For those of us who have a loose definition of pizza and a disdain for most vegan ‘cheese’, there is possibly no better balm for the soul than a hearty, healthy well-made flatbread that flaunts its differences rather than offer up inferior attempts at the traditional. Enter the sunshine pizza.
Originating from a long since closed vegan restaurant in the suburbs of Melbourne, the sunshine pizza is a cheese-free, tomato-free, delicious healthy exercise in colour coordination. Specifically, it is made of yellow. The carefully balanced toppings provide an acidic tang one generally gets from tomato sauce, a surprising amount of protein, and a plethora of texture. Hummus as a base sauce provides even more protein and the smoky, creamy feel one expects of melted cheese. I know Italians who would cringe visibly to hear me call it pizza, but it fills that easy comfort-food gap in a vegan diet deliciously.
- 1 thick pre-baked multigrain or whole-wheat pizza base. You’ll want a commercial base for this unless you are capable of making thick, crunchy substantial multigrain pizza bases that are practically a loaf of bread, in which case you should teach me and I’ll save a considerable amount of money on Alvarado Street Bakery pizza crusts)
- Hummus – twice the amount that you would normally use of tomato sauce. (here’s a basic recipe for frugal folks with a food processor)
- 1 medium cob of fresh yellow or white corn, stripped down, or 1/2 cup frozen
- 4oz (or more) smoked tofu, cut into small cubes
- handful of sunflower seeds
- canned or jarred artichoke hearts
- chopped canned or fresh pineapple
If one balks at the idea of pineapple on pizza, adding more artichoke hearts and a little bit more corn makes up for the texture and general topping volume and keeps the tangy/sweet balance comparable. Either way, it’s delicious, relatively healthy, and lacking most common allergens, for those of us canaries who have to worry about such things.