Flat Bread ZA

So, I have to say, there are some great vegan pizzerias in L.A. and Daiya and Teese fake cheese are decent substitutes- far better than vegan cheese was a few years ago. But still, there's nothing like pizza with real cheese. There is just no alternative that comes close. So sometimes, I don't even bother. I just use sauce, veggies, go cheeseless and accept that this is the life that I chose. Here's a quick recipe for just that:

- Trader Joe's Lavash bread
- TJ's pizza sauce (it comes in a jar which is handy since you only use 1/4 of the jar or so per ZA
- broccoli
- black olives
-any toppings of choice

Heat the oven to 375, pour sauce on the bread, add toppings (this hardly needs any instructions, but whatever), bake for 10 minutes or so until "crust" is browned and curled up a bit. Slice and enjoy it for what it is- different than "pizza", but delicious in its own right.

The Pizza Levee

I've been vegetarian for just under 20 years. I've been with my husband for 11 and a half years. My husband has been vegetarian for about 15 years. He and I were vegan for a bit over a year in 2000-2001. Then we went to Paris, and that's a whole other story.

I went vegan again after moving to L.A. after finding myself surrounded by great, fresh food and a plethora of vegan options at restaurants and grocery stores. I really thought hard about why I was still eating dairy, and the only reason that I could come up with is that it wasn't convenient (i.e., I was being lazy). Everything that I believe and know points me to eating animal-free. 3That's me and my choice. And, in an ideal Nancy world, everyone would find it to be their choice (and puppies and kittens would never grow old, and grammas would always be here for us).

In the real world, though, it isn't everyone's choice and I'm okay with that. It isn't even the J-R household choice. Davey isn't vegan. He doesn't find it to be the right move for him, which is totally fine. He enjoys my cooking and couldn't care less that it's dairy free because it's delicious.

But then there's pizza. There have been major technological advances in faux cheese in the years between my first foray into veganism and this one. There's now Teese brand and Daiya. Both of which taste good, and really mimic the qualities of their dairy counterparts. Still, they're not cheese. I use them sparingly- pretty much just on pizza and in a mac and "cheese" recipe. There's a few great L.A. pizzerias (Lucifer's and Cruzers) that offer vegan cheese Za's that are great. Still, Davey has the cheese option, and he is out on the substitute.

He and I would make pizza at home with Trader Joe's crust and sauce all of the time in Chicago, and after I made the vegan switch, we kind of missed it. We were talking about making 1 vegan and 1 cheesy, when he came up with a plan. The Pizza Levee ®. (I'm kidding w/ the ® symbol- but we should copyright it). What you do when making pizza from scratch for vegans and dairy eaters, is roll out the crust a hint (2") bigger than the pan, place it in, cut off the excess, lay that extra crust down the center, and voila! A dam that keeps cow cheese from tainting the vegan side.

He is brilliant and this is why I love him.