Zero waste vegan pizza can be made or bought, depending on your preference. It’s probably easier to make, as there are not many suitable companies around, but they do exist, if you know where to look. This popular snack was invented in Naples around 200 years ago, and brought to the US by immigrants in the 19th century.
Mediterranean Pizza (The Simple Veganista) is made with tomato, red onion, olives, artichoke hearts and chickpeas, topped with fresh basil. To serve, Lakeland sells good pizza cutters, so no knives or forks are needed. Just slice into triangles and serve to whoever is visiting, a good vegan pizza won’t last long! Also try Pineapple Veggie Lovers Pizza with mushrooms, bell pepper, pineapple, onion, tomato and spicy jalapeno (just don’t tell the Italian ambassador!)
Pizza is pretty healthy if you don’t cover it in four types of cheeses. Keep pizza away from pets, as most has pet-toxic ingredients (onion, mushroom, tomatoes, pizza dough which expands in the stomach).
Pizza is one of the world’s most popular fast foods. Native to Naples (where they don’t usually add cheese and the local officials think you should not be able to call it ‘pizza’ if it has pineapple on it!), it was created as a way of using up leftover bread, tomato sauce and vegetables in one of the poorer areas of Italy (a recent survey found that Neapolitans are also one of the most generous).
Today it is one of the most popular ‘fast foods’, and if made well, is pretty healthy: a simple blend of a flatbread dough topped with tomato sauce, vegetables and (sometimes) vegan cheese. Italians never put pineapple on pizza, and shudder at the thought (in fact, the ambassador says it should not be called pizza!)
Pizza is simply a flatbread dough (no yeast) that is baked in the oven, after topping with a tomato passata, vegetables and often grated cheese. It’s popular because it’s very quick to bake (no longer than 10 minutes) and very filling. It’s also good ‘people food’ as you can make a big pizza, and then just share it between you. Even cold pizza tastes good!
But did you know that pizza’s origins are not Italian, but Greek? The word is from the Greek word pēktos, which means ‘solid’. Today pizza is another breed entirely, with a third of all people putting pepperoni on their pizza, something unlikely heard of in ancient Athens. It’s more popular in the US than anywhere, with nearly everyone regularly having a pizza.
This white pizza with courgettes and tomatoes (Sweet Simple Vegan) makes a nice Italian supper. You can make your own dough or buy ready-made (keep fresh dough away from pets) and then top with a vegan ricotta made from tofu and vegan mozzarella.
White pizza is simply one that does not use tomato sauce, focusing on vegetables and/or vegan cheese. Always watch pizza, as it burns easily. Investing in a pizza cutter is a good idea to slice when cooked, far easier than using a knife to share the slices out. Cold pizza is always good for the next day!
Zero Waste Pizza Dough
The Northern Dough Company has become one of the first companies to sell palm-oil-free vegan pizza dough. Obviously it’s best to make your own. But if not, then you can recycle the plastic packaging with household waste or at supermarket bag recycling bins. Just roll out and create your own pizza. Keep dough (pizza or bread) away from pets, as it can expand in the stomach. It’s vegan (but not for allergies, as it’s made in factories that may use milk or egg). Made with olive oil, this dough is made with high protein flour for a super stretchy dough to make light crisp pizzas. The dough is also available as:
To make, just leave the dough in the wrapper and defrost overnight or at room temperature for least 4 hours. It will start to ‘come to life’. Preheat the oven, then roll out on a floured work surface, then shape your dough. Place on a floured tray and top with tomato passata and pizza toppings. Then bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
These plant-based beetroot pizza bases are made with natural ingredients, in order to create a true Italian masterpiece. The kit is perfect for all the family, made by Sacla, one of the world’s leading brands of pasta sauces that has also recently brought out a range of glass jar white sauce, blue cheese sauce and even a tofu island thousand dressing. Each pizza base is made with wheat flour and beetroot, and the kit also includes jars of olives and sun-dried tomato, along with glass jars of their very own vegan pesto (original and sun-dried tomato versions).
You can also buy good pizza base mix from Biona Organic Wheat Pizza Base (made with wheat or spelt and olive oil, sold in a pack of 4). Doves Farm Gluten Free Pizza Base Mix needs only a couple of ingredients to make two thin and crispy or one large deep-pan pizza, for everyone to enjoy.
Zero Waste Pizza Toppings
Two good tomato passata jars are Mr Organic and Suma. Popular pizza toppings are red onions, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach and mushrooms. Pizza cooks at a high temperature so most are okay to add raw (not meat), although often drained canned pre-cooked items are used (like artichokes or jarred peppers). Sgaia Foods makes lovely vegan pepperoni slices, from seitan (wheat meat). Chunky with a chilli kick. Made by Italians.
Running out of ideas to top your homemade vegan pizza. There are lots of choices. Some you may like to try include:
- GreenBay Salami Style Slices are spiced with cayenne, sweet paprika and clove, with thyme and rosemary. A tofu-alternative to add to your pizza.
- Sliced onion
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sliced peppers
- Sliced button mushrooms
- Jarred or tinned artichokes
To serve, Lakeland sells good pizza cutters, so no knives or forks are needed. Just slice into triangles and serve to whoever is visiting, a good vegan pizza won’t last long!
Sgaia Vegan Pepperoni Slices are made by two Italians who live in Scotland. This gourmet offering is ideal for a food that is apparently put on a third of all pizzas worldwide. Think of all the animals saved, if everyone switched to this brand instead. These are marinated in olive oil (they are Italian) and have a nice chilli kick.
Finally, you may wish to add cheese. This is not added to pizza sold in slices at street carts in Italy, but most people elsewhere use it. Mozzarella is the main cheese used, but there have been recent reports of buffalos suffering to make this popular cheese. It’s easy to make or buy vegan mozzarella:
- Kinda Co Mozzarellie is named after the founder of this London vegan cheese company. You can also use it for pasta, cheese on toast (or mix with tomato, basil and olive oil, for a tasty Caprese salad).
- To make your own, find good recipes at Minimalist Baker (cashews & coconut yoghurt) and Simple Vegan Blog (low in fat).
Bake your pizza for 8 to 10 minutes, and serve with fresh green salad.
Grow Your Own Pizza Herbs
Pizza Growbar is carefully handmade and packed like a chocolate bar, by a small team in south London. Made with compressed coir, just add water to grow basil, oregano and wild rocket (arugula) for your pizza. Takes 6 to 8 weeks. Made with coconut fibres and wrapped in sugar cane (avoid a message to avoid the jiffy bag). If you garden alongside animal friends, see how to make your garden safe for pets (toxic plants and mulches and chemicals to avoid). Don’t place indoor plants near garden windows, to help prevent birds flying into windows.