Pizza Express Vegan Giardiniera from Waitrose

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Alright, so this isn’t really ‘cookery’, but neither of us felt like cooking tonight and I’d heard that Waitrose had started stocking a vegan pizza from Pizza Express. Seemed the right night to give it a try. Say what you like about Waitrose, but they do have lot of vegan options.

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I was pleased to find that it was reduced. It’s not a big pizza (I considered buying two), so I was glad to be paying £3.66 rather than the usual price of over £5.

I’m trying to eat whole foods as much as possible, and like the idea of a grain, a green and a bean suggested by my new favourite website No Meat Athlete. Shop-bought Pizza doesn’t really fit into that, at least not on its own, so I picked up some basic salad leaves and mixed beans to go with them. I don’t think I can really get away with saying that the refined white flour in the pizza base is my grain for this meal, but hey – I’m new to this!

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook has a recipe for Cashew Ranch Dressing which I thought I’d try too. I had to change it a little to fit with what I had in the cupboard, but it’s pretty much the same recipe.

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The Verdict

The pizza was fine. Not life-changing, but a nice enough pizza. No big surprise really, you don’t have to do much to a pizza to make it vegan – just use non-dairy cheese and skip any meat toppings.  There wasn’t much ‘cheese’ on this one, which was fine by me. I’ve tried a few vegan cheeses so far, and not been impressed. Maybe that’s no bad thing; they’re all very processed which I’m trying to avoid. I didn’t think the cheese on this pizza added much to it apart from making it look authentic. Still, well done Waitrose and Pizza Express for coming up with it, I’ll probably buy it again.

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However, much more exciting than the pizza was the Cashew Ranch Dressing – so good!  Thankfully there’s lots left over for another day. Since going vegan I’ve been amazed with what can be done with cashews – cream, milk, sour cream, dressings. Why didn’t I know about this before? Tasty, versatile, and nutritious – they’re my new favourite food.

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