Since the revolution (which is how I refer to me becoming a vegetarian), I have been bringing my own lunch to work almost every day. Sometimes, my co-workers get lunch envy, and nothing gets them gathered around and asking questions like when I show up with a home-made vegan pizza.
Now, I am from New Jersey, which means I know more about pizza than you do and I make better pizza than you ever will. I spent a summer working at Vesuvio’s Italian restaurant in Belmar, NJ, where they made some of the best thin crust pizza I’ve ever tasted.  I picked up a thing or two while working there, and now you, gentle reader, get to reap the benefits.

Step 1: The Dough
Now, the reason why New York, Boston, and New Jersey have the best pizza in the world is supposedly in the water. However, the real reason why it’s a thousand times better than those Papa Huts and Pizza Johns is that the crust is rolled out until it is as thin as possible. A good slice of pizza is a 1-to-1 ratio between crust, sauce, and cheese. That being said, you can recreate some of that pizza magic in your own kitchen by just taking the time roll out your dough to the proper thickness.
I like to use Trader Joes’ pizza dough in whole wheat, although their garlic and herb is also very tasty. They sell it refridgerated in big bags, and I will bring it home and freeze individual servings of dough. When it’s time to make a pizza, I defrost my dough and then roll it out onto a cutting board with plenty of whole wheat flour. You should knead it a few times before gently stretching the dough in your hands until it is no more than 1/4″ thick. Be liberal with your flour, because the dusting of whole wheat on the bottom of the pizza is really going to make your crust.

Step 2: The Sauce
A good pizza sauce should be very, very thin. One shortcut that I use sometimes is to take canned tomato paste and mix it with a little bit of water and some spices. Another real shortcut is probably to just buy the stuff in a jar. Either way, you want to get a nice thin layer of sauce on top of your dough.

Step 3: The Garlic
I’ll usually mince two cloves of garlic and sprinkle them on top of my sauce layer. I eat a lot of garlic.  It probably really sucks to kiss me, but I’m selfish so I really don’t care. I’m going to continue to eat as much garlic as I want. It’s a natural antibiotic. It’s good for your cardiovascular system.It has antioxidants. I’m worth it.

Step 4: The Cheese
When making a vegan pizza, you have a few options. One is Follow Your Heart Mozarella, a soy-based cheese that actually melts. Another is Daiya cheese, wich is tapioca based and featured at Pizza Fusion (in Santa Monica and San Diego). A third option is to forgoe cheese altogether and just sprinkle a pinch of nutritional yeast over your sauce and top with a bunch of veggies. My favorite is the Italian Daiya, which you can probably get at Whole Foods, I know that we can out here.

Step 5: Toppings
This is a great way to use up whatever vegetables you have lying around in your fridge. My favorite pizza topping is frozen spinach, which I will defrost and saute in a little bit of cooking spray before topping my pizza. Another good option is to use mushrooms, which are especially nice if you are foregoing cheese altogether. I also love fresh basil, but can never seem to use an entire package of it, so I rarely keep it on hand. I’ve had great success with Tofurkey’s sausage. Check the label very carefully, because they only have one vegan variety.

When I was in college, we had a Wolfgang Puck Express in the middle of campus, and I cannot tell you how many times I had their pesto and sausage pizza for lunch. No wonder why my jeans didn’t fit. I have recreated the flavor combination, though, by using a low fat vegan pesto, soy cheese, “sausage”, and fresh tomato slices. It’s absolutely amazing, and sometimes it’s fun to go wild and use something other than classic tomato sauce.