Mark Sutton

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?



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

PortraitSpanakopizza, named for Mark by the Prolific Vegan Cookbook Author, Robin Robertson

After I posted a photo of my Margherita Pizza with Foxy Moxy on Facebook, my friend Mark Sutton contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing his book, Heart Healthy Pizza. He said Pizza… So of course I was in like Flynn. He also arranged a giveaway of an Autographed copy of his book for one of my awesome readers.

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I didn’t let him off the hitch there though, I asked if I could interview him and possibly share a recipe or two, I mean, people want to know what they’re getting into when they buy a new cookbook 😉 Turns out there wasn’t much arm wrestling. Mark was more than happy to share recipes from his book as well as have me interview him.

I have to admit, when I first dug into Mark’s Book, I was a little overwhelmed. There are nearly a dozen crust recipes (including some for my GF peeps!) Close to 20 sauce recipes (for the pizza base), then more than 50 No-Nonsense  Non-Cheese Sauces. I mean, the combinations are nearly endless. It all felt a bit daunting! Thankfully, Mark knows how to help a home cook out, he devotes a whole chapter to some amazing pizza combinations (nearly 40 combos) to help you get started. All of the recipes in his book are vegan, heart healthy and very low in fat. Several of the combinations immediately caught my eye. However, this Spanakopizza recipe that Mark is sharing with you today is going to be hard to beat.



For the Crust: 

Whole Wheat Dough

  • 1 C. warm water
  • 1 T. oil (optional)
  • 1 T. sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 t. salt (optional
  • 1 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 C. bread flour
  • 2 1/4 t. yeast (1 packet)

Method: Mark’s book has all sorts of helpful instructions in the dough chapter that I can’t fit here, so this is what I did: Dump everything into my bread-maker. Push the dough cycle. Walk away. Come back an hour and a half later. Roll out into preferred sized pizzas (I did mini’s). You can knead this by hand for 10-12 minutes, then let rise til double (about an hour), punch down and let rise again (another 30-45 minutes) then roll out.


Layering Ingredients:

(Layer in order)

  • chopped raw spinach
  • diced raw mushrooms
  • fresh or dry thyme
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • Tofu Feta Cheese (recipe below)
  • black or green olives (sliced)

Tofu Feta Cheese:

  • 1/2 lb. firm or extra-firm tofu (not Mori-Nu), drained and pressed for at least 30 minutes, then cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 C. water
  • 1/4 C. red wine vinegar
  • 1 t. salt (optional)
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1/4 t. ground black pepper

Method: Combine all ingredients in a lidded glass container. Refrigerate overnight to develop flavor, stirring a couple of times before use.

toppingsBake at 425° – 450° for 15-20 minutes til lightly browned and delicious

Stay tuned for another recipe from Heart Healthy Pizza and my Interview with Mark Sutton on Friday the 5th of April.

Click on the link below to enter the GiveawaySorry, only open only to entrants in the USA. You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have 7 days to enter!  I will notify the winner by email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SliceBetcha can’t eat just one slice!

p.s. Don’t forget to enter my Sunwarrior Liquid Vitamin Mineral Rush Giveaway. This is an Organic Raw Vegan Multivitamin made completely without synthetics. I have 5 bottles to giveaway to my blog readers! There are three days left to enter!