People tell me I’m overdramatic. I prefer the term “selectively passionate.” You’ve read the title of this post so you can make your own decision. Between protecting the environment, advocating for women’s rights, and collecting Anne Hathaway’s tears, I somehow still find time to fight for our right to vegan pizza.
I used to love getting pizza–horrible, greasy, unhealthy, delicious pizza from Cici’s Pizza. Every family has traditions, and one of mine was going to Cici’s Pizza upon arrival in Orlando every year around Christmas time. (Okay, it was usually Christmas Day. The Gellers don’t have super refined taste.) After I went vegan, however, I ruined everything. I didn’t mean to, truly, I didn’t, but the only thing I can eat there is…salad. Limp, sad, iceberg-filled salad. I could also technically have the pasta, but the marinara sauce contains cheese. While sauceless pasta may appeal to some, it seems like a pretty pointless food to me.
Although I won’t eat sauceless pasta, I have, in the past, eaten pasta on top of pizza. That’s right, y’all, I’m talking about Cici’s famous macaroni and cheese pizza.
When I was a vegetarian, I was obsessed with this pizza. Like a lion, I stalked my prey. The buffet line was my savannah. Pacing back and forth between the booths, as if they were tall grasses, I laid in wait. Every once in a while, I would pick up a piece of pizza so as not to arouse suspicion. Those pieces were just gazelles I devoured while waiting for my zebra. Once the zebras appeared, however, I slaughtered half the herd (which roughly translated to about four slices…before going back for seconds.)
Now, I can’t have the mac and cheese pizza, but I’ve come with a solution. You may remember a petition that came out last fall that urged Starbucks to change their pumpkin spice recipe to allow for a vegan pumpkin spice latte. You may have thought that was the most frivolous and self-serving petition you’d ever read, because I sure did, which made me wonder, “Could I outdo it?” Could I create a petition so frivolous, self-serving, and frankly, ridiculous, it just might work? The answer, of course, was yes. So I wrote a petition to convince Cici’s Pizza to offer one vegan pizza option at all of its locations nationwide, specifically a vegan mac and cheese pizza. Wanna sign it? Of course you do! Be the change you want to see in the world, emirite?
Now, while we wait for this petition to revolutionize the world of cheap pizza as we know it, I humbly offer a vegan, healthy, and certainly carb-happy alternative.
Lindsay’s “Give Me Vegan Mac and Cheese Pizza or Give Me Death” Pizza
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil (Melted Earth Balance works just as well if, for example, you and your roommate have been out of olive oil for weeks and consistently forget to buy it every single time you go to the grocery store.)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups dry pasta~ roughly 8 oz (I used organic whole wheat rotini because rotini pasta holds the sauce the best.)
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup original unsweetened almond or other non-dairy milk
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 (small) clove of garlic
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder or mustard
- Few dashes of turmeric
Eat something, because this recipe takes like three hours to make. Seriously, go get a snack or something light. You’ll thank me two hours from now.
Pour the agave syrup in the warm water and let dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast on top. (Don’t smell it. I don’t know why I have to clarify that, but I just feel like I should.) Let stand for ten minutes.
If there’s nothing good on TV, watch the yeast foam.
Stir in olive oil and salt into the yeasty water. Then mix in the whole wheat flour gradually. Knead the dough in the bowl for about ten minutes until all the flour is absorbed and ball of dough is smooth.
Take dough out of bowl for a second and oil that same bowl. Place dough back in oiled bowl, then roll ball around oiled ball until the surface of the ball is covered.
Cover the bowl loosely with a towel, and then let stand for one hour in a warm place. The dough will double in size.
Once the dough is doubled, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface. I suggest a large cutting board. Depending on how many people you’re making this for, divide the pizza dough in half to make a thin crust pizza for 1-2 people and store the other half in the fridge for later. If you’re serving four people, I highly recommend making two thin crust pizzas because that’s how Cici’s does it.
Form two separate and tight balls of the dough and let them each rise for an additional 45 minutes until doubled.
While you’re waiting for the pizza to rise, it’s time to make the sauce. Making the sauce is simple because all you have to do is throw all the ingredients into a food processor/blender (in my case, the beloved Nigel) and flip the switch.
After you make the sauce, you can make the pasta at your leisure. Because pasta only takes about ten minutes to make (check your pasta box for specifics), you may want to wait until the pizza crust is almost done rising. This way, the pasta is sure to stay warm and will also warm up the sauce.
Once the pasta is made, strain it and then pour it into the bowl of the food processor/blender to combine with sauce. This will make it easier to scoop the sauce out of the blender bowl later.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a rolling pin, well good for you. Congratulations on being a real person. I didn’t, so I used my hands to roll the dough from a ball to a nice, circular pizza shape.
Then, because I didn’t have a pan big enough to place it on, I made one by layering two pieces of aluminum foil. Poverty is the mother of invention, after all.
I baked the pizza crust on its own for thirteen minutes. Then, I took it out of the oven and poured the mac and cheese on top, spread that goodness around, and then placed it back in the oven for another three to five minutes.
Remove pizza from oven, cut it into slices, and DIVE IN.
Sign my petition for vegan pizza options HERE!
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