Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vegan Cheesy Pizza

Oh pizza, you are my friend and my enemy.

Before I was lactose intolerant (when I was like 10) I used to be a part of this book reading program where you could win a free personal-pan pizza from Pizza Hut each month if you read a certain amount of books. I loved that mini, cheesy, saucy, doughy goodness each and every month. That was pretty much my last memory of eating real pizza.

Because then I started getting really sick every time I ate cheese and ice cream. So forever after I was delegated to tasteless dough covered with dried sauce and veggies every time pizza was on the menu. Blech.

As we know, the options have expanded and most trendy pizza bistros will at least drizzle their whole-wheat dough with some olive oil and add some whole garlic cloves or something. But the whole idea of pizza just doesn't really appeal to me. At all. Until now.

Pizza places all over Southern California are starting to add VEGAN PIZZA to their menus! No, this does not mean "hi vegan, here's your baked bread with a few veggies thrown on top." It means wonderful, cheesey, gooey, pizza goodness!! Just like when I was a kid! I have never had a vegan-cheesey-pizza in a restaurant before in my life. I've made them at home a few times, but isn't it so nice to be able to eat out once in a while?

I discovered PizzaSalad in Thousand Oaks, which serves any of their pizzas with soy-cheese or soy-free-cheese. When I asked if their soy-free-cheese was Daiya, the guy said he didn't know the brand name, but "here's the list of ingredients." I looked at the soy-free-cheese ingredients and it was definitely Daiya. Sure enough, as soon as I tasted it, my assumptions were confirmed.

This stuff is amazing! It is a cheese subsitute that actually melts and tastes delicious. It's what I use in my mac and cheese recipe, and I love it.

At this awesome little Pizza place, I ordered the "Zesta" which had spicy sauce, roasted red peppers and jalepenos on it.

My coworker ordered the "Ftelia" which had green olives, yellow onions and
artichokes on it.

They were both smothered in Daiya cheese and were so amazingly delicious.

I finally researched some places in San Diego that also serve this kind of pizza and I am definitely going to try them. Pizza has returned to my life!

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