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Eliminating meat, eggs, and dairy from your diet does not mean pizza has to go, too. It's not hard to make your own if you follow the recipes below. The dough and sauce can be made ahead. Substituting for cheese is a "cheeze" sauce that firms up during baking into a mild, creamy complement to your favorite toppings.

The Ultimate Vegan Pizza

Pizza Sauce
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 of a 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon oregano (as you prefer)

Mix all ingredients together. Let stand for a while to blend flavors.
Makes enough sauce for one 14-inch pizza.

Pizza Dough
1-1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
9 tablespoons warm water
1-1/2 cups flour (or more), preferably whole wheat
3/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon Ener-G egg replacer powder (equal to 1/2 egg)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Combine flour, sugar, salt, Egg Replacer powder, and undissolved yeast in mixing bowl. Add 9 tablespoons hot tap water and olive oil and beat with dough hooks of electric mixer till smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Spray dough with nonstick spray, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.
If you have no dough hooks, stir liquid and dry ingredients together until dough begins to hold together. Then knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Proceed as above.

Pizza "Cheeze"
1 cup water
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (not brewer's yeast)
3 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dried onion granules
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients in a one-pint blender jar. Blend with electric blender until everything is smooth, about one minute at high speed. Set aside as you assemble pizza.

How to assemble and bake pizza:
Prepare toppings of your choice, such as sliced mushrooms, sliced bell peppers, olives, grilled vegetables, vegetarian "pepperoni" or "Italian sausage," or whatever you like. Spray a large pizza pan (about 14 inches) with nonstick spray. Roll out the pizza dough thinly to fit the pan. If the pan has no rim, make a rim of dough. The rim is essential for keeping the "cheeze" sauce on top of the pizza while it bakes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread pizza sauce evenly over the dough. Arrange toppings over sauce. Pour pizza "cheeze" on top of assembled pizza with a dough rim or in a pan with a rim. Try to cover all toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let it sit for five minutes before slicing.
Makes enough for one very large pizza or two small pizzas.
To get a crisp crust for the pizza, use a special pizza pan with holes for air circulation, or a pizza stone, or a cast iron griddle. Put pizza on the lowest shelf in the oven while it is baking.

Visit the archives for all the recipes that have been featured on the VVS Web pages.

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