Food La La: How to make vegan pizza

Mar. 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

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BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser

When I wrote my blog post last week announcing my new direction, I was still in the transition period of letting go of my old lifestyle and embracing my new meat-free life.

I’ve always admired vegans and how they are able to live in a world full of meat lovers. I thought it would be too difficult to avoid food with dairy, eggs and butter. I didn’t want to become picky and inconvenience my friends while eating with them. I tried to hold onto my life filled with food events and parties because it was safe and I did not want to step out of my comfort zone and possibly lose friends. But I knew in my heart that it was the right thing for me to do.

In the past week since I made the decision to become full vegan, I’ve realized it’s not as hard as I thought. Of course, I have to be more diligent by reading food labels and asking questions before ordering at restaurants, but I feel knowing what you are putting into your body — whether you are a vegan or not — is very important. I can honestly say I am much happier now because I am being true to myself and can now write about what I am passionate about.

For me, giving up meat wasn’t so hard. I rarely ate red meat and have lived on a chicken and seafood diet most of my life. Giving up seafood was more difficult (I love sushi!), but after not eating it for almost a month, I don’t miss it much anymore.

The one thing that I knew would be difficult letting go of was cheese. Thankfully, there are many cheese alternatives that taste just like the real thing. So in honor of one of my favorite foods, I made a vegan pizza!

Here’s the recipe, which makes one large pizza. For the crust, use any recipe that you want. I tried a yeast free recipe but changed it by using whole wheat flour and olive oil. I also added dried herbs and garlic powder.

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CRUST

» 2 cups whole wheat flour
» 1 tsp. sea salt
» 2 tsp. garlic powder
» 2 tsp. oregano
» 2 tsp. dried basil
» 2 tsp. baking powder
» 2/3 cup water
» 3/4 cup olive oil

SAUCE

» 6-ounce can tomato paste
» 1/2 tsp. each of dried basil, oregano, garlic powder and coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
» 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
» Sea salt (to taste)

For toppings, use any favorite vegetables. I used mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers (red, yellow and orange), green jalapeño, cherry tomatoes, basil and vegan cheese.

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INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.

2. Mix crust ingredients in large bowl and knead for several minutes. Roll dough out on pizza pan or baking sheet to desired thickness and bake for 5 to 10 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on how thick and large pizza is made. Once crust is baked, brush on light coat of olive oil.

3. Cut and prepare toppings.

4. Pour tomato sauce to mixing bowl. Add seasonings and salt. Adjust seasonings as needed to desired flavor.

5. Pour sauce on crust, layer vegan cheese and add toppings.

6. Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

7. Remove pizza from oven and sprinkle vegan parmesan and fresh basil.
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Lindsey Muraoka blogs about all things vegetarian for the Pulse. Follow her on Twitter or email her at foodlalablog@gmail.com.

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