Pizza is a very common food in the United States, and it is difficult to avoid. Many people find it very tasty, but it is also seen as very practical, in that it can be ordered for delivery, is relatively inexpensive, and usually pleases most. As a vegan, I started experimenting with cheeseless pizza. This may seem like heresy to some — pizza without cheese — but I have learned that if it is made with certain parameters, it can be very tasty. For eating pizza out, it is crucial to have ample sauce and tasty toppings. A no topping, $5 pizza from Hungry Howies will not be good. But a $10 pizza with extra sauce and lots of tasty vegetable toppings from Papa John’s can be very tasty. But if you want truly good vegan pizza, you probably need to make it yourself. This recipe aims to be both tasty and healthy, and is actually not that difficult to make. I took the dough recipe from a recipe for calzone dough I found on the Vegan Chef (Sometimes I do put on some cheese. The top picture does have a little mozzarella and feta cheese on it; the extra pictures at the bottom do not).
There’s only two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and home grown tomatoes. Don’t even bother making this salad with store bought tomatoes. They have to be home grown or from the farmer’s market. Also make sure that your basil is fresh, not dried. Dried basil is almost flavorless.
When many Americans (especially Midwesterners) hear “pasta salad”, they frequently think of some rich, slightly sweet salad with lots of mayonnaise, and maybe some cheese and boiled egg. This pasta salad is quite different. It is much more akin to a regular salad, with pasta instead of lettuce. While optional, I think that the fennel makes a very nice touch. Also, don’t skimp on the olives or the basil. And, because it’s vegan, you don’t have to worry about anyone getting food poisoning from eating your pasta salad that has been sitting out during a hot summer picnic.