Vegan pizza hasn’t always been a common term, but it’s slowly receiving more and more recognition. In general, pizza is a universal comfort food in the Western part of the world — whether you’re having family meal night, studying for college finals or enjoying a football game, a pizza pie is often a part of the equation. Some vegetarians and vegans might have previously longed for pizza toppings such as pepperoni, sausage or chicken, but now, making the transition to a more compassionate lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up those cravings.
Vegan Pizza Day is celebrated on January 29 every year, but there’s also a new restaurant called Blackbird Pizzeria in Philadelphia who is bringing a vegan twist to authentic Italian pizza with Daiya cheese. And you can eat it year-round. Blackbird is now open seven days a week and is the first all-vegan pizza joint in Philadelphia. If you used to love cheesesteak pizza, you’re sure to fall in love with the vegan version at Blackbird.
You can also make your own vegan pizza at home with faux cheeses like the soy-based Teese and the aforementioned Daiya, made from tapioca and arrowroot flour. Daiya used to be available online only, but Whole Foods began selling this cheese alternative to great acclaim. Next, add your favorite veggie toppings to create basic or gourmet pies in your own kitchen. You can either use tomato sauce or go for a plain pie and just use olive oil. If you have a toaster oven, you can bake smaller, personal pizzas in minutes.
There are some excellent all-vegan “fast food” restaurants out there to further make the veggie lifestyle easier. Nature’s Express is 100% plant-based and serves “traditional food” like vegan burgers, fries and shakes – but luckily, they’re of higher nutritional quality without the animal products. Nature’s Express is located in Yuma, Az. and Berkeley, Ca. but others are sprouting up all over the country. You can also order a vegan pizza from popular chains like Little Caesar’s or Papa Johns by requesting a pie “sans cheese” – just make sure the crusts are butter-free.
One can find more diverse entrees while maintaining a homemade feel at Veggie Brothers. Order vegan/vegetarian appetizers, soups, sides and entrees online and have them delivered right to your door. Stick them in your freezer so you can enjoy them whenever you don’t feel like cooking — how easy is that?
If you’re still craving pizza, try Peace o’ Pie’s gourmet pizzas. This restaurant is located in Allston, Ma., for you east-coasters. Peace o’ Pie allows you to build your own pie or enjoy specialty pizzas like the Buffalo Chick’n, The Hawaiian or The Not-So-Secret Garden.
Classic comfort foods may not be as readily available when you’re vegetarian or vegan, but there are many restaurants out there trying to accommodate vegan needs for these old rituals, while allowing you to live life healthier, happier and more effortlessly.