Vegan pizza, anyone?
First things first. A plant-based crust is what makes pizza vegan alongside other ingredients such as toppings and sauce.
Pizza has been one of my go-to meals whenever I feel so lazy cooking at home. And these days, it’s even easier to have vegan pizza from almost every pizza parlor as long as they use non-dairy pizza crust.
At Pizza Ranch, you can have a pizza crust that’s vegan-friendly. They don’t have any vegan cheese, but you can have veggie toppings if you’re starving enough to drop by Pizza Ranch. They do have some salads and side dishes that can be made vegan-friendly on request.
Let’s go check what Pizza Ranch can offer to vegans!
Pizza Ranch, There’s So Much To Love
In 1981, business partners Adrie Groeneweg, who was only 19 years old at that time, and Lawrence Vander Esch started Pizza Ranch in Hull, Iowa. Two years later, the second branch was opened in Orange City, Iowa.
Despite Lawrence Vander Esch’s resignation from the company following his legal battles in court, Pizza Ranch continued to rise. It has started franchising and has now grown to over 200 locations in 15 states.
Pizza Ranch is the biggest regional pizza franchise in the states of Iowa, North and South Dakota, as well as in Minnesota. The restaurant is a Christian company with a vision that says, “To glorify God by positively impacting the world we live in.”
Pizza Ranch specializes in pizza, chicken, as well as delicious salads, and buffets. The restaurant also offers gift cards, and rewards for loyal and repeat customers.
Pizza Ranch prides itself in producing fresh ingredients with sauce and dough that are made from scratch.
Pizza Ranch Vegan-Friendly Options
As a pizza lover, it can be heartbreaking to learn that a spot you found isn’t vegan or no vegan-friendly options that you can take advantage of. However, these days, most pizza parlors have joined the increasing demands of vegan enthusiasts to always make vegan-friendly dishes available for their customers.
And Pizza Ranch doesn’t disappoint despite the idea that it doesn’t serve vegan cheese or even include vegan pizza on its menu. But the good news is that Pizza Ranch can provide you with one on request through its create-your-own pizza. You just have to skip the cheese, and you’re good to go.
You can also ask for a veggie salad minus the dairy if you’re not eyeing its delicious pizzas offerings. So, to help you out, here’s a list that you can refer to as soon as you set foot in one of Pizza Ranch’s locations.
- Pizza Crusts
- Thin Crust
- Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
- Banana Peppers
- Black Olives
- Green Olives
- Green Peppers
- Red Onions
- Taco Chips
- Garden Salad. You can ask to skip the cheddar cheese and croutons.
- Strawberry Spinach Salad. Order one without the feta crumbles and replace the poppy seed dressing with any of the vegan-friendly dressings they have.
- Lite Italian
- Dorothy Lynch
- Western Style
- Fat-Free French
- Classic Tomato
- Dipping Sauces
- Mango Habanero
- Sweet Teriyaki
- Green Beans
- Ranch Potato Wedges
- Their pasta and sauce are vegan-friendly. Just skip anything that involves animal by-products.
- Coca-Cola Products
Unfortunately, none of Pizza Ranch’s desserts are vegan-friendly. So you can just settle with its beverages and some vegan-friendly sides.
What Can You Get From Eating Pizza?
Both vegan pizza and its non-vegan counterpart offer almost the same amounts of sodium and calories except for the whopping cholesterol, and saturated fat that the latter offers. Thanks to the processed meaty toppings.
So, yes, vegan pizza is a healthier option. And although pizza has a reputation for being part of junk foods, it’s still healthier when it’s vegan.
A good rule of thumb is that when ordering pizza, you have to stock up on more veggie toppings to balance the calories and sodium. One pizza crust, for instance, already provides 50 to 80 calories excluding the ingredients and toppings used. But if you try to balance it out by using veggie toppings and non-dairy products, you’ll definitely get the best out of eating your favorite pizza.
So, what can you do to keep things healthy, especially when you’re a pizza lover? Here are some healthy tips.
- Get whole ingredients
- Pre-made or ready-to-bake pizza crusts can include animal by-products. Or even those that are hailed as vegan pizza crusts can still contain high-fructose corn syrup, added sugar, or artificial preservatives. Always choose whole ingredients for your pizza.
- Make your own pizza
- Vegans know this well. Homemade is always the best option when it comes to a vegan diet. This is because you get to choose the ingredients you want for your pizza. And not only that, homecooked is always fun to share with family and friends.
- Practice moderation
- Binge-eating, over-eating, or whatever you call it, is definitely unhealthy regardless of what diet you’re following. Moderation is still the best option to keep things healthy for you. Eating larger portions of your pizza, even if it’s vegan, is still unhealthy. So, practice eating in smaller servings. Trust me, it helps big time.
- Stock up on veggies
- As soon as you decide to make your own pizza at home, you will need to consider piling up some fiber and flavonoid-rich veggies. This would help you get more nutrients and minerals, especially antioxidants that all make a healthy, balanced diet.
- Make your own pizza sauce
- Most store-bought pizza sauces are made with added sugar. So, if you want to keep things even healthier for you, you have all the freedom to make your own sauce. It’s fun and easy!
- Buy a quality vegan cheese
- They said that pizza is never a pizza in the absence of cheese. Somehow, I agree.
- There are times that I no longer feel like eating pizza when there’s no cheese. But the thing is, there are several vegan kinds of cheese that you can try.
- Go for the following vegan cheese brands. Follow Your Heart Parmesan Cheese shredded or grated is my personal choice as it seems like real cheese, and is perfect for vegan pizza. It’s available at your local supermarkets or you can also order it on Amazon.
- Miyoko’s Creamery
- Daiya Foods
- Field Roast
- Follow Your Heart
- So Delicious
- Koko Dairy Free
- Go Veggie
Avoid too much sodium content in your ingredients. You should not go beyond 2,300 mg a day as recommended by the USDA. As for calories, for most healthy adults, you can limit yourself to 2,000 calorie-intake per day.
Pro Tip: Cheese is always the best ingredient that a pizza can have. This makes a pizza, oh well, a real pizza. Cheese of what kind? I say Parmesan cheese. It’s the secret to producing the best pizza..vegan or not. So, go for the brands that I listed above to find the best vegan Parmesan cheese for your pizza.
Top Vegan Pizza Spots In The US
Vegan pizza these days don’t actually sound impossible. Even those that are not full-fledged vegan restaurants like Pizza Ranch offer vegan-friendly alternatives for those who are following a plant-based diet.
So, if you’re somewhere in the U.S., finding a vegan pizza place ain’t a pain..at all. Check out these locations, and try one of their best sellers.
- Evel Pie in Las Vegas
- Ammazza in Atlanta and Decatur
- Kitchen17 in Chicago
- Pizza PI in Seattle
- Blackbird Pizzeria in Philadelphia
- Screamer’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn
- The Pizza Plant in Los Angeles
- Double Zero in Manhattan, Venice, CA, Boston, Baltimore, and Edmonton, Canada.
- Freesoulcaffé in Tustin
If you’re a busy person like me, you can also buy frozen vegan pizza that you can bake at home. Frozen pizza isn’t as healthy as the regular one, but it’s way better than its non-vegan counterpart.
There are a handful of frozen vegan pizza brands that you can consider. These include American Flatbread, The Pizza Plant, Sweet Earth, Daiya, Oh Yes!, Tofurky, and Wholly Veggie.
These brands will satisfy your umami taste through their vegan meat and cheese ingredients that you didn’t exist.
The Bottom Line
Pizza Ranch is not a vegan restaurant, but it offers several vegan-friendly options for hungry vegans. Its build-your-own pizza is definitely a must-try, especially since most of its crusts are vegan. You just have to choose the best veggie toppings with vegan sauce.
Pizza Ranch doesn’t offer vegan cheese, so you may have to settle for its vegan-friendly sauces and healthy toppings. Not only pizza is delicious for a snack or meal, but it’s also healthier when it’s vegan as it doesn’t give you too much cholesterol that’s usually from meaty toppings.
So, always opt for non-greasy toppings to keep things healthy. If you get stuck in Pizza Ranch, or in other pizza spots such as Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and more, the staff are ready to cater to your needs on request.