Friday, 23 September 2011

Donair Pizza, Hold the Bad Karma

Oh the donair.  The ultimate food that I thought as a vegan was forever left behind.  Honestly, the basis of the entire thing is that strange mystery meat on a spinning heat rack.  But the seasoning is so great and the sauce so sweet and garlicky, and the tomatoes so juicy ...

OK, I went away there for a minute.  Imagine my surprise to find out that a local restaurant had a vegan version of this delicacy!!  I tried it and I have to say it was very YUM, but it used plain seitan.  It lacked the seasoning and wow-ness of the actual donair seasonings.  I thought to myself, "I can do better".  More accurately, "Melina can do better".  It would be a miracle to get her to let me make a recipe for the first time in her kitchen (see this post).  As she has no experience of the donair, I did the research to guide her.   And I also thought it would be great to make the version of this delight I most miss - DONAIR PIZZA!

If you are like Melina and have not experienced the delight of the original donair, allow me to explain a few things.  The donair itself is meat, onion, tomato, sometimes mozzarella cheese, and the most amazing yummy sauce in the world.  Two facts:

1 - it is best at 3AM after many adult beverages.

2 - no matter how hot you think you are after all of those beverages, when you are sitting on the curb chowing down on one of these babies you can't possibly look good.  They are very very very messy.  Maybe that sauce dribbling down your chin and between your fingers as you smile drunkenly at the hottie across the street is karma for the mystery meat.

Here you go; donair taste in a pizza with no Karmic retribution!!

Take it over Melina.

~ Denise

Ok, Denise!

Now, as Denise just said, I never actually ate one, but I am so in the minority here. Growing up on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, these where very popular. I just could not get over the gross-ness of that spinning block of gray meat. I did eat meat back then, but was still grossed out. Yeah, it was that gross.

So, this is what I did, because, as Denise rightly said, I really dislike her in my kitchen.

I started with the seitan. If you currently do not worship seitan (har, har) you seriously need to re-think your decisions. Some people are nervous making this tasty blob of protein, but it is so easy. Just do this;

Donair 'Meat'

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

 Combine in medium bowl, but you really want everything combined very well.

Then add 1/2 cup water (or slightly more) and stir, when it is almost all incorporated, use your hands. When it is in one blob, pull it out of the bowl and kneed with the heel of your hands a few times.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly oil (I just thew it on a non-stick 8 x 8 pan) and pop in the over for about 30 minutes. When it's done, it will look a bit browned, let cool on a plate or cooling rack.

When the 'meat' is in the over, it is time to start the sauce.

Donair Sauce

1 1/2 -ish cups soy milk
3/4 cup sugar
3 tsp garlic powder
6-7 tsp vinegar ***

In a glass or metal bowl - your creating magic here folks, plastic doesn't work - combine sugar and garlic powder, add soy milk. You need to make sure this is all mixed well. Then, and this is important, add in very slowly the vinegar and stir slowly too. This will make the sauce thicken and sort of turn a bit translucent. And yummy, according to Denise.

*** We used apple cider vinegar, but may try it with white sometime to see the difference.

Once it is thickened, cover and pop in the fridge.

On to the main event!

Donair Pizza

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

This is a bit different that normal pizza, so I'll walk you through it, k?

Get you pizza crust out, put in pan. We bought a vegan crust at the store. When you're busy, you gotta do what you gotta do. Put your cheese (Daiya for us, but any vegan cheese you like) on, I used 3/4 cups. Then I sliced the cooled seitan in thin long strips, and tore them up a bit and popped them on top of the cheese. I'd diced onion and tomato, threw some of that on top. Pop it in the oven.

I baked it for about 20 minutes, but I like the onion and tomato to get a bit browned. So yummy.

Take it out of the oven, and slice it really thin, I didn't take a photo of this part because the pizza just magically disappeared after it came out of the oven. Huh.

Now, remember that sauce in the fridge? Bring it out and put in small - medium dipping bowls. You will be dipping your pizza slices in the Donair sauce.

That is how you make vegan Donair Pizza. It seems to be a atlantic Canadian thing. So, enjoy some culture.


  1. The first time I made donair sauce I thought, "This is too easy." I also thought, "This tastes exactly how it's supposed to taste." I felt like a magician.

  2. Excellent recipe. VERY excited to find it. Tried it for lunch today! Used a little less sugar, and a bit more of white vinegar and it turned out fantastic


  3. Awesome! Actually so dope. The "donair meat" was indistinguishable from donair meat. Highly recommend it, though, it wil take me a while to get used to vegan cheese...

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