Tag Archives: pizza

“Chorizo” Pizza

18 Jun

In Spanish there’s a saying that goes… “Lo prometido es deuda.” which translates to “what you promise, you owe”. And I promised you I was going to gather for you the recipe for the winning pizza from the 1st Devanand pizza festival. After much pleading and almost begging, Yazmín, the creator of the winning delicacy, agreed to share her recipe with me and all of you, KarmaFree Cooking avid fans.

This winning “chorizo” pizza… and please notice the word chorizo is in quotation marks… because when I tried this pizza initially I was immediately transported to those pizzas they served at the movie theaters back in the day when double features were the norm. Do you remember too??? Or maybe even those pizzas they served at Woolworth in Plaza las Americas when I was a little girl. All you Puertorros out there can relate, right???

I believe, the connection of flavors to those memories is what made this pizza the winning pie at the festival. Among the judges were my mom and she certainly had tasted those pizzas of yesteryears I mentioned you from Cine Astor, Cine Martí and Woolworth. And ever since that day I was intrigued how Yazmín could capture that chorizo flavor… because the “chorizo” was as greasy and tasty as I remembered it.

I thought it was made from “soyrizo”… but when I actually bought it and tasted it, the taste as too prominent of cumin and I knew that wasn’t the flavor I had tasted on that delicious winning pizza. I thought then it was some sort of textured soy protein, but no, it wasn’t the same texture. Until one day I asked Yazmín directly and she revealed the “secret” to her “chorizo” – – VEGGIE HOT DOGS!!!! Veggie Hot Dogs cooked and seasoned with annatto oil to give them that greasy red orangey color of those chorizo pizzas I remembered.

I will admit… I have eaten this recipe many times after that pizza festival, but I have never ever made it myself. Hey, if Yazmín is my friend and she volunteers to make this each and every time our Guruji wants to eat some pizza, why in the world would I bother making it myself??? But I can assure you that if you have any questions at all about making this, I will relay all your messages to her and gather you the appropriate answers. We could even do a Twitter party if you all are up to it…

Gayatri, who helped make this “chorizo” pizza with her mom, Yazmin

I hope you all like this pizza… as much as I, my mom and the rest of the Yoga Center do. I think I might just call Yazmín right now to see when she will make another one of these real soon. I am getting a craving!!!!


Makes 2 large pizzas or 4 individual pizzas

 2 ¼ cups of All Purpose Baking Flour GF (Bob’s Red Mill) sifted and some more to work the dough
1 ¼ cups oatmeal flour gluten-free, sifted
¼ cup gluten substitute from Orgran
6 ¾ tsp xanthan gum
1 ¾ tsp sea salt
3 ½ tsp olive oil
3 ½ tspsapple cider vinegar
2 ¼ soy milk, warm
3 ½ tbs dry yeast
3 ½ tbs brown sugar
3 ½ tsp garlic poder
1 ¾ dry oregano
3 packets of organic cheese, shredded
Tomato Sauce
6oz of organic tomato paste
3 cups of water
1 tbs annatto oil
Garlic powder
Italian Seasonings 
Vegetable bouillon cube (optional)
1 package of veggie hot dogs, finely grated
1 vegetable boullion cube
1 tbs water
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder
2-3 tbs annatto oil
  1.  Mix the flours, gluten substitute, xanthan gum, salt, garlic powder and oregano.
  2. In a glass jar mix gently the cup of warm milk, olive oil, sugar, vinegar and yeast. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes, or until you see the yeast start to bubble.
  3. In a stand mixer with the hook attachment on #2 speed, add the remaining warm milk, the yeast mixture and slowly start adding the flour mixture. Once in a while, scrape the sides of the mixing bowl to make sure it’s all well incorporated.
  4. Mix for a few minutes until you see the dough is getting elastic. Take the dough out of the mixer and transfer to a oiled glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in a warm place in your kitchen for about 30 minutes to allow the dough to rise evenly.
  5. While we wait for the dough to rise, we make the tomato sauce and the “chorizo”…
  6. For the sauce, mix all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix together well and allow the vegetable bouillion cube to dissolve well, if using. Cook it for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Set aside.
  7. For the chorizo, in another saucepan add the water and vegetable bouillon cube and dissolve well over medium high heat.
  8. Add the grated veggie hot dog and mix well.
  9. Add the annatto oil and season with the salt and garlic powder. Mix well and cook over the stove for a few minutes until the mixture becomes a homogeneous saucy concoction. Set aside.
  10. Pre-heat oven to 325F and grease two 16” pizza pans.
  11. Divide the dough in half and knead with your hands using some extra flour trying to make a ball. Now, flatten out with your hands and a rolling pin until you can cover the pizza pan with the dough. Place on top of pan and create a border by folding the edges a bit.
  12. Dock the center of the pizza dough with a fork. Brush extra olive oil over the dough.
  13. Place the sauce over the dough. Place some of the chorizo mixture over the sauce and top with a generous amount fo shredded cheese.
  14. Bake in oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until you see the cheese is melted and golden brown and the edges of dough are golden.

Viva Pizza Sighting

23 Mar

Whenever I am in NYC, I MUST stop by Viva Pizza for 2-3 warm slices of whole-wheat or spelt crust cheese pizza and a China Cola. Bon appétit from me to me… Yum!!!

Roberta’s Pizza and my debut on Online Radio…

16 Nov

Almost every October I visit NYC to participate in the Anniversary celebrations of our USA Devanand Yoga Center in Queens, NYC. I think we’ve been doing it for the last 5-6 years…

This time around I stayed a few days longer to take care of some other business – KarmaFree Cooking business to be exact. I was invited by Nicole Taylor, hostess of the online radio show Hot Grease to be part of her Halloween Day show. Hot Grease airs LIVE every Monday at 3:30PM Eastern Time.


I was honored that Nicole was interested in a vegetarian topic… what would she be interested in talking about??? Well we spoke for about 15 minutes – a lot in radio time – on Puerto Rican Halloween traditions, what makes candy vegetarian, some of the candy ideas and recipes we have here on KarmaFree Cooking and a few other random Halloween things.

The Heritage Radio Station is located behind Roberta’s Restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn. You need to go inside de restaurant, across the dining room, outside into the indoor patio (if that makes any sense…) and out there, within 2 recycled shipping containers there is a radio station!!!!

I was accompanied that day by Luscious Lifestyle Diva Yolanda Shoshana a.k.a. “ShoShi” talking about how to make Halloween a tad sexier. It was definitely an educational experience for me… Here we all are waiting for the broadcast to start.

Here you can find a link to the radio Interview if you would like to listen over and over again… at least you can now put a voice to my writing, no???

Afterwards, like any respectable food oriented radio show housed within the premises of a restaurant, we were invited for a few slices of pizza. Actually, it was more like a pizza for every 2 people. My mom and I shared this Pizza Margherita… we kind of broke the rules a bit because this was made with white refined flour, but it was delicious!!!!! And it would seem rude to say no after Nicole had been so gracious to us.

I hope Nicole was happy with our participation on her show… we sure enjoyed ourselves. It reminded me of my days of being a spokesperson on personal care brands a few moons back. But different, because this time around I was talking about myself and our lifestyle, which is super cool. We are definitely open to the possibility of traveling again to NYC if she would like for us to visit her once again.

Hey, that pizza margherita at the end sure is worth it!!!

Pizza Rosa – my take on a classic from Pizzeria Bianco

16 Jun

I am a pizza fan and I love to find new interesting flavors for my pizzas…  When I was watching an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate on Pizzas, I learned about the Pizza Rosa from Pizzeria Bianco.  It sounded strange and delicious too…

I have heard of Bianco before – on TV, from Martha Stewart… but Pizzeria Bianco is in Phoenix, Arizona and I have no plans to visit Phoenix anytime soon.  So the only way to try the flavors of this pizza is making it myself.  And the ingredients were not so foreign to me – red onions, parmeggiano reggiano cheese, rosemary and PISTACHIOS?!?!?!  Yep, Arizona pistachios to be exact.  Well, my pistachios would have to be from Walgreens, but I was intrigued nonetheless on how this would turn out.

My take on PIZZA ROSA from Pizzeria Bianco

1 flat bread or store-bought pizza dough round
Red onions, thinly sliced using a mandoline in the thinnest setting
Pistachios, shelled and ground in a food processor
Pecorino romano cheese, grated
Italian Cheese blend of shredded cheeses
Fresh Rosemary needles, chopped finely


  1. Pre-heat your toaster oven to 450F.
  2. Place the flatbread on a cookie sheet…  I use the small cookie sheet from my toaster oven.
  3. And top with the topping in this order – first place a small amount of the Italian cheese blend (about a small handful), then spread the onions, then the pistachios, then a light shower of the freshly grated pecorino romano cheese and finish off with a sprinkling of rosemary.  My fresh rosemary has dried in the fridge so I just crumbled it with my fingers.
  4. Place in oven for about 5-10 minutes, until the cheese on top gets some golden brown flecks.
  5. Take out and wait about 1 minute for the cheese to set, slice it and enjoy. 

You will make this pizza time and time again.  The pistachios are an unexpected ingredient, but they work with the onions and cheese.  Now I know why it was on the Best Thing I Ever Ate list…

Do you think I could have won the pizza contest with this Pizza Rosa???  I think so…

Pizza Contest – a Canvas for some interesting flavors

14 Jun

For the last few weeks I have been preparing myself for a Pizza Contest being held at our yoga center.  The 1st prize was nice, worth $500 – the entry fee for one of our yoga retreats. And in this economy… that’s a HUGE prize.

There were a few rules we needed to stick by:

  • The crust needed to be wheat-free.  Spelt flour was allowed.
  • If using cheese, it needed to be organic and rennet-free.  Vegan cheeses were allowed.
  • If baking the pizza at home, to make sure nothing had been exposed to any meat-products ever.

Easy enough, right??  NOT!!!  Not when you are a challenged pizza dough maker.  I am a pizza fan, but as you may have seen around this blog, when I make pizza at home, I make it on alternative crusts, namely flatbreads and pita bread.  But I gave myself the opportunity to build the perfect wheat-free crust – crispy on the outside, with certain chew on the inside. Without the need of stand mixers to help me knead…

That’s why I turned my attention to no-knead doughs…  I tried several recipes with NO SUCCESS!!  I tried a recipe from foodwishes.com and a recipe from Paula Deen using the food processor to knead the dough instead of doing it by hand.  I’ll be honest, the foodwishes one was more successful, but not where I wanted it to be.

So I moved my attention to at least try out the toppings recipes – if at least I could get the flavors combinations on point, I knew that the crust issue at some point would be resolved.  I tried out a few tried and true recipes, and then experimented a few of my own.  These were my possible entries into the contest:

A take on the pizza Rosa from Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix Arizona.  People all over brag about how good these pizzas are.  People make lines for them… and believe me I will go there if I ever visit Phoenix…

A simplified version of Co.’s Popeye Pizza

An eggplant pizza I had while in Montevideo, Uruguay – seasoned eggplant on a perfect crust, no cheese, no sauce.

Absolutely delicious.

A white pizza using garlic olive oil, topped with cheese and a few scallions – I got my inspiration from foodwishes.com and I thought it would be easy enough to try it out on the grill, instead of in the oven.  I thought it would give me some edge…


Unfortunately, my crust experiment was a BUST and I decided to participate in the contest as a reporter for all of you.  I was not going to put my name on something that I wasn’t completely proud of.  I learned this from my Top Chef /Hell’s Kitchen/Kitchen Nightmares/Iron Chef /Next Food Network Star watching experience…  And it was a shame because at least 4 people, some contestants among them, told me they were really looking forward to my pizzas and that they were even thinking I was a surefire winner if I was participating… apparently my reputation precedes me.

Fortunately, my fellow yoga people did have more success with wheat-free crusts than I did, (or they just have different standards) Anyhow, I want to share with you some of the contest entries and winners:

 1st Prize

Chorizo Pizza by Yazmín Cabrera

This was a true trip back memory lane when we used to eat pizzas with real chorizos.  The oily grease on the bottom of the crust was exactly as the judges remembered it.  The crust is filled with cheese too…

2nd Prize

Stuffed Pizza by Manolo Velazquez

With two crusts filled with delicious goodness – broccoli, scallions, cauliflower, mushrooms… and topped with tomatoes, peppers and lots of cheese.  The judges loved it!!!


3rd Prize

Mediterranean Pizza by Mili Ortiz

Even though the crust felt apart when we cut into it, the flavors impressed the judges – onions, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, black olives…

4th Prize

Tofu Pizza by Emma Lebrón, who is also Manolo’s mom

This was a true tofu-lovers pizza – using fried tofu, tofu pups, tomatoes and other pizza favorites.

I think it even has potatoes on it.


Some notable and interesting mentions…

Cheese Pizza on Rice Flour crust by Angie Cruz

This one was very delicious, but it did not win for being too simple… a hint for next year’s contest, Angie!!!

The Everything Pizza by Carmen Gonzalez

The judges said this felt like a whole meal on top of a pizza crust.  It was a mile-high piled with ingredients such as a border made from tofu dogs, black and red kidney beans puree.

Now you be the judge…    would you like to try some of these winning recipes??  Do you think I stood a chance with any of my planned flavors of pizza??  Which ones do you prefer??  Tell me all about it…

Stay tuned for some of the recipes…

I would like to thank the yoga center, Centro Cultural Yoga Devanand, for allowing me to take pictures and report on this Pizza Contest.  If you live in Puerto Rico, Miami or NYC and you would like more information about the Devanand Yoga Center, please email me at karmafreecooking[at]yahoo[dot]com.

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