If you read last week's "Feature Friday" interview you would know that my family is vegan. I had been vegetarian for 10 years before I made the switch to vegan about 4 years ago. When I met Lauren she was a meat eater but very sparingly and she slowly transformed into a pescetarian life style. We had planned to raise Sierra vegetarian anyway but she was born with an allergy to dairy so that was when we made the decision to be a vegan family. I love our decision and we aren't 'junk food vegetarians' who live off Morning Star and tofu. We do it right and health, although here and there we do indulge in the "vegan comfort foods" which is what today's recipe is, enjoy!
Everything you need to make this delicious vegan pizza can be purchased at your local Whole Foods. Almost all of it could be purchased at any grocery market but the "cheese" is a Whole Foods only kind of thing normally.
So our pizza is a Pepper, Tomato, Onion, Mushroom and Buffalo "Chicken" pizza! If you're going to eat fake chicken and cheese it's nice to round out with some yummy veggies so you don't feel so badly about the "junk" (yummy yummy junk).
For convenience we got a pre made Organic Pizza Crust which is Whole Foods brand, but you can buy pizza dough and make it yourself if you're feeling like an over-achiever!
Again for convenience we used a Tomato, Basil and Mushroom pre-made pizza sauce by Classico. Again if you're feeling like an over-aciever you can make your own concoction but when you were at work for 9 hours and then with a toddler my guess is you want dinner quick and easy. So using a spoon, scoop and spread the sauce as evenly across the crust as you can.
The 'cheese' is the most important part of any vegan pizza. There are a lot of cheese substitutes on the market for vegan & lactose intolerant pizza lovers out there and BY FAR Daiya Vegan Cheese is your best bet. We've tried just about everything and Daiya comes out the winner without contest. It isn't overly expensive about $4.99 at your super market and it melts perfectly for pizza, quesadillas and sandwiches. Did I mention it's also delicious?
Spread the cheese and a decently thick layer as evenly as you can on top of your sauce.
The next step is optional but in the sake of all that is healthy and yummy it is highly suggested. For our pizza we have some baby-bella mushrooms, green peppers and onions. This will add a great taste, crunch and help your daily intake of veggies. The amount you add is really up to you, it depends how much you like veggies! Feel free to get creative here people.
Just like all the other ingredients we've added up to this point you will distribute as evenly across the pizza as possible.
The next step is to cut up the faux-meat. Which doesn't taste like chicken it just taste like buffalo tofu bites basically. I hate meat subs that try so hard to taste like real meat. Health is Wealth Foods are usually a pretty safe bet for all natural meat subs that taste good.
Now before you stick this thing in the oven take a good look at all your hard work, this step is not optional. Looks great doesn't it?
Now I like to cook it right on the oven grates as I feel it gives me the crispiest crust which I'm a big fan of. I like my pizza ALMOST burnt. So if you want a softer crust go for a cookie sheet or pizza stone, but if you like your pizza to crunch with every bite go for right on the grate. Set your oven to 350º and set an alarm for 15-20 minutes. The time you leave it in again is up to you, if you like your pizza soft or crispy, etc. We left ours for about 20 minutes and it came out super crispy and perfect.
TA DA! 20 minutes later we have our delicious, crispy, melty perfect vegan pizza! This is a easy, inexpensive and tasty dinner for two that you can make with minimal cooking knowledge or effort. I highly suggest this meal to anyone vegan or not.
P.S. What about the parmesan cheese you say? We all know parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper are key to any successful Pizza. You have two options here one is to use Nutritional Yeast which is your all natural and healthy option as it is FULL of B12 vitamins and taste surprisingly like parmesan cheese believe it or not. Your slightly less healthy option is whats called "Vegan Topping" and is made by Galaxy Nutritional Foods. I won't lie, it's definitely tastier than nutritional yeast and I prefer it when I can find it.
P.S.S. Please take 2 seconds to vote for us! The more votes, the more exposure, the more support for daddy bloggers! Thanks guys <3 -Craig