Pizza Bowls: #228 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

If you want a break from wheat or dairy, this is a beautiful way to enjoy pizza without the bread and cheese. You take a bowl of rice and load it with veggies, plant-based ground meat, and a velvety cashew-tomato sauce that tastes very rich and cheesy. It’s inspired by the legendary Isa.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($16.50 for 4-6 bowls)

Veggies:
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 package enoki mushrooms or your favorite mushrooms – $2.99
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1 package of your favorite plant-based ground meat – $4.99
1 bunch kale and 1 bunch collard greens, destemmed and chopped – $3.98
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce – $0.10

Sauce:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight – $1.00
3 cloves garlic, peeled – $0.11
3 tbsp tomato paste – $0.89
1/2 cup miso ginger broth or other vegetable broth – $0.25
1 lime, juiced – $0.20
1 tsp salt – $0.05

Serve with:
4 cups cooked rice – $0.47
1/2 cup olives – $0.50
2 tbsp fresh chopped basil leaves – free from garden

Directions

0. (Make sure you soaked the cashews in water overnight! Or for at least 2 hours at room temperature.)

1. Start the rice cooking however you normally cook rice, then begin on the veggies. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then add the onions. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until they’re soft and starting to brown. Then add in the garlic, mushrooms, and salt, and cook for 3 more minutes.

Next, stir in the ground meat, greens, and Worcestershire sauce, mixing well to combine. Cook for about 3 more minutes until the greens have wilted and everything is melding together nicely. Turn the heat down to low while you get the sauce ready, and remember to stir occasionally.

2. Put all the sauce ingredients in the blender and blend until very smooth. You might need to stop and mix it with a spoon a few times to get it really silky. Taste and adjust for seasonings. If you’re not using it right away, you can keep it in the fridge.

3. Assemble your bowls: I like to put the rice in first, then the veggies and “meat”, then the sauce on top, with olives and basil as final garnishes. Dig into this heavenly bowl of comfort and enjoy your evening! Any leftovers will freeze nicely for future deliciousness.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Easy Pizza Dough (no yeast, non-dairy): #160 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

With our normal yeast pizza dough, I need two hours prep time for dinner. We don’t always have that kind of time with everything else going on, so this is a quick and delicious variation that doesn’t need time to rise. You can have hot, fresh pizza in a flash!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($2 total for the dough)

4 1/2 cups flour – $0.70
4 tsp baking powder – $0.06
1 tsp oregano – $0.28
1/3 cup olive oil – $0.60
1 1/2 cups water – free
Any pizza toppings you like

Directions

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Add the olive oil and water, and work into a dough. Add a bit more flour if it’s really sticky on your fingers. No rising required.

3. Press the dough out into a large circle on a parchment-lined pizza pan. You can also use any pan shape that you have on hand. Put your toppings on – we had tomato sauce, pineapple, sliced chicken apple sausage, and sauteed mushrooms with garlic and beet greens. The pizza was divided into segments for each of us, so everyone got to decorate the pizza with their own customizations.

Bake at 425F for 22 minutes. The crust edges will be nice and golden brown. Remove from the oven, cut with clean kitchen scissors, and serve hot. Enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Leek, Onion, and Olive Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust: #97 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Imagine a pizza you might have at a self-care retreat on the coast of France – loaded with caramelized onions and leeks, mozzarella, and kalamata olives on a nourishing, partly whole wheat crust. That’s what this sumptuous dinner is, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($13 total)

FOR THE CRUST:
1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tsp brown sugar – $0.07
1 1/2 cups hottest tap water – free
3 1/4 cups flour – $0.52
1 cup whole wheat flour – $0.18
1/4 cup olive oil – $0.40
1 tsp salt – $0.05

FOR THE TOPPING:
2 onions, thinly sliced into half-moons – $1.00
2 leeks, thoroughly washed and thinly sliced – $2.99
3 green garlics, chopped (or green onions would work too) – we got these from the farm for free
1 tsp olive oil – $0.10
1 tsp oregano – $0.28
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup mozzarella, grated – $2.49
1 jar kalamata olives – $2.99
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated – $1.00

Directions

1. In a small plastic (non-metal) bowl, mix the yeast and brown sugar, then add the water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to form a foam over the surface.

With a wooden spoon, stir in 1 1/4 cups of the flour until smooth. Rapidly mix for 5 minutes to develop the gluten, then cover and rest for 5 minutes more.

Next, thoroughly stir in the olive oil and salt, followed by the whole wheat flour. Once that’s smooth, knead in the remaining 2 cups of white flour with your hands. When the flour is all incorporated, knead for an additional 5 minutes. 

Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm spot for about an hour or until it has doubled. With a bit of flour on your hands, stretch the dough out to the size of your pan, and lay it down on the parchment-lined pan, ready for toppings. 

If you stretch it out a bit wider than the pan, you can roll up the edge a bit to form a nice crust so the onions don’t leak off the side (pun intended).

2. You can make the filling while the dough is rising to save time. In a large pan over medium high heat, get the olive oil nice and hot, then add the onions, leeks, and green garlic. Stir frequently and cook for 5-10 minutes until the onions are soft and start to brown. Mix in the oregano and salt, then remove from heat.

3. Cover the pizza dough with 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese, then spoon the onion mixture over top. Add the rest of the cheese and the whole kalamata olives in a pretty pattern. Sprinkle the pecorino cheese around the crust. 

Bake at 475F for 10 minutes like a normal pizza, until the edges start to turn brown. Cut into wedges and enjoy warm from the oven!

If you have leftovers, you can store in the fridge or freezer and reheat in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Family Pizza Night: #37 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Once a week or so, we have family pizza night. On this momentous day, we make our dough, dress our pizza, choose a movie, and all eat on the couch instead of at our usual table. I try to make extra so there are leftovers for the kids to bring for school lunches. Everyone loves pizza night!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($11 total)

1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tsp + 1/4 cup sugar – $0.25
1/2 cup hottest water from the tap – free
4 tbsp olive oil or butter, melted – $0.62
1/2 cup milk or water – $0.19
1 tsp salt – $0.05
1 egg – $0.29
3 1/2 cups flour – $0.56
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 tsp oregano – $0.28
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped mixed greens (kale, chard, spinach) – $0.50
1 cup crushed tomatoes, blended – $0.45
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated – $2.49
1 pack pepperoni – $2.99
1/2 cup pineapple, diced – $0.45
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated – $1.00

Directions

1. In a large bowl, stir the yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and hot water together. Let it sit for 5 minutes until the yeast blooms into a thick foam. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, melted butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt, then pour this mixture into the foamy yeast. Next mix in the egg, and the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead it in the bowl for about 6 minutes until the dough comes together into a smooth, elastic ball. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and put it in a warm place for 1 hour to rise.

2. While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce. In a pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir frequently and cook for 3-5 minutes until garlic starts to turn golden brown. Add the chopped greens and cook until they start to wilt, then add the tomatoes. Cook for 1 minute more, then turn the heat off. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if needed.

3. Once the dough is ready, stretch it out by hand onto a large, round, parchment-lined baking tray. Spread out the sauce, then the cheese, then the pepperoni, then the pineapple, and sprinkle the pecorino cheese all around the crust. Other toppings are fine too (feel free to get creative!), just make sure to cook them first so they don’t make the pizza too watery.

Cook at 475F for 10 minutes, slice with kitchen shears, and enjoy fresh from the oven!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!