Vegan Pizza Day arrived June 30th and we had no plan. Sure, we actually have a few places in Atlanta where you can get vegan pizza, with vegan cheese and all. But none of them does it 100% right. We’re spoiled by all the pizza parties we’ve had. Simon & Star had the makings for peanut sauce, so we picked up a couple of dough balls from Savage Pizza (psst, you can buy dough balls from Savage Pizza), grabbed more ingredients from Sevananda, and headed over to their place to build up some pizzas.
Delicious! What’s for dessert? Pizza! Cinnamon apple pizza with tofutti cheese slices on top.
Not a shabby Vegan Pizza Day representation.
For Kevin’s birthday, we staged a (mostly) vegan invasion of Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint. If you don’t know, Maddio’s carries Daiya, had tofu as a topping and the whole wheat crust is vegan. It’s also inexpensive. This pizza, a beer and a soda was around $22.
Alison brought this old pic of John & Kevin. WTH, who is that guy?
After pizza, we headed to NOT secret bowling at Suburban Lanes. And we closed the place down getting our money’s worth for the all you can bowl for $5.99 special.
These pre-packaged raw items by Raw in the Garden have recently shown up in Sevananda‘s island cooler. So I picked one up to try for lunch.
With a pre-packaged item, I was worried it would taste fresh, but it was fine. I think the zucchini might have been marinated which was nice, gave them more flavor. It didn’t have a crisp crust, but the flavors of everything were definitely pizza like. With the nut-based crust and cashew cream it was also pretty filling. This could be pulled off without a dehydrator. I might try this at home.
If you get a pizza craving on Christmas Eve, you might just be shit out of luck. Pizza places around here closed early, and I don’t blame them. But back to that pizza craving. Throw your own pizza party! Which is what we did. We bought a bunch of dough balls and had people bring toppings. Then made up a bunch of pizzas.
First out, pepperoni!
How about spinach, sausage and onion?
And a … crap, I don’t remember what this was. Update! Kevin tells me this was the baked potato pizza.
The Mexican deep dish pizza.
And a cheezeburger pizza topped with onion rings. Epic, right?
Looks like I failed to get pictures of the baked potato pizza and the chili dog pizza. Dang it.
We rolled in to Seattle at about midnight, which was 3am East Coast time. So yeah, we were wrecked. And hungry. Kevin found a pizza place near where we were staying in Ballard that was open until 1:30am. And they had vegan toppings and cheese. W00t! So we headed to Juliano’s.
Juliano’s is a strange place. Apparently they do karaoke. And upon hearing that we were in town for the Portishead show, they brought up youtube videos and played them for us while we waited. Loudly.
Some random ceiling decorations:
But they had a ton of vegan meaty topping options. No, they didn’t use Daiya. Tofutti maybe? But their crust was tasty and the sauce had a nice bit of spiciness to it. And it was open!
Apparently all we eat is pizza and Mexican food. As I type this someone is trying to organize another Mexican potluck. Oy. I know, this is not something to complain about.
It was decided that we’d have a pizza, ice cream and cake party for Star’s pre-birthday. I made deep dish and regular crusts and everyone else brought stuff to put on ‘em. Like four deep dish and 6 regular. Oh, there were leftovers shared around. While it’s lovely that there are multiple places we can go out and get pizza with vegan cheese in Atlanta now, none of them come close to the magic we create.
Building pizza is apparently dude work. Bearded dude work.
First one out, BBQ vegan chicken deep dish.
Mexican deep dish pizza with avocado, sour cream and hot sauce and Gyro pizza with hummus Gutenfleischer’s gyro meat and tzatziki sauce. See what I’m saying?
Meat lovers, I think.
And Steph made this ridiculous ice cream cake: brownie topped with chocolate chip cookie dough topped with ice cream topped with whipped topping. Holy crap!
I’m pretty sure all the cheese used was Daiya. It’s pretty much our cheese of choice for pizza.
Apparently we can’t stop with the Mexican potlucks. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. This time we crammed everyone into my house. It’s so not set up for entertaining. Weren’t those 50′s folks having cocktail parties and serving various things in aspic? Well, they didn’t consider that when building this house, for sure.
Albondigas soup? Oh, yes.
Starting at noon, Mexican deep dish pizza, street corn (in the foil), mango jicama salad (peeking out under the chips), tamale, diablo enchilada (butthurt special!) and guacamole.
Ice cream and cinnamon fried yum. Holy crap!
Usually I don’t like to drive my bike somewhere to ride it. It just seems a little wrong. But there’s only so far I can ride to ride. So Monday I packed up the bike and drove up to the beginning of the Silver Comet Trail in Smyrna. After looking at the maps and mileage online, I decided to go for the Rambo trail access, 22.22 miles away. Yeah, that’s right, RAMBO. Okay, I didn’t pick it because of the name but because the next one was another 11 miles which would’ve put me over 60 miles. That’s a bit too ambitious. Nick came with me despite repeated warnings about how slow I am.
When I do rides like this, I like to go mostly without stopping to the halfway mark, then if I want to take pictures, do it on the way back. And that’s how it worked this time except in this one place. We headed onto a bridge over a railroad track just as a train was approaching. We stopped to watch it pass under and they give us a couple of honks and they pass under. Yay!
See, Rambo Trailhead. Not even making that up.
The trail is downright luxurious compared to the crappy city streets I’m used to. Okay, driving to ride has its merits. We were lucky in that it was overcast which kept the temperatures down, but the trail is largely shaded too.
After 44.4 miles, it’s time for victory pizza at Maddio’s!
Oh man. Click away if you’d rather not invest in fat pants. I always thought deep dish pizza might be difficult to make. The good, or bad, news is that it’s really easy to make.
King Arthur Flour puts out awesome recipes. They are rarely vegan, but veganize very well. I used this one for the pizza, substituting Daiya for the cheese, Earth Balance for the butter, vegan parmesan and Gutenfleischer’s pepperoni for the meat. And I added red pepper flakes to the tomatoes because pizza sauce should have some kick, damn it!
Now, don’t be afraid of yeast. If you’re having trouble with it, remember that it is temperature sensitive. Sadly, recipes like this one tell you to use lukewarm water, but many people don’t know exactly what that means. And it can affect your results. Here’s a handy chart of important temperatures related to yeast. Instant yeast wants to be mixed with 120°F water. It’s a good idea to check this with a thermometer since the yeast won’t act right if the water is too hot or too cold. But once you take care of that, the rest should work beautifully. Also remember that instant and active dry yeast are not interchangeable without some fiddling.
Another frustration when dealing with yeast is how much should it rise? Sometimes recipes give you an amount of time for the dough to rise and sometimes they tell you how much it should rise (double.) It’s best if they tell you both because the conditions in your kitchen are not going to be the same as the recipe writer. Maybe it’ll take 90 minutes for your dough to double. Then wait 90 minutes. If you don’t have a graduated container, mark double on the container you do have with a piece of tape and then you’ll know when it’s done rather than guessing.
The crust came out really rich with all the fat in it. And it was nice and sturdy. You could even pick up a piece to eat it once you’d chopped off some of the point and gobbled it up.
Now, for some more pizza porn. I used a coarse corn meal and you can really see it in the crust:
It’s been a while since I’ve submitted something to YeastSpotting, so here goes it!
You’ve probably heard by now that the folks at Chicago Soy Dairy have reformulated their Teese vegan cheese. They were kind enough to send me a tube of the mozzarella style to try out. One of the best tests for a vegan cheese is pizza. So that’s what I did with it. And I pretty much dumped a whole tube of shredded Teese on this pizza.
So what’s on it besides Teese? It’s a cheeseburger pizza! So it’s ketchup and mustard all over the dough as the sauce, chopped up veggie burgers and pickles. And the dough is from Trader Joe’s.
The Teese does melt to a better consistency. It has the stretch thing going on and doesn’t totally liquefy like the old formula would. I’m sure it will work better for quesadillas than the old one. One complaint is that it seemed a little bland. I haven’t had the live for prime time version that is selling now so I’m not sure if that has been fixed. Still, it’s pretty awesome and I would never turn my nose up at a Teese pizza.
A gratuitous stretch shot: