Meet The Vegan Lover’s Pizza Casserole
We’ve read to our little man since days after he was born, but I remember when I couldn’t wait for the day he would sit through an entire story, sitting on the edge of his seat instead of mentally, and often physically, wondering off mid-book. I guess I got what I wished for because now as I finish one book, he’s already begging for the next one, trying to recall any and every book on his shelf to request. I know The Rainbow Fish by heart, as well as several Dr. Seuss books, and sometimes if we get stuck in traffic or a long line I’ll “read” one of those books to him from memory. But the best is when he takes one of his favorite books and reads it to us. His version is always way better than the real book, of course, but I’m always a little bit surprised by how many of the exact phrases he can remember just by looking at the picture! I feel like now would be a good time to say something cliche like, “My, they grow up so fast!”
Anyway, just before reading all those story books this evening, I made my first recipe from Meet the Shannons: The Betty Crocker Project! In case you aren’t yet a subscriber, the Shannons are veganizing classic recipes from the good ol’ Betty Crocker cookbook and sharing them with the world via their blog! Isn’t veganizing recipes fun?! I have a whole stack of cooking magazines sitting in the kitchen just waiting to be played with, but tonight I baked their Vegan Meat Lover’s Pizza Casserole. The name kind of creeped out the husband, so he insisted I just drop the “meat” and call it Vegan Lover’s Pizza. Okay, sure, works for me.
This casserole is absolutely delicious! All three of us loved it, and seconds were had by all! I used my favorite vegan sausage, Field Roast Apple Sage, but I actually only used half of the package because it’s pretty expensive around here and I was being stingy. I used the Lightlife pepperoni recommended, which conveniently enough I had been sent to try, and we really loved the flavor. I have only tried one other vegan pepperoni product (I think it was Yves?), and while the pieces held together better because of the way the slices were packaged in stacks, we mostly picked around them because the soy flavor was very strong. This recipe called to crisp up the faux sausage and pepperoni in a cast iron skillet before tossing it in the casserole, and I really think that did a lot for the flavor. I’ll probably doing that again in the future before tossing either of these products in a dish. For the cheese, I used Follow Your Heart mozzarella because apparently vegan cheese isn’t cool around here, and this is all I can find at the local co-op. At least it’s one I like. It would be tragic if the only one available was something awful… Okay, maybe that’s a misuse of the word tragic.
The recipe made enough to fill one small and one medium casserole dish, so there are plenty of leftovers for tomorrow! Yippee! I love leftovers. Don’t search the site for how many times I’ve felt the need to tell you how much I love leftovers… I’m going to guess it’s a lot. Since this casserole makes such a large amount, and I deem it appropriate to serve to non-vegans as well, I considered making this for the little man’s birthday party in less than 2 weeks. We’ll see! I know I’m doing the usual baked goods and then probably Gardein tenders, toothpicked, with a couple of dipping sauces for friends and family to snack on.
Check out the recipe for this Vegan Pizza Casserole on Meet the Shannons.