Heart Healthy Pizza: Review, Recipes, Interview, Giveaway Part 2!

portraitThe Official Mad Cowboy Pizza, inspired and co-created by the Mad Cowboy himself, Howard Lyman. Keep reading for the recipe!

Mad Cowboy Pizza

My interview with Mark Sutton, Author of the book “Heart Healthy Pizza

Somer: How long have you been vegan?

Mark: I’ve been vegan 11 years and vegetarian for 20 years before becoming a vegan. It all started in the 1980’s when I was living in Dallas, Texas (a horrible place at the time to go vegetarian!) I had been studying different schools of yoga, thinking about how food affects energies and perspective and reading materials from philosophers like Ghandi and George Bernard Shaw. When I went vegetarian, the first month I cut out beef. The next month I cut out chicken and the third month I cut out fish. I felt fantastic, and had an amazing increase in my senses and my perceptions in general. Although it was primarily a spiritual experiment, there was also a nascent health affect to foods and our bodies that I was beginning to understand. Back then, we didn’t have all the information about the strong health component of vegan and vegetarian diets and we didn’t have the info about Factory Farming and animal abuse that we do now.

Howard LymanHoward Lyman, The Mad Cowboy himself, in Mark’s Kitchen creating the Official Mad Cowboy Pizza. Mark is currently the editor of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter

Somer: Mark, why did you decide to write a whole book based entirely on pizza recipes?

Mark Sutton: It hadn’t been done before! I wanted to do it for the vegan community. I heard vegan’s whining that they miss pizza and vegetarian’s that they would miss pizza, I was one of them. I think there is a real need to bust the myth that there’s no good vegan pizza out there. I wanted to make it heart healthy with the information I had learned from Dr. Esselstyn. Part of that meant creating heart healthy cheese-type sauces. The vegan cheese on the market today is pretty much nutritionally devoid, full of calories and expensive. I wanted to use ingredients that are inexpensive, easy to find and extremely healthy. Using the book you can create literally thousands of different pizza combinations. Howard Lyman was my number one encourager/one man post-graduate thesis committee in my efforts to create this book. He said “Even if it doesn’t succeed, you’ve gotta do it and you’ve gotta do it first!”

The book is a self-published effort, it took 5 1/2 years of dedicated research, I ended up not doing photos in the book as production costs would have tripled.


Somer: Why was it important for you to create pizzas, sauces and toppings that were oil free?

Mark Sutton: I’ve now been oil free for 6 years after an interview I did with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. My father had a major heart event around that time and so it hit me hard. I believe in Dr. Esselstyn’s research. He has successfully facilitated the reversal of heart disease in around 20 patients. His research is independently peer-reviewed. There is no doubt that consuming added oils in your diet is addictive, contributes to inflammation and to plaque development within the arteries. Oil is not a real food, it’s a highly refined substance. To get one tablespoon of olive oil, you need to process around 40 olives, when you do this, you lose fiber, minerals, nutrients and more. What’s left is the highest fat food on the planet. All oils have between 120-140 calories per tablespoon with around 14 grams of fat. When I removed oil from my diet, it wasn’t easy and it took some perseverance. I had to learn some new cooking techniques. The hardest thing was learning how to create oil free salad dressings. Going to a no oil diet is a matter of faith, but if you’re willing to do it, you will lose your taste for it after 14-16 weeks depending on the person.

extreme close up

Somer: Do you plan on coming out with a Kindle version of the book? Some of my readers are interested 🙂

Mark Sutton: I’m hoping to do a Kindle version at some point definitely. I need to work through formatting issues and I would like it to be compatible on all devices before I move forward. Because I’m a self published author, all that is stuff I’ve got to figure out on my own, if there’s a demand, I’ll eventually do it.

Close up

The Official “Mad Cowboy”

For the crust: 

Whole wheat dough, recipe here: I used the recipe to make 4 mini pizzas.


For the toppings:

this is the order I followed

  • crushed tomatoes
  • sauerkraut (drained and rinsed, then drained again)
  • red onions, diced
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • red peppers, sliced
  • eggplant, thinly sliced
  • pineapple chunks
  • broccoli florets
  • caraway seeds
  • fresh or dried rosemary
  • Cheese like sauce (recipe follows)

Assembly 2pizza assembly

Oil free Cheese like sauce, made with oats, cannellini beans and garlic

  • 1 C. rolled oats
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 T. Ener-G egg replacer dry mix OR 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 t. paprika (optional) I used smoked paprika for extra flavor
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method: Blend all until completely smooth, adding water as needed

Assembly 3Bake at 425°-450° for 15-20 minutes

The verdict…..? Um, I guess I don’t love sauerkraut… This was my first time eating it. Sorry Mark and Howard! I made the second version without sauerkraut and it was perfect!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00063]

Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway for the signed copy of Mark’s book! Sorry, only open only to entrants in the USA. You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have 5 days left to enter!  I will notify the winner by email.

If you all ready entered, you can still get additional entries by Liking Mark’s New Facebook Page, Heart Healthy Pizza, but you still need to let me know that you’ve done so in the Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Somer’s note: for those of you who don’t know who Howard Lyman is, he’s a formerly obese cattle rancher and cancer patient gone vegan. He authored the books “The Mad Cowboythe plain truth from the Cattle Rancher who won’t eat meat” and “No More Bullthe mad cowboy targets America’s worst enemy: our diet“. He appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and talked about what really goes on in the cattle farming industry. His information caused Oprah to say that it “stopped her cold from eating another hamburger” (doubt she stuck to that, but still love her) After her show, both Howard Lyman and Oprah Winfrey were sued by a Texas Cattle Rancher Association for slander. I’m happy to tell you that after 6 years and millions of dollars in attorney’s fees, Howard and Oprah won the suit. Huzzah!

oprah winfrey

What made you want to ditch the meat and or dairy on your pizza?




  1. Great post, Somer (but then I’m biased!). BTW: that photo of Howard is around five years old and he’s lost a lot of weight since then (no-added oil vegan!). Thanks for all your hard work in making these two posts happen!

    I just LOVE the photos of the two pizzas… really cool (did you major in architecture to get so many veggies on top of those foundations?)…

    Namast! Mark

    1. Somehow your comment ended up in my spam box! I just fished it out! Thanks for collaborating with me on this Mark. It was super fun to do. I’ve seen recent photos of Howard and he looks great!

      Haha, there were a TON of veggies on that pizza! It was fantastic. Glad you are happy with the results.

  2. What a great blog to discover!! Mark posted about this give-a-way (thank you!!) on Fat Free Vegan’s yahoo group, which is what led me here!! Gorgeous design, and great content!

    1. How lovely of him! So glad you connected here! I’ve also got a raw vegan vitamin giveaway a couple pages back that I’d love you to enter 🙂

  3. I’m a new vegan, and I’ve been craving pizza a lot, so this sounds like the perfect book for me. I haven’t really had enough vegan (or even vegetarian) pizza to really know what my favorite combo is, but I’m excited to find out! 🙂

  4. I LOVE this guy! And the Mad Cowboy, too! That is one loaded, friggin’ pizza – beautiful! But I gotta agree with you…no sauerkraut on mine. I love the stuff on sandwiches, but…

    1. I know, right?!? Oh the Mad Cowboy was a thing of beauty. I think I may have also gotten the wrong sort of sauerkraut. I bought it in a can. It was all I could find in the grocery store…. But yeah, on a reuben or veggie dog yes, pizza… not so sure 😉

  5. I became vegetarian for my health, but became vegan for the animals. If it is the product of torture or murder, it is not worth eating. 🙂

  6. I actually *do* like sauerkraut so I might have to make this, just as described. Sounds absolutely delicious. PS: Thanks for mentioning mobile editions. I’m glad he’s looking into it. Tablet-friendly cookbooks are so great for those of us with small kitchens!

  7. This pizza and topping suggestions look great, can’t wait to try some. Sauerkraut is actually very good on pizza – it’s my hubby’s favorite!

  8. The Madcowboy pizza looks great. I love Howard Lyman…he is such an inspiration. Its great to see him still active in the vegan stuff.

    1. Isn’t he great! I’m in awe of him, he totally turned his back on the system. Pretty incredible. Glad you like the look of the pizza.

  9. Thanks for posting, please enter me in the contest. I miss pizza too since I’ve also gone oil-free.

    1. Linda, make sure you click on the Rafflecopter link in the post. I can’t manually enter people 🙂 Thanks and good luck 🙂

  10. My favorite? Caramelized onions and artichoke hearts–maybe add some black olives, but I don’t like too many different items on the same pizza. Keep the flavors fairly simple and delicious

  11. What a great interview! I never gave it a second thought once I went vegan if I would miss cheese on my pizza, Justin on the other hand acted as if he were missing a limb….but then he adjusted and loads his pizza with almanese which is waaaaay better than any cheese topping- he hasn’t looked back since 🙂

  12. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

    1. Darrel, I’m not sure how to remove you from that service, I do think you can remove yourself somehow though. I’ll try and do a little research.

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