I have a confession to make. Before my transition to veganism opened my eyes, I worked for a local pizzeria as a full-time delivery driver and part-time manager. It was such a fun job, and at first I didn’t see any negatives. My boyfriend, Gavin, would stay at home with our children, and I could drive around all day, smoking cigarettes and collecting money. Added bonus: as a franchise rule, I could make myself a free large pizza to take home if I worked an 8 hour (or more) shift. The house would remain a mess, but this meant free dinner 6 nights a week, and who doesn’t love pizza?
Well, after a few years, I didn’t love pizza. I didn’t even like it. I couldn’t stand that I was directly involved in delivering meaty, cheesy, heavy dinners to families around my hometown. The world felt like it was crashing down on me, because I was promoting morals that I didn’t believe in, just for an easy way to make a quick buck. I couldn’t see that there were other ways to live at the time. That’s always the problem, right? It’s like once you make ends meet a certain way, you wouldn’t want to jeopardize your livelihood. I thought having one day off a week, 6 free (huge) dinners, and cash in my pocket was good enough. There was no reason to stop, even when my morals were blatantly being trampled.
Thankfully, I figured it out. Just because I was comfortable with the mediocre life I had made for myself, didn’t mean there was no other way. Gavin and I had a long, hard discussion, and I put in my two-weeks notice.
I no longer work for a company that I don’t stand behind. Now I am learning at a community college, taking courses like “Environmental Studies” and “Nutrition”. Online courses are giving me the freedom to spend plenty of time at home being the mommy I need to be for my young kids. My boyfriend is stepping up and being the providing father he needs to be. The house is a work in progress (with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, I try my best), but the world doesn’t seem so heavy anymore. We still enjoy pizza, just thankfully a lot less often. My recipe is vegan, and it’s not expensive when it’s all homemade. My kids love it and love helping make it. It does take a little time unless you buy pre-made dough. My 4-year-old daughter, Bailey, helped me make this tonight for dinner.
This recipe made 2 large pizza skins, and it took 2 ½ hours total (with 2 hours of letting it rise in a bowl).
Pictured here is everything you need to make the dough! (Plus water)
2 ½ teaspoons of dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
- Mix yeast and warm water together in a large bowl, let sit for 5-10 minutes. The yeast water should look frothy or bubbly.
- Add in all other ingredients, and mix until well combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. If you press your finger lightly into the dough and it bounces back completely, it is ready to proof.
- Lightly oil the large bowl, and place the dough ball in it. Turn the dough upside-down in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel. Place bowl in a warm area for 2 hours. I had my bowl sitting on top of my oven, with the oven on 250 degrees.
- After 2 hours, set the oven for 475 degrees. Punch the dough ball to let some of the air out, separate into two smaller balls, and let them proof again, this time only for about 15 minutes. This is when I prepped my veggies.
- Spray two cookie sheets with pan or use parchment paper. Roll the dough balls out as far as you can, top with pizza sauce (pasta sauce), and whatever veggies you want. We used tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, onions, nutritional yeast, and prepared textured vegetable protein (TVP).
- Bake for 12 minutes and enjoy!
The TVP is such an easy addition. Just equal parts TVP and liquid, here I used water and soy sauce. Then as it’s cooking down, add seasonings. I just added salt and pepper. My kids love it!
Bailey being my big helper tonight.
It’s It is fun to punch the dough down.
The nutritional yeast gives the pizza almost parmesan-like cheesiness.