Vegan Pie at Pete’s Apizza, D.C.
June 15, 2012

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Happy Friday!

This was a jam packed week for me; while summer physics can’t compare to the Orgo II/Biochem experience, there’s a lot of work, and assignments are due consistently each day. Between that, CR, and a narrative medicine seminar I sat in on this week, I’m ready for a weekend…except that this weekend includes two Boltbus rides for a very short sojourn in NYC for The Seed! I’m really excited for the conference, but I’ll feel better once I get to NYC tonight; right now, I’m trying to wrap up a couple of school deadlines from the bus before I get ready for the event.

Last night, I took a restorative break to meet up with Anne for dinner. It’s so nice having her back in DC! We’ve been hoping for some time to concoct a recipe together, cook at her new place, and post jointly. But right now, Anne’s in the early stages of her clinical internship at Washington Hospital Center, and I’m in the early stages of intensive physics, and last night we were both in the mood to have somebody else cook for us. Pete’s Apizza to the rescue.

Pete’s Apizza is a DC institution, widely regarded as some of the city’s best pie. It’s described as “New Haven style” pizza; I have no clue what that means, but I think it means thin, crispy crust, and—in the case of this particular franchise—thoughtful, fancier toppings (like sauteed wild mushrooms and slow roasted tomatoes). I’d heard that the pizza was incredibly vegan friendly (Daiya is always on offer, and the toppings include tons of veggies), and Valerie also tipped me off that they carry a vegan, gluten free crust that is made with a chickpea flour/rice flour blend. When I heard this, I perked up: chickpea flour is one of my absolute favorites!

Apparently, it’s a favorite of Anne’s, too. When I mentioned it to her, the following gchat ensued:

me: they have a cool vegan crust made with chickpea flour. Epic.

Anne: ooooh!!! i want to try that 🙂 i <3 chickpea flour

me: i am also in <3 with chickpea flour. #thingsfoodbloggerssay

Yup.

So we were both pretty excited for our chickpea flour pizza last night, and it did not disappoint us! The pizza was thin, crispy, and a nice middle ground between conventional and unconventional. Having never loved pizza as an omni, the pizza I like now is always a little unusual and creative, and this fit the bill. Anne and I both started with salads: she got a small and I a large salad of spinach, slow roasted tomatoes with roasted garlic on top (so good that even I, the garlic-phobe, liked it), toasted pine nuts, and balsamic dressing. It was nice and crispy.

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That’s Anne’s salad, which had goat cheese (I ordered mine without, of course). All photos in this post are courtesy of Anne, who recapped our dinner this morning! I forgot my camera card reader in DC, and I’m on the bus right now. Blogger fail.

Speaking of the slight nuances between our meals, one of the things I actually love about dining with Anne is that it’s super easy for us to share food. Anne isn’t vegan, but she is one of the most healthy, open-minded and veggie-oriented diners I know. Her blog is full of vegan-friendly recipes, and beyond that, all of her recipes are healthy and easy to make. We like a lot of the same restaurants and types of dishes, so I have a feeling there are more DC dining adventures lying in wait. Anyway, last night, we shared a pizza with slow roasted tomatoes, artichokes, roasted peppers, sauteed mushrooms, and sauteed spinach.

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Yum. We could have gotten daiya, but since I’m not much of a cheese lover, I don’t tend to crave vegan cheeses on my food, and Anne was just as happy to do without (“it’s all about the sauce, anyway,” quoth she). We both thought the pizza was super flavorful and crispy! Here’s the crust in action:

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Over dinner, Anne and I had a chance to chat about her experiences as a hospital dietetic intern. Interestingly enough, Anne’s working at the same hospital where I briefly did post-trauma alcohol and drug surveys last summer. Between that and volunteering this year, I have at least some sense of the challenges and discouragement that comes from working in dietetics within a hospital environment; I also realize that, as much as physicians may try to inspire lifestyle changes and healthy eating habits in patients, there’s only so much they can do. All things considered, it’s often hard to prompt interest in nutrition among patients who are so grievously sick as many of those in hospitals. Nevertheless, Anne and I remain committed to lives in health care, and she, at least, will have ample space to help people make healthy changes in her RD career ahead!

After dinner, we strolled around Clarendon for a bit, and then I got a chance to see Anne’s new (adorable) apartment. I got back home in time to head to bed early for my early morning class at Down Dog Yoga. Thanks for a great evening, friend!

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Since we all bonded over amazing morning overnight oats this week, I wanted to show you today’s raw breakfast in class: it’s the luscious lime pudding I shared on Monday, topped with dehydrated buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, and goji berries, with fresh berries mixed in. Superfood love.

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Alright friends! Time to get ready for The Seed. I can’t wait to tweet out some live updates and to recap the event for you all as soon as I’m back in DC!! Have a fantastic weekend, and if you’re a NYer who’ll be at the event tomorrow, come and find me to say hi.

The Seed

xo

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    24 Comments
  1. Wow, that pizza looks incredible! I can’t wait to try all of the wonderful restaurants you always talk about next time I visit DC. My omnivorous friends are always so surprised when I tell them I can eat pizza, but truly, it’s one of the easiest foods to veganize! I agree that fancy veggie toppings are where it’s at.

  2. Go WHC! I’m a nurse there, and I second how hard it is to try to teach nutrition to patients. I see so many patients come in with conditions that may not have been completely prevented by better nutrition, but that could have at least been decreased by it. As a member of a healthcare team, I’m always amazed by how much people are awed by the healthy food I eat at work, and by how little I see of it sometimes in my coworkers’ lunch boxes or lunch choices.

  3. Jena, I was so super excited to meet you in person at the Seed today.You are even more beautiful in real life, and your presentation on raw food was awesome.
    Thank you for coming and doing your thing! You rock!

  4. Vegan and GF? Awesome! Thanks for introducing me to Anne. I’m looking forward to following her journey as I begin my adventure to becoming an RD. Between the fact that I’m making a career change, and the fact that it’s to RD, I feel like a mix of the two of you right now!

  5. I just learned something about myself from this entry–I tend not to pay attention to savory dishes unless they incorporate garlic!! I haven’t made a single one of your savory recipes, and I think that’s why…I’m a garlic-a-holic! Love that 🙂 I have however made a lot of your sweet recipes! 🙂 I loved the apple zucchini muffins–I subbed in date for zucchini and replace a lot of the sugar with dates that’d been soaking for over the week, and they blended right in the batter amazingly, you’d never known I’d used so many and so little sugar–it was so cool to come up with a new trick all on my own!

    I love daiya 🙂 But it’s definitely a special treat and I think with a pizza like this, where the vegetables look so wonderful and high-quality, they’d overpower the dish and take away from the wonderfulness of the other ingredients. If I ever crave daiya exclusively (rarely, as I also was never a cheese-lover), I’ll make something that features daiya exclusively like nachos…Hmm kale nachos? I’m having a foodie day!

    Anyywhooo 🙂 You look so rosy and beautiful in your photograph 🙂

    Your luscious lime pudding looks luscious!!

    What a perfect entry, I so enjoy reading your blog!!

    My only thing is chia seeds in that recipe. First of all I’ve never succeeded in making them tasty enough to be desirable. Second of all, along with having bad digestion and having a hard time digesting those in particular, I’m on a new medication that really dehydrates me already and I have to be constantly on jar with water (no pun intended), so I’m kind of fearful of using more than a tablespoon in a 48 hour period!

    And I’m jealous of anyone who’s able to attend an event like The Seed!!! Maybe one day 🙂

  6. Good luck and enjoy at The Seed, dear Gena! How I wish I could be there! Or even there *before* there, by which I mean I want that pretty lime pudding creation. And the pizza. But we all know how I am about things that are sweet.

  7. Great meetup with Anne and great looking pizza! Glad you two could swap stories and indulge in that veggie-heavy pizza…it looks SO Good! I love thin crust pizza and that one is perfect.

  8. I love Pete’s! Any place where you can get broccoli raab on pizza is a winner in my book. The Columbia Heights restaurant is the go-to for the occasional vegan pizza nights (usually sans Daiya, as well) with friends. Still have not tried the gluten-free crust, but on this recommendation I must. Glad you liked it!

    Looking forward to hearing about The Seed.

  9. Can’t wait to hear the recap of The Seed…Jasmin and Mariann have been talking about it for what seems like ages! It sounds like it will be great.

  10. Gena-

    I just have to say that of all the people that will be at the Seed this weekend, I think I am most eager to hear you! Hope you have a very fun weekend – I’m looking forward to it 🙂

    Jessica

  11. gena- i happened upon those cute containers at my local eco-friendly store. how leak proof are they? i would love to think about using them to transport salads with balsamic dressing or liquids, but i’m not sure how they hold up…

    • Not totally leak proof! I think they’re OK for puddings and oats, but once in a while they will leak…mildly. I wouldn’t use them for something that’s 100% liquid, but I bet that they’d be OK for salad.

  12. What a sweet review. I love how your affection and appreciation for your friend comes through so clearly. You guys seem to have a lot of fun exploring food together! We’re glad you liked the GF pie, and the salads.

    Many good wishes,

    Pete’s!

    • Thanks, Michael!

      And thank *you* so much for sharing wonderful, vegan pizza with DC! I love what you guys do, and can’t wait to visit again.

      As for my affection: it’s hard not to adore Ann 🙂