Archive for the ‘vegan pizza’ Category

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and it started off in the best possible way. I slept in. Seriously, I don’t get to do that very often. Between working most days at 5:30 (yes, that is AM), trying to beat the desert heat, or just getting an early start on the day, my alarm clock generally goes off somewhere between 3:30 and 4:00. So my big deal was no alarm clock and I slept all they way until about 5:30. Woot!

After my coffee, I figured I’d be a good mother and take my furry kids for a run. They love it so much, but sometimes when time is short they miss out on their run. So I took them for a two mile run. The video below is from a different day, but it gives you an idea of how much we all enjoy our run.

Next up..a bike ride with my husband. I am so happy that Alan is finally recovered from his bike crash. Yes, it’s great that he feels good and can get back to training, but, to be honest (and totally selfish), I am much more committed to my training when my training partner is healthy. In any case, we had a nice 35 mile ride with almost perfect weather.
Our timing was so spot on..with high winds forecast and of course, Mother’s Day plans, we chose to cut the ride short, arriving home just as the winds kicked up. The shorter ride allowed me time to have a short nap (oh, yeah!) before getting dressed for the actual “Mother’s Day” part of the day.

We were meeting my youngest son, David, at my favorite restaurant for lunch. Native Foods, is, of course, the only vegan restaurant in the desert, but even if there were competition, it would stand out above the others.

I needed to try their Mother’s Day special. As quoted from the Native Foods Facebook page:

Oh yes, I needed that. I encouraged my son to order the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger, something I always suggest for first-timers, non-vegans (or anyone who is hungry). Alan had the Chicken Run Ranch Burger, which was the daily special and came with a side. My entree was wonderful. Why doesn’t my tofu scramble taste like that?
We had an extra treat during this visit. Chef Tanya was in the house and kindly stopped by the table to chat and let me pose with her! She is always so nice whenever we see her at Native Foods and seems to love to get out and talk with her customers. She suggested I post the photo on Facebook (which I did–Twitter too!).

That's my little boy!

Following my advice…
David gave me, you guessed it, a new cast iron pan for Mother’s Day. I always feel the direct request works pretty well. Nathan, my oldest, and my future daughter-in-law, Sarah, sent flowers.  Very nice.
This post has been a bit of a ramble, but it was obviously an event filled day. After lunch, I resumed being “Debbie” instead of “Mom.” We did a little shopping, then headed home. I did want to mention dinner (since it is in my post title). I made Vegan Mexican Pizza. Follow the link for the recipe, but I did make a slight change. I didn’t have any of the Vegan Queso, so I made my own. I took about a half cup of Daiya Cheddar, added an eighth cup of almond milk and an equal amount of fresh salsa and popped it in the microwave until the cheese melted. Perfect!

I sprinkled some cilantro on top and served with a chopped salad.

Really an excellent day.


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>Here’s the scenario, we’ve all been there. It’s getting close to dinner time. I don’t really have a plan for dinner, so I do one of those “fridge scans,” where you stand in front of the open refrigerator door, peek in the drawers, check out the freezer, and wonder, “what do we want for dinner.”

When I opened the freezer and saw this Vicolo Corn Meal Pizza Crust, I decided that pizza sounded like a wonderful idea. I leaned into the fridge to gather ingredients.  And quickly discovered that I did not have mozzarella-Daiya, only cheddar-Daiya. Okay, I can work around that. Next discovery, no tomatoes, tomato sauce, or even anything closely resembling pizza or pasta sauce. Hmmm, getting more challenging. Also, my favorite pizza topping, mushrooms, were looking a little, well, out of date.

So instead, I focused on what I did have. I did have onion, zucchini, red pepper, and Serrano peppers. I had the cheddar-Daiya, I had salsa, and joy of joys, I had Soy-rizo! Finally, and best of all, I had a new product that I just read about over on Quarrygirl.com the other day, ordered online, and had received just yesterday: Vegan Queso! This new, scrumptious queso is made by Food for Lovers with nutritional yeast and other yummy ingredients and has only 20 calories per two tablespoon serving. Seriously, it’s like the perfect food! Oh, and I had a bottle of Sriracha. Now, I had a plan.

I diced up a little onion, red pepper, zucchini, and a seeded Serrano. Not too much, just about two tablespoons of each vegetable. I sauteed the veggies in a little olive oil. When they were just getting soft, I scooted them to the side and added the Soy-rizo to the pan. About four ounces.

For the sauce, I mixed a quarter cup of the Queso with a quarter cup of the salsa, then a dash or two of Sriracha to taste. I had been worried about this combination until I took a taste. Oh. My. Gosh! A little taste of heaven.

 With the pizza stone heating in a 425 oven, I prepared my pizza. Spread on the sauce, sprinkled a good amount of the Daiya on top, then the Soy-rizo and finally the veggies. Popped it in the oven and 15 minutes later, voila:

I honestly think this is one of the most delicious things I have ever cooked. The corn meal crust was perfect for the spicy sauce and toppings.  We’ll be seeing this again soon.

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>I’m a little late on the Vegan Pizza Day report.  I apologize for that, but I’ve been on the road, traveling to Las Vegas. I believe that qualifies as an excuse for not getting just about anything done on time. I was actually there to take a class, which was scheduled on Sunday and that I’ll write about in a future post. Alan and I drove over on Saturday. It’s a four hour drive from La Quinta, taking the back route through famous landmarks like Amboy, Kelso, and Cima. Yes, I know. I’d never heard of them either.

Now, while I didn’t actually drag Alan with me, he was really doing me a favor by coming along. Neither of us are “Vegas People,” meaning we don’t gamble, smoke, and Alan doesn’t drink. Nor do we dress like trailer trash and carry cocktails in glasses designed to look like guitars around our neck. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Well, there probably is, but I’m not going to address that in this post.

Anyway, the first annual World Vegan Pizza Day was on January 29. Believe it or not, Las Vegas is an excellent place to celebrate this event, thanks to Steve Wynn. Yes, that Steve Wynn, billionaire owner of the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas and many other properties that make you think of decadence and overindulgence. Well, in 2010, Steve Wynn went vegan. And when Steve Wynn goes vegan, people pay attention. And, because he went vegan, he declared that all of the restaurants in his hotel would offer vegetarian and vegan options.

Now, the Wynn is still a high-end Las Vegas hotel, so many of the restaurants are very expensive. Fortunately, though, this was Vegan Pizza Day, and the Pizza Place at the Wynn was there to serve us moderately priced vegan pizza.

We ordered their “Meal Deal,” a 12-inch pizza, salad, and garlic knots. We ordered the veggie pizza and specified that we wanted it vegan. We decided to sit outside, even thought the weather, while sunny, was a little chilly. No matter, they had heaters on the patio and a view of (fake) waterfalls that could almost make you forget you were on the Las Vegas strip. 


The salad arrived first and it was very good. Lots of veggies, a nice dressing, large enough to share. As for the garlic knots, vegan seemed to mean bland. There was no noticeable garlic flavor. The dipping sauce was pretty good, though, and we were hungry after our long drive, so we (I) gobbled them up.

The pizza arrived and it was well worth waiting for. They use Teese for their cheese substitute and it is delicious. It is melty, flavorful, and delicious. The veggies included mushrooms, eggplant, red peppers, onions and garlic. Oh, and Kalamata olives, which I thought was a nice, spicy touch. Overall, I thought the pizza was very good. A great way to celebrate Vegan Pizza Day!

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Yum, pizza.

I admit it. I was one of those vegetarians who said, “I love cheese, it’s too hard to give it up.” That is, until I felt I had to. To be frank, I found that it really wasn’t difficult and my reasons for giving it up helped me when faced with temptation.

Ah, but pizza.  In the first several months after I went vegan, I simply avoided it. Cheeseless pizza sounds like an oxymoron to me. Yes, there were places that had vegan pizza, but here in the desert our choices are slim.  So when I first read that Zpizza had a vegan pizza, the Berkeley, I couldn’t wait to try it.

Whether it was really excellent or if it had just been so long (like the former beer drinker who loves alcohol-free beer), it tasted wonderful to me. The Berkeley Vegan pizza became an occasional part of my diet.

Then came day that I was enlightened. I happened to read The Vegan Bucket List 2010 on Quarrygirl.com, which contained the top 10 things every vegan needs to eat in Los Angeles. Well, I’m not in LA, but Zpizza is nationwide and their Tuscan Pizza (veganized) was right there on the list!

Description of the Tuscan: Roasted garlic sauce, mozzarella, cremini, shitake, and button mushrooms, caramelized onions, feta, truffle oil and thyme. To make vegan, replace the mozzarella with Daiya, hold the feta. Voila. Oh my, pizza heaven!

To make life even better, I had received a birthday coupon from Zpizza: Free Z10 pizza with the purchase of any pizza of equal or greater value. So I ordered the veganized Napoli: Homemade roasted garlic sauce, mozzarella, fresh rounds of tomatoes, parmesan, fresh basil. Again, an easy fix. They were a little skimpy with the basil, but it was still garlicky and good.

Pizza is an occasional treat for me, but I’m happy that “cheese” is back on the menu.

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