February 6, 2013

That Vegan Thing: Fruit pizza simple, quick and easy -- and delicious

By JEFF PETERSON

Before I became vegan, I was pretty boring when it came to fruit. I basically liked bananas, apples, grapes and cantaloupe. That was it! Then when I cut animal products out of my diet and fruit became a bigger part of what I ate, something strange happened.

I started to sample new things and taste test and my taste buds began to change. I never thought I'd see the day that I would be eating mangos, strawberries and kiwis and actually loving it.

I will never forget the day I walked into the kitchen and my wife told me we were having fruit pizza for lunch. I said, "Are you kidding me?"

Now don't get me wrong, I was slowly but surely increasing the variety of fruit in my diet, but on a pizza? Well, I didn't have much choice. That's what was on the menu. My wife told me to just eat it and I'd like it. So she put the pizza in front of me and I gave it a puzzled look. The pizza was just a piece of baked pita bread with peanut butter spread on top.

Then it was topped off with some sliced mango, kiwi, strawberries, some thin white stuff that I later found out was shaved coconut and some green leafy stuff that I later found out was fresh mint. I seriously closed my eyes and took a bite, thinking I was going to be grossed out. What I tasted was delicious. After my wife said "I told you so," I asked for another one.

This is a simple dish that unlike a lot of other vegan recipes, is quick and easy to make. In the words of my wife and a line from an old cereal commercial, "try it you'll like it."

Thinly sliced mango

Thinly sliced kiwi

Thinly sliced strawberries

Whole wheat round pita bread

½ tablespoon shaved coconut for each pizza (you can buy this in a bag)

Fresh mint

Organic peanut butter

Slice the fruit up. Bake the pita bread in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. Spread about a spoonful of peanut butter on the pita bread. Cover the pita bread with the sliced fruit. Sprinkle on ½ tablespoon of shaved coconut. Then put a pinch of fresh mint on top and serve.

Jeff Peterson anchors the 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. news on WGME-TV and is a vegan.

 

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