Thursday, August 16, 2012

BBQ Tempeh Pizza

The first time I became a vegetarian it was a pretty simple transition - living in a dorm in graduate school the meat was appalling to look at let alone eat, and eating meat out on a student budget was rare. So when my roommate urged me to go veg like she was so we could share meals, it was no hardship. But my recent transition was a little more cold turkey (pardon the pun!) While meat had been an irregular visitor to my table, I did eat a burger a month and the occasional slice of charcuterie. But what I truly craved was a local pizza called "BBQ' Chicken."

Pizza is probably my biggest weakness, and I will generally try almost anything (savory) on my pizza so when Dagwood's "BBQ Chicken" landed on my plate I was smitten: tangy BBQ sauce, mozzarella, sliced chicken, and cilantro. Sounds incredibly unhealthy and decadent, right! But oh so delicious! Cutting meat out of my diet meant no more BBQ Chicken, or did it? Always one to experiment, I decided to make my own version, and it turned out pretty darn well, if I do say so myself!

After having such great success with Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes, I knew tempeh would be my protein of choice. And since this was an experiment, I gave myself the option of two different versions of a seasoned tempeh: one boiled with traditional poultry seasoning herbs and one baked with BBQ sauce. The poultry seasonings did not give the tempeh that much flavor so the baked BBQ tempeh took the honors. Incidentally, one could buy chicken style seitan, but my DIY gene was not having that!

BBQ Tempeh Chicken Pizza

1 package tempeh (8oz)
pizza dough (enough for 10 inch pie)
1 tablespoon coarse cornmeal or flour
2 cups BBQ sauce (make your own)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or use vegan mozzarella style shreds)
1/4 cup cilantro, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut tempeh in quarters and cut each piece through the middle to create thin slices. In a glass baking dish that will hold all of the tempeh pieces, smear 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce and place tempeh on tope; then smear another 1/4 cup of sauce on top of each slice. Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes until tempeh has absorbed sauce. Remove from oven and set aside.

Turn up your oven as high as it will go - mine is only 500 degrees. Roll out or toss your dough to form a 10 inch round pie and sprinkle cornmeal or flour on baking sheet and place dough on sheet. Smear BBQ sauce on dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and top with BBQ tempeh. Bake until crust is crispy on the bottom, 12-15 minutes depending upon the heat of your oven and the thickness of the dough. Remove from oven and sprinkle cilantro over top and enjoy!


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Green Beans with Quick Lemon Basil Aioli at Garden of Eating
Wild Ginger Ice Cream at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
Sunchoke and Cashew Stir Fry at 101 Cookbooks

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