Tortilla Pizza

And now for some actual food! For my first post I’ve decided to talk about one of my favourite recipes.

I can’t remember where I first heard of this “recipe” (if you can call it that) but it immediately struck me as a genius idea. As someone who is trying to cut down on her intake of excessive carbs (white rice, pasta, bread, thick, toasted crusty bread spread with lashings of melting Lurpak….oh) the concept of replacing said excessive carbs with slightly less excessive carbs was a welcome one.

It also needs to be said that I absolutely LOVE pizza. Any pizza, I’m not fussy or picky, as long as it has a base and a topping, I’m game. I’d possibly go so far as to say I could eat pizza 7 days a week, a dream that does not go unnoticed by my boyfriend who when asking me what I fancy for dinner has to first put up with the inevitable suggestive singsong of “piiiiizzaaaaaaaa?”

A recent obsession of mine is the surely heavensent Padana from Pizza Express.

“rich goat’s cheese, spinach and red onion with tangy caramelised onion confit and a drizzle of garlic oil”

Now I know it doesn’t sound like much but this combination of ingredients is nothing short of fabulous. The onion confit is the absolute highlight, making each mouthful deliciously sweet and tangy in contrast with the softly comforting goats cheese.

Here is a picture of this stunning delicacy:

 

 

So one night when we fancied pizza, I remembered a recipe I used to make at University that used a tortilla as the base. Obviously this is a lot less calories than regular pizza dough and as an added bonus (unusual for diet food) it is also delicious, especially if you like thin crust pizzas as it is about the thinnest crust you can get!

A word of advice – make some marks in the tortilla with a knife before you put it in the oven; the first time we didn’t do this and the tortilla blew up in the middle, not unlike a pufferfish.

The tortilla cooks for about 5 minutes til it is firm and not soft in the middle. Then, you can put on any toppings you like! Obviously following my expensive Padana obsession I have most recently been using ingredients similar to these, but in the past I have successfully used plain old cheese and pepperoni, roasted vegetables and the weird but fiercely defended ham and pineapple.

But, for a Padana style tortilla pizza, I start by covering the base with a couple of teaspoons of tomato paste.

I then caramelise onions very slowly for about half an hour til they are so soft and so sweet that I could just eat them right out of the pan.

Then, the onion confit. Sadly, the closest I could get to a “caramelised onion confit” was Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference ‘caramelised onion chutney” which was just not the same. It’s nowhere near as sweet as the Pizza Express one which is quite upsetting but I use it anyway for lack of a better alternative.

I add the spinach to the onions until it has wilted and pile it all onto the base in a deliciously messy heap.

Finally, I top with a controlled (very difficult) amount of gorgeous fresh goats cheese and put the pizza into the oven to crisp up and melt the goats cheese.

 

The end result is a perfectly acceptable imitation of the Padana, but for a fraction of the calories and (depending on how controlled you are with your goats cheese!) fat. Whats more, this fact alone makes it deliciously tempting to eat the entire pizza and not even feel a tiny bit bad about it!

 

 

 

Mediterranean Tofu Scramble

I wanted to make something nice for dinner based around one key ingredient – tofu. We have cooked with tofu a few times but I’m keen to start using it a bit more as I’m getting sick of all the Quorn products; there’s so much that can be done with tofu that it’s a lot more versatile. Plus, it’s delicious! I found a delicious sounding recipe on Post Punk Kitchen (Puttanesca Tofu Scramble) that called for very few ingredients so I decided it would be the perfect easy Thursday night dinner. We already had peppers, tomatos and onions so I just nipped to Sainsburys and grabbed tofu, olives and a bit of an impulse buy of feta cheese.

We’ve never pressed our tofu before cooking with it and I decided this was the night to try! It was really easy to do; we opened and drained the tofu (we used Cauldron Firm) and put it on a dinner plate on top of a few sheets of kitchen towel. We then topped it with another plate and a load of heavy cooking books. When we returned 20 minutes later a good amount of liquid had been squeezed out and the tofu had a firmer, spongier appearance. Marvellous!

Drinks in hand (it had been a long day…) we then started chopping the ingredients.

I chopped one red onion, one red pepper, olives and a handful of plum tomatoes. We then sautΓ©ed the onion first with some chopped garlic before adding the chopped tofu. After the tofu had started to brown and crisp up a bit on the edges we added the peppers, tomatoes and seasoning (basil, oregano, salt, pepper.)

Next time we make this I think we’ll chop the tofu again into smaller chunks so that they cook quicker (slackers!)

When the tomatoes and peppers were at a level of softness that satisfied me, we added the sliced olives and finally the feta. I was umming and ahhing about whether to add the feta into the pan or just on top at the end but I’m so glad we added it in! Some of the smaller chunks melted fully, binding all the ingredients into a kind of salty, cheesey blanket, while the bigger pieces remained valiantly whole, delicious when unexpectedly muscling in on the odd forkful.

We served the ‘scramble’ with some sun-dried tomato couscous which really was the perfect accompaniment. This was a really delicious, easy dinner that came together in no time, we’ll definitely be making it again!