Very veggie vegan pizza
What are your “I could never”s? We all say it, right? I could never…go to the gym. Eat healthy. Run a marathon. Speak in public. Learn the piano. My “I could never” for the longest time was “I could never learn to cook.” No, seriously. It was my scapegoat so I could get out caring about what I put into my body. Content with my microwave meals, I was good to go because cooking was not my thing.
As life has rolled along it revealed hidden “I could nevers” that I have overcome, not realizing their existence until they had passed. I could never eat vegetarian. I could never overcome cancer. I could never weather a miscarriage. The more life has thrown at me, the more I realize the limiting power of our speech, those words. Because really, we can.
I tell people all the time that writing about food and health is the last thing I thought I’d be doing. But somehow through a series of small “I can’s”, I’ve ended up here. Simple as it sounds, the impossible can become possible merely by opening our minds to the idea.
This recipe was born of another I could never, which Alex and I honestly both had before we tried it: I could never eat pizza without cheese. We’re huge (huge) pizza aficionados, and while we eat mainly vegetarian in our daily lives, there’s always a place for cheese at the table. However, we’re always up for trying new things, and as of late we’ve been trying to take it a little easier on the cheese food group when we can. As our first ever vegan pizza, we can attest that — good news — it is still pizza! The umami of the mushrooms and artichokes + our favorite tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic fire roasted) + a little fresh basil made for a surprisingly satisfying explosion of flavor. The one caveat is that it doesn’t hold together quite as easily as cheese-ladden pizza, so take care for sliding toppings. But it’s a small price to pay. Consider it another I could never, accomplished.
- 1 pizza dough (stand mixer or food processor methods)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing dough
- 3 cloves garlic
- 8 baby bella mushrooms
- ¼ red onion
- ½ cup cooked chickpeas
- 3 cups spinach, packed
- 6 canned artichoke heart quarters
- 1 jarred roasted red pepper
- ¾ cup Muir Glen Organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 4 large leaves basil
- Prepare the dough using either the stand mixer or food processor methods (you also can knead by hand; follow this video instruction for more). Follow the preparation instructions in the dough recipe if prepared in advance.
- Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 550°F.
- Prepare the toppings: Slice the jarred red pepper into thin strips and set aside. Mince 3 cloves garlic. Slice the mushrooms and red onion. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic, mushrooms, onion, chickpeas, and spinach and ½ teaspoon kosher salt; saute until the mushrooms are tender and the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.
- When the oven is ready, stretch the dough into a circle (see this video for instructions). Place the dough on a floured pizza peel or pull the pizza stone out of the oven and carefully place the dough on it.
- Quickly assemble the pizza: Spread a thin layer of crushed tomatoes across the dough and sprinkle with a few pinches kosher salt. Add the sauteed vegetables, then top with red pepper strips and artichoke quarters. Lightly brush the crust with olive oil.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven on the pizza peel, and bake until the crust is browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. While the pizza bakes, cut the basil into thin strips (chiffonade). Allow to cool slightly, then top with basil and serve.
This veggie vegan pizza is sponsored by Muir Glen Organic. All opinions are our own; we love their tomatoes and use them often. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who keep A Couple Cooks in action!