vegan spinach artichoke pizza

Pizza is one of the world’s favourite fast foods. Although grocery store brands tend to be covered in lots of cheese on thick crusts, homemade plant-based pizza is pretty healthy. You make a thin crust (with wholemeal flour or spelt), cover it in tomato sauce, add (artichokes, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes etc),  plant-based pepperoni and vegan mozzarella and bake in the oven. If done well, pizza can cover all your food groups! This Spinach Artichoke Pizza (The First Mess) features garlic, lemon and chilli.

Before cooking, read the post on how to keep people & pets safe in the kitchen. Many ingredients are unsafe near animal friends (fresh dough as it can expand in the stomach, along with onion, garlic, mushrooms, jackfruit etc). Also don’t give leftover pizza to garden birds or wildfowl, as crusty bread can choke (and fat can smear on feathers, affecting waterproofing and insulation).

Of course pizza was invented in Naples, to create a tasty filling meal in less affluent areas of Italy. Street cart vendors often sell pizza slices in all Italian cities (especially in the south). But most don’t have cheese (rather olives). And nobody in Italy puts pineapple on pizza! You can choose to do this, just don’t call it (or serve it to) an Italian!

make your own vegan ‘mini pizzas’

One area of pizzas that’s not so good for the waistline is that they are so delicious, you may be tempted to eat the whole thing, if you eat or live alone. A good way around this is to make mini pizzas and freeze the rest, then just serve yourself a smaller pizza with a side salad. These Vegan Mini Pizzas (Full of Plants) make 4 little cutey pizzas, you can just keep in the freezer for up to 3 months, then bake from frozen in 10 minutes. You can top each one differently – choose your favourites from pizza sauce and vegan cheese to veggies, plant-based meats and fresh herbs.

make (or buy) good vegan pizza dough

Most pizza dough is naturally vegan, and let’s face it, most people who make homemade pizza still cheat by using ready-made dough. But most brands contain palm oil (its use is harming the habitats of orangutans and other endangered creatures). The Northern Dough Co offers palm-oil-free pizza dough in plain, Italian, chilli, herbs or wholemeal. Made with high-protein flour, just defrost, roll out, add your toppings and bake. Recycle packaging at supermarket bag bins, if your kerbside does not collect.

If you prefer to make your own vegan pizza dough, ElaVegan has 3 good simple recipes for traditional pizza dough (all you need is spelt/flour, water, yeast and salt), gluten-free and a tasty potato pizza dough. You can also make an oil-free version using black beans.

a book of fabulous vegan pizza recipes

Purezza Vegan Pizza is a book by an acclaimed vegan pizzeria restaurant in England, with branches in London, Brighton and Manchester. The packaging is compostable and the restaurant also serves its vegan cheeses to wholesale customers for other restaurants. The book not only includes their best-selling pizza recipes but also the recipes for those very cheeses, to make at home. Recipes include:

  1. Butternut squash cavola nero pizza
  2. Mixed mushroom sausage pizza
  3. Cashew mozzarella
  4. Almond gorgonzola
  5. Beetroot carpaccio
  6. Smoked carrot pancetta
  7. Funghi trifolati
  8. San Marzano tomato sauce
  9. Green asparagus sauce

Of course pizza was invented in Naples, to create a tasty filling meal in less affluent areas of Italy. Street cart vendors often sell pizza slices in all Italian cities (especially in the south). But most don’t have cheese (rather olives). And nobody in Italy puts pineapple on pizza! You can choose to do this, just don’t call it (or serve it to) an Italian!

out-of-this-world tasty vegan pizza

Keeping a few frozen pizzas to hand is always good. Recycle any plastic packaging at supermarket bag bins (if your kerbside doesn’t collect). Know that you have to bin cardboard that’s greasy, but you can recycle any untouched cardboard packaging.

One Planet Pizza is a family company producing good vegan pizza, made with sustainable ingredients, sold in most supermarket freezers. Very filling, these are really good, and the range has a 47& lower carbon footprint than meat and dairy pizzas in comparison.

The brand was founded by a dad and his son. The dad has been vegan for years (long before it was trendy to enjoy soy lattes in vegan cafes) and his son soon followed suit. Realising there were not many good vegan pizzas around, they began making and selling them from their small premises. Today this is one of the UK’s best-selling vegan pizza brands, sold in many supermarkets including Asda and Booths. The range includes:

  1. Tex-Mex (cheese, jalapenos, sweetcorn, peppers)
  2. Sourdough pepperoni (with tomato & cheeze)
  3. Sourdough margherita (with tomato, cheeze & oregano)
  4. Hawaiian (tomato, cheeze, pineapple, ‘bacon’)

plant-based pepperoni for pizza

Sgaia is a wonderful company that makes vegan ‘wheat-meats’. Founded by a couple of Italian foodies, one product is plant-based pepperoni, ideal to top your vegan pizza. Also available wholesale to restaurants and hotels. Seitan is a meat made from wheat. Sounds odd, but it works! Used by Buddhist cultures for centuries, it’s made with gluten so obviously not for gluten-intolerance or allergies, but good for most other people.

Recycle packaging at supermarket bag bins. Avoid sausages for young children and people with swallowing difficulties. Keep vegan meats away from pets, due to unsafe ingredients like onion, garlic etc. Read more on food safety for people & pets.

It’s really easy to cook and tastes like-for-like with meat, also in texture. Although it’s advised to cook to bring out better flavours, you can also eat Sgaia meats cold in sandwiches etc, as they are pre-cooked (once opened, keep in an airtight container in the fridge, and eat within a few days). The products are also suitable for freezing.

This recipe for seitan pepperoni (Domestic Gothess) is ideal if you would like to make your own, and enjoy a lot of Italian food. It’s meaty-tasting and spicy, made with vital wheat gluten (the same as the commercial version above). Use on pizza or serve with pasta, sandwiches or as part of a vegan cheeseboard.

make (or buy) good vegan mozzarella

Mozzarella is a stringy melting cheese from Italy, which in the past has been made with buffalo milk. Recently animal welfare investigations has meant that many cheese-eating Italians have boycotted certain brands. It’s often used to top pizza or to combine with sliced tomatoes and fresh basil to make a traditional Caprese salad. You can make stretchy mozzarella (Short Girl, Tall Order) with soaked cashews (also good in sandwiches and French onion soup).

Before cooking, read up on food safety for people & pets (many vegan cheeses are unsafe near animal friends due to nuts, salt etc). 

I Am Nut Ok’s Bluffalo Notzarealla (London) is sold in a compostable plastic-free pouch and has a mild milky flavour. Miyoko’s Organic Vegan Mozz (US) offers a few versions, including a pourable one.

 

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