppings, zucchini, is a good source for a long list of minerals and vitamins. It is low in calories and good for diabetics. Cherry tomatoes, just like other tomato varieties are rich in Vitamin C, protein, fiber and many other vitamins and minerals. They are sweeter than regular tomatoes and make any dish look good in terms of presentation.
Aside from the star ingredients, the support cast includes coconut yogurt, chia seeds, sunflower oil, shallot, garlic and capers. Coconut yogurt makes this dish dairy-free and good for the lactose intolerant. Chia seeds are gluten-free, rich in Omega 3 and various micronutrients. Sunflower oil is good for the heart. Shallots are rich in polyphenols – good for fighting cancer, slows ageing, and promotes normal blood pressure. Garlic has been named as one of the 10 healthiest foods in the world by many experts. Capers are good for the skin and hair and are good source of iron, copper and calcium.
Don’t all that make Zucchini and Cherry Tomato Vegan Pizza deliberately healthy?
- 200 g wholegrain spelt flour , plus extra to dust
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- ½ tesapoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 100 gm coconut yogurt
- 1 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 3 tbsp water for 10 mins)
- 1 shallot
- 2 Zucchini ribbons, use mandolin
- 250 gm cherry tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons baby capers
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed mixed in 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 cup passata
- Salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC
- Combine the flour, baking powder, sea salt and sugar in a bowl. Beat the coconut yogurt, oil, chia egg and 100ml water together, then mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
- On a dusted surface, knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until stretchy.
- Roll the dough out to 1cm thick.
- Blitz tomatoes, dried herbs, capers and salt in food processor into into a chunky consistency.
- Finely slice zucchini into ribbons using a mandolin.
- Bake on a dusted baking tray for 10 minutes, then remove.
- Evenly spread the paste on the semi baked crust and top with zucchini ribbons, cherry tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and drizzle garlic oil mix.
- Bake for another 15 minutes until golden.
- Serve with a good pinch of chilli flakes and fresh herbs.
Do try it out. I bet you, you’d be healthier in a month after regularly having it for meals or snack. Know what, I keep leftover pizza slices in the fridge for future craving emergencies. They may not be as crisp after a dose of microwave. But believe me they taste just fine and continue to make me healthier. What do you think?