Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pesto Pizza Pinwheels

Hubbs and I both love pizza.  I mean, who doesn't?  We definitely love the convenience of buying out, and when we lived in Brooklyn, we bought pizza out a lot.  Most of the pizza places we frequented were just small local stores using homemade, good ingredients, so we didn't have to worry about it. I know there are places here in Michigan, but they are not as convenient to get to as we would like.  We have to get in our car and drive to get the pizza (we just walked there on the way to our house from getting off the subway in Brooklyn), and we might as well just make it ourselves - control the ingredients and use exactly what we want.  

We end up making pizza about once every week to week and a half.  This time when I made it, I decided to try something different and fun - pinwheels.  I've seen them for years, but have never made them before.  I had some extra pesto in the freezer from last summer when we had our bountiful basil crop, so decided to use that.  These turned out really good!  We dipped them in hot marinara sauce.  Yum!  My little brother came over when I was making them and hinted that they looked great.  I gave him several of them, which he promptly dipped in ranch!  He literally puts ranch on everything - even in the sauce when he makes his lasagna.  Funny kid!  These could work with any combination.  They would also be great for a party or a get together.  
Freshly baked pesto pizza rolls


Pizza Dough (I use this recipe.  Use half for these rolls and freeze the remaining half for later.)

Pesto Sauce
Vegan Cheese

 - Green Peppers
 - Onions
 - Baby Spinach
 - Kalamata Olives
 - Pickled or fresh Jalapeno Peppers
 - Pignolis

Filtered water to seal the dough. 

1.  Prepare the dough according to the attached instructions. 
2.  After the dough has risen, punch it down.  Place the half you are not using in a freezer bag, label and freeze for later use. 
3.  Roll the pizza dough out into a large rectangle-ish shape on a floured surface. 

4.  Liberally spread pesto over the surface of the dough - leaving about an inch of space at the top bare.

5.  Sprinkle the vegan cheese over the surface of the pesto, followed by the veggies and other toppings, as desired.

6.  Top with baby spinach.

7.  Slowly roll the pizza into a cigar shape.  Sprinkle a little water onto the top of the pizza to help the dough seal together. 

8.  Use a sharp non-serrated knife to slice the pizza into rounds.

9.  Place the pizza rounds onto an oiled sheet tray.  At this point, you can decide to place a towel over the prepared rolls, place in a warm place and allow them to rise some more, then bake them.  Or you can put them in the oven right away at 375 degrees for about 15-22 minutes - which is what I did.

10.  Let them cool just until you are able to handle them safely.  Dip into warm marinara sauce or whatever else you like to eat with your pizza.  Depending on my mood, I may drizzle some sriracha over the top.  Yum!



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vegan Spicy Cheesy Potato Patties

On Sunday I made lasagna for lunch and also a full dinner, including mashed potatoes.  Hubbs always takes the leftovers from dinner with him to work for his lunch the next day.  But since he had two choices, he of course chose lasagna (who wouldn't?).  I convinced myself that I would eat the potatoes over the next couple days, but there they have continued to sit.  We have a rule that we don't eat any cooked food 7 days after being prepared and even though it has been only 4, I knew if I didn't do something with those potatoes soon, they would get thrown out.  Hubbs and I both hate wasting food, so I decided to use them to make something tasty, if a little unusual, for breakfast this morning.  How about potato patties?  I made some when we were in Brooklyn, but with sweet potatoes.  They were amazing!  Of course "regular" potatoes would be just as delicious, so that's what I did.  And they were crazy delicious!  Super simple too since the main component was already prepared.  This came together in like 10 minutes, and was on the table within half an hour - good for the hubby since he had to be to work early.  I think this would be a nice accompaniment to a dinner also.  Super quick and tasty!

Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside.  Yum!

Spicy Cheesy Potato Patties:
2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 jalapeno, minced
1 roma tomato, seeded and minced
handful cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon ground golden flax seed
2 tablespoons superfine ground rice flour
sea salt and black pepper
unsweetened almond milk, as needed
1/2 cup shredded daiya cheese
Canola or refined coconut oil to fry
To Serve:
Vegan Sour Cream
1.  Place the potatoes and the remaining ingredients into a large mixing bowl: red onion, jalapeno, tomato, chopped cilantro, flax, brown rice flour, sea salt and black pepper.  Mix well until all the ingredients are combined.  Add enough almond milk so that the mixture is easily moldable, but not too thin.  Season to taste and add the shredded daiya.
2.  Place a layer of refined coconut oil or canola oil in the bottom of a saute pan over medium heat.  Allow the oil to become hot.
3.  In the meantime, portion the the potato mixture into small patties, setting on a clean plate until ready to begin frying.
4.  Once the oil is hot, place 3-4 of the patties carefully into the pan.  Cook for several minutes, or until crispy and browned.  Carefully flip and cook the other side for several more minutes.
5.  Remove the cooked patties from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. 
6.  To serve, place a spoonful of vegan sour cream on top and drizzle with sriracha. 
7.  Continue with remaining patties. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Vegan Enchilada Casserole, Roasted Vegetables, Salad

I follow several vegan (or mostly vegan) food blogs on a regular basis, including OhSheGlows, NeverHomeMaker and FatFreeVegan, among others.  I have made many recipes or used the recipes as a basis for dishes I make.  This idea for an enchilada casserole, or a Mexican Lasagna came from FatFreeVegan.  I made the casserole with a few changes that I think made the dish delicious.  This is definitely a fun and interesting change of pace as far as lasagnas go.  Hubbs keeps telling me of a Dominican Lasagna that he wants me to make, utilizing ripe plantains, a layer of "beef" and cheese with sauteed onions and garlic.  Sounds great to me.  The only issue with making that is waiting patiently for the plantains to ripen fully without eating them first.  ;)
Such a fun and tasty dinner!
Enchilada Casserole:
12 organic corn tortillas
2 1/2 cups homemade or store bought Enchilada Sauce
3 cups homemade or store bought refried beans
2 cups cooked black beans
Vegan Daiya Cheese
Sliced Black Olives
Veggie Layer:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, julienned
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 jalapeno, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Oil a 9x13" baking pan and set aside until ready to use.
2.  In a saute pan over medium-high heat add the olive oil and allow it to become hot.  Add the onion, green pepper and jalapeno.  Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and tomatoes.  Cook for a couple minutes more, until fragrant.  Add the seasonings: sea salt and black pepper, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Stir to coat.  Season to taste.
3.  Place a layer of the corn tortillas on the bottom of the prepared pan.  Spread a layer of enchilada sauce, followed by refried beans, sauteed veggies, black beans and vegan daiya cheese.  Continue with the same layers until all of the ingredients have been used.  Top with the sliced olives.
4.  Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 35-45 minutes, or until warmed all the way through.
5.  Serve with roasted veggies (I used broccoli and cauliflower) and a simple salad. 


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sesame Seitan Using Homemade Seitan

I love trying to replicate recipes.  Especially those that I really miss being able to order since moving away from NY.  I used to get this awesome sesame vegan chicken recipe from a place called Zen Palate which would deliver directly to my apartment on my days off or whenever I felt too tired to make dinner.  Since coming back to Michigan, the ability to purchase vegan "meats" isn't as easy, so whenever I get the chance, I stock up.  I've also been making several batches of seitan and freezing small portions of them so I can prepare a quick, tasty meal.  This meal came together very fast thanks to that prepared seitan.  Yum!

Tasty, Crispy Yummy Sesame Seitan

2-3 Servings of seitan, homemade or store bought
Canola or refined coconut oil for shallow frying

Broccoli or other veggies to have on the side, steamed

White or brown rice to serve.

1/2 cup filtered water
1 cup unchicken broth
2-4 tablespoons rice vinegar (I used 3)
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1/2 cup organic sugar or agave
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons sesame oil (un-toasted)
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus additional to garnish
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1.  Prepare the sauce: in a medium sauce pan add all of the ingredients.  Whisk together well. 
2.  Turn the heat on medium and cook until the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens considerably.  Set aside to cool slightly until ready to use.
3.  Cut the seitan into small pieces, dry well.  Briefly pan fry in a small amount of canola or refined coconut oil until crispy.  Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
4.  Once all of the seitan is cooked, place in a bowl with a generous amount of the sesame sauce.  Toss well.
5.  To serve, place a portion of the rice on the plate, followed by a serving of the sesame seitan and the steamed vegetable.  Top the seitan with additional sesame seeds.  That's it!

A close-up of the deliciousness.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Passing in the Family & a Simple Vegan Meatball Sub

Today my Grandma on my father's side passed away rather suddenly.  She had been living in a nursing home for probably the last 3-4 years and my mother was taking care of her for two years before that.  She has not been in good health for many years, but did not seem to be doing too badly.  Very much a shock.  I'm very sorry to say that we were not close.  None of my siblings and I were too close with her.  I saw her about four years ago, then probably not for ten years before that.  I feel terribly for my dad and feel sad for the relationship we never were able to have with her.  My dad was able to take off three days from work for bereavement to take care of all the details - he is the oldest sibling and in charge of the details. 
I felt an overall sadness today, not really inspired to do too much.  I had a lot of things I should have been doing, but really never got around to them.  I spent most of the time with my dad and other siblings that stopped by to support him.  When he left to look into my Grandmother's affairs, I realized it was midway through the day and that I should eat something.  I decided on the quickest thing I could think of: a sub.  I had just bought some nice, fresh bread with the hubbs and had a package of Gimme Lean Ground Beef in the freezer for a couple months that I bought on discount at the local food coop.  I also had some homemade marinara sauce hanging out in the freezer so I knew a meatball sub would come together nicely.  Super easy and satisfying. 

Easy and delicious - before being toasted

1/2 package Gimme Lean Ground Beef, rolled into balls
olive oil

Fresh Rolls/Baguette
Marinara sauce
Vegan Sliced Cheese
Vegan Cashew Parmesan Cheese

Sliced Green Peppers
Sliced Onions
Fresh or Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
Sliced Dill Pickles
Kalamata or Black Olives

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Cook the meatballs in a small amount of olive oil until crispy and heated through.
3.  Slice the roll/baguette in half, spoon some marinara sauce on top, followed by the meatballs, the vegan cheese(s) and the toppings.
4.  Place the loaded sub on a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the bread is toasty and the cheese is nice and melty.
5.  Cut in half and serve with additional marinara sauce on the side for dipping.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Breaded Seitan, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Onions and Mushrooms, Green Beans

I try to cook everyday.  For at least 1-2 meals.  Sometimes I feel more excited about cooking and sometimes I feel like throwing something together.  For this meal I felt like throwing something together, but had several ingredients to use up before another grocery shopping trip with the hubby.  The meal ended up taking a while to make, but was so worth it.  So tasty and comforting!
Such a pretty and tasty meal!

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
2 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and large cubed
4 tablespoons earth balance
sea salt and black pepper to taste
unsweetened almond milk or soymilk
1 head garlic, top cut off
olive oil
 sea salt and black pepper
Sauteed Onions and Mushrooms:
1 large red onion, sliced thinly
4 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup filtered water
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the head of garlic in a small piece of aluminum foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.  Close the foil tightly.  Roast for about 30 minutes, Place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water.  Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the garlic has softened and darkened in color.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.
2.  Place the potatoes in a pot covered with cold water.  Cook until just tender. 
3.  Prepare the sauteed onion and mushrooms: place the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for several minutes.  Add the sea salt and black pepper and cook until the mushrooms begin to release their juices.  Lower the heat and add the filtered water.  Cook until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture is very flavorful.
4.  Finish the potatoes: add the earth balance, sea salt, black pepper and prepared roasted garlic.  Mash very well.  Add the almond milk or soymilk until the desired consistency is achieved. 
5.  Serve with a veggie protein and a side. 

So delicious!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Some Things I've Been Baking Lately

Here are lots of vegan baked goods I have been baking over the past several months. When I was compiling this collage of photos and took a step back to look at them, I was very proud of myself. I know I have been working hard on all of these goodies, it's just great to really see it all come together. And this is really why I am so obsessed with taking pictures of everything I cook or bake. It is such a great feeling to come back and look at it and say, wow I did a great job! Most of these baked goods were made at my job - a few were made at home. All of them were made with lots of love and excitement! They really make me feel happy and confident that many of them would look great in a display case of my own! Take a few minutes to look at the pictures. Let me know what you think.

Maple Syrup Sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies
Notice one Missing?

Close-Up of Apple Crisp Cupcakes with
Salted Caramel Frosting, Drizzled with Caramel Sauce

The tray of Baked Apple Crisp Cupcakes

These are so beautiful!

Finished Tray of Cupcakes.  Gorgeous!

Toasted Coconut-Almond Cake with Coconut Frosting

Basket of tasty baked goods: Coconut Chocolate Chip
Cookies & GF Coconut Macaroons

Crispy Double Chocolate Cookie

Nutella Mousse Filled Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Topping

Nutella Mousse Cupcakes topped with Toasted Hazelnuts

Snickers Bundt Cake

Gluten Free Cherry Crumb Bars

A Close-Up of the Delicious Bars!

Mocha Cake with Coffee Frosting

Double Chocolate Mocha Brownies

Vegan Tiramisu Cupcakes

I mean seriously - how beautiful are these guys?

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies before baking

Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Frosting & Raspberry Filling

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.  So beautiful!

Beet Velvet Cupcakes

Raw Keylime Pie Mousse Cups

Pumpkin Roll Cake with Vegan
Cream Cheese Frosting

Beautiful swirls made of vegan cream cheese frosting

Pretty, pretty!

Chai Cupcakes with Spiced Frosting

Almond Joy Bundt Cake

Gluten Free, Soy Free, Raw Keylime Pie

Vegan birthday cake for my dad!  (Carrot Pineapple!)

Vegan Tiramisu Cups

Coconut Lime Cupcakes with Zesty Lime Frosting

So Zesty!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles made with Chickpeas!

After portioning and freezing.

Smoothing out.

A blurry inside view of the truffle.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

Topped with toasted hazelnuts

Close-up of the yummy cupcake

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cream Pie in a Cookie Crust

Mocha Cookies with Coffee Icing

Kitchen Sink Cookie with Pretzels, Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter
Chips and Kettle Chips

I hope you enjoyed these pretty pictures of tasty vegan baked goods!