Pizza can be healthy, vegetarian and vegan. Why is pizza the perfect food? It contains all macro nutrients (fat, carbs and protein) and can be tailored to individual tastes. There are a few basic components required: base, sauce, toppings and something ‘cheesy’. Whether you make your own or buy them, prefer simple or complicated or use creative toppings or traditional, the combinations are endless. Here are just a few ideas to help get you started:
The base is simply a flat bread upon which all of the other ingredients sit. Choose one of the following:
- Gluten-free (home-made or store-bought: we don’t judge)
- Scone based pizza dough (simply flour, baking powder, salt, fat and ‘milk’)
- Pizza dough made with vegan beer
- Pita bread (Go Mediterranean)
- Naan bread (Be Indian-inspired)
- Kamut, spelt or multi-grain (Get fancy!)
The sauce helps mediate the toppings with the bread so that the toppings don’t fall off and the bread doesn’t get soggy. All of these can be made vegan:
- Cheese sauce
- Butter sauce (tomato soup with ‘cream’, curry spice and garam masala. Use on naan bread)
The toppings are where you can get at least 2 servings of fruit and vegetables. Get creative but not too crazy. An overloaded pizza may end up feeding the bottom of your oven or grill rather than you.
- Mediterranean combo: zucchini, eggplant, tomato
- Indian combo: potato, peas, carrots
- fresh herbs e.g. basil, arugula
- broccoli, cauliflower, sweet pepper
- pears and pine nuts
Something that goes gooey when melted.
- Blue cheese (excellent with pears and pine nuts)
- Rennet free asiago, cheddar or mozzarella
- Tofu or rice milk based mozzarella or cheddar like facsimile
- Go ‘cheesy’ free by going heavy on herbs and seasonings
- Paneer for the Indian-inspired option
And for dessert…dessert pizza!
Toppings: fruit and nuts (cranberry & almond; pistachio & goldenberries; walnuts & dates; macadamia nuts & coconut; hazelnuts & banana)
‘Cheesy’: Cream cheese (vegan or vegetarian) or yogurt mixed with honey and vanilla. Drizzle on top.
Any other creative combos to add to the list…?
Delicious vegetarian and vegan pizza ready-made: