Vegan (Strict Vegetarian) Pizza

Pizza without cheese?! Well, yeah. Or put cheese on it, if you prefer.

Check out the health-food area or dairy case of your local grocery store, where you may be able to find a product called "VeganRella," which is a vegan substitute for cheese (it's also available in many co-op groceries and natural-foods stores). The product appears to be soy-free which may be convenient for some. I'm not crazy about it, though. In fact, I prefer my vegan manicotti filling on a pizza - or no cheese at all. With no cheese at all, be sure to sautee the vegetables in olive oil first. Just remember: regular pizza has gobs of fat, so don't be too stingy with the oil in a vegan pizza.

Ingredients:

  • fresh pizza dough, dough from a mix, or store-bought crust
  • 1 can or jar of tomato sauce, enough to cover the dough (about 2 cups)
  • dried or fresh Italian spices (optional)
  • chopped vegetables and other toppings to taste:
    • onion, green pepper, red pepper
    • mushrooms, olives
    • zucchini, cooked squash, dried tomatoes, cooked beans or lentils
    • broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale, spinach
    • minced fresh garlic, dried crushed red pepper
    • tofu, vegetarian "sausage," vegetarian "Canadian bacon"
    • etc.
  • grated VeganRella (optional)

Method:

Prepare your pizza dough as described below or according to the box directions (Bisquick used to include a pizza dough recipe on the box), or let thaw, if it's frozen. Scatter a bit of corn meal into a pizza pan, pie plate, or casserole, and press the dough into the pan. Cover thinly with red sauce and add Italian spices (optional). Add vegetables and other toppings. Top with VeganRella (or with mozzarella, cheddar, colby, and/or Monterey Jack cheese for a non-vegan pizza). Bake about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F (if you use cheese, bake until the cheese has completely melted and starts to turn brown around the pizza's edge).

Serve hot, topped with alfalfa sprouts (optional).

Notes:

The pizza takes about 25 minutes to prepare, or one hour and 25 minutes if you prepare your own dough.

Pizza dough, boxed mixes, and pre-baked crusts can be purchased at many grocery stores. However, these preparations often require or are made with eggs, milk, or whey, making them far from vegan.

Many health-food stores sell dry mixes for preparing vegetarian "sausage." You can also find "Canadian bacon" in health-food store dairy cases, next to the tofu hot dogs and other imitation meat products. Be aware that not all of these products are vegan, but they are vegetarian.

Refrigerate any unused pizza right away and finish it within a few days. It can be warmed in the oven or the microwave. Freezing is not recommended.

Number of servings depends on the size of the dish used to cook the pizza and the amount prepared. One pizza can usually serve four adults, especially if the meal includes salad and bread.

When preparing this recipe and any other food you enjoy, please use organically-grown vegetables, fruits, grains, and flavorings. The Earth you save may be your own.


Fresh Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour, half whole-wheat and half white
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • dash salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey or molasses (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

Method:

Mix the ingredients and knead (or let a breadmaking machine do this work). Let sit and rise for an hour in a warm, dark place.

Strech out the dough to fit a floured pan (9-inch pie pan or other pizza pan) and add toppings.


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