Oct 5, 2012

california pizza kitchen make over

Not to be outdone by New York and Chicago, California introduced the west coast's version of pizza in the 1980's. It takes New York style thin crust and serves it up with California cuisine which integrates different cooking styles and local ingredients.

California Pizza Kitchen made this style of pizza popular by serving it in a casual dining environment. Pizzas such as Original BBQ Chicken and Jamaican Jerk Chicken, are being served around the country and internationally.

I couldn't leave well enough alone, even though I said I'd only make one dish, so here are two pizzas, but totally unconventional, with nary a tomato in sight. These crispy, sweet, loaded pizzas are a surprising culinary adventure.

The Original BBQ Pizza has chicken, onion, cheese, BBQ sauce and cilantro. So what is absolutely vegan and BBQ-y? Beans. I used navy beans because I didn't want the pizza overwhelmed with the texture of beans and the navy bean is dense, firm and small. I baked them in the sauce before adding them to the pizza. It works! The onions gets almost caramelized and the sauce of choice of the chain is a sweet and spicy one. Really delicious.

The second pizza I made was the Jerk Pizza. This one originally comes with chicken, onion, bacon, roasted peppers and green onions with a sweet Caribbean sauce. I used marinated tofu as my chicken sub and used my Tofu Bacon. The tofu needs to be pressed really well (6 hours in Tofu Xpress), but only needs to marinate about 30 minutes. The marinade is a very strong chicken-style broth. This was delightful as well.

The dough needs to proof overnight and the oven needs to preheat at 500 for an hour, so plan on making this in the winter.

If you've been hankering for CPK or just curious about all the fuss, get baking. 

It's worth the experience.

How did I do?

The chain charges $12.75 for each pizza.

Original BBQ:

crust: $2

beans: $2
onions, cilantro, sauce: $1.50
vegan cheese: $4
Total for 2 pizzas:

Their charge per Pizza: $12.75
Make-Over cost per Pizza: $4.75


crust: $2
tofu, pepper, tofu bacon: $3
onions, green onion, sauce: $1
vegan cheese: $4
Total for 2 pizzas:

Their charge per Pizza: $12.75
Make-Over cost per Pizza: $5.00

Original BBQ Pizza

Jerk Pizza


  1. Now I'm craving pizza! Thanks for these awesome recipes!

  2. I can NEVER get enough pizza. I think it will be cool enough by Sunday to put the oven on 500 degrees LIKE I LIKE IT! I'mma get that dough going. And, damn, maybe use up some of that CSA from this week!


    1. Hope you do, Kylie and Dawn. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Yum X infinity. LOVE pizza, and these two look amazing.

  4. ha I knew you wouldn't leave it at one VA! And I am glad because I especially like that second pizza. Nice!!


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