Virtual Vegan Potluck: Pretty in Pink Double Cheese Pizza

Friday, November 15th, 2013


When I signed up for this month’s installment of the Virtual Vegan Potluck, I checked off the box for “beets please!” without giving it much thought. And then I promptly began to panic: I’ve never cooked with beets before. Never even eaten a beet, in fact! (Well, I’m at least 99% sure, so don’t quote me on that.) Next thing you know, my mind turned – as it always, inevitably does – to pizza.

As it turns out, pizzas are beet-friendly in a multitude of ways. You can blend ’em up and put ’em in the dough to turn the crust neon pink. (Bitchin’!) Or perhaps you’d rather cut your beets into fun shapes and arrange them playfully atop a pizza pie. (Crafty!) Mash them up and turn them into a hummus or a pesto and for a tasty and colorful base. (Neat-o!)


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Me, I decided to convert one of my favorite homemade cheese recipes into a delicious hot pink mess. Enter the Cheddary Cashew Cheese from Julie Hasson’s Vegan Pizza, which I adapted special for this potluck. Since beets don’t have much of a taste, this sauce may look sweet, but it’s 100% savory, with cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion, and paprika colliding into a plate of gooey goodness. As for the toppings, I decided to keep it simple, since I didn’t want any olives or mushrooms distracting from the pretty pink beet hearts. Just beeting hearts and Daiya cheese, please.

Shane wanted to call this a Bleeding Heart Pizza – and perhaps that would have been a more appropriate title, seeing as how the beets bled all over their pillows of mozzarella Daiya cheese, staining them a glorious shade of pink.

Ah well. Whatever you call it, you’ll be begging for seconds!


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Virtual Vegan Potluck: Something Sweet, Something Savory

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012


Welcome to the Virtual Vegan Potluck, y’all! First visit? Don’t worry, I’m a newcomer, too. Let’s hang together, okay? Strength in numbers!

I first learned of this very cool project over on the Vegan MoFo facebook page – and, not wanting the fun to end on October 31st, promptly signed up. I’m so glad I did, too, ’cause it gave me the opportunity to try two new recipes which might have otherwise been pushed to the back burner. That’s right, two! Because I love you double! Both of ’em are breads – since that’s what I chose during registration – one sweet, the other savory. Something for everyone!


Hot Cross Buns for the Virtual Vegan Potluck (0006)


First up, the sweet stuff: Hot Cross Buns, recipe via Vegan Dad. Initially I was set to make these for Vegan MoFo (paired with Ida Maria’s “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked”), but they got bumped in favor of Fried (and Baked!) Green Tomatoes and Paul Young at the last minute. Redemption, thy taste is sweet and sugary!

The husband was actually nice enough to make these for me, as a sort of down(re)payment on my October cooking marathon. It’s a long process, but not terribly complicated – there’s just a lot of waiting around. He mostly followed the recipe, but had to omit the currants since we couldn’t find any locally, and didn’t have the time to order them online.

On his first try, the mister was afraid that the dough didn’t rise enough, so he set it aside and made a second batch, this time with rapid rise instead of active dry yeast. Alas, both dough balls showed about the same amount of rise. Luckily, I think it was enough, because the rolls were super-tasty. Not light and fluffy, but a little on the dense side – in a good way, though. And the glaze and icing? Shut the front door!

According to the Wikipedia,

Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time. Because of the cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten.

We replaced the cross with a “V,” so I’m not quite sure of the message my buns are sending. Perhaps you have to be a Level 5 Vegan before you can lay your lips on them? Whatever, I’ll settle for a jab at Mark Bittman. I’m not fussy.


Hot Cross Buns for the Virtual Vegan Potluck (0018)


But back to the first, “failed” batch of dough. The husband baked it as one large loaf, roughly following Vegan Dad’s instructions, and…it, too, was awesome! Reminiscent of a certain sugar loaf I love, but with sweetness throughout instead of concentrated in the center. Dazed and hungry from a nap, I didn’t think to snap a pic before I devoured half the loaf. I did get the leftovers, though!


Hot Cross Bread for the Virtual Vegan Potluck (0004)


Perfect when sliced thinly, then toasted with a bit of margarine and brown sugar. Ugh, I’m salivating at the thought of it.


Pepperoni Pizza Bread for the Virtual Vegan Potluck (0014)


And for the “savory” portion of this potluck: Pepperoni Pizza Bread! My aunt’s boyfriend always brought pizza bread to our Christmas/New Years celebrations, so I’ve come to associate it with family and friends and fun. Sneaking sips of wine and playing poker for pennies until 2AM. Stuffing your face until you’re about to pop, and then stuffing it some more. Surreptitiously changing into jammies when your jeans refuse to button. Good times.


Pepperoni Pizza Bread for the Virtual Vegan Potluck (0019)


I have to give some (read: most) of the credit to my husband for this bread as well, since he made it (albeit at my direction!). As per usual, he started with our go-to fluffy white pizza dough recipe. After the dough has risen, lay it out flat in a rectangular shape, add your toppings (pizza sauce, mozzarella Daiya, and Lightlife Pepperoni), roll into a circle-loaf-thingie, bake, and enjoy. It’s that easy!


Pepperoni Pizza Bread for the Virtual Vegan Potluck (0032)


Come to think of it, I’m gonna have to ask my mum why she never made us pizza bread. Since it was a once-a-year treat, I always assumed it was complicated and tedious and nearly impossible to make. But not so much! I mean, she was an accomplished pizzanista. What’s the deal?

Because I aim to please, there is a recipe under the jump!


Pepperoni Pizza Bread for the Virtual Vegan Potluck (0034)


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