By Little Northern Bakehouse

Make any day #SpinachDay with our scrumptious Gluten-Free Spinach and Artichoke Pizza. This easy-cheesy-lemon-squeezy recipe makes for a delightful weekday family meal or a trendy appie on Saturday with friends! Start with Little Northern Bakehouse’s Thin Artisan Style Gluten-Free Pizza Crust. Then top with sautéed garlic, onions, earthy artichokes, spinach, and sumptuous sauce. Fresh from the oven, this pizza is drenched in bubbly-brown ooey-gooey mozza that’s out of this world delicious. Garnish with sunshiny lemon slices for a refreshing zip.

Gluten-free, plant-based, allergy-friendly, and bursting with sophisticated flavour, the Plant-based Mozzarella Cheese Sauce is a delicious discovery from our friends at @schoolnightvegan. The cheese is made with unique ingredients like psyllium, agar agar, and tapioca starch. But never fear—you can find all of these items at your local grocery store. (Check out our tips below for how you can use these ingredients in future recipes, too!)

* Our plant-based mozzarella cheese sauce was adapted from an original recipe by @schoolnightvegan. We’ve used their base recipe but substituted soft tofu in place of cashews to make a nut-free, allergy-friendly version. Note: As written, this recipe makes enough cheese sauce to top two (2) Gluten-free Spinach and Artichoke Pizzas. Unless you want a lot of leftover cheese sauce, just double the pizza ingredients and fresh toppings below to make two pizzas.

Instructions:

For the Plant-based Mozzarella Cheese Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together psyllium husk powder and 6 teaspoons of water. Set aside to thicken.
  2. Place thickened psyllium and all other ingredients in a blender. Blend at the highest speed for at least 1 minute.
  3. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan. Over medium low heat, whisk constantly. The mixture will thicken quickly. To avoid lumps, continue whisking until the mixture is thick and stringy like melted fondue cheese.
  4. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before spooning over pizza.

For the Pizza:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (or use a pizza oven if you have one).
  2. In a small bowl, blend non-dairy cream cheese, sour cream, vinegar and seasonings to make the sauce for the base of your pizza. Spread mixture over Little Northern Bakehouse Thin Artisan Style Gluten-Free Pizza Crust evenly, as close to crust edge as possible.
  3. Sauté garlic and onions in olive oil until onions are transparent. Add artichokes and spinach and continue cooking until spinach leaves wilt.
  4. Spread spinach and artichoke mixture over your sauced pizza crust and top with vegan mozzarella shreds.
  5. Spoon the cooled plant-based mozzarella cheese sauce in generous dollops over your entire pizza. (Remember, the mozza cheese sauce recipe makes enough for two pizzas—we don’t recommend trying to use it all on one pizza!).
  6. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until crust edge is golden brown and cheese is melted.

For the Fresh Pizza Toppings:

  1. Top pizza with fresh spinach and lemon and radish slices.
  2. Slice, serve and Enjoy!

Serves 2 – 4

Tips:
  • For a smoky, gouda-like twist, @schoolnightvegan recommends adding the following ingredients to your plant-based mozzarella cheese sauce recipe:
    • 3 teaspoons Liquid smoke
    • ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon Onion powder
    • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • This plant-based mozzarella cheese sauce keeps in the fridge for up to a week in a tightly sealed container, and it freezes well, too. Double the recipe and save half for another pizza or pasta dish!
** About the Specialty Ingredients:
  • Psyllium husk and tapioca starch/flour are gluten-free thickening agents that sound unusual but are generally available in most grocery stores. Unlike many specialty ingredients, these have enough common uses they won’t end up gathering dust in the back of your pantry.
    • Psyllium husk powder is a common fibre supplement[1], sometimes found in the baking aisle or near the dry cereals, and sometimes found in the pharmacy section. Like ground flax and ground chia, you can use it as a vegan egg substitute in baking (1/4 cup water + ½ teaspoon psyllium husk powder = 1 egg). Or add a teaspoon to your smoothie (don’t go overboard—there is such a thing as too much fibre!).
    • Tapioca starch (sometimes labelled tapioca flour) is similar to cornstarch, but with a little less thickening power. You can usually find it in the Asian food section at the grocery store, or in the baking section. To use it in place of cornstarch for other recipes, substitute 1 ½ teaspoons of tapioca starch to every 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.
  • Agar agar is a gluten-free, plant-based alternative to gelatin that’s also used for thickening some recipes. Made from red algae, agar agar is used to make vegan jellies, puddings, ice creams, and jams (check Pinterest for ideas). If you can’t find it in the baking aisle of your grocery store, most health food and natural grocery stores carry it.

 

What recipe will you cook up next with the unique ingredients used in this plant-based cheese?

 

 

[1] Health Canada, Natural Health Products Ingredients Database, Monograph: Psyllium – Plantago ovata. 2018-10-29. Available from: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=290&lang=eng, Accessed March 13, 2020.