So several reasons why I started down the path of no-meat Mondays…
Firstly – Mediterranean eating and cooking is simply the best! Everything I read about Mediterranean diets sounds delicious and very healthy. One of the big foundations of a Mediterranean diet is less red meat, more fish, more veg. So a day dedicated to only vegetarian meals fits right in!
Secondly – this works perfectly with my “French women don’t get fat” diet (see blog rambling here), I’m eating more in season vegetables and fruit, and portion controlling all my meat courses.
Thirdly – After the weekend I always think a wee detox is a good thing. No meat Monday’s help reset my body for the week ahead and leaving me feeling healthy.
And so to entice my red blooded South African husband into having a meal without meat I’ve started to get creative with Monday’s meals, plus this pizza stone was on special at yuppiechef.co.za, and let’s be honest…who doesn’t love pizza?!
I don’t have time to get home from work and then start making pastry, freeze it for 24 hours, come back tomorrow and make pizza, if I feel like pizza for dinner I want it in the next 30 – 45 minutes. So I found this little gem of a sort of healthy pizza base (an adaptation from Lynn Bedford Halls – “Best of cooking in South Africa”), made with nutty wheat or whole wheat flour which makes it much more filling and tasty than a take away pizza.
- 250ml Nutty Wheat / whole wheat flour
- 150-200ml plain white flour
- a pinch of salt
- 5ml baking powder
- 80ml olive oil
- 80ml low fat milk
- 10ml lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients together and work into a dough like consistency, if the dough seems too dry add a bit more milk, if it seems too moist then add some more flour. You should be able to roll the dough into a ball in your hands like playdough / bread dough, the consistency shouldn’t be stuck to your hands and the board (too wet) nor crumbling apart (too dry).
I usually divide the above mixture into two and then roll it out with a rolling pin ready for the tomato base and toppings.
*A trick for pizza stones in the oven : Always buy a pizza stone that is unglazed. When cleaning do not submerge in water, make sure to scrape off excess food and gently wipe with a damp cloth at most. Make sure to preheat the stone in the oven, when the stone is preheated it assists to create that crispness in the base!
- 2 tbsps Tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 5ml dried italian herbs
Mix the ingredients for the paste together in a bowl, then brush over the top of the prepared pizza base.
You can really do whatever you feel for in terms of toppings, left overs from the night before, zucchini, avo, garlic, feta, peppers, onions, aubergines, tomatoes, chili’s, etc really the list is endless.
Once you’ve chopped and placed you’re toppings on the tomato brushed pizza base it’s time to add the cheese, I recommend:
- Grated Cheddar Cheese (for the flavour)
- Grated Mozzarella (for that delicious stickiness)
- Some grated Parmesan (because everything tastes better with Parmesan)
Place the topped pizza back in the oven for a good twenty to thirty minutes at 180-200 degrees Celsius and serve with a fruity Cab Sav!