Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Vegan Pizza Bites

It's back to school time! Well, basically. Due to the strike the first day of school was pushed back a day. For us kindergarteners, that means we have an extra weekend.

We were supposed to go to Texas; due to the change though, we are no longer. So now I am attempting to cope with my major disappointment.

Commence carbohydrate gorging. Which is ever so conveniently paired with (remember?) my quest to pack the most amazing lunches this side of something that creates a really significant border?

And I did something pretty yum-mazing here. I combined three things: My utter sadness at the sudden loss of our vacation, my enthusiasm for making teeny tiny things for my teeny tiny kindergartener's lunch and my obsession with re-purposing extra ingredients, I came up with these: Pizza bites. Vegan pizza bites.

Because at the top of my list entitled 'things that are awesome' is carbohydrates, my teeny tiny kindergartener and re-purposing left overs. Not in that order. Yes. I get an abnormal sense of satisfaction in re-purposing. I don't find this to be a problem.

The bites were fairly simple in the end; remember the pizza dough? I used that, simply reducing the amount (I did the math for you too). Then I stuffed them with a little Daiya cheese and a fun combination of Gimme Lean sausage, the KGB mixture and my own homemade red sauce. Winner.

You will love them. Your kids will love them. Your big kids hubs/wifey will love them. The neighbors will love them. You will be awesome. Now that's advertising.

Yield about 18 bites

1 teaspoons raw sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (about 1/2 package if you don't do bulk)
1 1/2 cups unbleached whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

For the filling:
About 1/2 roll (about 3/4  cup) Gimme Lean 'sausage'
About 3/4 cup KGB mixture OR
if you don't have the KGB made up already, it's about 3 leaves kale, 1/4 medium head broccoli, 1/4 medium head romanesco, 1 clove garlic. Put it all in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. See pizza recipe
About 3/4 cup homemade tomato sauce
About 1/4 to 1/2 package Daiya cheese in any flavor you like. I used 'mozzarella'

Helpful tools:
Ravioli stamp

In a large bowl, combine warm water and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add yeast to water, stir lightly and set aside until foamy. About 10 minutes.

In another medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Use a fork to combine then set aside.

Add the Tablespoon of olive oil to your yeast mixture. Then, using a fork, gradually add flour mixture about 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time, to liquid. Once just barely combined, turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth elastic ball.

Return to bowl, drizzle with olive oil, turn once, cover and place in a warm area to rise until double in size. About 45 min to 1 hr 20 min.

Meanwhile, prepare your sausage and, if you haven't prepared your KGB and/or red sauce, do that too.

For your sausage, preheat a saute pan to med/high heat with a little olive oil. Break up half the tube of 'sausage' into pieces; make as many pieces as you can because it's pretty sticky. As it cooks, use your spatula to further break it up. Cook until evenly brown then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Again, for the KGB: if you don't have leftover from the pizza, simply add kale leaves (minus stems and ribbing), broccoli, romanesco and garlic to your kitchenaid and pulse until you reach a fine chop. You might need to do this in batches. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Also, if you haven't prepared your red sauce ahead of time, go ahead and do that now. Off you go.

Combine cooked sausage, KGB and about 1/2 cup of the red sauce. If needed, gradually add more red sauce until you get a moist consistency. Set aside.

When your dough is done, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into about 1/4 inch thick strips. Strips work best because you're going to punch the pizza bites out with the ravioli stamp. This is the one I use.

Using the ravioli stamp, gently press 'guide lines' down one side of your dough. Ensure you leave enough space between each for stamping.

Put a tiny sprinkle of Daiya down inside each 'guide line', then scoop about 1 Tablespoon of your sausage KGB mixture on top. Add a little more Daiya on top then fold dough over top.

Gently press top dough around filling, to see where you will stamp. From there, stamp each pizza bite out, brush with a little olive oil and place on baking sheet. Repeat for all dough/filling and place pizza bites onto baking sheet as you go.

Just before you place bites in the oven, sprinkle a little sea salt on top. Go easy though; Daiya is pretty salty and you don't want to overwhelm the bites with salt.

Bake for 12-14 minutes then remove and let cool.

If you're going to eat them right away, serve with a little extra tomato sauce for dipping and enjoy!

If you're going to freeze them, allow them time to cool fully then place in a freezer safe container, separating layers with parchment paper.

To reheat, simply place in a 350 oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve by themselves or with more tomato sauce for dipping.

A lovely healthy treat for school lunch or after school snack.



  1. Mmmmm carbs. These look so appealing.

  2. briarrose... Thank you! They are some pretty good carbs! When you're going to do it, do it up right, yes? :)



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