I’ve already shared my recipe for cauliflower crust pizza. It’s a huge favorite around here and I’ve been making it just about every week. Today I want to bring you another pizza crust alternative; one that requires no work at all. Seriously. This is for all you lazy, time-crunched, or simple folks who want their pizza NOW, and don’t want to lift a finger.
I’ve taken pizza and swapped the crust for protein-rich tempeh to give a new twist on the classic. Tempeh is a naturally gluten-free food that takes about 10 seconds to remove from the packaging and slice in half. Let’s break down tempeh a little further to really understand why tempeh makes a great pizza crust both flavor wise and nutritionally.
Tempeh is made from fermenting whole soybeans. The process of fermentation breaks down the phytic acid, a chemical naturally found in legumes and grains that blocks the absorption of minerals and causes digestive discomfort for many when eating legumes. The fermentation process also also increases the amount of vitamins and minerals when compared with regular soybeans or tofu. Tempeh is much more versatile (than tofu) because it is firm and holds its form when used in dishes. It has a slightly nutty flavor, however it easily takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. It also happens to pack a huge protein punch, 18 grams a serving! That’s 10 grams more than tofu, and a whole heck of a lot more than your standard wheat crust.
Are you convinced of tempeh’s superfood status? I hope so! These mini tempeh crust pizza squares will give your lunch a healthy makeover, while tasting like delicious, cheesy pizza. I ate mine with a side of sautéed kale, because everything tastes better with a side of sautéed kale. Maybe that is just me. But in all seriousness, try it.
You can make a bunch of these ahead of time and freeze them, then simply throw them in the microwave. Take them to work, or heat one up as an afternoon snack. They remind me of the square frozen pizza’s I grew up with…only 100 times healthier!
Tempeh Crusted Mini Pizza Squares
yield: 4 mini pizza squares
1 block tempeh, 8oz
1/4 cup tomato sauce (I used homemade sauce)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used organic valley pasture-raised mozzarella here)*
salt, pepper, pecorino romano cheese, to taste
*feel free free to use dairy-free cheese here
Preheat the oven (or convection oven) to 400 F. Cut the block of tempeh in half width wise, then slice each square lengthwise down the middle, so you are left with 4 equal (thin) squares. Place them on a foil-lined pan and bake for about 8-10 minutes on each side. You want the tempeh to be golden brown and the sides starting to crisp up.
Once baked, spread a tablespoon of tomato sauce on each square and sprinkle with cheese. Bake another 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
If you want to freeze these, wait until they are completely cool before putting them in a ziplock bag/air tight container in the freezer. You can put them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.