the taste space

Pizza Bella (Raw Portobello Pizza)

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on August 9, 2012

Are you tired of wraps and salads but still want to pack in your veggies?

Enter Pizza Bella: a raw portobello mushroom pizza.

Since our move, Rob and I have lost easy access to a barbecue but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying portobello mushrooms. I still adore grilled portobello bliss but variety is the spice of life. With my leftover cocktail sauce from the Raw King Oyster “Calamari”, I knew I wanted to use it towards pizza on a fungi.

In fact, my idea for this came from my visit to Houston, where I had a similar meal from Pat Greer’s Kitchen (see Ashley’s Pizza Bella review here). Everyone keeps reminding me that Houston is America’s fattest city and they only eat meat. I protest, you can find healthy take-away foods, even in Houston: you just need to know where to look. When I had my interview in Houston, I wasn’t able to visit the store front of Pat Greer’s Kitchen, but with advance ordering, she was able to deliver her foods to a nearby My Fit Foods store.  With a few fresh, raw meals now packed in my hotel mini-fridge, I was all set to bring my A game for my marathon of interviews.

Pat’s Pizza Bella: made with breath, love, and portabella mushroom, and organic: sunflower seeds, cashews, carrots, zucchini, wild kalamata olives, local tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, tahini, garlic powder, and sea salt

What I was most impressed at was that the mushroom seemed to be raw. I wasn’t even sure it was marinaded, but as a raw mushroom, it kept its shape well while holding a nice tomato sauce, a sunflower-cashew cheese, topped with spiralized zucchini, olives and carrots.

For my version, I opted to marinate the mushroom in a touch of apple cider vinegar to soften it slightly as I prepped my sauces. My tomato sauce was ready-to-go but now I had to decide on a cheese flavour. In the end, I went with Gena’s Italian cashew cheese flavoured with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil. I made it with my food processor, instead of my Vitamix, hoping to get a more cheese-like consistency, but it still was no match to real ricotta cheese. It still tasted great, though, and worked really well with the contrast from the lemon-tomato sauce.  I like the shredded zucchini and olives from Pat’s version, so I included that, along with a mound of sprouts as toppings.

I ran out of mushrooms, so I ended up freezing the extra cashew cheese in ice cube trays, so I can pop them out whenever I want a single serving of pizza cheese (thanks for the tip, Zoa!). This set of ingredients would also work well in a collard wrap, or overtop zucchini noodles.

This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Susan, to this month’s Ingredient Challenge Monday for mushrooms, and to this week’s Raw Thursdays.

Pizza Bella (Raw Portobello Pizza)

8 large Portobello mushrooms, cleaned, destemmed and degilled (peel off the skin, too, if you desire)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
1/2 recipe cocktail tomato sauce (or your favourite raw marinara sauce)
1 recipe Italian Cashew Cheese with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil (see below)
1 zucchini, spiralized
8 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup sprouts (I used clover sprouts)
+your other favourite pizza toppings!

1. Marinate the cleaned mushrooms in lemon juice as you prepare the rest of your ingredients (gently rub it all over the mushrooms).

2. Top your mushroom with the tomato sauce, Italian cashew cheese, zucchini, olives and sprouts.

Serves 4.

Italian Cashew Cheese with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil
Adapted from Choosing Raw

1/2 cup cashews, soaked for two hours or more
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 tsp white miso
2 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes (water reserved), chopped
1/8 cup basil, chopped

1. Throw nuts in a food processor and process till ground well.Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2. Add salt, lemon juice, and miso. Scrape sides of bowl and run processor again, this time drizzling some reserved tomato water until the cheese reaches your desired consistency (I added around 3-4 tbsp).

3. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and basil and quickly pulse to incorporate.

Makes 1/2 cup. Can be frozen (try it in ice cube trays!).

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20 Responses

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  1. sprint2thetable said, on August 9, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    I wish I was in Houston instead of Ft. Worth today! That sounds awesome. Can’t wait to try this myself. I’ve never thought to do raw one!

  2. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on August 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    I love how simple this pizza is and that you get to cram in even more veggies by using a veggie for the crust! You are so creative Janet :)

  3. veghotpot said, on August 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Now that is some seriously healthy food! I really want a spiralizer but the ones I found on Amazon didn’t have great reviews. Can you suggest a good brand to buy? What a fabulous way to get all of your veggies in, thanks for sharing x

    • janet @ the taste space said, on August 9, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      I have this one:

      Pros: It works well and it spiralizes the middle (some brands don’t do the middle.. which is nice if you don’t want to spiralize the mushy seeds of a large zucchini)
      Cons: Sometimes I have to cut my veggies to fit inside the arm that pushes it in. You are also limited by spiralizing a veggie that is maybe 3 inches wide based on the size of the blade (I don’t think anyone has solved this problem yet).

      Otherwise, I know the World Cuisine model is popular… and a cheaper option is just to get a julienne peeler. :)

  4. Eileen said, on August 9, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Ooh, freezing cashew cheese is a great idea! Why have I not thought of that? I love the idea of piling a raw portobello with all the delicious veg in the house too.

  5. sonja@vesenmork said, on August 9, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    I love the name! Pizza Bella! Really has a ring to it. And I bet It tastes as goods as it sounds. Bookmarking it

  6. Joanne said, on August 9, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    I’m so glad you were nourished for your interviews! That’s half the battle. :) These stuffed bellas look so tasty! Even to a non-mushroom lover.

  7. laceythevegan said, on August 12, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Reblogged this on Lacey Loves Food.

  8. Susan said, on August 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Hmmm, it is probably sheer folly for me to attempt to cram yet another kitchen gadget in my small space, but I sure am tempted to get a spiral maker now. : )

    Beautiful and clever little canape cups, Janet. Great contribution to WHB. The round-up will be online tomorrow night. Thanks for joining!

  9. Vicky (Sweet and Healthy Living) said, on August 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Mmm… I love mushrooms and pizza! I love all of your recipes!

  10. Elizabeth said, on August 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    That is so beautiful! And how clever to “cook” the mushroom in cider vinegar. And clover sprouts! I had no idea that clover sprouts would be good (silly me). Now I will look for clover seeds to try them out.

  11. crispycook said, on August 14, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    What a great idea for a veggie pizza. I want one right now.

  12. Vicky said, on August 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    This is a wonderful recipe…such a great idea! It looks delicious!

  13. heathergfc said, on August 16, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Delicious, Janet! Love the title, the concept, and the flavors! Pizza Bella. Ingenious! Thanks so much for sharing it at Raw Foods Thursdays!!

  14. Mushrooms Canada said, on August 22, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    What a fantastic use of a raw Portabella! Love the recipe!

    -Shannon

  15. SunnyB @ andloveittoo said, on November 14, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    This sounds wonderful! I am going to have to bring some to lunch with me later this week. Thanks for linking this in to Ingredient Challenge Monday! xoxo

  16. […] Pizza Tag Team match! We have Pizza Bella from the Taste Space blog and their tag team partner RAW Cream cheese pizza from The Copycat Cook […]

  17. […] that is still down-to-earth, delicious and easy. I have made many of her recipes (there are too many to count, ok plus these, too), and I have bookmarked many more to […]


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