Friday, February 19, 2010

four mushroom pizza

i always see these delicious pizza ai funghi on the menus at italian restaurants i visit, which is really just a fancy way of saying mega-mushroom pizza. they always look so delicious, but i usually can't have them because their sauces are cream based, or i'm not sure about the crust ingredients, or something other vegan related. i finally decided to combat this unfortunate situation with my own italian culinary skills.

  • 1 batch pizza crust
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • pinch of salt
for the sauce:
  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup nutri yeast
  • 1½ tablespoons bragg's aminos
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 cup spelt flower
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 3/4 tablespoon light miso
  • pinch black pepper and salt
jessy and dan have a fabulous pizza crust recipe... so whenever i have time, it is definitely the recipe i use. after whatever crust you are using is ready, you will want to pre-bake it for about 5 minutes at 375°f. pull out and let cool for a few minutes. you can prep your sauce during this time - just put all the sauce ingredients in a food processor or magic bullet and blend until creamy.  you can also prep the topping sprinkle - use the walnuts, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds and dash of salt. you can hand chop, but i just throw everything in the bullet and give it a few pulses.

    once your crust has cooled, layer on creamy sauce and then the mushrooms.  in this recipe i used equal parts shiitake, black, straw and button because that's what i had. the shiitakes gave a bit of oriental flair, but use your favourite mushrooms.  i'm thinking one with portabellos, button and creminis would be nice. before you put your sprinkle on top, you'll want to bake about 8-10 minutes on 375°f to make sure the mushrooms are cooked well.  pull out and sprinkle on the topping, and bake for about 5-7 minutes more. pizza is one of those foods that tend to vary on cooking times (depending on the the amount of toppings and crust), so you'll just have to keep an eye on it and make sure the center is heated through. 

      Thursday, February 11, 2010

      aloo gobi

      this recipe post is a little overdue - i actually made this at the end of 2009 after having ordered it at a local restaurant. i thought my recreation was a pretty close replication, especially since it was my first real stab at indian cuisine. the cauliflower florets just burst in your mouth with flavour, while the peas and potatoes provide a tender and succulent base. i've always liked my indian food a little on the saucy side, so making it at home allowed me to make it perfectly to my tastes. if you prefer it drier, just modify the liquid amounts as needed.

      • 1 cup potatoes, diced into cubes
      • 1/2 cup peas, cooked
      • 1 small head cauliflower
      • 2 tablespoons curry powder
      • 1 teaspoon garam masala
      • 1 clove garlic, minced
      • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
      • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
      • 2/3 cup veggie broth
      for the basmati rice:
      • 1 cup dry basmati rice
      • 1/2 cup peas, cooked
      • 1 carrot, shredded
      • 1 teaspoon turmeric
      • 1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom pods

      start cooking your basmati rice according to package directions. in the meantime, start cooking the potatoes and peas, and chop the cauliflower. when the rice is done, add in the carrots, rice spices and half the peas. gently toss the rice mixture, cover, and let sit while finishing the aloo gobi.

      in a large skillet, pour in 1/3 cup of the veggie broth. add the cauliflower, garlic, ginger, garam masala and curry powder. sauté on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until liquid is almost evaporated. add in last 1/3 cup of veggie broth, remainder of cooked peas, the potatoes and tomato paste. continue sautéing for a minute or two more, stirring frequently. the florets should be tender, but not soggy.

      spoon aloo gobi over rice mixture, and serve with a side of naan. makes enough for 3.

      Saturday, February 6, 2010

      cupcake memories

      i've wanted to make these fauxstess cupcakes (from vwav) since the day i went vegan. for one, they look freakin' rockin! and second, i have the greatest memories of eating them when i was a little girl. my mom would always buy a package of these (they come two to a pack), and we'd split them. man, i remember them being soooo good. maybe it's because when you share something, it tastes twice as awesome.

      nowadays, i don't really have a taste for the sweets, but i did want to make these as a special treat for my mom. the funny story is that i starting making them last year for mother's day... i bought all the special ingredients, set aside a chunk of time, and baked the cupcake. before i could ice them, they had to cool, so i set them on the counter and went for a run. that was the last i ever saw of them - one of my dogs decided i had made them for him and devoured every last one. (at first i was freaked, but he's 90 pounds and the little bit of cocoa powder didn't seem to bother him).

      anyways, it took me quite a bit of time to recover from that trauma, and i made them again this week (watching the dogs at every step). yes, they take some time, but they were so worth my mom's excitement! happy birthday mom!

      Wednesday, February 3, 2010

      raw pasta aglio e olio

      raw zucchini pasta noodles rival any regular noodle i've ever head. i use this spiralizer, and it always makes the perfect noodles. this recipe is a slight twist on pasta aglio e olio, which is basically just pasta with olive oil and garlic. it's a lighter pasta dish (especially the raw version here), and in my opinion doesn't weigh you down like the traditional red or white sauces. this makes a great light lunch, and healthy!

      • 1 medium zucchini, spiralized
      • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
      • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
      • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
      • 1/8 cup nutritional yeast
      • pinch of pepper and celtic sea salt
      spiralize your zucchini and place in a bowl. except for the nutritional yeast, combine the rest of ingredients in a dressing shaker, or a jar with a lid will do. i save old olive or salsa jars for this. shake all the ingredients and pour over pasta noodles. finally sprinkle in the nutritional yeast and stir to coat all the noodles. easy peasy!