Category Archives: veganized

Roast-Vegetable-Smoked-Tofu-Kale Pizza

When it comes to pizza time at a party, a dinner out, a staff luncheon, what do all you vegans out there do? I usually abstain or, occasionally, suck it up and eat a slice or two. At home, I just don’t have pizza. I’m not crazy about vegan cheese, either store-bought or homemade. The taste is not terrific and it’s too much fuss and bother to make “cheeze”. Then I read Sam Turnbull’s cookbook, Fuss-Free Vegan. She has a recipe called Life-Changing Mozzarella that she uses for pizza cheese and I thought I’d give it a try. The first pizza I made using this cheese was so-so, so the next time I made the cheese, I made some adjustments to the ingredients (I kind of combined her Life-Changing Mozzarella and her Nacho Cheese Love) and came out with a winner!

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This is the mozza cheese. It’s made with tapioca starch which gives this cheese it’s thick and stretchy qualities.

The first pizza I made with this cheese was kind of traditional with a tomato sauce base, and I went for a Mediterranean style with basil, spinach, black olives. As I said above, it was okay. Then I decided to try again, adjusting the cheese recipe and omitting the tomato sauce base. This pizza was dee-licious!

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Here’s how I made it:

Roast-Veg-Smoked-Tofu-Kale Pizza

(it takes about 90 minutes to make this pizza from start to finish using premade/store-bought pizza shells)

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2 store-bought pizza shells of your choice (I used a store-made, thin-crust pizza shell from Save-On-Foods) – placed on pizza pans

Cheese

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 3 tbsp tapioca starch*

  • 2 tbsp sauerkraut (or 2 tbsp brine from a jar of green olives) – I used sauerkraut

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 3/4 to 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Combine and blend all ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Pour into a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring often, then constantly for 3-5 minutes until thickened and smooth. Heat and stir for another 3-5 minutes at a slightly lower heat to make sure the tapioca starch is cooked.

Pour and spread the cheese on the pizza shells – you will use the entire recipe on two pizza.

Pizza Toppings

2 tomatoes, skin removed*, diced (I used some beautiful organic plum tomatoes I bought in Keremeos when I was passing through last week).

1/2 an onion, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 head cauliflower, separated into large florets then sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces or strips

1/2 fresh poblano pepper, cut into slightly smaller than bite-sized pieces

2 large cloves garlic, sliced

2/3 of a block of smoked tofu (I actually used smoked siracha tofu on this pizza), sliced and diced into bite-sized pieces

3 stalks of curly kale (or any kind of kale you prefer), washed and dried and torn into bite-sized pieces

avocado oil

coarse sea salt or Himalayan salt

Sprinkle the diced tomatoes onto the two pizza shells, evenly distributing them between the two shells.

Place the onion, cauliflower, bell pepper, poblano pepper and garlic into a large bowl. Pour in about a tbsp of oil. Toss the vegetables in the oil until evenly coated. Spread the vegetables out on a baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the kale. Put the torn kale into a bowl, drizzle on a bit of oil, and sprinkle on some salt. Massage the oil and salt into the kale until the kale is soft and just starting to release some of it’s juice.

Pull the roast veg out of the over and add the smoked tofu to the pan, evenly spaced. Put the pan back into the oven and roast for another 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the roast veg and tofu on the pizza shells, evenly distributing between the 2 shells and over each pizza.

Put the pizza pans in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until bottoms of shells begin to brown. Pull the pans out of the oven, sprinkle on the kale and put back in the oven for 5 minutes.

Let the pizzas rest and cool for 5 minutes, then slide out onto a cutting board and cut into slices.

*tapioca starch is readily available in a grocery store

*The best way to skin a tomato is to pour boiling water over it, let it sit for a couple of minutes, douse in cold water and peel. The skin usually slips right off.

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Mock Tuna Salad Sandwich

What’s this then?

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There are all kinds of names for this in the vegan blogosphere … Vegan Tuna Salad, Mock Tuna Salad, Chickpea Tuna Salad … I didn’t know what to name it … the title of this post names it Mock Tuna Salad Sandwich, but I really don’t like that name … I just named it that so it would be easy to search and identify.

What about …

  • Chick-a Salad

  • Toona Salad

  • Chuna Salad

  • Tubanzo Salad

  • Garbuna Salad

What’s your favourite name? Basically it’s a vegan version of tuna salad … kind of! It doesn’t taste like tuna, but it can be used in the same way as tuna salad – in a sandwich, on crackers, as part of a Nicoise salad … I think that the version I put together is, simply, tasty and worthy to be used in any of these ways just because it tastes good, not because it replaces tuna. Try it and see!

Toona Salad

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1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1 green onion, chopped

1 carrot, finely grated

handful of chopped red bell pepper

large handful of parsley, minced

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp vegan mayonnaise

1/4 tsp salt

several grinds of black pepper

In a bowl, coarsely mash the chickpeas – do not mash into a paste, but mash until some of the chickpeas are completely mashed while others are coarsely mashed. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix until fully combined. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste, more mayo if you want it creamier. Serve on toast or crackers or as part of a salad.

Don’t forget to give me your favourite name for this dish in the comments. Also, please tell me how you would modify the recipe to fit your own tastes and on-hand ingredients. Thanks!

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Vegan Cream Cheese

I am so proud of myself! I made vegan cream cheese today and it’s delicious!

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You know, sometimes I lack confidence in the kitchen. I enjoy cooking and creating delicious and creative vegan dishes and meals, but, most of the time, I follow a recipe. I get a bit anxious about launching off on my own without a recipe to anchor my creativity. Oh yes, there are several dishes I can make off by heart or have invented (humous, various salads and salad dressings, chili, bowls …), but most cooking days find me consulting a recipe. Now, this cream cheese recipe … I based it on Kaylie Johnson’s Dairy Free Paleo Cream Cheese Recipe on the blog Paleo Gluten Free Eats. I followed her recipe, but I wasn’t pleased with the flavour. So, you know what I did? I added a bit of this, a bit of that until I was satisfied. While I was adjusting, I realized that I was feeling confident and sure, that I have enough experience to just go for it. Although I used someone else’s recipe to start, I made this recipe my own. I can truly call it my own because I used what I know, what I like, and made something that worked for me. Yay me! So here it is:

1 cup cashews, soaked

1 1/2 tbsps water

1/8 cup + freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/8 tsp salt

1/16 tsp finely minced garlic

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until very, very smooth. If you are using a high powered blender like a Vitamix, you shouldn’t have to blend for too long to get everything blended and the right consistency. If you have an ordinary blender, like I do, you will have to blend for at least 5 minutes, probably more, scraping down the sides as you go. I was able to keep the blender going while using a spatula to push the mixture from the sides into the middle. This way, the blender didn’t get stuck and I got everything really well blended together.

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This cream cheese is a savoury type, due to the salt and garlic, so use it in that way – on crackers, on bagels, on toast, with tomatoes … whatever your cream cheese thing is! I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure you could use this cream cheese in things like a layered mexican dip or in a salad dressing. Try it and let me know what you think and how you used it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have a snack!

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