Posts Tagged arugula

White Pizza & An Arugula Salad

Last week bf and his friends ordered pizza from Zachary’s, whose crust is unfortunately not vegan.  Zachary’s is consistently rated among the best deep dish in the country, and the pizza smelled SO amazing, what with the fresh garlic and basil.  I knew that I must have pizza.  Normally I’m a regular ol’ pizza kind of gal, with tomato sauce and such, but for some reason I got it in my head that I wanted to try a white pizza.  So I did what I normally do and poked around the internet for ideas.  There are lots of recipes, but none were remotely veganizable, so I just winged it.  Wung it?

The pizza turned out certainly edible, but not as amazing as the pizza I had in my head.  The flavors were just a little bland and lacking.  I didn’t have time to make the typical risen crust, so I used this Whole Wheat Yeast Free Herbed Pizza Dough recipe which was recommended for white pizzas, subbing soy yogurt and adding extra herbs.  The crust came together very easily and tasted nice, but it was more biscuit-like than pizza crust like.  For the sauce I just made a basic white sauce with olive oil, flour and rice milk.  I sauteed four cloves of garlic in the oil before adding the flour, hoping that it would add a lot of garlic flavor, but by the time the sauce was thick enough the garlic flavor had mellowed out too much.  Next time I think I’ll add vegan parmesan to the sauce for zing, and sprinkle the garlic on top of the pizza for maximum flavor.  I used the Basil Tofu Ricotta recipe from Vegan With A Vengeance, but I left out the basil and garlic since I was using them elsewhere, and the mixture tasted mostly like plain tofu, which was my fault and not the recipe’s.  Overall the pizza was alright, but it failed to live up to the flavors I was hoping for.  I’ll just call this practice for next time.

I got another CSA delivery last week.

greens:  collards, baby spinach, kale, arugula, pea shoots & cilantro

non-greens:  fingerling potatoes, fuji apples, radicchio, kiwi (!), and tangelos

The arugula was so nice and fresh, perfect for a salad.  So that is what I did.   I tossed the radicchio in too, since I hadn’t tried it raw yet.  I wanted plenty of sweet components to offset the bitter greens, and some textural contrast.

So, underneath we have arugula and radicchio, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.  Then there are roasted radishes and apples, thinly sliced red onion, dried cranberries, pistachios, and soy bleu cheese from Sunergia Soy Foods.  I was hoping to find Bleu Sheese, but the Whole Foods I went to didn’t have it.  They did have the Soy Bleu though, and I’ve always been curious about this brand.  The store I used to shop at in Gainesville carried the feta, but it was expensive and I always thought that I could marinate some cubes of tofu in something tangy and probably come up with the same result.  This bleu though, I could not make myself and I’m glad I tried it.  The taste is distinctively soy, moreso than the Sheese, and the bleu-ness is understated.  I didn’t really like the first taste on its own, but in the salad it was quite nice.  Overall I like the flavor of bleu Sheese better, but this bleu slices much easier.  Sheese tends to stick to itself and your fingers and everything else in sight.  I used the cheese slicing hole of my box grater probably for the first time ever, and this cheese held together and sliced perfectly.  If you miss bleu cheese and can’t get ahold of Sheese, I would recommend trying the Sunergia Soy brand as long as you can find it at a decent price.

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Sweet Potato Chili & Thanksgiving

All my posts as of late have an “&” in the title.  I will try to find time to post more often and avoid the “ands”!

Last week I wanted to make a big pot of deliciousness.  It’s definitely chili weather here and it’s been at least a year since I last made chili, so chili it was.  I use this as my basic veggie chili go-to recipe.  If you follow the recipe you’ll have a tasty, meaty omni-friendly chili, and it’s great for variations.  It’ll taste good pretty much no matter what you do to it.  I’m trying to stay away from processed food though, so instead of faux meat I diced a huge sweet potato and tossed it in.

To go with the chili I made my whole wheat cornbread and wilted some arugula.

On to Thanksgiving!  This was my first Thanksgiving with bf’sfamily, so I didn’t want to get to crazy with the “weird” vegan food and I stayed fairly traditional.

When I made the cornbread above I doubled the recipe so that I could make cornbread stuffing, using this recipe from Vegan Chef.

This was very tasty!  Everyone else kind of looked at it funny, but that’s fine – more leftovers for me!  The only thing I might change next time would be to use a little less parsley and green onion, and a bit more broth to make it all mush together.

The best green bean casserole, from Fat Free Vegan.  This was a hit with everyone.  Well, at least everyone who likes green beans.

Robin Robertson’s Cranberry Relish.  I’m not a huge cranberry sauce person, but I got two bags for 99 cents, and this recipe looked really interesting, with additions like shallots and red bell peppers.  I liked it a lot, but it’s still not something I can eat a lot of.

My cashew miso gravy.  So good.

It’s very hard to get a decent picture of just gravy.

My plate.  BF’s mom left some potatoes on the side for me to mash with Earth Balance and soy milk.

For my “entree” I made seitan cutlets from VCON.  I have to say, I’m not digging them very much.  It might just be that I left them too thick, but the texture turned out so rubbery I have a hard time eating them.  For this meal I cut one in half to make it thinner, coated it in flour and pan-fried it.  It was pretty good this way, along with gravy and everything else on the plate.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the rest of them that are currently stashed in my freezer though.

Here’s another view of my plate, just because I think the picture turned out better.

For dessert I made Pumpkin Pie Brownies from The PPK, which I have been wanting to try for over a year.

They were really easy to make and the texture turned out great, but I thought they weren’t sweet enough, which is odd for me.  Normally I think desserts are too sweet!  The recipe called for bittersweet chocolate and I used unsweeted, so I’m sure that took a little sweetness away, but I was very surprised.  They were kind of an “adult” dessert, where the bitterness of the chocolate comes through.  If I make them again I will definitely add more sugar, maybe some chocolate chips in the brownies and whipped cream for the top.  Then I think they will be stellar.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am holding my very first contest!  Well…it’s not really a contest…more like a giveaway.  I am approaching 1000 approved comments, crazy!  To thank you all for continuing to come back and read (even when I’m only posting once a week), I will send a package of sweets to whomever posts the 1000th comment!  I won’t say how close I am – it may not even happen for this post.  But I will announce the winner when it happens.

Lastly, I only took two lunches for last week’s shortened workweek, so here they are.

11-24 better than cream cheese & pumpkin butter sandwich on wheat,
celery & carrots sticks, banana pieces, candy cane jo jo’s

11-25 sweet potato chili, cornbread, wilted arugula, a clementine

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is getting into the holiday spirit!

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