Friday, January 27, 2012

Veggie Pizza

Yes, vegans eat pizza too! Making it yourself takes a little longer than buying a frozen one at Whole Foods, but your efforts will be rewarded with the fresh taste of all of your ingredients.

Dough (see link below to make your own)
Olive oil
1 small can of tomato sauce (you will only use a small amount. Freeze the rest)
Vegan cheese such as Daiya (totally optional)
Fresh veggies such as tomatoes & onions (sliced thin)
Peppers & olives (chopped)
Dried italian seasoning or fresh basil
Arugula leaves marinated in olive  oil & balsamic vinegar

Start out with your pizza dough which can be store made, whole wheat, gluten free, homemade, or any combination there of. I choose to make my own dough from this link for Perfect Vegan Pizza Crust. I cheated on the rising time and in fact, I only let it rise once but still ended up with a good quality airy crust.

Take your dough of choice and stretch it to conform to your pan. I used a 14 inch round pizza pan and could have easily gotten two thin crust pizzas out of this dough recipe instead of one thick one. Trial and error is what cooking is all about in my kitchen. Coat your dough with a light brushing of olive oil and then brush on a thin layer of tomato sauce. Plain old tomato sauce does the trick. The veggies will be the stars of this meal, no need to buy special sauce for this. Sprinkle lightly with the cheese. Top with thin slices of tomatoes and sprinkle with chopped onions, bell peppers, and olives. Sprinkle with dried Italian seasoning or fresh chopped basil. Pizza is what you make of it;  select good quality toppings and choose the veggies that you enjoy.

Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Carefully slide onto a cutting board and let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Now comes my favorite part: top with fresh arugula that has been tossed in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The contrast of the cooked vegetables and fresh marinated arugula is simply delightful. Well, it really it is. Try it and see. In fact I loved the veggies so much, my next pizza will be without cheese all together. I don't miss cheese at all, but it's nice to have the soy options around.

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