Shepherd’s Pizza (Potato Crust-ish Tasty Thing)

I was going to leave the title as just ‘Shepherd’s Pizza’ thinking it might intrigue millions, or thousands of readers into opening this post.  Then I thought perhaps I’d better offer just a little explanation, or maybe nobody would read it except for my mother.

So now that you are here…. you are still perhaps wanting a little more explanation?  This started as an attempt on my part to create a pizza crust out of potatoes (and a few other things).  Well, it did not turn out to be something that you could pick up.  More specifically, not pick up and take a bite that was several inches away from where you were holding it.  You could pick this food up in your hands if you are so moved, however…. it won’t be pretty.

“Alas, failure! I signed.”  Then my son said, “You should make this more often Mom!”

Ho ho!  Music to my ears on getting healthy food into my people!  I saw beyond failure and into the land of opportunity where lies the naming of something weird and different than what was expected.  What to name this soft layer of potato-y goodness topped with pizza stuff.  Upside down Italian Shepherd’s Pie came to mind.  The Italian word for shepherd is pastore by the way 😉

So, I would be happy to share Pastore Potato Pizza with you!

Pastore Potato Pizza
2 qts chopped and boiled red potatoes.  (I left the skins on)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup cashews that have been soaked in 1 cup water for at least 6 hours and then drained.
1 – 2 Tbsp milk of choice
3 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp salt

Pizza toppings or any roasted vegetables or cheeses that you like

– Pre-heat oven to 375
– Boil the potatoes until very tender and drain
– Drain the cashews and blend or process with the yeast flakes, milk and olive oil until fairly creamy.
(The milk is purely to get this mixture to mash, so start with just a little and see if you need more.)
– Place everything, including the blender goo in a large bowl and mash away.

20150304_162121See the chia seeds hiding in the potato cave? And the cashew lava creeping down the mountain?  Okay, so the imagination thing can be a problem for me 😉

– Place parchment paper on a pan or two and spread a layer about 1/4 -1/2 inch thick on the parchment paper.
– Bake for 20 – 30 minutes.  I left one in for 20 and one in for 25.  Neither burned but the one in longer started to get a little puffy.  It might be good to leave them in longer but I don’t think they will ever get dry enough to be crusty and I didn’t notice much difference at the end either.
– Top with your choice of stuff and pop back in to heat up the toppings.  I did not put raw veggies on top as I was afraid the sweating of those veggies would make the whole thing too soupy.

We topped one with leftover spaghetti sauce that had colored peppers in it plus vegan parmesan
The other I brushed with olive oil, sprinkled on slightly steamed broccoli, green olives and vegan parmesan.  Of course my son wouldn’t touch this one, but it was my favorite.

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A switch from flour or grain based dishes.  Some favorite flavors.  Overall a failed crust with a happy ending!

Thinking of planting potatoes this year?  Little Sis has had luck with this method.

Other potato dishes?  We’ve got ’em…..
GF veggie burger/potato cake
Tabil Spiced Chili Over Roasted Red Potatoes
Not Your Mother’s Warm Potato Salad w/ Miso Dressing
Lemon-Oregano Chicken & Potatoes
Leftover Mashed Potato Soup

Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes

GF pizza crust mix review and super fast pizza sauce

I used to make pizza at home about once a week.   Little Sis’ family has homemade pizza once a week as well – I know you’re stunned that we do something alike .  However, Mr. Little Sis is a gluten genius and makes heavenly crust from scratch.  My husband is funny and plays a mean guitar lick but does not make pizza crust and for some reason I don’t either.  I used to use whole grain flat breads from the store and add my quick sauce, lots of fresh veggies and cheese and bake.  Still a great fast option if you do gluten!

Since we can’t do gluten or dairy anymore we do not eat pizza.  This makes it much harder to deny my son crappy restaurant or school pizza.  I mean the kid LOVES pizza, he ought to be able to eat it sometimes, don’t you think?

I have tried a few GF crusts including using soccacia (garbanzo based crepe type thing), but although a nice meal, it doesn’t feel like pizza.  I should say the crust doesn’t feel like pizza.  It’s too flat – no spring.  I am SO spoiled.  Some people don’t have enough calories and I’m worried about spring in my dough, but there you have it.  If one CAN have spring in one’s dough – and yes I feel a song coming on – then why not?

Enter Namaste Foods GF pizza crust mix.  While it does include tapioca flour and arrowroot flour (pretty starchy, no fiber), the first ingredient is brown rice flour – and I’m sure it’s still better than what one gets in the school cafeteria pizza crust!

P1000676This was very easy to prepare – add water and oil, beat up for a few minutes and spread out on an oiled pizza pan (or cookie sheet in my case).  The crusts baked for 20 minutes and came out looking crispy on the edges and still a bit doughy in the middle:

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I topped them with my super fast tomato sauce:
1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes (by all means use fresh if you have them)
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 large clove garlic
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp of basil, thyme and/or rosemary if you like.  I was using flavorful toppings so I just did oregano
Whiz it up in your blender.
If you don’t have a power blender like a Vita Mix, you could mince your garlic and then mix it by hand.

Spread the tomato sauce out on your crust….

P1000677  Let everyone have a little input on what goes on top (making sure that the reluctant vegetable eaters are only given choices you approve of 😉 )  and put back in the oven until the ‘cheese’ melts.  I used cashew cheese on half of the pizza for me and my husband and cheddar (my son’s fave – even on pizza) on the other half.  Olives  and bell peppers for everyone – zucchini on the other pie.

P1000678I have to say that the crust was crispy in spots and chewy in spots.  It was strong enough to pick up and eat the pizza with my hands, yet there was some chew.  Now the chew did not rival wheat crust, but it was at least chewy.

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We ALL enjoyed it, so I’m thinking if the gluten-eating pizza lover enjoyed it, that’s a good endorsement!  I may experiment to come up with my own mix from scratch, but until then, a bag of this in the pantry means I can get GF pizza on the table in about 35 minutes.   That makes me feel springy all over!