Week 32: Appreciation

Trade your expectation for appreciation and your world changes instantly.

Tony Robbins
Vegan Veggie and Cheese on Spelt Crust

Here in Northern California, we just went through a month of being inside everyday due to heavy smoke from nearby fires. An entire month of being inside every single day, with no air-conditioning and a summer heatwave. We only went outside once to take out the garbage and quickly grab our mail. It’s been intense.

Three days ago, the winds changed and started to blow the smoke away. Blue skies and birds came back. It’s amazing now to be able to open our windows and to go outside and breathe. Yesterday I went to my favorite hiking spot. I missed it during the past month of extreme indoorness.

Being sealed inside our apartment, we were not able to use our oven. It was also hella hot. Today when I flung open the windows and cranked up the oven, I felt utter appreciation to be able to do so. Cooking is an act of love. This recipe is our gift.

I read recently that to get the maximum health benefits from garlic, you should crush or mince it 15 minutes before you cook it. Reading this has changed the order of my cooking routine. Now I peel and crush the garlic first. Second, I slice the tomatoes and sprinkle them with a little sea salt. Salt helps release more flavor.

Throughout this year, I have been experimenting with different crusts. All-purpose, bread flour, pizza flour, and “00” flour, which is the only flour that can be used in traditional Neapolitan pizzerias, are so far my favorites. These white flours are reliable, easy to use, and absorb water well. I’ve struggled with finding a good gluten-free alternative.

Today I almost made a gluten-free boxed crust, but decided instead to make my own spelt dough from scratch. I was so excited to be able to cook again, I wanted to make the whole thing myself. It’s been a month since I have made a dough and this one did not come out as well as I had hoped. The toppings are some of our favorites though, so we still wanted to share the recipe. I hope you enjoy!


  • dough of your choice
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 ripe Roma tomatoes, sliced and sprinkled with a little salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed or minced
  • 1/2 organic green pepper, diced
  • 1/4 medium size red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 stalk broccoli, stem cut away and saved for another recipe, florets cut into bite size pieces
  • handful vegan mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 ripe avocado or guacamole
  • dash lime juice (optional)
  • a few sliced jalapeños from a jar (optional)


  1. Crank your oven up to 450° for about 40 minutes before you plan to put your pizza in the oven.
  2. Smash your garlic, set aside.
  3. Slice your tomatoes, set aside.
  4. Cut your green pepper in half. Store half in the fridge and dice the half you plan to use. (Note: peppers are on the “dirty dozen” list so if you can, buy organic. Green peppers are typically cheaper than red, yellow, or orange.)
  5. Roll out your dough between two large pieces of parchment paper sprinkled with flour or semolina flour. You can also add sesame or other seeds to give your crust a little crunch.
  6. Brush the dough with a little olive oil. Using your fingers, spread the garlic over the crust evenly, avoiding the edges.
  7. Add tomatoes, onions, and green pepper. (Note: if your tomatoes are too wet, dry them on a paper towel first.)
  8. Sprinkle a handful of cheese over the veggies.
  9. Layer with broccoli. Add a few jalapeño slices (Note: you may want to dry these on a paper towel too.)
  10. Bake for approximately 15 minutes at 450°.

While your pizza is baking, slice open your avocado. Scoop the flesh into a small bowl and mash it with a fork. Add a dash of lime juice and salt. Mix well. Give your pizza five minutes to cool when it comes out of the oven, then top with freshly made guacamole.

Everything’s better with guacamole.

We hope you enjoy this pizza. Of course feel free to mix it up and use any veggies you prefer. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are safe, happy, and well fed. If you have a favorite vegan pizza recipe you’d like me to make, let me know @52veganpizzas.

Published by 52veganpizzas

We're a couple living in the Bay Area who are committed to a pie a week in 2020. Join us!

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