Living a vegan lifestyle doesn't mean you have to forego takeaway pizza. Sure, you're not going to be ordering a large peperoni with extra cheese, but most pizza shops will be able to make you a pizza that's free of animal products. Next time you're having friends over for a movie and pizza night or just fancy a treat, keep these ordering tips in mind:
Did you know that not all dough is suitable for vegans? If you make pizza dough at home you would use flour, a little oil, salt, water, and yeast if you wanted a thick crust. However, takeaways and restaurants often buy premade dough in large catering packs, which can contain animal products.
Your local takeaway will likely be happy to make you a basic dough if their standard dough isn't suitable, so before ordering check if their dough contains any of the following:
- Egg or milk - These are sometimes used to emulsify the dough.
- Animal fats - Butter or lard is sometimes used in place of oil as it can be cheaper.
- Cheese - Some pizza places mix cheese into the dough before baking.
- Dough conditioners containing animal derivatives - Dough conditioners are often used to improve the texture of dough, but many contain animal derivatives. L-cysteine, for example, is commonly found in dough conditioners and is often derived from duck feathers and hog hair.
Many restaurants and takeaways are tuned into the fact that their customers have become choosier about what they eat, so you may find your favourite takeaway is equipped to deal with requests for dairy-free pizzas. Call ahead and check if they have a plant-based vegan cheese available.
If that's not an option, consider keeping a jar of nutritional yeast at home to sprinkle over your pizza when it arrives. Nutritional yeast, which is high in B vitamins, has a flavour that's similar to sharp cheddar, and it is often used to mimic the flavour of cheese in vegan recipes.
Of course you can always forget the cheese flavour altogether and ask for extra herbs in the tomato sauce. If your local pizza place (such as Pizza Inn Delivery) makes their own tomato sauce, you'll enjoy being able to taste the fresh flavour of the sauce that's often overpowered by mountains of cheese.
Without barbecued chicken, smoked ham, creamy mozzarella, and paprika infused chorizo, you may wonder if your pizza is going to be a little bland. You can avoid this by selecting vegan toppings that have their own strong flavours, so instead of plain sweetcorn or courgettes, consider the following toppings:
- Peppery rocket
- Caramelised onion with sharp apple slices
- Nutty chestnut mushrooms
- Pungent lemon thyme or basil
- Fruity black olives
- Smoked chillies
- Chargrilled peppers
Are you hungry yet? Now you know what to look out for and what to ask, all that's left to do is decide on a small, medium or large.