This pizza is pretty self-explanatory and thus I'm not sure it warrants its own blog entry, but it looked so pretty that I had to share.
Once an adamant supporter of the "pizza without cheese is not pizza" school of thought, hail the vegan gods, I am a convert.
I never realized how distracting the flavour of cheese was until I stopped eating it. So it's not surprising that the "pizza without cheese is not pizza" ideology exists, because it becomes (quite tragically, I think) the very essence of the meal in all its grease-high glory. It becomes how we define the actual thing we are talking about. So naturally when you suggest removing the "essence" it is often equated with blasphemy. Honestly, I wasn't sure how I felt about cheeseless pizza after going vegan so it took me awhile to even try it, assuming it would just "not be the same" and somehow disappoint me, or make me sad to be vegan, or what have you. I was wrong. I couldn't be more wrong.
I've always been somewhat okay with name-calling so call me what you will...I still suggest trying pizza without cheese.
Honestly. I never realized how overpowering it was and how it could take away from how good a spicy tomato sauce can be. And how amazing the fresh-cut vegetables always are. Instead, on traditional pizzas all of this variety gets suffocated under heaps of cheese that in turn sit like a huge lump in the gut area and cause you to curse yourself the next morning when you try and button your favourite jeans.
Now, I won't front like I didn't fancy me some cheese-on-everything back in the day. That overpowering, all consuming flavour almost becomes addictive, doesn't it? Even though I am now all but repulsed by it (seriously...everyone thinks I'm lying when I say that) I understand the difficulty people have with the thought of a life without cheese and quite honestly it was once upon a time my biggest obstacle in moving into la vida vegan. Especially when our culture seems to want to put it on absolutely everything with reckless abandon. I definitely get the apprehension.
However, when I finally determined that my interest in veganism and animal rights and solid nutritional health was stronger than my addiction to dairy products, I realized how much flavour I had been missing by hiding absolutely everything under a ridiculous amount of cheese. Especially in the case of pizza. Instead of the cheese it's now flavoured by the bright tomato sauce, the copious amounts of mushrooms, the fresh bell pepper, the artichokes and the garlic. For once I can actually taste all of it. It's almost refreshing, which is something I never thought pizza could be. Pizza was a meal for eating in sweatpants and sweatpants only, and feeling like a balloon post-ingestion. Now I have no problem having pizza for lunch and then going for a long walk after (I was going to say run......but who am I kidding), instead of groaning in agony on the couch (okay yes, I am starting to get ridiculous here and I do realize -at least hope- most people don't eat five slices of Little Caesar's PLUS crazy bread like I used to).
Further, when I went vegetarian I noticed some differences in how I felt but nothing compared to when I cut out all dairy. I can seriously cut my life in two...how I felt while I ate cheese and how I felt when I stopped and that feeling alone has curbed any sort of non-vegan craving. For real.
In summary: This picture is pretty. Cheese-less pizza is good. And I can't stay away from a good rant to save my life.