Roasted Butternut Squash & Pesto Pizza

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

2014-10-19 - Butternut Squash & Pesto Pizza - 0001 [flickr]

C’mon, admit it: you KNEW this was coming. Every time I find myself with an abundance of produce, I invariably figure out a way to put it on a pizza (P.I.Z.Z.A.).

Before trying my hand at a butternut squash pizza, I did a little googling to see what others have done; this is kind of a mashup of some of the ideas I found. The roasted squash was heavily influenced by the Fall Harvest Butternut Squash with Almond-Pecan Parmesan from The Oh She Glows Cookbook – and the Farfalle with Zucchini, Mint, and Almonds from Vegan Italiano provided the inspiration for the pesto recipe, which is much more moist than usual. The liquidy pesto is insurance against the oven, which always dries my pesto pizzas out more than a little bit.

The result is hella tasty, and definitely one of my best uses of butternut squash to date.

(More below the fold…)

Fall Harvest Butternut Squash with Almond-Pecan Parmesan

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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You guys, if I hadn’t already given The Oh She Glows Cookbook five stars, I’d do it on the merits of this recipe alone. SO GOOD! Yet so simple!

It’s basically just butternut squash (duh!), diced and roasted with garlic, parsley, kale (not pictured here; I was all out!), and a chunky parmesan mixture of nutritional yeast, almonds, and pecans. Since I omitted the kale and roasted the nuts ahead of time, I was able to skip the second, shorter round of roasting altogether.

Liddon recommends serving this with Field Roast’s Smoked Apple Sage Sausage to upgrade it from a side to a meal, but I found that Tofurky’s Chicken Apple flavor works just as well. Simple pan-fry it, fold into the finished squash, and enjoy!

Serves two very hungry, very gluttonous adults.

Pizza Shells & Parmesan

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

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A while back, I won a nifty little pizza kit from Galaxy Foods. (Pro tip: enter every vegan giveaway on the internets and you’re bound to win sooner or later!) The kit came packed full of goodies: an apron, oven mitts, a pizza cutter, some free product coupons from Galaxy Foods (we got cream cheese for bagels!), pizza sauce, Galaxy brand parmesan cheese, and pizza shells from Whole Foods (the 365 brand). All vegan, of course!

We finally got around to trying the shells last week; normally I prefer making my own dough (so good! and easy!), but we were in the middle of a huge landscaping project and thus super busy and pressed for time.

On the plus side, the shells are thin and crispy, just how I like ’em (but can never seem to do on my own. Good thin crust recipe – anyone? Bueller?) They’re also quite large, about the size of the Amy’s and Tofurky frozen pizzas, possibly even a tad bigger. One pizza’s about enough for two people; easy peasy if you enjoy it with a side. (Fries, anyone?)

But the shells are also surprisingly bland and tasteless, even for a white crust. I guess you could maybe consider this a positive, since you can add all the flavor you want with toppings? idk, I think I prefer pita pizzas. Tasty and inexpensive!

 

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The Galaxy Foods vegan parmesan, on the other hand? EPIC WIN! I’ve never had dairy parmesan, so I can’t say with absolute certainty that it tastes like the “real” thing – but the husband swears that it does, and it has the same “dirty socks” smell of non-vegan parm, so that’s enough for me. At the rate we’re using it, we will have flown through a bottle in under two weeks. Seriously addictive.

At ~ $5.00 a bottle, though, it’s one expensive habit! Probably I’ll go revert to homemade parmesan once we finally polish off the fancy store-bought stuff. That’s okay. Still yummy!

(fwiw, the Galaxy parmesan got some pretty awful review on Vegan Essentials, but I think they’ve since changed the formula. Whatever, I like it. Send your unwanted parm to meeeeeee!)

Vegan MoFo B-Sides: Dried (Not Fried!) Green Tomatoes

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

 

The song: “Cool Down Yonder” by Marion Williams

The foodstuff: Dried (Not Fried!) Green Tomatoes, three ways!

The connection: Fried Green Tomatoes, redux

 

Dried (Not Fried!) Green Tomatoes (0015)

 

Since the “Unfried” Green Tomatoes from VegRAWnica was the first dish to land on my to-do list, it’s rather fitting that it’s also the first new recipe I try post-Vegan MoFo. (Also, wholly unsurprising; I ♥ My Dehydrator!)

The batter Veronica uses is quite similar to the vegan parm I so love, but with cashews where the almonds should be. Using her method as a starting point, I came up with three different batter recipes: a more “traditional” cornmeal coating; a second that’s heavy in nutritional yeast; and one with vegan parmesan.

Of the three, I think the noochy mix is my favorite, followed by the vegan parmesan, with cornmeal coming in a distant third. Batter #2 has the strongest taste, which I appreciate because dehrdrated green tomatoes? Not a huge fan of the flavor. Fried and baked green tomatoes, I can either take ’em or leave ’em. Probably I won’t go out of my way to make them unless I’ve been cursed with some green tomatoes which refuse to ripen – but if you put a plate of fried green tomatoes in front of me, I might eat a slice or two. With dried green tomatoes, the taste is super-concentrated into a small space of real estate. The nooch covers it up, but just a bit.

Then again, if you dig the taste of green tomatoes, this is totally a good thing. Turns out my husband loves ’em. Six tomatoes, eaten in under three days. That’s gotta be a Shane record!

 

Dried (Not Fried!) Green Tomatoes (0041)

 

“Traditional” Dried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients

1 large green tomato (or two medium-sized ones), cut into slices between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick (a mandolin is helpful, but not necessary)
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
a dash of onion powder
a dash of salt

Directions

1. Cut the tomatoes into slices between 1/8″ and 1/4″ in thickness. A mandolin may prove helpful, but a steady hand will work just as well. As you go, toss the tomatoes in a large bowl. When done, add 1 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil; mix well.

2. In a small, shallow bowl, combine the cornmeal, garlic and onion powder, and salt. Mix well and add any extra seasonings to taste.

3. One by one, dredge the tomato slices through the batter, evenly coating each side. Shake off the excess and lay the slices on a dehydrator tray, making sure that there isn’t any overlap.

4. When done, bake at 135F for ten to twelve hours. (The thicker the tomato slices, the long they’ll need to bake.) A few hours into the process, flip each slices so that it doesn’t stick to the tray. Store in an airtight container.

(More below the fold…)

Eat to the Beat: Pizza Margherita & Ghost Mice

Friday, October 26th, 2012

 

The song: “Free Pizza for Life” by Ghost Mice (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Pizza Margherita from Heart Healthy Pizza

The connection: This “heart healthy pizza” might not be free, but it’s good for life!
 

Truth be told, I have no idea where or how a vegan might score free pizza. Befriend the owners of Peace O’ Pie? Offer up one’s dishwashing skills at Vinnie’s Pizzeria in exchange for all the odd slices you can eat? Dumpster dive at Whole Foods, hoping to find a past-date, discarded Tofurky pizza? Who knows! Not me, otherwise I’d be doing it right now instead of writing this post. Pizza is my everything.

 

Pizza Margherita from Heart Healthy Pizza (0025)

 

Instead of concentrating on the “free” portion of this song, then, let’s enjoy pizza “for life.” The very first all-vegan pizza cookbook (that I know of!), Mark Sutton’s Hearth Healthy Pizza (subtitled “Volume 1” on Amazon – could there be a second book in the works? PLEASE SAY YES!) includes more than 100 recipes for delicious, nutritious vegan pizza and related foodstuffs. We’re talking dough, cheeses, and meats. Sauces, salsa, and pestos. Tempeh anchovies, y’all! Recipes for crusts and sauces are listed in their own chapters, and then Sutton pulls it altogether by putting together a variety of pizza combinations for you: The Official Mad Cowboy. Thymely Summer Squash. St. Patty’s Pizza Pie. And on and on.

Because the recipes rely primarily upon grains, beans, nuts, vegetables, and assorted other nutritious vegan goodies, the pizza pies in this book aren’t just good – they’re also good for you. Pizza “for life,” in other words.

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that, though I won a copy of this book months ago, this is the first recipe I’ve tried! Mostly because I’ve been busy concocting my own (much less healthy) pizza masterpieces – but also, every time I crack Heart Healthy Pizza open, I get a wee bit intimated. Baking and blending your own meats and cheeses from scratch…it’s like every recipe is a recipe within a recipe. Inception, vegan pizza styley! With so many steps, I was afraid each pizza would take most of an afternoon to make. Cue: procrastination.

 

Pizza Margherita from Heart Healthy Pizza (0004)

 

But it isn’t so! I chose the Pizza Margherita because it seemed simple enough – but even this pie required me to make all the components from scratch: Basic Pizza Dough (obvs!); Classic Tomato Sauce; Millet, Sunflower Seeds, and Oregano Sauce (hold the oregano!); and Parmiso. Though I cheated on the tomato sauce (hey, I had a jar of Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce already opened!), I made everything else and guess what? It wasn’t all that hard! Between the dough and the cheeses, the whole affair took less than 45 minutes. Plus, the Millet Sauce and Parmiso keep well in the fridge, so you can make them ahead of time!

The Pizza Margherita is like a traditional Old World pie, but vegan – with the Millet, Sunflower Seeds, and Oregano Sauce subbing in for raw slices of mozzarella. It’s a thick sauce, similar in consistency to pancake batter, which you “blob” onto the pizza. I wasn’t sure how much it would spread out during cooking – if at all – so I went a little easy on it. (The leftovers? Makes a delicious spread for sammies!) Turns out that it pretty much stays put, so don’t be afraid to cover your ‘za with blobs. Cheesy!

 

Parmiso from Heart Healthy Pizza (0002)

 

The Parmiso Sutton describes as a “combination of plant-based grated Parmesan Cheese and Gomiso. Gomiso is a ground roasted sesame seed and salt mixture, very popular in macrobiotic cooking as well as in Asia (particularly, Korea). Though I was tempted to use my own favorite vegan parm, I decided to give Sutton’s Parmiso a try – and I’m glad I did! Super-tasty, though I think it goes better on pizza than pasta. For that, I prefer my almond and nooch mix.

As for the dough, the mister (who’s forever on dough duty in our house) reports that it’s denser than he’s used to – which is a good thing, since it makes the dough easier to work with. It bakes into a nice, crispy, stable crust – especially perfect for heavy toppings.

Put it all together, and I quite enjoyed the Pizza Margherita! Nutritious, easy to make, yummy – and possibly even less expensive than vegan pies topped with pricey commercial meats and cheeses, to boot. (My usual MO.) I look forward to trying some of the other recipes in Heart Healthy Pizza. (Tofu Feta, I’m looking at you!)

Pro tip: since there aren’t many toppings protecting the sauce, the Pizza Margherita comes out a little dry when you reheat the leftovers. Go heavy on the sauce or go home! Or if you’re already there, come on over to my place and make me a pizza. I’m hungry again, yo!

 

Pizza Margherita from Heart Healthy Pizza (0038)

 

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Take the bruschetta, put it on a pizza.

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

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Remember that Fresh from the (Olive) Garden Bruschetta I posted earlier in the week? Well, I put it on a pizza! (OF COURSE I put it on a pizza!)

As much as I enjoy bruschetta on bread toasted with a bit of margarine and parmesan cheese, it’s infinitely better in pizza form. It’s easier to eat, for one, and is also covered in ooey, gooey, melty Daiya cheese. (Though you can omit this for a healthier pie. Still delish!) Bonus points: the olive oil/balsamic vinegar sauce adds a deep, rich flavor to the dough that’s hard to beat. Almond-based vegan parmesan cheese is the figurative cherry on top.

A must for tomato lovers. And really, what pizzanista isn’t?

As always, head on over to the PPP blog for the recipe!

 

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