John Schlimm’s The Cheesy Vegan drops today! Also: Flying Buffalo Pizza & a giveaway!

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

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When I first laid eyes on John Schlimm’s The Cheesy Vegan: More Than 125 Plant-Based Recipes for Indulging in the World’s Ultimate Comfort Food via an Amazon recommendation, I nearly fell out of my seat. It’s like they read my mind! An entire cookbook devoted to vegan cheese (pizza, pasta, tacos, macaroni and cheese!); could a more perfect thing exist? (A: No. No, it cannot.)

Luckily, the folks at Da Capo Press were kind enough to send me a copy for review. Yay! And in the interest of not burying the lede, let me just say that they also offered a second copy for me to give away. Yay for you! Head on over to fuck yeah vegan pizza for details and to enter.

Anyway, between Vegan MoFo and Julie Hasson’s Vegan Pizza (which I’m currently also reviewing), I haven’t had much chance to cook from it yet. BUT it does look quite promising. Wait, that’s an understatement. Amazing. It looks amazing.

In addition to cheesy sammies and cheesy pizzas and cheesy pasta dishes and cheesy soups and sides (and an entire chapter of mac & cheese! ONE WHOLE CHAPTER!), there are also a ton of recipes for homemade cheeses: Cheddar. Mozzarella. Brie. Swiss. Feta. Ricotta. Blue. Jack. Muenster. American. You name it! Better yet, they all look pretty easy to make: just blend and chill. I’ve been on the fence about whether I should give Artisan Vegan Cheese a try, since some of the recipes sound like alchemy or witchcraft or rocket science. (Take your pick!) But these actually look like recipes I can pull off! (*knock on wood*)

For those of you who fancy gorgeous, glossy, full-color photos, The Cheesy Vegan will not disappoint. Nearly every page is dripping and oozing with cheesy orange and white goodness. You might find yourself overcome with a sudden and powerful urge to lick the gourmet food photos. This is one handsome book.

Better still, few of the recipes require unusual or hard-to-find ingredients. The weirdest item I spotted was instant flour (Wondra), which Schlimm assures us is readily available in most grocery stores. That said, you will need plenty of agar flakes for the diy cheese recipes – and agar is rather pricey.

Some of the equipment is a bit non-standard, especially for my kitchen; I only own a few odd ramekins (for my wannabe-gourmet food photography!), and I’m not even sure what a jelly roll pan looks like. The Pizza Mountain Pie, in particular, requires a pie iron, which I don’t think even exists in my parents’ attic (and you can find one of nearly every countertop kitchen appliance there!). But, with the exception of the pie iron (and requisite campfire!), many of these items are easily improvised.

I especially appreciate the do-it-yourself cheese recipes, which is a nice way of keeping costs down. It’s also super-convenient for those of us who don’t have easy access to alternative/natural foods stores. Overall, I’d say that most of the recipes are moderately difficult at worst, but of course home cheesemaking complicates things a bit and will require additional planning. The good thing is that you don’t have to make the cheeses from scratch if you don’t want to – Schlimm allows for plenty of flexibility in the recipes.

Just see for yourself! Reprinted below (and with the publisher’s permission) is a recipe for Flying Buffalo Pizza (page 177, for those playing along at home).

Enjoy, and stay cheesy! And vegan!

(More below the fold…)

W is for White Bean Pizza

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

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Tuscan White Bean Pizza, that is! This recipe’s courtesy of Robin Robertson’s Vegan on the Cheap, which I’ve owned forever but haven’t had much occasion to use yet. (Seriously, I’ve accumulated enough cookbooks at this point that I could cook from them once a day for the rest of my life and never run out of new recipes. It’s a wonderful problem to have, anyway.)

Both the dough and pizza recipes are super-simple: the white sauce is all of five ingredients (salt and pepper excluded) and the dough, even less. My only modification was to double the sauce; one batch hardly seemed sufficient to cover a pizza. I figured that, if I got stuck with any leftovers, I could always use ’em as a dip. Also, I ran the mashed white beans through a food processor for an ultra-creamy sauce; the hand masher just wasn’t doing the job.

On another note: there are just a few days – and letters – left. Any bets on what I’m making tomorrow?


F is for French Bread Bruschetta Pizza

Friday, September 6th, 2013

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Really you can make this recipe using any loaf of fresh bread, but hey! I needed an F, so French bread it is.

This is a dish I make with some frequency in the summer months. Bruschetta is an excellent way to use up a bunch of tomatoes in one fell swoop; doubly so when you load it up on a pizza! Homemade dough, pita bread, store-bought bread – doesn’t matter. I’m like MacGyver, yo; I can make a pizza out of anything.

This time around, I used Trader Joe’s Mozzarella-Style Shreds instead of my standard Daiya or Follow Your Heart. Shane and I happened to take a trip south of the city last month, and we hit up not one but two Trader Joe’s stores: one on the Kansas side of the border, the other in MO. It was my first visit, and I was not at all impressed: both stores are on the small side, rather unorganized (with product shoved haphazardly over the – open! gasp! – freezer cases), and not very vegan friendly. As far as we could tell, the Kansas store doesn’t even stock any vegan meats or cheeses! The Missouri store is slightly bigger, but its vegan meat/cheese section is maybe two feet wide. (Compare this to the wine section, which occupies at least 1/5 of the entire floor space.) Neither store had a single vegan pizza on the shelf. Ahem.

In addition to their famed soy ice cream (which both stores had in stock, yay!), I had hoped to pick up some whole wheat pastry flour and TVP chunks – both of which I struck out on. But when I stumbled upon the mozzarella shreds, I decided to give ’em a try. The vegans on tumblr seem to love them.

My thoughts? Meh. They taste okay and melt quite well, but stick to the roof of your mouth like crazy (not to mention my stupid Invisalign attachments!). I prefer the taste of Daiya and Follow Your Heart, though I do appreciate TJ’s ready meltability. It’s something I might buy again, if I ever find myself in another Trader Joe’s. So, not very likely.


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French Bread Bruschetta Pizza

Makes three to four servings.


4 cups tomatoes, finely diced
4 tablespoons diced marinated sun-dried tomatoes (optional but tasty)
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil (OR 1 teaspoon dried basil)
2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 loaf French bread
vegan mozzarella cheese


1. In a medium bowl, combine the fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Cover and chill for an hour or more.

2. When you’re ready to make the pizzas, preheat the oven to 425F.

3. Cut the French bread into three or four sections (depending on its length). Next, slice each section in half lengthwise, as if you were making a sub. Spread a bit of margarine on the top of each piece of bread; just how much you’ll use depends on the thickness of the bread. You want to use enough margarine to lend a little extra moisture to the pizza, but not so much that it’ll soak through to the bottom of the bread and weaken the integrity of the pizza. If you’ve ever made garlic bread using margarine, you should have a good idea how much is appropriate for the task at hand.

4. Spoon the bruschetta onto the bread. Start with the solids (tomatoes and garlic) and, when done, drizzle a bit of juice on top. You should have enough bruschetta to cover a loaf of French bread, but you may have some leftovers, depending on how heavy your hand. Top with a bit of vegan mozzarella cheese.

5. Transfer the bread onto a baking stone or baking sheet (lightly coated with cooking spray). Bake at 425F for ten to fifteen minutes, or until the bread is lightly toasted and the cheese, warm and bubbly. Enjoy immediately.


“Triple Threat” and “Tomato Throwdown” End-of-Summer Pizzas

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

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You know you want it.

Late August/early September is usually the point at which I find myself overwhelmed by the pints and quarts and sometimes gallons of tomatoes spilling out of my garden. 2013 – despite my lackluster record of plant care – has been no exception. Last year I made and froze a ton of tomato sauce – but since freezer space is at a premium this year (ugh so morbid!), that isn’t really an option. And so I’ve basically been eating them on everything: pizza, pasta, salad, sandwiches, as side and snacks, you name it.

Which brings me to the “Triple Threat” and “Tomato Throwdown” End-of-Summer Pizzas, which were last weekend’s attempt at using as many tomatoes as possible. Spoiler alert: the final tally was seven cups of tomatoes on two pizzas. Mission accomplished.

The “Triple Threat” pizza is actually rather light on fresh tomatoes (one to one and a half cups; my original goal of two cups was overreaching) – but the sundried tomatoes, red sauce, and (optional) tomato powder-infused crust make it extra-tomato-y. (Hmmm, maybe I should have named it the Quadruple Threat? Imma go out a limb here and guess that most of you don’t have tomato powder on hand, though, making Triple Threat the safer bet.) Of course you can also make your own pizza sauce for maximum impact (or swap out the store-bought sundried tomatoes for oven-roasted ones); I just ran out of time and stovetop space.

Also making an appearance here, and for the first time ever on this blog: Trader Joe’s Mozzarella-Style Shreds. I had some left over from an upcoming VeganMoFo dish, and in the spirit of emptying the fridge, tossed the rest of the bag on the pizza. Be careful – not all of TJ’s soy cheeses are vegan (boo!), so read those labels carefully.

In a surprise upset, the cheeseless “Tomato Throwdown” pizza proved my favorite of the two. The sauce is so amazing that additional toppings would just be so much noise. Shane said it best: “There’s just so much going on here. SO MANY FLAVORS!” And no less than six cups of tomatoes, yo.

(More below the fold…)

Product Review: Daiya Dairy Free Pizzas

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

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The Fire-Roasted Vegetable pizza before.

While Shane was visiting Austin (He got to meet Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes! But he brought me vegan donuts so it’s all good!), I liberated our freezer of the last of our vegan pizzas: namely, the Daiya brand dairy free pizzas, in Fire-Roasted Vegetable and Mushroom & Roasted Garlic flavors. (They also make Margherita and Cheeze Lover’s varieties, but sadly I have not been able to find them in stores.)

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The Fire-Roasted Vegetable pizza after.

So this proved to be a pretty interesting experiment. The Fire-Roasted Vegetable Pizza was fucking amazing. The crust – which only after the fact did I realize is gluten-free and made of brown rice flour – was paper-thin, with crispy edges and an inside that’s just soft and floppy enough. The crust is awesome, period; doubly so for a gluten-free version.

While I thought the toppings could’ve used a better mix – they include red onion, green and yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic – there’s a decent amount of ’em. Also, just about the perfect amount of cheese: not too little, not too much. I was super-impressed.

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The Mushroom & Roasted Garlic pizza before.

Two nights later, I tried the Mushroom & Roasted Garlic pizza. What a disaster. Though I didn’t bake it any differently, the outer crust came out dry and hard. On the other hand, the inner crust wasn’t just floppy (like a good NYC thin crust pizza), but falling apart; the pizza completely bottomed out, the inner portion tearing away from the outer ring. The cheese, while bubbly in the oven, cooled off and firmed up within minutes of reaching my place.

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The Mushroom & Roasted Garlic pizza after.

I’m pretty sure I ended up with the case reject. The crust was kind of funky even before I unwrapped the pizza; I could clearly see two cracks at about 6 and 9 o’clock. Plus the thing was covered in frost – a lot more than on the previous pizza. And it’s not like I’ve been hoarding them; I bought them each at the same time, about a month and a half ago.

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Note the tears in the lower-left and lower-middle portions of the pie.

So it’s kind of weird. I don’t know how to rate them, whether I should chalk the dud up to bad luck, what have you. My instinct says that these pizzas rock, and I should give them two thumbs up. Or 5/5, on my own rating scale.

I feel like further experimentation is necessary. Thoughts?

fwiw, as per usual, one pizza = one meal, even though the packaging claims otherwise (in this case, one pizza supposedly serves three. LOL!).

Oh, and hey: I resisted the urge to add extra toppings on both pizzas. Yay me!

Product Review: American Flatbread Vegan Harvest Pizza

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

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I’ve been dying to try American Flatbread’s vegan pizza ever since it started popping up on tumblr – but it wasn’t until Shane and I traveled south of the city for a library book sale that we found a natural foods store which carried it. (In our case, Whole Foods.) Man oh man, was it worth the wait! Hell, it just might be worth the drive – a bold statement when you consider that it’s an hour, one way.

The highlight of the pizza is definitely the crust. The company bills it as a handmade, artisan flatbread baked in “earthen ovens formed with clay.” All I know is that it’s delicious. And they aren’t skimpy on the cheese, either – in this case, Daiya.

I made the mistake of adding extra mozzarella Daiya to my pizza (I never thought I’d use the words “mistake” and “Daiya” in the same sentence!), along with grape tomatoes and Kalamata olives;

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as it turns out, more Daiya? Totally unnecessary. American Flatbread is more than generous with the cheese.

Well done, American Flatbread. Slow clapping, I’m doing it.

So here’s the breakdown:

(More below the fold…)

Product Review: Bold Organics Vegan Cheese Pizza

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

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While Shane was away at TAM last week, I took the opportunity to empty our freezers of all that vegan pizza we picked up the last time we traveled south of the city. While there are a few natural foods stores in north Kansas City, their vegan options are usually lackluster, bordering on shameful.

(Price Chopper, I’m looking at you! There’s no way you can justify wasting an entire shelf in the frozen section on frozen bananas [FROZEN BANANAS! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT SHIT?] when you don’t carry a single quart of vegan ice cream. No way! But I digress.)

On the menu: Bold Organics Vegan Cheese Pizza, American Flatbread Vegan Harvest, and not one but two (TWO!) varieties of the new Daiya pizzas. Sadly, I am still searching for the Amy’s brand Daiya cheese pizza. Frowny face.

First up: Bold Organics. Since I planned on reviewing these from the outset – for fuck yeah vegan pizza, if nothing else – I’d promised myself that I wouldn’t add any extra toppings. Of course, that lasted all of five seconds: as soon as I saw the pizza, in its nearly naked state, on went the extras.

For pizza numbero uno, cheddar Daiya cheese, grape tomatoes, and Kalamata olives:

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The first time around, the crust didn’t crisp up as much as I’d anticipated. In fact, it was pretty floppy, like a good NYC thin slice. And totally not up to the task of supporting all the extra toppings: I needed a fork to eat up the stray pieces. (Blasphemy!) Tasty but very, very messy.

So for the second pizza, I opted for a little extra mozzarella Daiya and a few handfuls of french fries. The cooking times on the pizza and fries are roughly the same, so it worked out well.

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Interestingly, this second crust was much crispier and more rigid than the first. I can’t think of a difference between the two save for the toppings – perhaps all the extra (moist!) toppings on pizza #1 made it thick enough that it didn’t fully cook through in the middle?

Anyway, here’s the breakdown:

(More below the fold…)

Vegan Pizza Daaaaay!

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

To start we made calzones filled with mozzarella Daiya, broccoli, cauliflower, black olives, grape tomatoes (sadly not home-grown – not yet!), and roasted peppers (red and yellow). You can tell that we’re amateurs when it comes to calzones – both of ’em leaked a little. Oh well, practice makes perfect – so we’d better keep eating! (Like I need an excuse, pfffft.)

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We had some dough left over, so we washed it down with a Kalamata olive crust pizza. Soooo stuffed.

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Gonna go watch a movie and pass out now mkay.

(Oh and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! I only have like a dozen entries so far, so your odds are spectacular!)

Going to the drive-in!

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

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Rennie wanted to play fetch in the minivan. Silly rabbit!

Rennie got her second chance at accompanying us to the drive-in this week – her first one being some time around 2005-2006. That first time (which was possibly still during her puppyhood) she was awful, barking at the other patrons and claiming her territory (the Intrepid! we got rid of that thing last summer! memories.) and stuff. We had to throw a towel over her crate so she couldn’t see. Ditto Ralphie and Peedee. For a long time Kaylee was the only dog well-behaved enough to go with us, and then Mags joined the party last summer. (A development with which Kaylee was none too happy.)

With Kaylee gone, Rennie got another shot and she was AWESOME. She only barked once during intermission, and that was when Shane left to go to the bathroom, so she was already excitable and a little on edge. And the second time (we went twice in one week – World War Z & Now You See Me and This is the End & The Purge – and consequently, I’m still catching up on my sleep), she barked at the end of the feature. I think she’d fallen asleep in the back of the van and with the slamming of a car door, awoke in a strange-to-her place. So it wasn’t so much annoying as silly adorable.

Anyway, I think we found the perfect drive-in pair: they get on well, are mostly quiet, and don’t cause too much trouble. And Rennie’s presence helps to take some of the edge off Kaylee’s absence. This week was our first trip out since she passed – the first time in nearly a year, actually – and I was both anticipating and dreading it.

Now if only I could get through a yoga session without busting into tears.

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Mags is not amused.

In other news, Mags got a package in the mail today! Girl’s gonna be super-bummed when she realizes that it’s an inflatable pool for water therapy. I predict a looooong summer for one little doggeh.

P.S. Today’s Vegan Pizza Day, and yes – I AM HOLDING A CONTEST ON TUMBLR. Check it.

2013 Vegan Pizza Day Banner

French bread pizza!

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

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There was a huge air bubble in the middle of the loaf, which ended up being a pretty convenient receptacle for extra Daiya cheese. Vegan ingenuity, yay!

Greek-Style Pizza with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and a Lemon Garlic Crust

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Come on, admit it. When I said that I was super-into Greek flavors lately, you knew it was a matter of time before I threw them all together in a pizza.

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Roasted red pepper sauce, roasted red peppers, black and Kalamata olives, sundried and fresh tomatoes, mozzarella Daiya cheese, and a bit of parsley, all on a lemon garlic crust. So, so good, and a nice departure from my (even junkier) french fry and tater tot pizzas. To make this beast a bit healthier, add some spinach or homemade (tofu) feta cheese.

As per usual, you can find the recipes over on the PPP blog.

I have the best mom of all the moms!

Monday, March 25th, 2013

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Exhibit A: The early Easter presents that arrived in the mail for me today! (Have I mentioned that I’m 34 years old?)

Not pictured is a set of mini pie molds, a couple of animal-themed mugs, and some adorable winter hats for the dogs. Pink and blue snowpeople! Dog clothes are, like, a given. They make excellent padding.

This Easter, we shall feast on pizza cones dripping with Daiya cheese, which we will wash down with mini apple pie bites. So stoked I can’t even!

Pile-It-On Pepperoni and Pesto-Potato Pizzas

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

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…from Robin Robertson’s The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes cookbook. Don’t worry, the pizzas are all-vegan! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

First up: the Pesto-Potato pizza. Now I’ve had pesto pizzas and I’ve had potato pizzas, but pesto and potato? Who woulda thunkit!

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As it turns out, Pesto-Potato Pizza is pretty damn delicious. Both pesto and potato pizzas can sometimes be on the dry side, so this is a pizza best enjoyed fresh – or perhaps with some kind of dipping sauce. I veered from Robertson’s directions a bit; whereas she would have you coat the potatoes in a cup of pesto and then layer them on the pizza, I used the extra few cups (one recipe makes three cups) as a base, for extra besto pesto goodness. Plus the pesto is thick enough that it didn’t really take to the potato slices. Whatever, it’s all good.

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We also made a “Pile-It-On” Pepperoni Pizza, which is really just a cute name for a pepperoni pizza. Shane was craving pepperoni anyway, so we figured what the hey? Two recipes with one stove. Robertson only calls for four ounces of vegan pepperoni, but I’m pretty sure we used more than that. Pile it on, right?

The Basic Dough recipe is pretty solid: it’s a little thinner than we normally make (which is to say, medium-ish; our crusts are usually pretty thick and fluffy), nice and crispy, with a slightly butter flavor. I like!

Sicilian-Style Tomato Spread (and a French Bread Pizza!)

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

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Since I’m currently stocked up on bread (two for one at Sam’s Club, yo!), I decided to try out the Sicilian-Style Tomato Spread from Vegan Italiano. It’s quite simple and easy to make: tomato paste, capers,* garlic, red wine vinegar, and some other goodies; stir by hand – no blender or food processor required – and you’re good to go.

You’re supposed to serve it on baguette bread, but I toasted a slice of French instead. Makes for a rather delicious snack.

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Like all spreads (hummus! butter bean dip!), I couldn’t help but try this one on a pizza – a French bread pizza, to be precise – and it was (predictably!) FABULOUS.

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To prevent the spread from drying out, I mixed in a tablespoon or so of water. Simply spread on the bread (or whatever) like you would a pizza sauce, add your toppings, and bake at 400F for 15 to 20 minutes. Easiest lunch ever.

* Capers! I love capers! They make me feel as though I’m going on an adventure or something. Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, here I come!

Olive you, Kalamata crust!

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

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Pizza stack! Don’t worry, I waited for the cheese to cool before performing this daring feat, and no toppings were compromised in the making of this photo.

Right about the time Shane was craving a Kalamata olive crust pizza, I was contemplating the Olive Croutons in Donna Klein’s Vegan Italiano cookbook. Luckily, the crouton recipe proved easily adaptable – and the rest, as they say, was dinner: homemade pizza with a Kalmata olive crust, from-scratch pizza sauce, mozzarella Daiya cheese, and black and Kalamata olives. Recipes at the links.

Enjoy, pizzanistas!

Pesto Pizza, courtesy of Chickpea Magazine!

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

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With all these cookbooks to keep me busy, Shane and I haven’t been making pizza as much as we used to. Wait, let me rephrase that. AS MUCH AS WE SHOULD. SHOULD. It’s like an obligation or something, seeing as I have a pizza blog to do right by now.

Last weekend we made two pies, identical except for the base: mozzarella Daiya, sundried tomatoes, black and Kalamata olives, and fresh tomatoes. The one in the back is topped with homemade pizza sauce (made and frozen last fall; I for seriously need to empty out my freezer, y’all! anyone want some of my special sauce?). The other slice has homemade pesto instead of red sauce, the recipe for which is from the Summer 2012 issue of Chickpea magazine.

I was lucky enough to win a copy in a Vegan MoFo giveaway, and now that I’m finally getting around to reading it, I think I might subscribe. I’m already a bit of a magazine hoarder as it is, but methinks this one might actually see some use. It’s super-cute, well-designed and thought out, but with a definite indy/diy feel. I was stoked to win the summer issue, since it features an entire spread of vegan ice cream – AND THEN I opened it and saw a pizza feature too! “No such thing as bad pizza” – truer words have never been spoken, my friends.

So anyway, the pesto: very tasty! I was immediately drawn to this recipe because it includes a good 50% more ingredients than most pesto recipes, which piqued my curiosity. And it did not disappoint! I wasn’t able to get it as spreadable as I would have liked, but that was my fault – I ran out of lemon juice, which is what they recommend to help thin the consistency. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Italian-Style Butter Bean Dip (Pizza!)

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

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As it happens, butter bean dip is quite similar to hummus – just made with (you guessed it!) butter beans instead of chickpeas. Luckily, my food processor had a much easier go of blending the former vs. the latter. (I’d love to make my own hummus, but it never comes out as creamy as the store-bought stuff!)

The Italian-Style Butter Bean Dip from Vegan Italiano is simple and easy to make: blend butter beans, lemon, juice, and oil and then garnish with black olives and red onions. Tasty, though I think I’d rather swap out the black for kalamata olives for more of a kick. I also doubled with amount of lemon juice for a more spreadable dip, and microwaved the butter beans for 90 seconds beforehand in the hopes that this would make them easier to process. (I’ve yet to test this process with a control, so who knows?)

Much like hummus, butter bean dip is also delicious on pizza! For this mini-pie, I just used some leftover butter bean dip (about half a recipe) in place of red sauce and topped with sundried tomatoes, mozzarella Daiya, and kalamata olives. Singed slightly from a minute too long on the broil setting (hence the extreme closeup), but still tasty.

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Pro tip: since baking will dry out the dip, add some extra water or lemon juice before using. No need to break out the blender, as this is easily done by hand.

Happy National Pizza Week!*

Monday, January 21st, 2013


Did you know that it’s National Pizza Week? ME EITHER! At least not until the day of, otherwise I would have held a contest or giveaway on fuck yeah vegan pizza. Oh well, there’s always next year. Or next week. Every day is vegan pizza day, is what I say!

Yesterday Shane and I celebrated by trying a few new recipes from two of the cookbooks we’re working through: Vegan Italiano and American Vegan Kitchen.

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First up: Pesto Pizza with a Semolina Crust from Vegan Italiano. Where to start? The crust is tasty – crunchy and medium-thin – though not discernibly different from some of the other crusts we’ve made. According to Klein, semolina flour is supposed to have a nutty flavor, but my unsophisticated palate didn’t catch it.

The pesto isn’t half bad, but I was afraid that the recipe didn’t make enough to cover the pizza, so I tossed a half a cup of walnuts and an extra tablespoon of olive oil in for good measure. Personally I prefer sundried tomato pesto, but I’m not complaining.

Topped with Roma tomatoes at Klein’s direction. Kicking myself for not adding more!

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Then there’s the Margherita Pizza with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce from Tami Noyes’s American Vegan Kitchen – which includes recipes for the pizza, dough, and sauce. Yum!

The dough’s delish, though again not all that different from what we normally make. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. Funny story: we didn’t realize until after we’d assembled the pizza that the recipe makes two pies. (No wonder we had “extra” sauce.) So really the crust was twice as thick as it should have been – but alas, it’s about the same thickness as our go-to recipe, so all’s good.

As for the sauce, it’s a mix of diced tomatoes and roasted red peppers – a little spicier than what I’m used to, but quite good! You can put it on the pizza direct from the stove top (chunky!), or run it through a blender or food processor for a more uniform sauce. I chose option #2.

Topped with Roma tomatoes, mozzarella Daiya cheese (of course!), and basil.

Food related holidays, they’re my favorite.

* Belated! Turns out I’m a week late. Old gif is old.

Beer Crust Pizza

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Over on tumblr, B’klynHeart shared some mouth-watering photos of a beer crust pizza she and the mister made, which I promptly reblogged the cheese out of. And then she was nice enough to send me the recipe. Naturally, I just had to try it. I mean, it’d be rude not to, right?

Pizza #1: a vegan cheeseburger beer crust pizza, with cheddar Daiya cheese, Yves Meatless Ground Round, onions, tomatoes, black olives, and my own homemade pizza sauce!


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Pizza #2 was a bit simpler, with just two toppings: mozzarella Daiya cheese and homemade marinara sauce.


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Basic yet basically delicious.

Shane complained that the dough was little tough to work with – too elastic – but I thought it tasted great! It’s hard to be too grumpy when you’re just doing the eating, you know? It was thinner than we normally make – thin crust pizza, why so elusive? – but not super thin. More like a medium-thin. Crunchy and tasty and totally up to holding the ridiculous amount of toppings I piled on top.


Frying-Pan Pizza, you have revolutionized my kitchen!

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Along with copious volumes of The Hunger Games criticism and a shiny old vintage WWII gas mask (child-sized!), I received not a few food-related items this holiday season. From my parents: all three vegan cookbooks on my wish list (Vegan Italiano, Vegan a la Mode, and Chloe’s Kitchen), as well as (*drumroll please*) a pasta roller! Homemade pierogies, I’m coming for you!

Pierogies are a little more effort than I can muster after all that holiday baking, so for now I’ll have to settle on breaking in those cookbooks. First up: Vegan Italiano (by Donna Klein, whose latest cookbook I recently had the pleasure of reviewing) – specifically, the Frying-Pan Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Onions. ALWAYS START WITH PIZZA, that’s my motto.

(Technically Shane makes the pizza in our house, but who’s counting? It’s weird how we tend to arbitrarily divvy up the meals like that – he’s always pizza, I’m always pasta, and beyond that it’s a free-for-all.)


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What’s so rad about this recipe is that the dough doesn’t use any yeast – just flour, oil, and water (Klein calls this “scone dough,” but I’ve never made scones, so the reference is lost on me) – so you don’t need to let it rise AT ALL beforehand. Pizza in a pinch, and without using pita bread to boot! (Not that I don’t love you pita, you know that I do. Sometimes I just need a, ahem, more filling meal.) Fry it up in a skillet, flip, and repeat. Transfer to a baking sheet, add your toppings, and bake for ~5 minutes. It’s that easy!

The resulting crust is thick and hearty, but doesn’t sit in your stomach like a brick. Dense but still light. Plus the little browned patches on the underside add an extra richness that regular pizza just doesn’t have.


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I really love the no-cheese, olives! olives! olives! version provided by Klein, but the husband decided to try another pie with our favorite standards, including mozzarella Daiya, Lightlife Smart Bacon, sundried tomatoes, and black olives. What can I say but yum yum yum?

Supposedly one pizza makes four to six servings (hahahaha!), but Shane and I polished a pie off in one sitting. In our defense it was a VERY filling meal.