Quinoa Crust Vegan Pizza

Usually gluten-free, vegan, or any mention of the word healthy is guarantee that Alex will dislike whatever I'm making (our pup, Tyson, does not discriminate). So, when he devoured half of my first effort at this quinoa crust pizza, I knew I had done something right. Since the first version was covered in cheese, which makes everything delicious, I wanted to try a healthier option. This vegan version ensued, and is not only delicious but filled with fiber, antioxidants, and serious anti-aging power. 

Crust:
3/4 cup quinoa, soaked for 6 hours
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Toppings:
1/2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
3-4 compari tomatoes, quartered
4-5 basil leaves, ribboned

Sauce:
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon oregano
2 garlic gloves, minced
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt + pepper

Vegan parmesan:
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt to taste

Cooking:
2 tablespoons ghee

Step 1: Place quinoa in a small bowl and cover in water so the grain is completely covered. Cover and let sit overnight (or for a minimum of 6 hours).

Step 2: Place a cast iron into oven and preheat oven to 425. Drain quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, and rinse until water runs clear. Place oil, water, baking soda, salt, and garlic in blender. Blend until completely smooth - it will resemble waffle batter. Take hot pan out, put 2 tablespoons of ghee into pan, and then pour in quinoa batter (smooth it out until it fills the whole pan). Place pan back in oven for 10-15 minutes, flip, and place back in for another 5-10. 

Step 3: Make sauce. Add 1/2 chopped onion to sauté pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, being careful not burn. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes and set aside to cool. Once cooler, blend until smooth. 

Step 4: When crust is finished cooking, top with sauce and veggies. Bake at 425 for another 10-15 minutes, or until veggies are to desired doneness.

Step 5: While pizza bakes, make parmesan cheese. Place all ingredients into food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground. When pizza is finished, let cool for 5-10 minutes and then top with cheese and basil.

Superfood Powers: Nutritional yeast! This superfood is dense with nutrients and protein - with 8 grams in just one tablespoon. It is also full of B vitamins, including B-12 normally found in animal sources. Sprinkle away.