Vegan Pesto Pizza plus a Training Update

After my big reveal in yesterday’s post, I’ll bet you’re wondering how I went from an unmotivated December to an enthusiastic marathon goal seeker in such a short time. The big answer is…I don’t know. Sorry, no great revelations beyond, after 20 years running I knew even when I was struggling to finish five miles that eventually I’d get my mojo back.

Of course, that blah December put me way behind the 8-ball in my training for the Palm Springs Half Marathon, which is just five weeks away. I haven’t done any speed work, and up until Sunday, my longest run was one 6-miler that I pushed myself through last week. But, knowing that I now have a marathon on the agenda helped to get me going this weekend, which I consider both the start of my half marathon training and my marathon base-building schedule.

Saturday was a trail run with the dogs. Trail running, especially in our hills, is great for strength building, so it’s perfect at the beginning or base period of a training plan. Alan and I have already discussed how we will continue to give the dogs their run, while increasing our mileage as we move beyond the base period. In the meantime, though, we had a great four mile run on the trails with Penny and Buddy, then I took the little dogs, Olivia, Lily, and Coco, out for another mile on the road (man, they ran fast this week!).

Training3On Sunday I was determined to push myself out of my funk. I started with a mile with Penny (some things you can’t skip), then headed out on the road for another seven miles. It was a bit challenging, but it felt great to be out there and finally adding on some mileage. While I may not be as fast as I originally planned for this event, I know I can at least have a strong race.

Vegan Pesto Pizza

Pesto Pizza

Before you can make pesto pizza, you need to make some vegan pesto! Regular pesto recipes include cheese of course, but I assure you that you can take the cheese out and it still tastes great. In this recipe, I used nutritional yeast to add a little cheesy taste and texture, but I have also made pesto without it and it was very good.


Vegan Pesto

2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts (walnuts work too)
2-4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add the basil, pine nuts, garlic and nutritional yeast to a food processor. Process until just roughly chopped. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Process until thoroughly mixed.

Now that you’ve made the pesto, let’s put that pizza together.

Vegan Pesto Pizza

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Pesto Pizza
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pizza
Cuisine: Pizza
Serves: 4
  • Pre-made (vegan) pizza crust. I used one from Trader Joes
  • ½ cup pesto sauce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya)
  • Any additional favorite toppings of your choice
  1. Preheat oven and pizza stone or pan to 450
  2. Roll out your pizza dough to desired thickness
  3. Transfer the pizza to your preheated stone/pan
  4. Spread on the pesto evenly
  5. Add a layer of tomatoes
  6. Sprinkle on the cheese
  7. Add the mushrooms
  8. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

I think this may be one of my favorite pizza creations ever! Of course, feel free to add your own toppings (I’m just a mushroom pizza addict). Extra basil, carmelized onions, other veggies would all be great additions.

Pesto Pizza 2

Do you make your own pizza or order out? What are your favorite pizza toppings? Do you get an opportunity to run on trails? Do you love them as much as I do?

Garlic Pizza. Vegan. Easy.

Whenever there is a big sporting event on television, like, say, the Superbowl, I enjoy creating a meal of vegan “football” food, even it is just Alan and me at home to enjoy it.  While I wouldn’t exactly call it healthy, at least there is no animal fat or cholesterol. And, hey, it’s a holiday, right?

Garlic pizza - vegan

#Vegan Superbowl: Spicy Buffalo “Wings,” Mandarin Orange “Chicken,” Potato Skins, Vegan Garlic Dressing. Oh, and my veggies too!

My meal plan for the day included potato skins, spicy Buffalo “wings,” and Mandarin orange “chicken” nuggets. Oh, and I didn’t skip the vegetables. Raw carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli with a little ranch dressing for dipping. And pizza! Nothing like vegan pizza on game day.

There is only so much room in the belly, though. Because we were at home, we didn’t have a spread of appetizers to nibble on all day. Instead, the meal that you see above was for dinner. And I knew that as much as I love pizza, it would have just been too much.

So, that meant we got have pizza for dinner the next day! I decided to try something a little different and skip the regular pizza sauce. Instead I used olive oil infused with a lot of garlic and fresh slices of tomato. Add mushrooms and carmelized onions, I have to say… It. Was. Great!

garlic pizza


5.0 from 1 reviews
Garlic Pizza. Vegan. Easy.
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Easy and fast, this delicious vegan pizza uses olive oil infused with garlic and sliced tomatoes instead of pizza sauce.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American/Italian
Serves: 4
  • Pizza Crust - I used Trader Joes crust. You can make your own if you like.
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅛ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup vegan cheese (I used Daiya mozzarella)
  • ¾ cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Carmelize the onions in the olive oil. This takes about 45 minutes, so do it first. Find great instructions for carmelizing onions here.
  2. Add the minced garlic and salt to the ⅛ cup olive oil and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven (and pizza stone if you use one) to 450 degrees
  4. Roll out the crust to your desired thickness (flour the board first)
  5. Take the pre-heated pizza stone out of the oven and transfer the pizza crust to it.
  6. Spoon the garlic oil onto the crust and spread evenly over the crust.
  7. Spread the sliced tomatoes over the oil.
  8. Add the "cheese," spreading it evenly over the pizza
  9. Add the mushrooms and top with the carmelized onions
  10. Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

 garlic pizza

So as 49er fans, Alan and I were disappointed in the outcome of the game. I was also disappointed in the commercials. With the exception of a few (God made farmers was awesome), I thought they were too violent, yet still bland, and in some cases just gross. As I read on another blog, when did it become uncomfortable to watch the Superbowl with younger kids in the room? Anyway, if you know me, you can probably guess my favorite commercial. And if you can’t guess, just watch it.

So, if you watched the Superbowl, what did you snack on? Did you have a favorite commercial?

Celebrating Vegan Pizza Day

June 30 (today) is Vegan Pizza Day. While I do have options here in the desert (ZPizza in Palm Desert, about 20 minutes away has a vegan pizza), I decided to make my own tonight to celebrate.

The key to a perfect crust is to let the dough “rest” for at least a half hour.

The perfect vegan pizza ingredients.


Goldie stays in perfect position in case I drop anything on the floor.

For toppings, I decided to split the pizza in half. I chose potato, garlic and rosemary for one half, and mushroom, caramelized onion, and garlic for the other. I had some Daiya vegan cheese to top off both sides. I will admit, I purchased the pizza crust and sauce from Trader Joes, but everything else was from scratch.

Vegan Pizza! 1/2 potato, garlic & rosemary; 1/2 mushroom, caramelized onion & garlic.

Happy Vegan Pizza Day!

It was delicious (if I do say so myself). Happy Vegan Pizza Day!