Years ago I used to frequent a restaurant call Café Metro at lunchtime. It was near the company I worked for at the time, and they had vegan, vegetarian, and omnivore dishes, so there was something for everyone.
Dennis and I had our second date there, and since we worked near each other, we would often meet for lunch dates, too. I loved the Hummus Veggie Wrap and the Vegetable Stir-Fry made with tofu, while his favorite was the Meatless Meatball Hero. One of our favorite dishes was the Metro Vegetarian Pizza, which was made with vegetarian meatballs, roasted red peppers, hot peppers, and mozzarella. Vegan mozzarella could be substituted for dairy cheese at no extra charge.
One day we were dining at Café Metro for dinner, so we decided to split a salad and our favorite pizza. The waitress asked if we were vegan, since were ordering the dairy-free cheese. She said she was vegan, too, and she wanted to let us know that the meatless meatballs contained dairy. Why had no one else told us that all of the previous times we had ordered it?! We settled on a pizza topped with vegetables, and we found ourselves frequenting the restaurant less and less. I can’t remember the last time I ate there.
We started making our own version of the Metro Pizza, adding spinach and olives, and using meatballs that we know are truly vegan. With the combination of creamy dairy-free mozzarella, hearty meatless meatballs, and veggies, this is one of my favorite pizzas. I often make this pie with Gardein’s Meatless Meatballs, but if you’d like to make you own, give Laura Theodore’s Wheatballs a try. I used Myioko’s Kitchen’s Fresh VeganMozz on this pizza, but I think Somer McCowan’s Moxarella Cheese would taste fantastic here, too.
- 1 prepared 12”-15” pizza crust
- 5 or 6 vegan meatballs (I used Gardein’s Meatless Meatballs, but Laura Theodore’s Wheatballs would work well here)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 5 ounces baby spinch, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup tomato sauce, or more to taste
- ½ cup vegan mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded (I used half a package of Myioko’s Kitchen’s Fresh VeganMozz but Somer McCowan’s Moxarella Cheese would be good, too)
- ½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- ¼ cup olives, sliced
- ¼ cup pepperoncini peppers, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 450°. Place the prepared pizza crust on a pizza pan or pizza stone.
- Cut each vegan meatball into 3 or 4 slices. If you’re making homemade meatballs, shape them into flat disks rather than round balls.
- Add one teaspoon of olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat and cook the meatballs until they’ve browned on each side, about 2 minutes each side. Remove them from the heat and set aside.
- Add the remaining teaspoon of oil to the same pan, and add the spinach and garlic. Cook until the garlic wilts, about two more minutes.
- To prepare the pizza, spread the tomato sauce on the crust, and then distribute the spinach evenly top of it. Then add the cheese, meatball slices, roasted red peppers, olives, and pepperoncini peppers, distributing everything evenly.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted. Be careful not to burn the crust.
- Remove from oven, slice, and enjoy!
What are your favorite pizza toppings?