Eat to the Beat: Noodle Omelet & Fiona Apple

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

 

The song: “Across the Universe” by Fiona Apple (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Noodle Omelet from American Vegan Kitchen

The connection: Pleasantville.

 

Fiona Apple’s cover of “Across the Universe” appeared on the soundtrack to Pleasantville – a movie in which a 1950’s “soda fountain” plays a prominent role. And so I thought, hey! Why not pair this one with a classic diner dish? (Because I absolutely adore Fiona Apple and wanted to feature one of her songs this month. And this one? I might actually like it more than the original by The Beatles. BLASPHEMY!

Another aside: Katie at Don’t Eat Off The Sidewalk also did a Pleasantville menu as part of her “Dinner and Movie” theme, for which she chose a No Tuna Melt as the entree. This is super similar to a dish I had on the shortlist for this song – maybe it was a chickpea melt? I forget! – so I’m glad I went with something else.)

Enter: Tami Noyes and American Vegan Kitchen. This book is stuffed full of comfort food, the (nonvegan) likes of which one can find in greasy spoons and assorted family-owned restaurants across the country. With sections like “Rise and Shine,” “Starters,” “Soup of the Day,” and “Sandwich Board,” AVK’s TOC reflects its “down home” roots. (A northerner, I have no idea whether I’m using that phrase correctly – but it feels truthy, down in my gut. Or maybe that’s just the noodles, working their way through my small intestines. It’s anyone’s guess!)

 
Tofu Omelet from American Vegan Kitchen (0015)
 

Though it appears under the breakfast category, I decided to try the Tofu Omelet for dinner. My kitchen is open 24/7 and the only rule is that there are no rules, y’all!

The rare veteran vegan who still finds tofu a little sketchy

(probably this dates back to my childhood, when mom mostly prepared dad’s tofu my cubing and frying it – spongy tofu chunks, ew! – but I’ve made a ton of progress lately, yay!; exhibit a: this post)

I wasn’t totally sure I’d like this dish. I was so, so wrong!

The blended tofu base – seasoned with nutritional yeast, tumeric, garlic powder, and other various goodies – constitutes the “egg” portion of the omelet. I love blended tofu (especially when crafted into an egg-like dish); it was the tofu + pasta combo that gave me doubts. No worries – the two play so well together!

 

Tofu Omelet from American Vegan Kitchen (0012)

 

This is one seriously delicious (and filling!) dish. You bake it half on the stove and half in the oven (pro tip: you’ll need an oven-safe skillet!), similar to a frittata. In addition to the recommended onions and red bell peppers (I used green), I also tossed in some frozen corn for added volume, and served the omelet with a side of steamed veggies. YUM!

My only complaint is that the “eggs” could use some extra garlic and onion, but I say that about all the foods!

Now that I’ve licked my plate clean – I’ll be over there browsing the Dessert Case if you need me, mkay?

 

Tofu Omelet from American Vegan Kitchen (0030)

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Nacho Pizza & The Beatles

Friday, October 5th, 2012

 

The song: “Blackbird” by The Beatles (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Nacho Pizza

The connection: Straight from the Blackbird Pizzeria specialty pizza menu.

 

Nacho Pizza, a la Blackbird (0003)

 

Of all the specialty pizzas offered by Blackbird, it was the Yukon pizza I most wanted to make. But been there, done that! – and, since one of my Vegan MoFo goals is to try all new recipes, I settled on the Nacho pizza instead. Avocados, jalapenos, caramelized onions, Daiya cheddar cheese – do I have your attention, vegans?

Since I’m kind of a baby when it comes to hot foods, this pie was all Shane’s. (I got my own Daiya cheese pizza, with fresh tomatoes and black olives – may favorites! – so no worries.) Though he’s never before had avocados on a pizza (we’re not a big avocado family, don’t ask me why), he proved an instant convert. The avocados offered more volume per slice, while the sweetness of the caramelized onions complemented the spicy jalapenos. And who doesn’t love Daiya cheese?

He’s a moderately spicy kind of guy – when we buy jarred salsa, he goes with medium – and reports that one jalapeno (with two to three rounds per slice) made for a hot enough pizza without going overboard. If you’ve built up a greater tolerance, try two (or even three, dog help ya). The more you know!

 

Nacho Pizza, a la Blackbird (0028)

 

Nacho Pizza

(Inspired by the Nacho Pizza at Blackbird Pizzeria.)

Ingredients

…for a Fluffy White Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C) [Optional: sub in 1/2 cup of plain soy milk; this gave us a slightly thinner crust.]
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

…for the pizza

2 large onions
2 teaspoons olive oil and/or margarine
a dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1-2 avocados, peeled and sliced
1-2 jalapenos, cut into rounds
Cheddar Daiya cheese
Red pizza sauce
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan

Directions

1. To prepare the dough: stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil and salt, as well as any extra spices or seasonings. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

2. At least an hour before you’d like to start making the pizza, prepare the caramelized onions. (Alternately, you can prepare them ahead of time and store them in the fridge.)

Peel the onions and remove the top and bottom ends. Cut each onion in half, then slice lengthwise to the desired thickness. Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil (about two teaspoons) or a mix of olive oil and margarine. Bring to heat on medium-high; when the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the onions, spreading them out evenly in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a dash of salt and, if desired, a tiny bit of sugar to aid in the caramelizing.

Cover and cook on medium-low for another 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally so as to prevent the onions from sticking to the pan. If they begin to dry out, add a splash of water. As the onions cook down, you may want to reduce the heat to low; you’ll also need to stir the onions more often near the end of the process. If necessary, add a little extra olive oil to prevent them from sticking to the pan. The onions are done once they reach a rich, brown color. (See, e.g, this or this.)

3. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spread a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.

4. Add your toppings: pizza sauce, followed by the cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, jalapenos, and avocados.

5. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas.

6. Enjoy!

 

Nacho Pizza, a la Blackbird (0036)

 

On another note, check out this awesome tee I scored for just $2 on my most recent trip to Goodwill.

2012-09-24 - Reading is Delicious - 0001

The pizza is really a book.

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Let me repeat: THE PIZZA IS REALLY A BOOK!

I wonder if the book is hollowed out and stuffed with another pizza, Inception styley? A pizza within a book within a pizza within a book within a bowl of mac & cheese? Who knows! Just throw a dog in there and this is my idea of heaven.

It’s a kid’s shirt, but a large, so I can just barely squeeze my person into it. Works for me!

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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