Gecko Egg Pizza

Living in many different share houses and hostels can lead to meeting all sorts of characters. Some are really lovely and some are just french. On average, we live in 2 different flats in each town we live in. Wanaka – 2, Blenheim – 2 , Melbourne – 4, Darwin – 3 (if you include living in a van at Mindil Beach). Now we are living in our second flat in Darwin, located in Stuart Park. With 14 other flatmates. One of our favourite things about this flat is that it has an outdoor kitchen, equipped with a pizza oven. When living in a tropical area, an outdoor kitchen is sublime and having a pool next to your outdoor kitchen is taking it to the next level.

We soon realized that this pizza oven hadn’t been used in a while. When we opened it to clean it out, we found some gecko eggs and a geckos nest. I don’t know if geckos make nests but that’s what it looked like. Ive always loved catching lizards as a kid and I learned that I still have a knack for it. We were able to relocate the eggs and the gecko so nature could take its course. Then we started on our course, a chunky tomato pizza and a mustard leaf pesto pizza.

This is our recipe:

We start with the pizza dough, this should yield about 2 medium size pizzas. Make the dough first to allow it to rise (let it sit for around 1-2 hours in a warm area for best results) for a more fluffy pizza. We used a gluten free, dairy free, wheat free flour that Junior got from work because it was going to get thrown out. This flour didn’t rise and the dough was strange to work with but the taste and texture was about the same. Any type of flour will work.

Dough:

  • 3/4 oz yeast
  • 16 oz luke warm water
  • 1.5 pounds flour
  • 1/4 oz salt
  • 3/4 oz oil

Mix these in a bowl together and let it sit to rise.

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Roll the dough out. Make sure you place flour on the rolling surface and on the dough to avoid the dough sticking to everything. Cover your hands in flour too, just take a bath in flour while you’re at it. We used a jar to roll out the dough. Anything cylindrical will work.

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Next we made the pizza sauces. First the tomato sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tomatos
  • 1 Capsicum
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Small Onions

Seasonings:

  • Salt + Pepper
  • Basil
  • Wine (its always good to season your stomach with it too)
  • Chili Powder

We cut the tomatos into quarters to make the sauce a bit more chunky. We diced the onions and capsicum tiny to balance the flavour more. Add the garlic to the pan first, then add the onion and a bit of wine. Add the capsicum after the onions have reduced a bit. Put the tomato on hold.

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Add the tomato at the end and beat them up in the pan. Beat them until you get your desired chunk. Add your seasonings to taste. Here is our finished sauce.

Now the pesto sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch of Mustard Leaf (or any leafy greens)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Table spoons Chia Seeds
  • 1/3 Cup Sunflower seeds
  • 2 Table spoons Black Sesame Seeds
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt

 

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Throw it in a blender, add the olive oil as its blending until you get to the consistency in the picture.

 

Now cut the toppings. We just use everything we have in the fridge. Its a good way to clean it out.

  • Tomato
  • Pumpkin
  • Capsicum
  • Mushrooms
  • Courgette
  • Onion

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Lay down the sauce and add the toppings. Stick it in the oven at 250 degrees Celsius for around 10-15 minutes. Bam, Pizza.

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We had a few too many drinks and forgot to take an after picture, but this is what it looks like before the oven.

HUMP DAY! BLACK RICE SALAD.

So working at the Milk Bar Café has let me experiment with making salads. It’s an amazing thing, you use whatever is in season and use new ingredients like today Black Rice. Why not use black rice it looks way better than white and is better for the body. Nature is a beautiful thing and gives even more beautiful, trippy plants. Look at the cabbage or the watermelon radish, there’s so many amazing plants you haven’t tried and probably better for your health than a bag of chips or an oversized burger. So go out to your local market and be amazed and create something with your new knowledge.  Eat more plants. PHOTOSYNTHESIZE.

For this salad I cooked the rice, diced up carrots and blanched them, all the rest of the ingredients are raw and just cut them into the most funky shapes possible. It tastes as good as it looks.

Photosynthesize Tacos

Our goal when coming to Australia was to open up our own food truck. After being in the land down under for 6 months, we finally found the perfect vehicle for our mission. A 4wd 1995 Mitsubishi Pajero. We have named the vehicle Food Wheel Drive and our project is Photosynthesize. It may not sound like the ideal vehicle to use as a house and as a kitchen, but its Cowabunga. With our lifestyle, we believe if you give, the universe will give back.  That’s a part of Cowabunga. Fully equipped with a rooftop tent, pullout canopy and dual fuel and our collection of equipment including: solar panels, batteries, gas and electric bbq cookers, pans and pot, we’re ready for liftoff. Its just taken a few months of working 75 hours a week each to get the money, equipment and vehicle we need.

We plan to travel Australia with the intention of sharing good plant-based food with good people. Working as chefs for the past few years, Junior and I have found that a lot of food goes to waste in many different restaurants and supermarkets. Food shouldn’t be wasted. The only reason food is wasted is because there is nobody to pay for the food that’s being thrown away. To solve this problem, we’re going to give our food away for free and ask for donations to cover food costs.

This is our Food Wheel Drive Taco Recipe (Plant-based, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten free):

The tacos have 4 components. Tortillas, Pinto Beans, Rice and Plants.

We start by making the Tortillas (or putting the beans on to boil because they will take around 45 minutes or grabbing a drink, in this case Tasmanian Pinot).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Maseca (Corn Flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • Salt

Mix these in a bowl until you get a playdough like consistency.

 

Now we roll the large ball into smaller balls.

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Grab two flat surfaces (cutting boards, plates, textbooks, whatever floats your boat). Then think of a sandwich. The two flat surfaces are your bread, each slice of bread needs a spread (Cut plastic bags), then smash the tortilla dead. Just look at the pictures if you don’t understand.

Stack your tortillas with a plastic sheet in between each one so they don’t stick together.

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Heat the tortillas in a non- stick pan, if you’re lucky enough to have one in your share house. Store the tortillas in a tea towel to keep them fresh.

 

Next, we will make the Pinto Beans.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of Pinto Beans
  • Water
  • Salt
  • A few garlic cloves

If you put the beans on to boil before, then they could be about ready once you finish with the tortillas. Adding salt and a few cloves of garlic to the beans when boiling will give them a better flavour. We always have to hunt for these beans in every town we go to and in Darwin we found them at the Rapid Creek shopping village in an African store.

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The beans are cooked when they are soft. Blow on them and the skin will peel off. Usually we re-fry the beans by adding oil to a pan, heating the oil, frying some onions, then adding the beans and mashing them in the pan. In this case, we just left the beans whole because they still taste great.

Next, we made our Rice.

With the rice, we made a tomato base to cook the rice in.

Ingredients for the tomato base:

  • 1/2 Onion
  • 4 Tomatos
  • 2 Chili’s
  • A bit of water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Salt

Throw all of this into a blender and blitz it. It should make around 4 cups of base.

The next step is to fry and cook the rice. Fry a bit of onion in a pan and then add the rice. (Make sure you have a pan that has a lid to fit). Fry the rice until golden brown (about a couple minutes). Add the 4 cups of tomato base, bring to a boil and let it boil for a couple minutes. Then cover and set aside. Let the pan sit covered and the rice will cook in its own steam as long as the ratio is 1:2 Rice:Base.

  • 2 cups Brown Rice
  • 4 cups Tomato Base

 

 

Finally, we make the Plants.

We just like to saute whatever vegetables we have in the fridge and in this case we added:

  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Chili (Jalepeno’s are the best)
  • 1/2 Capsicum (Bell Pepper)
  • 1 Courgette (Zucchini)
  • 3 Mushrooms

Seasonings:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic

Add oil to your pan then add some garlic to get a nice aroma in your kitchen. Adding Jalepenos will make you sneezy as and it will give it a nice spice. Add the plants that take longer to cook first: Onions, Mushrooms, Carrots. Then add the rest of the plants. Season to taste as you stir the plants.

Now that everything is ready, we make the Tacos. Tortilla, Beans, Rice, Plants and top it off with Cilantro and Lime. If you don’t know how a Taco is made then here is a picture to help. Also, here is our recipe written out if that makes it any easier.