Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to make the perfect cheeseless pizza!

When I first met my husband, he actually referred to himself as a "pizza connoiseur" (apparently I found his dorkiness charming). That being said, pizza is still his favorite food.

When I went vegan, I knew that pizza would still be part of our dinner rotation. Daiya is okay on occasion, but I'm not a superfan and I prefer not serve it to someone who still eats regular dairy cheese (which my husband does). Through mostly trial and very little error, we've come up with our favorite vegan pizza recipe. This is so delicious, we find that we don't miss the cheese at all!

Most grocery stores will have a fresh refrigerated pizza dough- many are vegan, but always check ingredients. If you live near a Trader Joe's, their par-baked organic pizza crusts are awesome (and always going out of stock, so apparently I'm not the only person who thinks so). If you can't find pizza dough, and don't live near a TJs, here is a good recipe.

Our secret for amazingly tasty veggie pizza is to roast our veggies first. The second secret is to use an awesome homemade marinara. This recipe is what my marinara is based on, although every time I make it I play with seasonings and spices, so no two batches are the same. The marinara is pretty smooth, but if you really hate any chunks of tomato in your pizza sauce, run it through the blender or use a jarred pizza sauce.

I sometimes add bruschetta and dollops of Not-zarella Sauce from the Sexy Vegan Cookbook,

or sliced Field Roast sausages.

You can even top it with this delicious vegan parm. But our very favorite combination is broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, red/green peppers, fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and kalamata olives.

Roasted Vegetable Pizza

It's hard to say how much you need of each vegetable- eyeball it and figure out how much will fit on your pizza. We load our pizza up!

Cut up broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and add to rectangular pan with several cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss. Sprinkle with sea salt, oregano, and parsley, and toss again. Roast at 450 for 25-30 minutes- stir every 10 minutes or so.

***Roasting time depends on two things- what sort of pan you use- metal cooks faster (I usually use a vintage Pyrex pan, which is glass and cooks a bit slower), and how long the crust will need to cook. If it's par-baked, you can roast your veggies a little longer. If your crust needs to cook longer, roast the veggies for a little less time.***

I like to brush a little olive oil or melted Earth Balance (vegan butter) on the crust and sprinkle with garlic salt. Then I spread a thin layer of marinara sauce, and put my roasted veggies, fresh basil leaves, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives on top. Bake according to crust instructions, then dig in!


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