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.

Week 31:Viva la Pizza!

Pizza… It’s what America’s having for dinner!

José N. Harris, author Mi Vida
Vegan Corn Crust Pizza with Kale and Basil Pesto with Ricotta and Cherry Tomatoes

Here in California we are on week 3 of high heat, high winds, and smoky conditions from nearby fires. Most days it’s too smoky to open our windows or use our window box AC unit, so we’ve been sweltering inside, watching plumes of smoke pass by our windows. We had a one day break in the smoke so were able to use our oven. Of course we used this opportunity to make a pizza!

We had a pre-made corn crust in our fridge taunting me for days that I could not use the oven. I love the buttery flavor, texture, and thickness of this corn crust, but you can use any crust you like. Here’s a link to an easy homemade dough. Most grocery stores also carry pre-made dough in either the refrigerator or freezer sections. Some are quite high in sugar or oil. The beauty of making your own is that you can control the ingredients.

I wanted to use ingredients I had on hand and also use as many healthful veggies as possible, while still respecting flavor combinations and not overwhelming the dish. I also wanted to add a little extra protein, so I created a vegan pesto using almond milk ricotta cheese. You can substitute vegan cream cheese instead. Both versions are super yummy.

If you are lucky enough to have fresh basil, feel free to use more basil and less kale or vice versa. I prefer dino kale, but curly kale works too. If using curly kale, massage it a minute before tossing it into your food processor.

Pesto Ingredients

  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 medium size red onion, diced
  • 3-5 stalks of dino kale, rinsed and stems removed
  • handful basil leaves (pictured above, center) rinsed and stems removed
  • 1/2 package vegan ricotta cheese (I used this one from Kite Hill)
  • dash sea salt, dash pepper
  • splash of lemon juice


  1. Place kale and basil into the bowl of a food processor with the S-blade attached. Pulse a few times.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process on low until combined. Swipe the inside of the food processor bowl to ensure all ingredients process together. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, as you prefer. You can add a dash more lemon juice if you want the mixture to be creamier. Don’t overdo it.

You can use any veggies you have on hand to top your pizza. The beauty of pizza is its versatility. Zucchini and cherry tomatoes are one of our favorites.

Pizza Toppings

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • handful cherry tomatoes
  • dash sea salt, sprinkle red pepper flakes


  1. I prefer thin slices of zucchini. Using a vegetable peeler, I go around the outside of a washed zucchini and slice off the skin and “meat” of the zucchini until I see mostly seeds. The seeds can be bitter, so I don’t use the inside “core” of the zucchini. I do eat the colorful outer skin. I end up with long slices of zucchini that are too hard to eat, so I slice the thin slices in thirds, so they are more bite size.
  2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. This releases more flavor from the tomatoes.
  3. Spread a layer of pesto mixture onto your pizza crust. If you are using a thicker crust, as we are with this corn crust, you can make the pesto layer much thicker and your pizza will still bake nicely in the center. If your pizza is thin crust, you may want to use a thinner layer of pesto (and add less lemon so the pesto mix itself is thicker). For thin crust, you may also want to bake it for 1/2 the time with just the pesto mix before adding your toppings.
  4. Adorn with tomatoes (symmetrical pattern of tomato shapes optional). Add zucchini slices or other veggies of choice.
  5. Bake in a hot oven. We put our oven to 425° for 45 minutes before baking our pizza for 13 minutes.
  6. Slice, eat, and enjoy!

Week 30: Trenta

Electricity is really just organized lightning.

George Carlin

This week we are celebrating our 30th post. We are also celebrating that we have electricity. Fellow Californians will join me in rejoicing for this luxury that we so often take for granted. With electricity we can both heat up our oven and cool down our house. It’s truly a miracle.

Last week intense lightning sparked fires throughout California and there are now over 350 active fires burning throughout the state. We’ve had rolling blackouts and everyday are on alert for possible outages. It’s been super hot, over 90° everyday. Heat is a foe to dough.

Cooks Illustrated tested three dough proofing methods and found that leaving your dough overnight in the fridge makes for a better tasting, more evenly browned crust, than proofing in a warm or even cool room temperature room. If you are short on time, you can use a premade crust, which is what we did this week to create this simple, tasty vegan pizza.


  • pizza crust of choice- we used a thick corn crust that comes in a pack of 2
  • vegan ricotta
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced and lightly salted
  • handful fresh spinach, washed
  • 1/2 cup vegan mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 10 jalapeño slices
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tbs. olive oil
  • salt, pepper, and dried oregano to taste


  1. Heat your oven to 425° for about 45 minutes before you bake your pizza.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. When hot, add a glug of oil and onions. Stir and let cook 2-3 minutes before adding other ingredients.
  3. Add garlic and heat for an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Add fresh spinach. Turn heat down to low. Let spinach wilt while you prepare your crust and place on parchment paper.
  6. Spread a thin layer of ricotta over the pizza. Sprinkle with oregano.
  7. Add vegan mozzarella (less for thinner crusts).
  8. Top with tomato slices, jalapeño slices, and corn.
  9. Top with onion, garlic, spinach mix.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Slice, share, and enjoy!

We enjoyed this simple pizza, loaded with healthy veggies and layers of flavor. If you have a food processor and want to try another variation, you can put the ricotta, raw onions, garlic, and fresh spinach in a food processor along with a little salt, pepper, and oregano and blend it all together. This makes a yummy base. Top it with mozzarella, tomatoes, corn, and jalapeño. Both ways are delicious. It just depends on whether I feel like getting out my food processor or frying pan!

We hope that wherever you are in the world, you are healthy and safe and that you have something delicious to eat this week. If there’s anything special you’d like to see us make during the next 22 weeks of recipes, let us know @52veganpizzas.

Week 29: Super Simple Summer Stovetop Pizza

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.

Sam Keen

If your weather is anything like ours this week, you are looking for easy recipes that do not require an oven. Here in Northern California we are sweltering at 102° and have already experienced one three hour blackout from PG&E. I checked out a weather map of the USA and it appears that the entire country is red, even places that typically have more mild temperatures this time of year. Climate change is real and we are feeling it!

If you are looking for something simple and yummy and that does not require much heat, check out this simple summer recipe. It’s light and flavorful and the dough can be pan fried with or without oil in about 5 minutes. NO oven required, though you probably have your own private Bikram studio in your living room right now. We do!


  • 1 ripe peach, preferably organic, sliced thin
  • vegan ricotta
  • balsamic vinegar
  • dried currants (optional)
  • honey or agave (optional)
  • dough of choice

A few notes on the ingredients:

I realize that many vegans do not use honey. I did not consume it for many years but then a hive decided to live on our porch and we developed an interest in our local beekeepers. Consuming honey from your local area has numerous health benefits. Of course it’s up to you to decide if honey works for your diet. Agave, yacon syrup, and coconut nectar would all be great substitutes as would just letting the natural sweetness of a tree ripened peach steal the flavor show.

We used Kite Hill brand vegan ricotta. It was $7 from Whole Foods, so not cheap, but definitely better than anything I could make at home. It’s creamy and has a nice texture. I would definitely buy it again and will look for other creative ways to use the rest of the container.

If you have the time, a few hours to a few days before you you make this recipe, place some dried currants in a container, fill it with balsamic vinegar, shake it up, and put it in the fridge. The flavors will meld and your vinegar will take on a sweet flavor. You can keep this mix in the fridge for a few weeks. It makes a nice base for salad dressing, as a marinade, or to dress up veggies or grains. Raisins, apricots, and other dried fruit would work too.

For the crust, I used a piece of leftover dough made with roughly equal parts of whole wheat and all purpose flour. I used honey instead of sugar to activate the yeast. It’s a delicious base for this pizza. You can use any dough you like. You may prefer to use store bought dough as proofing your own in this heat won’t be easy. Pita pockets would work and taste great too. A thicker dough works well for this flavor combo.

Normally I leave my dough out of the fridge for 2-4 hours before use. With this heat, I’d aim for 90 minutes at “room temperature” before frying the dough. Less could work too.


  1. Heat your pan over medium-high heat. (I know you don’t want to. This will be over soon!)
  2. Gently shape your dough in a circle using your hands. Place it in the frying pan and push down the edges with your fingers. (I know it sounds like you will burn your fingers, but if your dough is the right thickness, you will not. Work quickly though and err on the side of caution.)
  3. Toast each side of the dough for 2-4 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your dough.
  4. When dough is on the second side, top with ricotta. I used a very modest amount, but you may prefer a thicker layer of cheese.
  5. Take your pizza off the heat. (Yeah, you are done with the heat. Turn it off and be glad it’s over!)
  6. Top with peach slices. Drizzle with honey and balsamic vinegar. Add a few currants.
  7. Eat and enjoy!
Delicious Summertime Vegan Pizza

We enjoyed this pizza and plan to make it again. It’s amazing how good a simple pan pizza can be.

If you make this or any other vegan pizza, we’d love to know @52veganpizzas. Next week we hope to again be using our oven and our new French pizza stone that we are excited to use. Wishing you a wonderful and cool week ahead.

Week 28: A Midsummer Night’s Pizza

If music be the food of love, play on.

William Shakespeare

Here in Northern California we have been blessed with a mostly mild summer, with daytime highs between 80-90° and cooler evening temperatures. Baking a pizza necessitates cranking up the oven to a hot 450° for 45 minutes before baking. If it’s sizzling wherever you are in the world, you may want to make this pizza for dinner or fry the dough in a frying pan on the stove. That’s a yummy, quick way to cook your dough and it works well for this recipe, just omit the mozzarella.

I have been experimenting with different flours and today used a blend of whole wheat and all-purpose flours and a tablespoon of honey instead of a teaspoon of sugar to activate the yeast. I otherwise use this recipe as my “go to” and it’s come out tasty every time.

Vegan Summer Inspired Pizza

Pesto Ingredients

  • vegan plain cream cheese (I used 1/2 of a Violife container.)
  • 2 handfuls spinach leaves (I bought pre-washed organic spinach in a bag.)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • pinch salt (I used Maldon smoked flake sea salt.)
  • dash pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed or diced
  • water to thin
  • squeeze lemon juice (optional)
  • dash nutritional yeast (optional)

Pesto Instructions

  1. Place cream cheese and avocado in the base of your blender.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and garlic cloves.
  3. If using, add nutritional yeast and lemon juice.
  4. Add a dash of water, just enough so that the mixture moves around in your blender. The amount needed will depend on your blender. Don’t add too much! Just enough to blend.
  5. Add the onion and spinach and blend until thoroughly mixed, about 1 minute.


  • pizza dough of your choice
  • handful vegan shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn (If frozen, use hot water to unfreeze and bring to room temp.)
  • 1 medium zucchini (I use a peeler and peel them lengthwise, leaving the skin on.)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado (use the other half in the pesto recipe above)
  • 1-2 vine ripe tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Heat your oven to a balmy 450° for 45 minutes before baking.
  2. Prepare all your veggies so that when you start cooking, you are ready to go.
  3. Heat your frying pan over medium-high heat while you hand shape or roll out your dough. Brush dough with olive oil and sprinkle with a dash of salt. Bake for 5 minutes without any toppings.
  4. While your crust is baking, add a glug of olive oil to your frying pan. Add onions. Stir to coat and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes until onions become translucent.
  5. Add garlic, stir.
  6. Add zucchini, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir for 2 minutes then turn off the heat and add corn.
  7. Carefully remove the crust from the oven and quickly shut the oven door.
  8. Sprinkle cheese over crust. Layer with tomato slices. Spoon the pesto over the pizza. Top with the zucchini, onion, garlic, and corn mixture.
  9. Bake for an additional 7-10 minutes, for a total baking time of 12-15 depending on the true temperature of your oven and the type and thickness of your crust. Our half whole wheat/ half all-purpose flour crust was done in 14 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool 5 minutes. Top with slices of avocado. Serve and enjoy!

I loved the toppings on this pizza. I have to say the whole wheat crust was not my favorite. I’d rather have just white flour, but whole wheat is the healthier choice. As toppings go, this is my among my top three favorites. Zucchini, tomatoes, sweet corn, mozzarella and avocados go great together and make for a filling meal.

If you make this or any other vegan pizza, we’d love to know @52veganpizzas. Until next week, happy eating.

Week 27: Summer Vegan BBQ

No one could have prepared me for BBQ on pizza. I mean, both are great. But together? It was incredible.

Pau Gasol

There’s something about late summer that calls for the flavor of barbeque. As a lifelong vegetarian this was not a flavor I grew up with. Recently I’ve come to like the novelty of BBQ sauce on vegetables or as coating on vegan proteins, such as tofu or tempeh cubes. Inspired by this recipe from Connisseurus Veg, we decided to pair the tangy flavor of BBQ with cauliflower and chickpeas.

The flavor of this pizza is dependent on having a great tasting BBQ sauce. If you have a favorite, great. I’m still looking for a vegan one I like. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. In the meantime, you can make your own.

Make Your Own BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl. You will put the washed and cut cauliflower florets and chick peas directly into the sauce, so starting with a big bowl will reduce the number of dishes you have to do.

I made a lot of BBQ sauce so decided to coat both the cauliflower florets and chickpeas in the mixture. Other recipes call for just the chickpeas to simmer in the sauce and the cauliflower to roast on a baking sheet, coated with olive oil. It’s entirely up to you. I figured if I’m going for a BBQ flavor, I’m coating both and going all the way.


  • pizza dough
  • BBQ sauce, a little more than 1 cup
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly under running water
  • 1/3 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
  • Jalapeño slices, drained on a paper towel to squeeze out excess moisture
  • olive oil
  • 3/4 cup vegan mozzarella
  • 1 medium ripe tomato
  • 1 ripe avocado


  1. Preheat your oven to 450° for 45 minutes before baking your pizza.
  2. Whisk up your BBQ ingredients or if using a premade sauce you like, decide if you want to dress it up with some additional spices or flavors or leave it as is. Add cut cauliflower florets and chickpeas. Toss to coat.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. When warm, add a glug of olive oil.
  4. Add onions and stir to coat. Heat for 3 minutes until onions are translucent.
  5. Add garlic.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, add the cauliflower florets. (I had no problem separating them from the chickpeas. If this frustrates you, add them both at the same time.) After a few minutes, add the chickpeas.
  7. Slice your tomato into thin slices. Sprinkle a bit of salt over them to release more flavor.
  8. Roll out your dough on a piece of parchment paper to approximate a 12-14 inch circle. (If it comes out a square or some other shape, that’s OK. It’s better not to fuss with your dough too much and interesting shaped pizzas are a great conversation starter.)
  9. Brush the edges of your pizza with olive oil. Sprinkle the vegan mozzarella over the pizza, leaving a 1/2 inch edge uncovered.
  10. Place tomato slices around the pizza in a thin layer.
  11. When cauliflower are near fork tender, remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, spoon cauliflower/chickpea BBQ mixture over the pizza.
  12. Top with jalapeño slices.
  13. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until it smells done.
  14. After your pizza is baked, top with sliced avocado.
  15. Eat and enjoy!
Vegan BBQ Pizza with Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Tomatoes, Avocado, and Jalapeño Slices

We really enjoyed this pizza. The tangy taste of the homemade BBQ sauce, melted mozzarella, and jalapeño slices go great together. Vine ripe tomatoes are delicious this time of year. Plus avocados are ripe and in season. Delish!

If you have suggestions for pizzas you’d like us to make in the future, let us know @52veganpizzas.

Week 26: Veggies

There’s very little in my world that a foot massage and a thin crust, everything-on-it pizza won’t set right.

G.A. McKevett
Sweet Crust, No Cheese, Vegan Veggie Pizza

Sometimes you just want a simple, healthy, all veggie pizza. As we’ve gotten more accustomed to eating at least one pizza a week, I’ve come to think of pizza less as a special occasion food and more of a quick, weeknight meal.

Pizza is a versatile food. You can use any veggies you have on hand and try new flavor combinations. The combo of peppers, mushrooms, kale, and tomatoes makes a flavorful meal, reminiscent of a visit to the farmers market. (We really miss our local market, but it’s been closed since March.)

We decided to make this a cheese-free pizza and roll the dough thin, a bit more like a flatbread. It was delicious, also quick and easy to make.


  • favorite pizza dough
  • handful cherry tomatoes, sliced in half and lightly salted
  • handful white button mushrooms (we used 5), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, cubed
  • 1/3 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 stalks dino kale, rinsed well, pulled from the stem, and lightly massaged
  • favorite red sauce (optional), you can also hand smash some cherry tomatoes, salt them and use as a base
  • olive oil
  • dried oregano
  • salt and pepper


  1. Always start by heating your oven. I crank mine to 450° for at least 45 minutes before I plan to bake my pizza.
  2. Make your dough and let rest for at least 15 minutes. If using refrigerated dough, take it out of the fridge about 2 hours before you plan to use it. Cold dough won’t cooperate. It must be room temperature to roll out or hand toss properly.
  3. Chop your veggies and have everything ready before you start to cook. The French call this mise en place, putting everything in place. It makes the cooking part much more fun when you don’t have to stop in the middle and chop and dice while also keeping an eye on your pan. Do yourself a favor and chop it all before you start.
  4. Heat your frying pan on medium high heat for a few minutes so that it is really warm before you start to cook.
  5. Heat a glug of olive oil in the pan. Add onions, stirring to coat with oil. Set a timer for 2 minutes. Stir the onions occasionally.
  6. Add garlic and stir to combine. Stir again after 10, 20, and then 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, add your other veggies.
  7. Start with the veggies that will take the longest to cook. I added the bell pepper and mushrooms first. Stir to combine.
  8. After 2-3 minutes, add the kale. I tear it from the stalks and massage it a bit in my hands before adding it to the frying pan. This helps it break down, cooking faster and also digesting easier.
  9. Cook this mix for another 2-3 minutes, adding the sliced and salted tomatoes at the end. Turn off the heat and let the mix stay in the frying pan while you roll out your dough.
  10. Roll dough to desired size. Top with a scant amount of marinara sauce or smash some tomatoes, add a bit of salt, pepper, and oregano, and use your homemade sauce. You can also brush a bit of olive oil around the edges of the dough to create a darker crust.
  11. Top with veggie mix. Just let it slide right out of the frying pan and onto your pizza and sauce base.
  12. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Your baking time will vary depending on the true temperature of your oven and the size of your pizza. If you like a pizza with more sauce and thicker toppings, it’s a good idea to bake the crust and sauce for 2-3 minutes before adding additional toppings.

We really like this simple, earthy pizza. It feels like a health food because there are so many veggies. It’s a great way to get kids (and picky adults) to eat their veggies. I wasn’t a big fan of mushrooms until we started having them on pizza. Now I love the texture and bite they provide.

If you make this or any other vegan pizza, we’d love to know @52veganpizzas. Until next time, buon appetito.

Week 25: Tempeh Tops It

Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself.

Bill Murray

I loved last week’s pizza so much that I wanted to try another version using tempeh and mozzarella, which surprisingly taste great together. Whenever I can, without sacrificing taste, I add veggies, protein, herbs and spices to my food.

I added a heaping teaspoon of dried oregano to the dough before its first rise. Oregano adds a depth of flavor. It’s also reported to have numerous health benefits. Oregano is rich in antioxidants. It’s thought to have antibacterial properties, reduce viral infection, and ease sore muscles. Sounds good to me.

As if that wasn’t healthy enough, I decided to add tempeh. If you aren’t familiar with this wonder food, I highly recommend you try it. Personally I prefer to tempeh to tofu in most dishes. Silken tofu makes great desserts and firm tofu makes a good base for vegan sour cream. For savory dishes, I typically prefer the firm texture and nutty taste of tempeh.

Cubes of Tempeh


  • Tempeh – I prefer this one, but you can use any tempeh you like
  • Vegan mozzarella – I prefer this one, again, use any vegan cheese you like that melts well (not all do)
  • tomato sauce, jarred or crush your own, starting with a can of whole, organic tomatoes
  • jalapeño slices
  • broccoli
  • frozen corn
  • garlic
  • onion
  • pizza dough – this is my go-to recipe when I’m short on time
  • Olive or avocado oil
  • Sriracha, coconut aminos, maple syrup or agave (all optional, for the tempeh marinade below)

You can use any veggies you like. I highly recommend the flavor combo of tempeh, mozzarella, and jalapeño slices. Garlic and onions find their way into all of my pizza recipes. See the dark things on the pizza? Those are sun dried tomatoes. Awesome on Mediterranean flavored pizzas. I wouldn’t recommend them on this one.


If you have the time and ingredients, I highly recommend you marinate your tempeh for a few minutes before frying it. It’s super simple. Just squirt some Sriracha, coconut aminos, and maple syrup into a wide bowl and mix. Add slices of tempeh, coat on both sides, and leave in the bowl for a few minutes while you prepare your veggies.

  1. About an hour before you want to put your pizza into the oven, turn it on and turn it up to 450°.
  2. Cut your tempeh into cubes or whatever shape you prefer. Longer, thinner strips work too. Marinate them if you plan to do so.
  3. Drain jalapeño slices on a paper towel. Use as many as you like. My partner and I each want to eat about 5, so I drain 10 then cut them into small bits to sprinkle around the pizza.
  4. Dice 1/3 of an onion.
  5. Crush 3 garlic cloves. (I use a Zyliss and crush them over the frying pan or sometimes directly onto the dough before I add the toppings. Sometimes I do both and am grateful that my partner and I eat the same things because we both smell like garlic!)
  6. Boil some water and pour it over the frozen corn until it completely covers the corn. I use about 1/3 cup of corn for a medium size pizza. Corn is one of the few frozen veggies I regularly use. It’s so much easier than fresh and it adds a delicate sweetness to dishes. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain before using.
  7. Chop the broccoli into bite size pieces.
  8. Heat your frying pan. If you are using the marinade, it’s best to spray a bit of oil into the pan so the tempeh does not stick. Fry for 3 minutes on each side.
  9. Once the tempeh is cooked on both sides, plop it out of the frying pan and onto a paper towel. If you have a drying rack for baked goods, place the paper towel over it. This will keep your tempeh from getting soggy while you make the rest of the dish.
  10. In the same hot frying pan, add a glug of olive or avocado oil. Add your onions and heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add the garlic, stir for 30 seconds.
  12. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  13. Add the drained corn and jalapeño slices. Stir. Turn the heat off but keep the frying pan on the stovetop.
  14. Roll out your dough. Or be fancy and flip it in the air until it forms the size you want.
  15. Spoon on a modest amount of tomato sauce. More = soggy and you don’t want that.
  16. Cover with a handful of vegan cheese. I love mozzarella and cheddar on pizzas, but it’s up to you.
  17. Spread the pan fried veggie mix over your pizza. Add the tempeh.
  18. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a 450° oven.
  19. Enjoy!

We loved this pizza and plan to make it again. The combo of tempeh, cheese, and jalapeños on warm pizza makes for an outstanding meal. If you make this or any other vegan pizza, we’d love to know @52veganpizzas.

Week 24:Peanut Butter BBQ

I’m going to live until I die, and everything in between is just another excuse to eat peanut butter.

Dana Gould, Comedian
Peanut Butter BBQ Pizza with Spelt Crust

Sometimes you just have to try new flavor combinations. As a lifelong vegetarian, BBQ hasn’t been high on my list. But BBQ sauce inspired vegan pizza ideas keep popping up, so I figured I would try this unusual one—BBQ and peanut butter.

After years of paying $15-20 a jar for cashew, walnut, almond and other fancy nut butters, I’ve circled back to loving the taste (and lower price) of good, old-fashioned peanut butter. Peanuts have protein, carbs, and fat, in addition to vitamin E, B3, B6, folate, magnesium, copper, and manganese. What’s not to love?

I adapted this week’s recipe from Julie Hasson’s Vegan Pizza book. We’ve had at least 40 different vegan pizzas this year. Her recipes are consistently delicious and reliable. This week we didn’t get our usual produce delivery. It was both my birthday and a good friend’s b-day. Since we knew we’d be getting takeout twice (fancy lunch packed in tin foil for me, burritos over Zoom to celebrate with our friend), I let our produce drawer get lean. One of my resolutions this year is to waste less food and throw away less produce.

When I make this recipe again (and I am sure I will, it was that good!), I’d try Julie’s suggested toppings—green bell pepper, yellow onion, and corn. I used yellow squash, red onion, and marinated tempeh. Tempeh and peanut butter? Yes, I know, it sounds strange, and it’s mixing two protein types in one dish, which can cause stomach upset for some. To me, this pizza was every bit as good as my fancy birthday lunch and I’d happily eat it again.

Unbaked Vegan Spelt Flour Pizza with Peanut Butter and Tempeh

My partner was not keen to try this one, so I used a piece of dough I had left over in the fridge and made a personal pizza. Since I figure you will be making this for two, the amounts below are for a generous medium size pizza.

Peanut Butter BBQ Sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter- I used chunky, smooth works too
  • 1/8 cup vegan BBQ sauce- I used Primal Kitchen brand because it’s sugar free
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot water to thin
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • dash cayenne

Note: Julie Hasson’s recipe calls for equal parts peanut butter and BBQ sauce, only 1 teaspoon of maple syrup, and 2 cloves of garlic. My variation is what I tired and loved. Feel free to adjust the quantities to suit your taste buds. I love garlic and had garlic so am surprised I left it out. But, I tasted it before putting the garlic in and liked the sweetness so left it that way. In the future I am sure I’ll try it with the garlic too.

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and let sit while you prepare the toppings.

Tempeh Marinating in a Green Bowl

I avoid tofu. I admit it. I used to think that made me a bad vegan, that I had to try harder to like it. But, then I found tempeh and let go of my tofu avoidance guilt. If you haven’t tried tempeh before, this is my favorite.

Usually I cut the tempeh into strips and fry them without oil in an eco-friendly non-stick pan, 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. For this recipe, I added a marinade. Tempeh will take on whatever flavor you give it, which makes it versatile.

Tempeh Marinade

  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut aminos or Braggs
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

Whisk these two ingredients in a wide bowl. Place strips of tempeh into the bowl, turning them over to coat both sides. Let sit for a few minutes while you roll out your dough.


For this recipe I used spelt flour because we’ve been making a lot of crust with all-purpose, bread, and pizza flours and I wanted to try something new. The recipe below is a basic pizza dough recipe that can be used with any of those four flours mentioned. Each flour has a different protein content and will behave a bit differently.

As a basic recipe, this works for many flours. I have not tried it with gluten-free flour yet. Also, I don’t recommend this recipe with oat, coconut, buckwheat or almond flours. (I actually don’t think pizza would taste especially good with those flours.) If you have a specific flour you want to use, the best thing to do is to Google a recipe for your specific flour type.

This recipe works with spelt, all-purpose, bread, and pizza flour.

Dough Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm, but not boiling water (105-110° if you have a thermometer)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Dough Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add sugar, yeast, and warm water. Let stand for 3 minutes until yeast bubbles.
  2. Add 2 cups flour, salt, and oil. Stir with the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula until the mix just comes together.
  3. Knead with hands for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Lightly oil a bowl twice the size of your dough. Place dough in the bowl and flip over to cover both sides lightly with oil. Cover with a damp tea towel and set in a warm, draft-free place to rest for 15 minutes.

Note: You can let the dough rest longer if you have more time. I aim for 1 hour, but don’t always make the dough earlier enough to do this. It’s not a necessity for this recipe. Fifteen minutes is fine if that’s what you got.

If you don’t have coconut sugar, honey tastes great. You need some sort of sugar for the yeast to activate.


  1. Heat your oven to 450°.
  2. Roll out your dough to desired thickness.
  3. Spread on peanut butter BBQ sauce.
  4. Sprinkle a layer of vegan mozzarella shreds over the sauce.
  5. Add your veggies. I used red onions and yellow squash, pan fried in a bit of olive oil for 5 minutes.
  6. I dropped the veggie mix onto my pizza and then used the already lightly oiled and hot frying pan to fry the tempeh. To do this, use a fork or tongs to take the tempeh out of the marinade (it will have soaked up most of it) and pan fry for 3 minutes on each side. Cut the tempeh into thirds and sprinkle around the pizza.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your pizza.
Spelt Crust Vegan Pizza with Mozzarella, Veggies, Tempeh, and Peanut Butter BBQ Sauce

I loved this pizza and will definitely make it again. The flavor combination of BBQ peanut butter sauce with melted mozzarella and veggies is delicious. Next time I will try different veggies. Even with our limited produce selection this week, it was a great meal and one I’d happily recommend.

If you make this or any other pizza, we’d love to know @52veganpizzas.

Week 23: Zucca di zucca

The burst of subconscious virtuousness that comes from first buying butternut squash makes it easier to put a pint of ice cream in the cart later.

Charles Duhigg
Vegan Butternut Squash Pizza

As a lifelong vegetarian, going out to eat with meat eating friends pretty much consisted of ordering a salad. You might get lucky enough to order soup, if it wasn’t made with chicken or beef stock. It’s only been in the last decade when some areas of the country have finally started to offer more plant-based meals. One of the few dishes I remember having and loving as a child was butternut squash soup from Wolfgang Puck’s. It was creamy, delicious, and smelled of a bountiful fall harvest.

I have such strong memories of this velvety soup that I wanted to recreate that “mouth feel” on a pizza. In week 14 we tried a butternut squash pizza recipe, but with frozen, organic butternut squash cubes, because we couldn’t find any whole butternut squash in season.

It was OK. The pizza was great, but I picked the butternut squash off my pizza. So, I wouldn’t call that a big success.

According to Bon Appétit, butternut squash is available year-round (which means you really shouldn’t have to buy it frozen), and is best from early fall through winter. In our local grocery store, however, it showed up in early summer.

We decided to recreate a similar recipe using real squash, using the leftovers to make soup.

We didn’t realize how hard it would be to cut the squash. It was really, really hard. This prompted me to ask for a proper chef’s knife for my birthday next week, instead of less practical things like a drum or a hula hoop. Butternut squash requires a chef’s knife, chainsaw, or meat cleaver.

To save your fingers, if you are trying this for the first time, here’s a helpful tutorial I found, after we had been hacking away at our squash for about 20 minutes. The one part of the tutorial we did not follow, that in retrospect would have been very helpful, is to put it in the microwave for two minutes before trying to peel it.

I’m not going to run out and buy another whole butternut squash again, but if I ever do, I won’t skip the microwave step.

So far this year we’ve made about forty pizzas. I’m getting pretty good at making and rolling out the dough, if I do say so myself. I can roll the crust pretty thin and get consistent results every time.

What makes each pizza unique are the toppings. For this pizza, we made a variation of our week 14 pizza, inspired by vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli. Her butternut squash, caramelized onion, and apple pizza has a white bean puree base. We tried it her way and then again using vegan mozzarella and decided the cheese version tastes better to us.

Cheese makes everything better. It also balances the earthy flavor of the squash, the sweetness of the caramelized onions, and the tartness of the apples. The flavor combo here is tasty, one of our favorites.

Unbaked Vegan Butternut Squash Pizza


For the roasted squash
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the onion and apple topping
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Other ingredients
  • pizza dough of your choice
  • shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
Baked Vegan Butternut Squash Pizza


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Place butternut squash cubes in a bowl. Cover with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Turn out onto a baking sheet or pan. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until squash is tender. (Note: if your squash cubes are small, roasting time will be less. Don’t let them burn.)
  4. While the squash is baking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.
  5. Over medium-high heat, sauté the onions until soft and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. (It seriously takes this long. If you are impatient, like me, this will seem like a long, long time!)
  6. Season with salt and pepper. (Note: don’t add salt in the early stages of frying the onions. Wait. Be patient.)
  7. Add the sliced apples and fry another 4-6 minutes.
Cut and Cooling, Butternut Squash Vegan Pizza


  1. When your butternut squash comes out of the oven, turn it up to 450°. You want your oven hot for pizza.
  2. Roll out your dough to your desired thickness. We made this one one a thinner crust pizza.
  3. Sprinkle a handful of mozzarella around the pizza, leaving a 1/2 inch edge.
  4. Slide the onion and apple mixture out of the pan and on to your pizza, using a spoon or tongs to even it out.
  5. Top with the roasted butternut squash.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, depending on the size of your pizza and the temperature of your oven.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes, then slice, eat, and enjoy!
Slices of Vegan Butternut Squash Pizza

We liked this pizza, but I don’t think we’ll be trying to cut up another butternut squash again anytime soon. Although, if I get that chef’s knife for my birthday, I might consider it. Since it’s my birthday, I might be adding that pint of ice cream too!

If you make this or any vegan pizza recipes, we’d love to know about it @52veganpizzas. Buon appetito!