Never say never. For years, as a vegetarian, I would proudly claim, “I could never go vegan”. I had no idea what my consumption of animal products was doing to my body, the planet, or the harm it causes animals. In my blissful ignorance I thought I could have my non-vegan cake and eat it too.
Pizza was the last thing I gave up when I became vegan. Saying goodbye to the perfect NYC slice seemed impossible. I imagined myself racked with uncontrollable cravings every time I walked by a pizza place for the rest of my life. I had already given up sushi and Nana’s sweet potato pie; one more thing would surely break me.
And then it happened. I became vegan. More than 5 years without animal products, and can say without a doubt: NYC pizza is overrated. Instead of foregoing pizza for the rest of my life, I eat vegan pizza with vegan toppings like dairy-free cheese, fresh vegetables, and delicious herbs. Plus––New York City has tons of restaurants and pizza joints that serve amazing vegan pizza. If you don’t live in NYC––and even if you do––you should make your own vegan pizza. It’s incredibly easy (as you’ll see in the video below). Get your hands on some active dry yeast and bread flour and you are on your way. The topping options are endless, and you can’t go wrong with traditional cheese (Daiya is my favorite for taste and meltability), and sweet potato 😉
Vegan Pizza Four Ways | Vegan Cheese, Sausage Pepper, Margarita, and Sweet Potato Pizzas
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups water 110 degrees F
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups white whole wheat flour bread flour, or all purpose flour + more for kneading
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus 2 teaspoons
- cornmeal just a little for sprinkling on baking sheet
Sweet Potato & Greens Pizza
- 1 small sweet potato peeled and thinly sliced in disks (as thin as possible or use a mandolin)
- 2 cups chopped greens I used beet greens. My other favorites are arugula, kale, and brussels sprouts
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Vegan Cheese Pizza
- 1 cup tomato sauce [url href="https://sweetpotatosoul.com/2013/01/spaghetti-squash-lentil-balls.html"]I use this recipe[/url]
- 1 tbsp Italian spice
- 1 bag Daiya cheese
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup basil
- 1 tbsp oregano
Sausage Pepper Pizza
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 bell pepper thinly sliced (Seeds removed)
- 2 vegan sausages Field Roast is my favorite
- Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a glass bowl, and stir well.
- Mix the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the yeast water.
- Stir well with a wooden spoon, and then knead the dough with your hands.
- Transfer the dough onto a floured workspace, and knead lightly to form the dough into a ball.
- Place the dough ball into another mixing bowl coated in a light layer of olive oil.
- Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, or an equivalent to seal, and set aside for one hour to let the dough rise.
- Meanwhile prep your topping ingredients.
- Once the dough has nearly tripled in size, remove it from the mixing bowl, and knead it into a ball again.
- Cut the ball in half or quarter, and form them into smaller balls.
- Place each ball onto a plate, and cover with a slightly damp and clean kitchen towel. Allow to set for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 500°.
- Sprinkle some cornmeal onto a large baking sheet, press your pizza dough directly onto it (to prevent sticking), and flatten the dough into a thin pizza crust shape. The thinner the better.
- Top with your pizza topping: sauce, of course, always goes first.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes. The cheese and margarita need 10 minutes, and the sweet potato and pepper sausage can stay for 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy!