Friday, July 8, 2011

Vegan Pepperoni Recipe- Made From Beets

I've had such a strong desire for pizza lately. Everywhere I go, it seems, people are eating pizza. My best friend is serving it to her kids when I'm there. The heavenly aroma
wafts out of the apartment next door, enticing me to come eat.
But I can't, because gluten is off limits to me.
But, but, but... I really wanted pizza badly, so I made myself a delicious, frugal, gluten free pizza to satisfy that irresistible craving.
And I topped it with this cheap, gluten free, vegan pepperoni that I based on a recipe I found on this really awesome gluten free blog that I found,, which I am incredibly in love with because it is vegan as well. Its not that I am a proponent of a vegan diet, its just that I'm trying to minimize the usage of dairy and eggs in my home because I think some family members are sensitive to those ingredients, in addition to the fact that their price keeps rising and rising, making them not so affordable. Most gluten free websites call for so many eggs as binders and other ingredients that are either expensive or not readily available round these parts, but this website, Diet Desert and Dogs, has simple and relatively frugal ingredients, and best of all, gives suggestions for substitutions if you can't eat what she suggests for whatever reason!

Anyhow, so back to the topic at hand, this is an awesome recipe for pepperoni made out of beets and spices. It looks pretty much like pepperoni, tastes pretty darn good, (doesn't taste like beets) and is mighty frugal. This recipe is good for people who are vegan/vegetarian or for people who are just looking to lower costs but still have the same yummy foods. To be honest, I've never had real pepperoni pizza (only with fake pepperoni) so I can't tell you 100% if this is a terrific imitation- I'll have to leave that to someone else. All I can assure you is that it tastes good. (And according to my husband, it tastes salami like.)

Beet Pepperoni Recipe

3 medium fresh beets, peeled, sliced extremely thin, and quartered.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce (I used gluten free soy sauce)
1/2 cup water
1 tsb miso (I used brown rice miso, but any should be fine)
2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp kombucha vinegar (you can use 1 tsp if you use a store bought vinegar like cider or white, as kombucha vinegar is weaker than cider vinegar)
1/4 tsp sugar or rapadura or stevia or any healthy sweetener (or leave out entirely)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/8 tsp sage
1/2 tsp regular (sweet) or smoked paprika
1/8 tsp black pepper
(Lots of ingredients, I know, but its worth it!)

1. Peel the beets and slice them really, really thinly. They should only be a 1-3 milimeters thick, if possible. If using medium beets, cut them into quarters so they remain a nice size (otherwise your pepperoni slices will be too large). If using teeny tiny beets, use more beets and just leave in rounds.

2. Whisk nutritional yeast, miso, and water together very well until there are no clumps. Pour into a wide baking dish.

3. Add all the rest of the ingredients aside for beets to the mixture in the pan and mix well. If using whole fennel seeds and you have a coffee grinder, try to grind the fennel in the grinder first. If that's not possible, just use them whole.

4. Add the beets to the liquid, mixing well so all the beets are coated. Lay the beet slices flat in the pan (it's fine if they overlap).

5. Bake for 20 minutes on 350 degrees. Mix so the beets that were on the bottom end on the top, and the ones that were on the top end up on the bottom. Bake some more.

6. Bake until the beets are soft, have absorbed most (or all) of the liquid, and have started to curl up at the edges.

7. Use to top your pizza or however else you enjoy your pepperoni. It tastes yummy even as a snack (my kids were gobbling it straight from the pan) and tastes delicious as a topping on sandwiches.

(See original recipe here.)

Note: If you're a vegan or dairy intolerant, you can make this pizza completely vegan by using my vegan cheese sauce instead of the cheese. (Make that recipe gluten free by using any gluten free flour or starch instead of the flour, like rice flour, corn starch, potato starch, or whatever.)
Variations: If you are able to get your hands on liquid smoke, feel free to add some to the recipe. I don't have any, so I leave it out, but the original recipe calls for it.
If you have no miso or nutritional yeast, you can leave them out and replace the water in the recipe with vegetable broth.

Do you like pepperoni pizza, or just plain pepperoni? How often do you eat pepperoni pizza (or rather, when was the last time you had)? How else do you eat pepperoni other than on pizza?
Do you think you'd try this recipe? If so, what would be the reason- to save money? Because you're vegetarian/vegan? Or for a different reason?
What do you think- based on the ingredients, do you think this has the potential to taste like real pepperoni, or are you skeptical?

Linking up to Summer Wellness Weekend, Fight Back Friday, Frugal Friday and Pennywise Platter Thursday


  1. I'll give this a try -- we have a ton of beets at the moment (roasted beets, awesome spaghetti with beets, beet cake beet cake more beet cake and so on). I've used pepperoni in a casserole with rice and I forget what else; it's good.

  2. It was a success, what a great recipe! We ate about half of them out of the pan. And since I like magenta food I'll try mixing it into other things, see how that works. Thanks, Penny!

  3. Thanks for this recipe!! I did it yesterday and wasn't happy with the texture of mine but the taste was great! Today, I put all ingredients into a covered bowl and baked in oven for an hour or so until beets were soft. Then I put them into my dehydrator until done. Just like pepperoni!!! Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  4. This sounds great except beets are hard to get here so I'm thinking daikon raddish, carrots, eggplant or kabu a softer round raddish not as spicy. Have you tried any other veg?


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