VPS – BBQ Soy Curls, Tempeh Bacon, Roasted Garlic, Sundried Tomatoes

January 11, 2010

VPS - BBQ Soy Curls, Tempeh Bacon, Roasted Garlic, Sundried Tomatoes

So, this blog has pretty much become a vegan pizza blog and I apologize for that. The holidays are always crazy, add that to the fact that I started a new job (and ended a long-running one) and I’m sure you’ll forgive me. I hope to resume real cooking again in the next few weeks.

Anyway, my wife has been feeling under the weather so we’ve had a lot of soups and mushy foods lately. She is feeling much better today so we decided to resume our weekly tradition. That also meant that I didn’t want to experiment too much. But, then I realized I was out of tomato sauce!

No fear, some roasted garlic (and oil) came to the rescue. On top of that some well-placed sundried tomatoes and BBQ-soaked soy curls. I then poured the soaking liquid on top of it all – a little thinner than I wanted but it ended up working just fine. Top that all with Daiya and some chopped tempeh bacon and you have yet another delicious vegan pizza.

VPS – Calzones – Nate’s Meatballs

December 27, 2009

VPS - Calzones - Nate's Meatballs

We skipped Vegan Pizza Sunday last week – I was entirely sick and my wife was just beginning. But, we’re back at it this week.

I think we’re going to keep going with the calzone theme for now – it uses a lot less Daiya, which is wonderful for our bank account.

My wife went with the some ol’ same ol’ pineapple and tempeh bacon. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do until about 30 seconds before I started making them. I looked around the cupboards, the fridge and finally the freezer, stumbling on a half bag of Nate’s Meatballs. I’ve written about them before – we love them, omnivores love them, everyone loves them – but this was the first time using them in a calzone (or any such stuffed item).

They worked really well. Pizza dough, the meatballs, marinara sauce and Daiya. Because they were still frozen, I let the calzones sit for fifteen minutes before baking.

It was so filling, I could only eat half. I must say, however, that this may have been my favorite calzone/pizza I’ve made yet.

Sorry for the blurry picture – I thought it was a good one, but I was hungry and in a hurry!

Thanksgiving – Celery Root and Cilantro Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Beets and Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom Gravy

December 26, 2009

Thanksgiving - Celery Root and Cilantro Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Beets and Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom Gravy

Better late than never, eh?

I’m a few weeks behind with this one (amongst others), but I figured it was time to get it up.

My Thanksgiving tradition involves a few essential pieces: 1) a different flavored mashed potato every year and 2) everything is organic – all the way down to the olive oil used to make roux. It certainly does not make it a cheap meal, but it’s once a year, so I go for broke ($5/pound for organic brussels sprouts!).

After the success of the celery root mashed potatoes a few weeks prior, I knew I’d have to give them a shot in primetime. I added some cilantro to them to give them a nice, fresh flavor – along with some roasted garlic.

For the vegetables, I normally make steamed broccoli (which I made, but is not seen here), but I wanted something a bit more. I had what I thought was a great combination – beets and brussels sprouts. I didn’t expect, however, to see that combination on a dozen other blogs. I tossed mine with maple syrup, dijon mustard (homemade), olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them on 450 until the brussels were crisp on the outer leaves.

For the gravy, I sauteed baby portabella mushrooms, removed them from the pan and sauteed green peppers and onions until they stuck to the pan. Deglazed with some balsamic vinegar and added whole wheat flour to make my roux. A little vegetable Better Than Bouillon (the No Chicken wasn’t organic, so I went with the vegetable) with water and a quick puree using the good ol’ immersion blender. I then added my reserved mushrooms back to the gravy and began to season. You can find Poultry Seasoning all over the place this time of year and that’s what I used.

And there you have it – Thanksgiving dinner.

VPS – Calzone – Pineapple, Tempeh Bacon, Roasted Tomatoes

December 14, 2009

VPS - Calzone - Pineapple, Tempeh Bacon, Roasted Tomatoes

After a recent, ahem, transgression by my newly-pregnant wife landed her a cheese-filled calzone I set out to make my own so when you got the craving, I could be there – and be dairy free. So, we flipped our pizza Sunday nights over and made calzones this week.

She LOVES pineapple calzones (and pizza, too) so I knew what she wanted without even asking. Tempeh bacon gives everything that subtle smoky flavor and nice texture and a few roasted tomatoes for good measure (and moisture).

A MUCH better result this time than the last time I made calzones (I won’t even dignify them with a link), with credit going to Diaya, versus the previously-used Teese. It also uses far less Daiya this way, so it’s likely we’ll continue making calzones in lieu of pizza.

VPS – Salsa, Spinach, Green Peppers, Red Onion, Basil

December 7, 2009

It’s that time again – Vegan Pizza Sunday. Our stash of Daiya is holding strong and are love of pizza seems undiminished.

VPS - Salsa, Spinach, Green Peppers, Red Onion, Basil

The fridge was a bit bare this week – busy at work – so it was pretty easy to make a pizza. We used everything we had! In place of tomato sauce we used a fresh mild salsa (Publix makes one very similar to Garden Fresh) topped with spinach, Daiya, green peppers, red onion and fresh basil (still good after two weeks!).

It was cold in the house so we had some difficulty getting the dough to rise. Until, that is, we put it on the fireplace mantle (with a fire rolling, of course). It rose in no time and we were ready to go. I’m still sticking with half high-gluten white and half whole wheat and it’s been working just fine. Maybe next week I’ll try adding some spelt or kamut into the mix.

VPS – Red Onion, BBQ Soy Curls, Basil

November 30, 2009

VPS - Red Onion, BBQ Soy Curls, Basil

Another Sunday, another vegan pizza. We went a little more “safe” this time around and only used what we had on hand. I wanted to incorporate some Thanksgiving leftovers, but my wife didn’t seem enthused (I’ve used mashed potatoes for a pizza topping before, to great results).

I had a quarter of red onion in the fridge, an open pack of soy curls and some basil that never made it to my in-laws while we were visiting, so it became pretty clear what we were making.

For the soy curls, you’re supposed to soak them in hot water for ten minutes before using in your recipe. I soaked them in half hot water, half BBQ sauce, drained them and tossed them with more BBQ sauce. A quick julienne of the onion and some whole basil leaves and we were in business.

We have been looking for a good organic, no-HFCS BBQ sauce for what seems like ever. Well, we found one and even though it’s not organic, it is without HFCS and tastes like the BBQ sauce you remember – because it is.

Bull’s Eye BBQ sauce is now (or at least new to me) made without HFCS and made with real, honest to goodness sugar. A novel idea to Kraft Foods, I assure you. Now, if only they made an organic one…

Red Rice, Yellow Squash, Spinach, Mushrooms

November 23, 2009

Red Rice, Yellow Squash, Spinach, Mushrooms

We’ve been on a uncommon grain kick lately. Trying all sort of cool sounding, and looking, grains that are more than just what, rice and pasta. Queue red rice.

We had been browsing over at Sevananda and saw the package and figured “why not?” so we picked up a pack. Well, we’ve since bought several more packs as it’s been that good. A little less chewy than barley but with a lot more texture than even brown rice and a ton of “earthy” flavor.

It paired very nicely with some yellow squash my wife received from a woman at work. Some garlic-sauteed spinach and baby portabella mushrooms and a complete meal was born.

VPS – Caramelized Onions, Spinach, Yellow Squash, Purple Barley, Oven Dried Grape Tomatoes, Eggplant

November 23, 2009

That sure sounds like a lot more than it seemed! The biggest difference tonight was the 100% whole wheat crust. Whole wheat pizza dough has a tendency of being tough, overly-chewy and sometimes dry. But last week I made a half and half dough and it worked out very well, so I thought I’d give 100% a shot.

VPS - Caramelized Onions, Yellow Squash, Purple Barley, Oven Dried Grape Tomatoes, Eggplant

The verdict? Not bad, but not as good as “regular” pizza dough. I think I’ll stick with the half and half from now on – and my wife agrees.

Most of the toppings were leftovers from the week, which was a great way to get rid of them all at once. The squash, spinach and onions were leftover from a sandwich we made earlier in the week and the purple barley (yes, it sounds weird to have barley on a pizza, but it totally worked!) was leftover from even earlier. For the “sauce” I used some grape tomatoes that I oven dried, packed in oil and froze for just such an occasion (and I still have the flavorful oil left!). No more Teese left, so it was all Daiya which was more than OK with us.

The only downside was the eggplant. It looked really good at the farmer’s market this morning so we picked it up. I sliced it thin, salted it for about a half hour and layered it on top of the Daiya. Unfortunately, it was just a little too chewy/tough which made not only eating it difficult but also cutting it. We ended up just taking it off and eating the rest of the pizza – an experiment not likely to be repeated in the future.

Vegan Pizza Sunday – 11.15 – Pesto, Roma Tomatoes, Spinach, Red Onion, Artichokes

November 16, 2009

VPS - 11.15 - Pesto, Roma Tomatoes, Spinach, Red Onion, Artichokes

A tradition we’ve started when football season got underway is Vegan Pizza Sunday. Every Sunday (that I have off from work) we sit around all day watching football and I make some kind of vegan pizza. I’m going to try and make it a regular feature here as well.

Pizza for us is like the soup of the day at a restaurant – a way to use up the odds and ends we have in the fridge. We have yet to hit a bad combination of toppings and tonight was no exception.

I started with a half whole wheat crust (all whole what just doesn’t work out the same way it does with all high-gluten flour) that had some basil pesto incorporated to give it some more flavor.

I don’t typically use a tomato sauce, opting for some kind of roasted tomatoes, fresh tomatoes or pesto. Tonight I had some oven roasted roma tomatoes that were strategically placed around so that each slice would have one. I brushed pesto around the tomatoes and covered the whole thing with spinach.

I had a little bit of Teese leftover so I used that, but it was mostly Daiya. I grabbed a 5 pound bag from Cosmo’s so I’ll have plenty in my freezer to use.

Some julienne red onion and artichoke hearts finished the whole thing off.

Baked on 500 for 25 minutes it was perfect. Everything was soft tender and flavorful. Another winning combination, but it’s not likely to be duplicated.

Quinoa Burritos

November 13, 2009

Sometimes, no matter how much we plan, something wholly unexpected happens. And sometimes it was better than the original plan. This is one of the those times.

I had been planning on making a quick vegetable stir-fry to put over quinoa for dinner. I already had the quinoa mostly done when my wife arrived home from work and asked what was for dinner. It didn’t really matter what I would have said, because she had a craving for burritos. Thinking on my feet, I switched gears entirely and came up with these.

Quinoa Burritos

As I said, the quinoa was almost done already, but I had time to add some cumin, which is all you really need to make anything taste Mexican. I had one remaining can of refried beans (the last can as I’ll be making them from scratch moving forward), so I got those hot as well.

Some baby spinach which would have been in the stir fry got marinated in a little bit of peach-mango salsa. This was our first time trying it and it was a success – we’ve purchased it many times since.

Then it was time to build the burritos. Whole wheat tortilla, spread a little Tofutti sour cream, refried beans, marinated spinach and the cumin-infused quinoa.

As I said, this wasn’t planned but it worked out way better than I was planning on making. We will certainly be having these again.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.