Pizza Week 2016, Day 2: Tomato Basil VioLife on Ultra Thin Crust

Vegan Tomato Basil VioLife Pizza
Tonight’s pizza: the lazy woman’s Tortilla Pizza, smothered in Tomato Basil VioLife cheese, topped with thinly sliced onion and tomato, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with nutritional yeast. Tortilla pizzas remind me of the ultra thin crust pizzas I had in Rome, it made it easy to eat an entire pizza yourself. In this case, I ate two! To get a nice crunchy crust, I placed the tortillas under the broiler, turning every so often until both sides were nice and firm, and just starting to brown.

When the tortillas are firm enough that you could add the toppings and stick your pizza straight on the rack without fear of it falling apart, it’s ready! I skipped the sauce and went straight for the cheese since the cheese has a tomato flavor anyway. And I didn’t use any seasonings because the basil really comes through beautifully.
Besides having a wonderful flavor, the olive oil helps the cheese melt. VioLife isn’t the meltiest vegan cheese out there, but under the broiler it gets bubbly and soft. I only put two torn up slices on the first pizza, but on the second pizza (pictured) I did four. Yes, I’m admitting to eating six pieces of this cheese in one meal. It’s that good.

How is your Pizza Week shaping up?

Get Ready for Pizza Week 2016

Vegan Chili Cheese Pizza
It’s hard to believe, but Lent is almost here, and that means Pizza Week (aka Cheesefare Week) is about to begin! Mark your calendars and get ready to celebrate from Monday, March 7, through Sunday, March 13. Cheesefare Week is traditionally the time Orthodox Christians use up the remainder of their egg & dairy products before we begin the Great Fast. In my kitchen, I’ll be using up the last open carton of VeganEgg, and all my delicious vegan cheese.
After sneaking our last piece of cheezy pizza sometime after Forgiveness Vespers…the party’s over for nearly 50 days. Great Lent begins Monday, March 14.

I’ve been inviting you all to celebrate Pizza Week with me for the past few years, but this year I have something extra special to share with you – a review of a product that’s not yet available here in the United States. I was SO lucky to get my hands on a few samples!!! And I can’t wait to tell you about my experience so you can be prepared for this product when it finally arrives on our side of the ocean.

So Pizza Week. If you are sadly unfamiliar with Pizza Week, this wonderful concept was thought up by my brother-in-law Christopher. Here are the rules:

1. You must eat pizza at least 1 time every day. It does not have to constitute a whole meal, but it can.
2. You must eat a standard size piece of pizza at least.
3. You can eat any type of pizza you want – thin, pan, Chicago style, etc.
4. You may eat pizza multiple times in one day.
5. You can put anything on the pizza you want (though meat is technically not allowed that week, please consult your priest or spiritual father to discuss your personal fasting rule).
6. You don’t have to be Orthodox or be giving up pizza for Lent to participate in Pizza Week (though that’s generally the point).
7. It is highly recommended that the next time you eat pizza after March 13 at 11:59 pm is after the Anastasi Divine Liturgy on Pascha (generally about 1-3am on Sunday, May 1.)

For us vegans celebrating Cheesefare Week, this is most beneficial if you plan to abstain from vegan cheese/pizza during Great Lent.

Get creative! You don’t have to go out and shop for Pizza Week. Go through your cupboards and fridge and see what you can throw together. It will be good practice for whipping up cheap Lenten meals for the next 6 weeks. Will you have a Reuben pizza? A chili cheez pizza?? Whatcha got planned?!?

Get Ready for Pizza Week 2016

Vegan Chili Cheese Pizza
It’s hard to believe, but Lent is almost here, and that means Pizza Week (aka Cheesefare Week) is about to begin! Mark your calendars and get ready to celebrate from Monday, March 7, through Sunday, March 13. Cheesefare Week is traditionally the time Orthodox Christians use up the remainder of their egg & dairy products before we begin the Great Fast. In my kitchen, I’ll be using up the last open carton of VeganEgg, and all my delicious vegan cheese.
After sneaking our last piece of cheezy pizza sometime after Forgiveness Vespers…the party’s over for nearly 50 days. Great Lent begins Monday, March 14.

I’ve been inviting you all to celebrate Pizza Week with me for the past few years, but this year I have something extra special to share with you – a review of a product that’s not yet available here in the United States. I was SO lucky to get my hands on a few samples!!! And I can’t wait to tell you about my experience so you can be prepared for this product when it finally arrives on our side of the ocean.

So Pizza Week. If you are sadly unfamiliar with Pizza Week, this wonderful concept was thought up by my brother-in-law Christopher. Here are the rules:

1. You must eat pizza at least 1 time every day. It does not have to constitute a whole meal, but it can.
2. You must eat a standard size piece of pizza at least.
3. You can eat any type of pizza you want – thin, pan, Chicago style, etc.
4. You may eat pizza multiple times in one day.
5. You can put anything on the pizza you want (though meat is technically not allowed that week, please consult your priest or spiritual father to discuss your personal fasting rule).
6. You don’t have to be Orthodox or be giving up pizza for Lent to participate in Pizza Week (though that’s generally the point).
7. It is highly recommended that the next time you eat pizza after March 13 at 11:59 pm is after the Anastasi Divine Liturgy on Pascha (generally about 1-3am on Sunday, May 1.)

For us vegans celebrating Cheesefare Week, this is most beneficial if you plan to abstain from vegan cheese/pizza during Great Lent.

Get creative! You don’t have to go out and shop for Pizza Week. Go through your cupboards and fridge and see what you can throw together. It will be good practice for whipping up cheap Lenten meals for the next 6 weeks. Will you have a Reuben pizza? A chili cheez pizza?? Whatcha got planned?!?

quick pizza fix

"Tortizza" - Pizza on a tortilla when you need a quick fix!

I didn’t have time to bake a proper pizza last night, but it only takes a few minutes to throw this together. You will need:

2013315 quick pizza
A tortilla, whatever size you like, flour or corn. I prefer flour for this, but with corn it’ll be gluten free.

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Sauce and cheese. I had leftover super onion sauce, and decided to use cheddar Daiya instead of mozzarella.

2013315 quick pizza3
It only took maybe 10 minutes to bake at 500. You should be aware, though, if you decide to make a phone call just as you take the pizza out of the oven, and talk on the phone for 48 minutes, the pizza will be cold and the crust will no longer be crunchy. If the phone call is not extra special, save it for after you’ve finished your hot, crunchy pizza. If the phone call is totally worth it, and you end up with cold, limp pizza, simply fold it in half and eat it like a sandwich. It’ll still be good.

onions-three-ways pizza

2013314 onion pizza10

Earlier this week I was all ready to make my favorite garlic tomato pizza sauce when I realized…I somehow let myself run out of fresh garlic. Wha-wha-whaaatt??? So I decided to try something different. An extra oniony pizza.

2013314 onion pizza
#1: I sauteed a bunch of onion in coconut oil with basil, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper and dried minced garlic, plus garlic powder.

2013314 onion pizza2
I let the onions get nice and soft before adding the tomato paste with a couple pinches of sugar, added some water. Voila – a sauce is born.

2013314 onion pizza3
#2: Large pieces of onion. More coconut oil.

2013314 onion pizza4
Mostly caramelized, some a little burnt. I’m kind of fond of burnt onions.

2013314 onion pizza5
#3: Chopped up more onions, along with red pepper. That’s it. Now to build the pizza…

2013314 onion pizza6
#1: The onion sauce.

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#2: Arrange the caramelized and burnt onions.

2013314 onion pizza8
#3: After adding your cheese of choice (Daiya mozzarella for me), add the raw onions & red peppers.
Bake at 500 for 12 – 15 minutes, or until the bottom crust is golden brown (you may have to lower the heat a bit if the toppings seem to be baking faster than the crust).

2013314 onion pizza9
And that’s a pizza. Both my parents, an omni and an almost-vegan, really liked it. At least I think they did. I let my dad have a bite, and then later he sliced off half a piece for a late-night snack. I brought a piece to my mom and before I could ask what she thought, she had eaten almost the entire thing. Who doesn’t love onions?

Hope you’re all enjoying Cheesefare Week!

quick note about Cheesefare Week

I know this is a little late, but I noticed a couple hits on the blog from people searching things like “shrimp during Cheesefare week” and “fasting on Wednesday during Cheesefare Week”. In case anyone is still looking: this is a vegan blog, so I am eating all vegan cheese this week for that reason; however, according to tradition you may eat dairy and eggs every day during Cheesefare Week, including Wednesday and Friday. And shellfish, like shrimp, is permitted throughout the entire fast.

Look above for the Fasting Guidelines tab if you’d like to see the general guidelines for Great Lent – or ask your priest!