One of the most typical responses I get when I tell someone I’m vegan is, “but…pizza.” I try not to roll my eyes before answering that it doesn’t take a scientist to make vegan pizza. In fact, it’s easy to veganize any food, given the right research.
I’ll admit, giving up real cheese was the last step in my vegan process. Saying good-bye to meat, eggs and fish was easy compared to the rollercoaster ride it was to kick cheese to the curb. Research shows highly addictive, since it triggers the same part of the brain as drugs. The cravings and overall desire for cheese only stopped once I went a few weeks without it, so don’t give up hope if at first you don’t succeed.
Let’s begin. First you’ll need the dough. You can either make it at home or buy a pre-made version. Place it on a pizza stone or wooden pizza peel. Next the sauce. Once again, you can make your own at home or buy a vegan version. If you’ve never had the chance to try a sauce made from homegrown tomatoes or least ones from a farmer’s market, you should! Believe me you’ll be stunned. The difference is incredible and simplicity rules when the true flavors of tomatoes can shine through. If you want to switch it up, consider using a sauce other than tomato. I’ve had pizza with Alfredo sauce, Italian dressing, even pumpkin! Just in time for autumn.
After you’ve picked your sauce of the day, we get to the best and most varied part: the toppings. As we all know, there’s a billion different ways to design a pizza. Don’t be afraid to spice it up, experiment, go nuts. You can use anything such as artichokes, pineapple, olives, arugula, eggplant, peppers, onions, tempeh bacon, tofu, mushrooms, even figs and jackfruit. The key is to sauté the vegetables beforehand. Too often, I’ve put raw veggies on pizza, expecting them to absorb the taste of the pizza. By cooking them separately before though, you add yet another layer of delicious flavors.
It is up to you whether you want to use vegan cheese or not. I highly recommend you do because there are some killer substitutes out there. Check out this vegan parmesan recipe. It’s so simple, using only three ingredients: nutritional yeast, salt and cashews. If you don’t know about nutritional yeast, you might as well have been hiding under a rock for the last year or stuck in the Matrix. It’s a cheese substitute in the form of a spice packed with vitamin B12 and other goodness. It’s absolutely delicious so you can sprinkle it on literally anything your heart desires. You’ll also want to sprinkle on some spices at the end such as basil, oregano, garlic powder and sage.