Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy Vegan Pizza Day: A SLC Guide to Vegan Pizza

Cornmeal Crust Pizza with Crumbled Vegan Ground Sausage, Vegan Pepperoni Slices and Pineapple Chucks All Smothered in Mozzarella Teese and Chicago based Teese teamed together to create the first annual vegan pizza day, which is today Saturday 1/29/2011. (It's also my brother Mike's birthday! Happy Birthday!)
     I'll be honest. I was never a big fan of vegan pizza. For years, I would order cheeseless pizza and just load up with toppings, but that was never really satisfying. Actually, I remember a time when a place missed up our order with pepperoni or parmesan cheese but gave it to us anyway. We ended up giving it to a homeless man, and his response was, "Where is the cheese?!". This from a man without a home. Needless to say vegan pizza has come a long way.
Enter The Daiya!

     Follow Your Heart's Vegan Gourmet was the first decent vegan cheese but it didn't really melt. It was still better than a cheeseless pizza but I doubt it would fool any no vegans. Everything all changed when Daiya came along, a vegan cheese that melts AND stretches. Honestly, I never thought veganism would come that far. Several nonvegan friends have said it taste like the real thing. Cheese was the veganism's achilles heel, but not anymore!
A Salt Lake Guide to Vegan Friendly Pizzerias

     Living in Salt Lake, we have two places where you can get pizza with vegan cheese, The Pie's Delivery/Take Out Location and Este. Daiya said all Nick and Willy's location now have their cheese, but I haven't been to able to confirm. It's not like we're Philadelphia with an all-vegan pizzeria, Blackbird (Their Cubano and Philly cheesesteaks rock, too!),  but we're doing just fine. Because I live just a few blocks from The Pie, I've never been to Este. However, their menu clearly indicates what can be made Vegan with a "V" next to it. They even run ads in S.L.U.G. that say, "Eat vegan". I wasn't able to locate one, but check out an issue of S.L.U.G. and it might be there. The ads include coupons as well. UPDATE: ReDirect Guide's ISaveGreen is offering a coupon for free garlic knots or zeppoles, both are vegan or can be made vegan according to their menu, with a purchase of $15 or more. Get the coupon HERE.

The Pie is more of a secret. Their website doesn't mention their vegan menu., but last time I was in they had a copy on the order window. They have vegan specialty pizzas, such as Vegan Bar-B-Que 'Beef' Pie and Vegan Xtreme Veggie Pie as well as Zappis (like a calazone) and Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings. I'll try to take pictures of the vegan menu to post online. The sad part is that despite having five locations, vegan cheese is only available at the takeout/delivery location in Salt Lake.

Less secret is Sage's Cafe. Every Tuesday, they host all you can eat vegan pizza and salad night. They don't deal with Teese or Daiya but make their own nutritional cheese sauce, which is like going back in vegan time. However, they make up for it with innovative pizzas such as cheeseburger, breakfast, taco and even dessert pizzas. You never know what the chefs are going to cook up so the surprise is part of the experience. I plan on doing a complete post on their pizza night so keep checking back.  
 UPDATE: The review of their pizza night can be found HERE.

Cakewalk Baking Company not only makes delectable desserts, but occasionally they make pizza pockets and pizza rolls. The pizza pockets are way better than the rolls. Just saying. I'm pretty certain they use Teese. Follow them on facebook to find out what they have as well as events coming up.

I haven't been to the Pie Hole yet but based on the comments. I contacted them and here is their response. "We do Vegan pie by the slice on Sundays and Tuesdays. But any day we can make a whole vegan pie for you! Options for sauces are: Vegan red w/ nutritional yeast cheese, BBQ sauce, Thai Peanut Sauce, Hummus, olive oil. And top that with your choice of veggies!" Follow them on facebook for the daily slice updates.   

Tofurky Makes A Pizza: A Guide to Frozen Vegan Pizza
      When I heard Tofuky made a vegan pizza I was stoked. Everything they make is delicious, they are one company who understands that the needs of vegans don't have always have to be fat free. Their breakfast links and sausages are simply delicious. But the dropped the ball on the vegan pizza. First off, the crust is whole wheat, which is forgivable. Not to mention that pictures don't lie, the picture on the box shows a cheese lined pizza loaded with vegan pepperoni. Inside the box is a different story, the pizza is loaded with pepperoni but is lacking in Daiya cheese. Just look at how much red (sauce) is in the picture. I'm not sure if it's a cost saving measure or what, but they need to increase the amount of cheese on their pizzas. Just a note that this wasn't a fluke but similiar results happened with other pizzas and their italian sausage one. In my opinion, the reigning champ of frozen vegan pizza is Tofutti. It reminds me of Ellio's pizza that I had as a kid. Unfortunately, it's hard to find in stores. does sell it though. In fairness, Amy's does make a few vegan pizzas that are pretty decent. I recommend the Rice Crust Spinach Pizza.
Homemade Pizza DIY Style:
     As you can see, I wasn't up for the frozen pizza and I just had pizza from the Pie last weekend so I was looking to switch it up a bit. I started with a frozen organic corn meal crust from Vicolo's. It's loaded with almost as much fat as you should eat in a day so just try not to eat the whole thing. Then I layered an organic pizza sauce from Eden foods. Then, I shredded almost half a tube of Teese on top. I'll admit that I'm a Daiya addicted but I heard Teese reformulated their cheese so I gave it a whirl. I was impressed! It melted and stretched just like Daiya. As a bonus, Teese uses organic soybeans unlike the conventional Diaya. For Salt Lake readers, the only local source of Teese is Cakewalk. (They also carry a bunch of other brands such as Daiya and Cheezly.) Then, I pan fried some Gimme Lean Sausage (mixed with some rice and crushed fennel seeds) and Lightlife's Vegan Pepperoni slices. For the final touch, I added canned organic pineapple. Happy Vegan Pizza Day. Any Leftovers?
Pie Pizzeria (SLC) on Urbanspoon
Este Pizzeria on Urbanspoon


Esther said...

Pie Hole on 344 S. State also makes vegan pizza... Tuesday and (pending) Sundays are vegan slice days, and you can get a slice for $2.75. They make their own nutritional yeast cheese sauce, pretty delicious! They're also open until 2am on weekdays and 3am weekends, which is a huge plus.

M said...

Este Pizza rocks - they offer vegan pies and have homemade vegan meatballs - and the menu indicates what can be ordered as vegan. You can get a coupon on demand at as well as coupons for Sage's Cafe, Vertical Diner, Vasuvious Cafe, and other local vegan spots at Cheers!