LIFESTYLE NEWS - Most people can imagine a vegetarian pizza; mushrooms, peppers, and even the controversial pineapple are very common-place toppings.
But with the recent rise in popularity of veganism, you might be wondering what vegans, who don’t eat cheese, will be ordering on World Pizza Day on 9 February.
You may have thought that the only way to order a vegan pizza would be to go for a vegetarian option less the mozzarella cheese, but those days are far behind us - at least if you’re living in a major metropolitan area. Improvements in the offerings for those people trying to avoid animal products for ethical, health or environmental reasons have improved drastically over the past few years, and according to some vegan foodies, the plant-based options are good enough to satisfy the biggest meat-lover.
“A vegan pizza no longer has to look like a salad on a pizza base”, says Donovan Will, The Director of ProVeg South Africa, a local food awareness NGO that promotes plant-based food.
My favourite pizza at the moment is the Vegan Chili Mince Pizza from By Concept in Gardens - Classic Tomato Sauce, Vegan Mozzarella, Slow-Cooked Beyond Meat Chili Mince, Red Onion, Green Pepper, Red Pepper & Coriander. Pizzas like this are so close to the real thing most people would battle to tell the difference”.
Plant-based pizza options have even found their way onto mainstream pizza outlets; Panarottis has 5 vegan pizza options on their menu, using meat alternatives like Chicken-Style Strips from The Fry Family Food Co., Colcacchio has a few, including the Zucca; dairy-free nut based cheese, butternut and tomato base, roasted butternut, roasted beetroot, rocket, avo, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Hudsons has a couple of great sounded options, including The Fashionista Pizza; Napolitana sauce, vegan mozzarella, fresh tomato, basil pesto, peppadew, caramelized onion, and avo, and Tigers Milk also a couple, including the Plant Power Pizza; Aubergine, mushrooms, olives, vegan cheddar and basil.
There’s even a ready made, bake-at-home vegan pizza option from Woolworths; a stonebaked, thin & crispy pizza base, topped with Italian tomatoes, roasted butternut, baby marrow, red pepper and dairy free hard style cheese.
With so many options around, to get the inside scoop, ProVeg asked some of their vegan foodie ambassadors for their top tips for finding a great plant-based pizza.
Garth Tavares, The @cape_town_vegan on Instagram, replied; "Pizza is LIFE! Vegan Street Food ZA, a little joint that opened up in Monte Vista in the Northern Suburbs, started offering what I deem to be, the best pizza in Cape Town. I have tried nearly every vegan pizza offering, and nothing comes close. I would highly recommend the "Chickless Mayo Pizza" or the "Molten Meatball Pizza," the latter topped with Beyond Meat meatballs, marinara and a cheese sauce. Absolutely unbeatable!”
Rati Lekalakala, vegan fashion model and influencer say her favourite pizza spot is I Love The Dough on Bree Street in Cape Town, and her favorite pizza toppings are artichokes, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and kale chips.
Shaun Robertson, co-owner of the Vegan Goods Market, and Shaun_The_Vegan on Instagram, “My favorite pizza joint is Panarotti's. They've done such an amazing job at making delicious pizza at an affordable price! When I make my own pizza at home, to make things easier, I use puffed pastry as my base, and my favorite toppings are bbq marinaded vegan chick'n pieces, avo, cherry tomatoes and melting vegan cheese from Violife!
Leozette Roode, author of the South African Vegan Cookbook responded; “I really enjoy making cheese-less health pizzas at home, stacked with a variety of veggies like pineapple, mushrooms, red pepper, roasted butternut and beetroot, topped with Pesto Princess’ Coriander and Chilli pesto, heaps of smashed guacamole, and Sriracha of course! For healthy vegan cheese options, try Irene’s Gourmet melt-me cheese, Fauxmage Herbed Garlic Chèvre or even a cheese-style sauce.”
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