Sometimes, we crave pizza. It just happens. Often, I see families compromise and end up out to dinner, with a full-on pepperoni and cheese pizza, when really the craving can easily be satiated at home with plants and without nearly as much harm to your health. Remember, according to the World Health Organization, processed meats have been categorized as Group 1 carcinogens, comparable to tobacco. Many of us take such care with the meals we prepare at home, but then throw a lot of our values out the window when we eat out. I want to encourage you to be more mindful.
It can be really helpful to have a quick and easy option for homemade that is a bit healthier than the plant-based pizza you could get at a restaurant, plus a lot less expensive. Try to find a whole wheat pizza dough. Either buy it from your local natural food store or make a couple batches at home and store some, uncooked, in the freezer. It’s super easy to make, but I haven’t made my own crust for a long time so I don’t have a tried and true recipe for you. I actually don’t eat pizza very often. I had a craving one evening recently, while living in Portland, and I am going to share the yumminess with you.
I have included the link to a vegan parmesan that is super simple to make. Keep a batch in the fridge and if you do decide to go out for pizza, order a simple crust with tomato sauce and veg. Then, sprinkle your own homemade vegan parmesan on top. It’s much healthier than any processed vegan cheese and better for your digestion, too.
Super Easy Pizza
- Store bought whole wheat pizza dough (or polenta, cooked and spread fairly thin in a shallow baking dish)
- Tomato Sauce (store-bought sugar-free or homemade)( I love Sweet Creek Foods Kid’s Sauce! You can find it at natural food stores up and down the west coast. I also love their salsa.)
- All of your favorite plant-based pizza toppings. I am a huge fan of broccoli on pizza. I pre-cook any heartier vegetables to crisp tender (like broccoli) first before putting on the pizza.
- Vegan Parmesan (This recipe from Dana at Minimalist Baker is worth gold. Feel free to use sunflower seeds instead of cashews if desired. I haven’t tried it, but I am fairly certain it will work well.)
- Oven to 425°.
- Press as much of the dough as you want onto a large baking sheet. Be patient and keep pressing until you get it as thin as you want, making sure the thickness is even out to the edges so it will cook evenly. I don’t think I pre-baked my crust, but you can do that if the dough instructions recommend it. If using polenta, bring to room temperature if it has been in the refrigerator, and pre-bake for 10 minutes before adding the toppings.
- Spoon a liberal amount of tomato sauce onto the crust taking care to spread it evenly over the whole crust.
- Next, layer all your toppings on to the sauce. If you have some particularly moist toppings, try to drain them first, soak up the extra moisture with a towel, or just use less volume to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
- Sprinkle generously with the vegan parmesan.
- Bake until the crust is starting to get light brown on the bottom, sauce is a little bubbly and vegetables are nicely cooked.
- Sprinkle more vegan parmesan on top as desired at the table. If you want a bit more kick you can sprinkle some red chili flakes on as well.
You can give each child their own ball of dough and they can make their own personal pizzas. This is a great way to get them engaged. Have a variety of topping choices out on the counter and require that each child choose three toppings (depending on your child you can even tell them they need to choose three different colors, or at least one topping needs to be green) to encourage variety.