October 11, 2013

Zomberoni Pizza Faces

by IsaChandra

Makes 12 Zombies

Zomberoni Pizza Faces

Disclaimer: The PPK shall not be held responsible for any zombie transformations nor any injuries, losses, expenses, and damages that may occur as a result of zombie transformations while using this recipe. In rare instances, Zomberoni Pizza Faces have been known to bite back. Proceed at your own risk…

A horde approaches. All googly eyed, mouths agape, rotting teeth, and the stench! Oh, the stench! The stench is…it’s just so…wait. They actually smell pretty amazing! Like a pizza shop. But of course they do, they’re ZOMBERONI PIZZA FACES! Homemade pepperoni eyes, cashew cheeze sauce, pepper mouth and caper teeth. What’s not to love? Oh right, the fact that they will tear you from limb to limb leaving only a bloody oven mitt in the middle of the kitchen floor.

Watch this instructional video for some assembly help (keep the sound on, unless you’re at work, in which case you’ll be promptly be fired.)

Recipe Notes

~I make my own vegan pepperoni, but you can, of course, use store-bought. Sausages will work, too!

~I used baby bell peppers for the perfect sized mouths. If you can’t find any, just fashion together two rounded bell pepper slices to create the mouth.

~It’s really difficult to eff this up. I mean, how can you? It’s a zombie! But if you like, practice making pizza faces on a plate before going the whole way on the english muffin.

~Unfortunately, the most famous brand of English muffin is not vegan. SAD FACE! But there are plenty of wonderful vegan varieties out there. I actually used a nice healthy sprouted grain English muffin from Ezekiel bread and it tastes faboo.

~If you find yourself really wanting a kitchen project, you can even make your own English Muffins. There are a million recipes out there, and I have one in Vegan Brunch. (I’m sure if you google a bit you can find my recipe for free!)

~For time management purposes, make the pepperoni a day in advance and remember to soak your cashews overnight! These will come together in a flash.

For the pepperoni eye sockets:
1/2 cup cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Lots of fresh black pepper

For the white sauce:
1 cup cashews, boiled
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Accoutrement and other ingredients:
6 English muffins
3 cups of your favorite marinara
12 fresh basil leaves
Sliced black olives
Baby bell peppers (see note above)

Make the Pepperoni:
Before mixing your ingredients, get the steaming apparatus ready, bringing water to a full boil.

Have ready 4 square sheets of tin foil. In a large bowl, mash the beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork. Divide dough into 4 even parts (an easy way to do this: split the dough in half and then into quarters).

Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 6-inch log. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll. Don’t worry too much about shaping it, it will snap into shape while it’s steaming because this recipe is awesome.

Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes, until firm. Remove from steamer and let cool completely before slicing. You’ll only need two of the pepperoni for this recipe.

Make the white sauce:
Drain the cashews.

Add all of the white sauce ingredients to the blender and purée until completely smooth, anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes depending on the strength of your machine.

It’s rather thick, so definitely scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula often to make sure you get everything.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble the Zomberonis (before they diassemble you!):
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Split the english muffins in half and spread them out in front of you. Spread a few tablespoons marinara on each muffin. Tear a basil leaf into small pieces and scatter over the marinara for a rotting flesh effect. Spoon on cashew sauce in kind of a swirly way (see video above).

Place two thinly sliced pepperonis where eyes might be, and place two thinly sliced olives in a googly sort of way.

Place a thinly sliced pepper for the mouth, with a few rotting caper teeth inside.

Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Now your zombie is complete. Proceed with caution!!!!

  • October 11, 2013 at 1:36 am: Maddie

    These look scrumptious! And there’s something to be said about a cookbook author who encourages her readers to use Google if they don’t already own her book. (:

    • October 11, 2013 at 1:41 am: IsaChandra

      Haha, the kids are gonna do what they’re gonna do!

  • October 11, 2013 at 1:56 am: Nathan

    Sweet! Pepperoni recipe that isn’t low fat. English muffin pizzas ahoy, just like my childhood. You’re wonderful, Isa!

  • October 11, 2013 at 2:54 am: shirdhorn

    OK Isa, I’m convinced you just always have a bowl of cashews soaking.

    • October 11, 2013 at 3:28 am: IsaChandra


  • October 11, 2013 at 4:39 am: Jeshua!

    I have your books and still end up googling the recipe when I’m in the store because I’m bad at planning.

  • October 11, 2013 at 4:51 am: Kristen @The Vegan Weirdos Next Door

    I made a simliar recipe last year and posted a link on my blog. I did “Creepy Pizzas” and “veganized” a sponsor’s recipe using Daiya and store bought pepperoni and made them look like creepy ghost faces. I love cute Halloween food!

  • October 11, 2013 at 9:08 am: Johanna

    That looks amazing. “Astro Zombies” playing in the background his hilarious, and a such a coinkydink (sp?). Besides friends who used to cover that with mastery, another friend is probably going on tour with Danzig. Sorry…the world is small.

  • October 12, 2013 at 7:42 pm: Gail Flannery

    Nice! I typically don’t like faces on my food, but rock on! I have been a big fan of you for a long time, but this is my first time writing. Please check out my blog at http://autarchickchick.blogspot.com/ . I would be totally honored if you did. It’s still forming, but I still have some cool stuff there.

  • October 14, 2013 at 11:43 am: Budget Hotel in Pune

    I love pizza,I love to try new things, really it looks awesome, can’t wait to eat this.

  • October 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm: sara

    So cute! This is an awesome idea. :)

  • October 15, 2013 at 2:24 am: Ting

    I love it!! Especially how this is very hard to eff up. Do you have a recipe for vegan pepperoni?

  • October 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm: Lisa

    I make your Italian sausage all the time, this is similar? And the white sauce is it similar to say mozzarella/Alfredo? I want to make a big ass pizza with all the white sauce for cheese and these pepperonis!! Sounds awesome!! Love all that you create! Your blog is what taught me to cook for myself better after going vegan from vegetarian 6 years ago! Your a culinary genius:))

    • October 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm: IsaChandra

      Yes similar to mozz and the Italian sausages. It will work on a big pizza very well!

  • October 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm: Imogen Michel

    The video is wonderful! I love the look of these.

  • October 19, 2013 at 12:44 am: Joselle Palacios

    Where is the plate from (go vegan)? Thanks.

  • November 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm: Phoebe

    Does anyone know if you could use a pressure cooker instead of a steamer for the pepperoni? I love my pressure cooker – cuts down so much time (and uses less energy for a happy planet). I’m still trying to figure out the time conversions for things not in the manual. Maybe I’ll just experiment!

  • November 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm: Shep

    to Phoebe, I don’t think you would want to use a pressure cooker to cook the pepperoni. I’ve made the recipe several times, and even in a simple steamer the sausages sometimes burst open, and if that happens the filling leaks out and becomes too spongy and fluffy. The whole idea is to make a compact and dense sausage like product, so it needs to gently steam while wrapped in foil. The gentle steam cooks the pepperoni, and the foil keeps it compact and neat. Using a pressure cooker and high internal heat would surely cause them to burst open and I don’t think you’d be happy with the end product. Done in a regular steamer, these are as good if not better than any store bought vegan sausage, including field roast which is my favorite

  • January 30, 2014 at 7:13 pm: Avra

    looks too good to wait until Halloween! question: do the cashews need to be soaked before they are boiled? i have never had to boil cashews before. thanks!

    • January 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm: IsaChandra

      No, either boiled or soaked. Not both :)

  • June 1, 2014 at 4:22 am: Eva

    Planning on going veg in the coming month.

    I just want to make a horde of vegan pepperonis right now and put them in my freezer.
    I’m really enjoying your blog, I found it on a website for newbie vegetarians.

  • October 22, 2014 at 10:08 pm: Corinne

    Can anything be substituted for the vital wheat gluten? Thanks

  • December 31, 2014 at 8:29 pm: Cindy

    I know this post is ages old, but I always use a pressure cooker when making vegan sausages. They do not burst open. If the sausages are to cook for 40 minutes, I usually cook them for 10-12.