Friday, January 29, 2010

Ridiculously Easy Greek Pizza

This pizza kicks ass. Its so easy and wonderful and very flexible. You can use whatever toppings you like. I use the pillsbury classic pizza crust because I really dont know how to make pizza crust from scratch and usually I dont have time or patience to be making dough. I will master this one day, I'm sure. But for now, I like the pre-made thing. Its absolutely vegan and pretty dang good. I know its probably loaded with hydrogenated oils and other weird stuff but I try to balance all that out by eating a lot of fresh veggies and things. I cant be perfect. I also didnt use pizza sauce for this. I made a garlic, basil spread instead.

So here is what you'll need for this pizza

1 pkg pillsbury classic crust (check ingredients to make sure you are getting the vegan one)
2 small roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
kalamata olives (just use black if you dont like these)
1/2 can of artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
Vegan Mozzarella (optional)

For the spread:

1/4 cup vegan margarine (Its pizza, its not supposed to be healthy)
2 cloves garlic, minced
handful of fresh basil (I used jarred basil but fresh would be better. You could used dried too)

Melt in microwave for 30 seconds or until melted.

Spread the crust on a cookie sheet. It will be in the shape of the square. The pillsbury thin crust is also vegan and its a circle. Spread the garlic/basil on the crust. Add toppings, including vegan cheese if you are using it.

Throw in oven at 400 for 10 minutes.
This is good! I promise! You wont even notice that its vegan.

Peanut Sauce with Rice Noodles

This is a nice light, yet filling dish. We love Thai food and its one of the hard foods to make if you dont have the right ingredients. This is pretty easy though and kind of Thai inspired. It requires a few steps, but well worth it. Use whatever veggies you like. You can use a peanut sauce already prepared or you can make your own. We added baked tofu to this too. Baking tofu is easy. Just cut into cubes, toss with oil and put in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, flipping a few times. You can also fry the tofu in 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan. Flipping until golden brown. Baking is much healthier.

1 package of Thai Rice noodles
1 cup peanut sauce (see below if making your own)
2 shredded or thinly sliced carrots
1 small head broccoli
1 bunch green onions (chopped)
handful of bean sprouts
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup crushed peanuts

Peanut Sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy works good)
1 cup soy milk
a few splashes of tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbs curry power or paste
1 Tbs sriracha (hot chili sauce, optional)
1 lime

Blend all ingredients with a wire whisk and set aside.

Chop all your veggies. The last 4 ingredients get stirred in at the very end. Set them aside. Saute the carrots and broccoli just enough so that they are slightly tender.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles but only long enough to soften them. They are going to do some more cooking later. Drain and run cold water on them.

Add noodles back to pot with peanut sauce. Dont add all the noodles at first. Slowly add them a handful at a time because you may not need all of them. Stir and simmer over medium heat until noodles become tender to your liking. Stir in broccoli and carrots until heated throughout. Right before serving, stir in green onions, cilantro, bean sprouts and sprinkle peanuts on top.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

That lentil soup from the Mediterranean Cafe

Here in KC, we have a couple places that serve some amazing falafel, hummus, baba ghanoush, etc. Aladdin Cafe being the best and Jerusalem Cafe being the other. Both of these places serve Lentil Soup as a starter that we always look forward to. It has a ton of flavor. I have been trying to recreate this soup for awhile and I think I got it. Its super easy.

2 cups of red lentils (rinsed)
5-6 cups of water (1-2 veggie bullion cubes added)
1 chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 lemon
2 Tbs curry power
1 Tbs cumin
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
(All spices are to taste)

Saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add lentils, water and bullion and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes until lentils have turned brown and have broken down. Add spices, juice of 1 lemon and stir. Pour half of soup in blender and puree. This gives the soup a nice smooth texture, leaving some lentils still whole for variety. You can always use a stick blender and blend until the soup is how you want it. About 30 seconds. This goes great with toasted pita bread and tabouli salad. So delicious and tastes just like the cafe!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Anything Goes Tofu Scrabble

Tofu scramble is a delicious breakfast that gives you tons of energy for your day and keeps you full for awhile. I make it on my days off with whatever vegetables I have laying around. I've gotten into the habit of saving odds and ends of vegetables that I dont use in other recipes. This is where that stuff comes in. The only thing you really need to have is tofu and potatoes and even the potatoes are optional.

1. fry or boil your potatoes until they are tender

2. add your veggies. such as: onion, bell pepper, broccoli, shredded carrot, zucchini, cabbage. It really doesnt matter.

3. once tender and starting to brown, add you seasoning. You can add cumin, tumeric, cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme or whatever you have.

4. this is an optional step but kind of gives it an eggy flavor that makes you feel like you are eating breakfast and not just some stirfry. Add about 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast and about 1/4 cup of water. Stir and let the liquid absorb. Add more if you want.

5. add the tofu. break it off into big chunks and stir it in. Break up tofu to your desired chunk size.

6. serve with salsa, tofutti soy sour cream (as pictured), guacamole, sirracha or nothing at all! Add salt and pepper as you desire. this is dish is all about using what you have and adding to taste.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Your new favorite potato soup!

Ok so I thought my first recipe could be my new potato soup that I have made a bunch of times now. I found a simple recipe for potato leek soup somewhere on the internet and kind of made it my own. Brian loves it. Its super simple and super tasty and takes just a few minutes to prep and a few more to cook. The only thing you really need is either a blender or a stick blender, which is what I use. Those little handheld things that are for shakes and things. This this is a must have for the type of cooking I do. Which is lots of soups! So here is the recipe:

4 big ol russet potatoes (peeled)
2 leeks white and light green parts
1 yellow onion
2 veggie boulion cubes
a pinch of thyme
a pinch of rosemary
a bay leaf (if you want)
salt and pepper
4 cups of water
a few drops of liquid smoke (totally optional but really great)

So first you need to prep your leeks. I just recently learned about the amazing leek. I have always wanted to use them but never really knew what to do with them. The best way to do it is to slice the green part off and then slice the light green/white part into 1/4 slices. You want a couple cups worth of chopped leeks. Put them in the strainer and rinse the heck out of them. They tend to have sand in them and the last thing you want is sand in your soup!

Then you want to saute the leeks in a little oil along with the chopped yellow onion and a few dashes of salt and pepper. Dont worry about cutting things perfectly because you are going to blend it all up. Saute for about 5-7 minutes until translucent and fragrant. Next, add everything else but the liquid smoke. Make sure the water just barely covers the potatoes. You dont want super runny soup. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are falling apart.

Blend the soup with the stick wand or put it in the blender in batches. Dont forget to take the bay leaf out before you blend! The soup I made tonight decided to hide the bay leaf and I blended it up in the soup. I had to dish out the little peices. OOPS! Its ok though.

Thats basically it. Put a few drops of liquid smoke to taste if you want. Add salt and pepper if you like. This soup is great with some crunchy sourdough bread. Brian likes to have peanutbutter toast with it. He is kind of weird/cool like that. Enjoy!

USDA cites KU Medical Center for violation of animal protection laws -

USDA cites KU Medical Center for violation of animal protection laws -

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Well what do you know, I am finally starting my blog I have been talking about for ages! I am excited to start recording some of my creations and share them with some people. I have learned so much from the blogs of others and I hope this blog will do the same for someone. Even if its just my mom. So, more to follow!