Forbidden Planet Pizzeria & Arcade in Iowa City

Forbidden Planet: Vegan pizza in IowaSurprisingly, it’s been six months since I’ve written about vegan options in Iowa. How did that happen? Well, I’m ready to make up for lost time with a pizza place in Iowa City that opened a couple of months ago called Forbidden Planet. It’s a small pizza shop and old school arcade with wine, beer, mixed drinks, and coffee drinks.  They also make a terrific Arnold Palmer with freshly squeezed lemonade (pictured below).

They offer three different kinds of pizza crust – deep dish, thin crust, and a square 6-inch metro slice.  Forbidden Planet is a non-vegan restaurant, but all three kinds of crust are vegan. They also have several different sauces that are vegan: traditional marinara, garlicky olive oil, truffle oil, and black bean sauce. (Their slow cooked marinara is not vegan. It contains cheese.)

Forbidden Planet - vegan pizza options in IowaThen they have all kinds of interesting toppings like roasted Brussels sprouts, arugula, basil, broccoli, carrots, and fresh jalapeno slices in addition to more standard ones like olives and red onion.

Let me just say – the pizza is fantastic. I love the interesting variety of toppings, sauces, and crusts. I can easily pick something totally different every time that I go, which is not always the case when it comes to vegan-ordering in a non-vegan business. Everything I’ve tried has been phenomenal, and my favorite pizza always seems to be the one I’m eating at that moment.

In addition to the truffle & potato pizza with truffle oil at the top of this post, here are some things we’ve tried so far:

Forbidden planet: vegan pizza in Iowa CityLook at those bubbles! This thin crust pizza has roasted Brussels sprouts, red onions, and mushrooms on a thin crust with garlicky olive oil.

Chicago style deep dish pizza at Forbidden Planet in Iowa CityThis monster-sized Chicago style deep dish is crazy filling. We loaded it up with traditional marinara, jalapeno slices, pineapple, and black olives.

Taco pizza at Forbidden Planet in Iowa CityHere the black bean spread is a base for a taco pizza with roasted red pepper, fresh tomato, and lettuce.

Taco pizza slice with Kettle chips - Forbidden Planet in Iowa CityThen we smuggled in some Salsa Picante Kettle Chips for a true taco pizza experience. (They have Doritos on the menu, but those aren’t vegan.)

Metro slice at Forbidden Planet in Iowa CityThis is their single serving 6 inch metro slice. For my toppings I went with black olives, roasted Brussels sprouts, and red onion with a garlicky olive oil topping.

Forbidden Planet: vegan pizza options in Iowa CityForbidden Planet: vegan pizza options in Iowa CityThen while you wait, grab some tokens to play arcade games or pinball. David is into GORF and Junior Pac-Man, but I’m all over the pinball. Two of their pinball machines are Doctor Who and The Wizard of Oz. So awesome!

Forbidden Planet: Vegan pizza in Iowa CityFor games, pizza, and drinks, Forbidden Planet really delivers. (Except that they don’t actually deliver. Confusing, I know.) As good as they already are, if I could make some dream additions they would be Italian seitan sausage and/or seitan chorizo from Upton’s Naturals, the aforementioned salsa picante Kettle Chips, non-dairy milk for their coffee drinks, and some kind of homemade non-dairy cheese like the rinotta at Pizza Luce in the Twin Cities.

If you should ever find yourself in Eastern Iowa, make a point of checking out Forbidden Planet. You won’t regret it.

For more vegan options in Iowa, check out my Iowa travel page.

Disclaimer: Post contains Amazon affiliate link

Upton’s Naturals Seitan Giveaway

Upton's Naturals Seitan GiveawayThe month of giveaways continues! While I will be having my usual variety of posts this month as well, I have a number of giveaways up my sleeve. I always love winning prizes and getting mail, and I hope that you do too!

Today’s giveaway comes from the folks at Upton’s Naturals.  It is no secret that I have it bad for Upton’s Naturals seitan. In fact, if there was some kind of weird desert island scenario, in which I could only have one kind of seitan for now and forever, you’d probably find me drinking out of a coconut, wearing a lei, and settling in to another Upton’s seitan BLT.

Upton's Naturals Seitan BaconUpton’s Naturals is a vegan-owned business based out of Chicago, Illinois. (If you’re ever in the area, they also have a small eatery called Upton’s Breakroom. I visited last year, and you can read that post here.) Their seitan line-up includes traditional, ground, chorizo, Italian, and the aforementioned bacon.  Depending on your area, they also offer a variety of pre-made sandwiches and meals.

The thing that I like about their seitan, in addition to the taste obviously, is the fact that the ingredients are the same as if I was making seitan at home. For example, the ingredients in the Italian seitan are water, vital wheat gluten, soy sauce, whole wheat flour, garlic, oregano, sea salt, onion, fennel, black pepper, and red pepper.  While I’m no stranger to making my own seitan, it’s super handy to just grab a package at the grocery store for a quick and convenient pizza topping, sandwich, or whatnot.

Upton's Naturals Seitan Bacon + a giveawayThe seitan bacon makes an excellent addition to a platter of tofu scramble and hashbrowns. Plus, my garlicky collard greens are taken up a notch by first sautéing diced bacon seitan with minced garlic and then letting the collards cook down in vegetable broth.

But the bacon isn’t the only product getting some love. The Italian seitan sausage is a tasty and toothsome layer in lasagna and makes regular appearances on pizza with red bell pepper and onions. The chorizo seitan is a wonderful addition to tacos or taco pizza.

I also use their seitan for:

Bacon Wrapped Cashew Cheese Stuffed DatesSeitan Bacon Wrapped Cashew Cheese Stuffed Dates

Breakfast Burrito with Roasted PotatoesBreakfast Burrito with Roasted Potatoes

Vegan chorizo & black bean fried puffy tacosSeitan Chorizo & Black Bean Puffy Tacos

Mashed Potato Ghosts with Seitan Bacon GravyMashed Potato Ghosts with Seitan Bacon Gravy

Upton's Naturals Seitan GiveawayI was psyched when the folks at Upton’s Naturals contacted me about doing a giveaway, and this one is crazy awesome.

It includes:

5 Free Upton’s Naturals Seitan Coupons

5 $1 off Upton’s Naturals Seitan Coupons

5 Recipe cards

1 T-shirt

& a swag bag of buttons, moustaches, and temporary tattoos

This giveaway is for U.S. residents only. A winner will be chosen at random. Please make sure I have a way to contact you by email or by blog, or I will have to pick a different winner.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received the same prize package above from Upton’s Naturals at no cost in addition to the prizes for the giveaway.  The thoughts and opinions expressed are totally my own.