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Recipe: Homemade Pizza Sauce with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

August 7th, 2012 11:19 am by Kelly


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It’s only August, and already I am running out of new ways to use all these tomatoes, y’all! Since the thought of canning scares me to death (botulism!) and dehydrating them are kind of a pain (bulk sundried tomatoes aren’t pricy enough to justify the effort), I decided to step up my game by making fresh tomato sauce. Use what I can and freeze the rest! Behold experiment #1: homemade pizza sauce with slow-roasted tomatoes!

Since I found so many different tomato sauce recipes online, I decided to come up with my own blend, using the Marinara Sauce from Cooking Vegan as a starting point. (You might recall that I also put that on a pizza. Everything! Everything goes on a pizza!) The fresh tomatoes in the sauce are combined cup-for-cup with slow, oven-roasted tomatoes and blended in the food processor to make a sauce that’s got layer upon layer of tasty tomato goodness. This is worlds better than the store-bought stuff.

Browsing the internets, I noticed that some people prefer removing the seeds and skins – either before the tomatoes are pulverized, or after, with a food mill or strainer – but that’s a whole lot of effort that I couldn’t bring myself to expend. Besides, I like my sauce with a little chunk. That smooth-as-silk canned stuff? Just not natural!

But anyway, if you want to strain out the little bits, you can find some handy directions here.

 

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Homemade Pizza Sauce with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

4 cups slow-roasted tomatoes (see below)
4 cups garden-fresh tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
8 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
Spices to taste: basil, oregano, salt, pepper, brown sugar, etc.

Directions

1. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with the olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook on medium-low heat for about ten minutes, or until the onions are nearly translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for several more minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, basil, and oregano and cook, covered on low, for about thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until the tomatoes are tender and juicy. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes and stir well. Cook for five more minutes on medium-low, and then remove from heat. Cover and set aside to cool.

2. Once the tomatoes have cooled to room temp, process them in the food processor, in batches if necessary. Pulse until well-blended and then sample the sauce. Add extra spices and seasonings to taste: basil, oregano, salt, pepper, etc. If you prefer your sauce a bit sweeter, add a teaspoon or two of sugar.

Note: For a chunkier sauce, a) pulse for a few beats at a time, until the sauce has reached the desired consistency or b) hold some of the tomatoes back, add them once the rest of the sauce is blended, and pulse just once or twice to chop them up a bit.

3. Store in an airtight container. Use within a week, or store in the freezer for later use. This should be enough sauce to cover three to four 13″ pizzas.

 

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Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

Cooking spray
Tomatoes, sliced in half (e.g., grape tomatoes) or lengthwise (e.g. Roma)
Olive oil
Spices to taste: salt, pepper, basil, oregano, vegan parmesan, etc.
Minced garlic (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 225F. Spray a cookie sheet (or two) with cooking spray.

2. Wash and dry the tomatoes. If using smaller grape- or cherry-sized tomatoes, slice them in half; for larger Roma tomatoes, cut them lengthwise down the middle. Try to pick tomatoes of similar size and make the cuts as even as possible, so that the slices all bake at the same rate. As you work, place the tomato halves on the baking sheets; arrange them so that they’re squeezed together and touching, but not overlapping.

3. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil (about 1 1/2 teaspoons per cookie sheet) and season to taste. Salt and pepper; minced garlic and basil; and/or vegan parmesan are all nommy combinations. If making these for use in the pizza sauce recipe below, stick with salt, basil, and minced garlic.

4. Bake at 225F for approximately 3 to 4 hours (or more if necessary). The larger the tomatoes, the longer the cook time. When done, the tomatoes should be much smaller and a bit shriveled up, but still somewhat juicy.

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Recipe: Vegan Veggie Pizza with Ranch Dressing

July 31st, 2012 11:34 am by Kelly


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We decided to try out a ranch dressing pizza because I accidentally-on-purpose made a triple batch of the stuff which needed to be used up stat. Prior to this I’d only heard of ranch being used as a dipping sauce for pizza (mostly the naked crusts!), never a substitute for red sauce. But it does happen, on occasion. So I figured what the hey, let’s do this shit!

Any doubts I may have had quickly dissipated with the first bite. This is one delicious pizza pie, yo! Not too overpowering (it cooks down a little during baking), the dressing adds just a hint of ranch – and the bacon bits, which actually gain a little extra kick during their time in the oven, are a tasty touch. Throw in some garden fresh veggies and you’re good to go!

Just an fyi on the ranch dressing: I used the recipe found in Lane Gold’s Vegan Junk Food, but there plenty of recipes available on the web. You can also buy it pre-made; Organicville and Follow Your Heart both make vegan varieties. But why pay five bucks+ a bottle when diy is so simple and inexpensive?

 

Vegan Veggie Pizza with Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

…for a Fluffy White Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C) [Optional: sub in 1/2 cup of plain soy milk; this gave us a slightly thinner crust.]
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

…for the pizza

Approximately 1 1/2 cups of vegan ranch dressing
3 to 4 cups of garden-fresh veggies, diced (or possibly grated, which seems to be de rigueur for this type of pie); we used carrots, zucchini, green peppers, and broccoli
Vegan bacon bits
Mozzarella and Cheddar Daiya cheese, or the vegan cheese of your choice
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan

Directions

1. To prepare the dough: stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil and salt, as well as any extra spices or seasonings. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

2. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

3. To assemble the pizza, start by spreading a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.

4. Spread a layer of ranch dressing onto the dough; spread it on about as thickly as you might red sauce or the like, as it will cook down a little during baking. (Any leftovers will keep for up to a week when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.) Add the veggies and bacon bits and top with some mozzarella and/or cheddar shreds.

5. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas.

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Recipe: Homemade Marinara & Mozzarella Pizza with a Rosemary Crust

July 24th, 2012 11:26 am by Kelly


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Now that the tomatoes are finally starting to pop in our garden, we have a legit reason to eat more pizza – homemade pizza sauce, yo! Well, technically this is a wonderfully chunky marinara sauce, but who’s counting?

Enjoyed in place of your regular, boring old store-bought red sauce, this homemade marinara sauce produces a pie that’s almost white, but not quite: cooked down so that there’s not much excess liquid, the “sauce” mostly consists of chunks of tomatoes – juicy tomatoes, bursting with flavor. Not sauce, but saucy!

imho, the teeny-tiny tomatoes – super sweets, Juliets, etc. – work best in this recipe. Cut the round, grape-shaped tomatoes in half; the miniature oblong tomatoes into three to five rounds. Or not: some tomatoes are tiny enough that you can just toss ’em in the pan whole. They’re like the cherries on your vegan ice cream sundaes, I tell you what. Way more flavorful than their supersized cousins!

 

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Homemade Marinara & Mozzarella Pizza with a Rosemary Crust

Ingredients

…for the pizza crust

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon brown sugar sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons rosemary

…for the marinara sauce

(Adapted from the Marinara Sauce recipe in Cooking Vegan by Vesanto Melina & Joseph Forest, 2012.)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 tablespoons minced garlic
3 1/2 to 4 cups garden-fresh tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste

…for the pizza

Mozzarella Follow Your Heart cheese, or the vegan cheese of your choice
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan

Directions

1. To prepare the dough: stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil, salt, and rosemary. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

2. About 45 minutes before you’d like to start making the pizza, begin preparing the marinara sauce. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with the olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook on medium-high heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are nearly translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for several more minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, basil, and oregano and cook, covered on medium, for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover; add salt & pepper (as well as extra basil or oregano, if desired) to taste. Continue to cook, uncovered, until the tomatoes are soft and tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. The tomatoes should be nice and juicy, but without a lot of extra moisture in the sauce. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

4. To assemble the pizza, start by spreading a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly. Add the marinara sauce, distributing it evenly onto the pizza. (This recipe should make enough sauce for one 13″ pizza. If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. Enjoy on pasta – or, better yet, on a mini pita bread pizza!) Garnish with vegan mozzarella cheese and a touch of oregano.

5. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas.

6. Eat up! You’ve got a garden full of tomatoes to devour!

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Recipe: Breakfast Pizza with Scrambled Tofu & Garlic Sauce

July 3rd, 2012 3:17 pm by Kelly


2012-06-30 - Tofu Scramble Breakfast Pizza - 0012

 

Happy Vegan Pizza Day, y’all! Well, technically Vegan Pizza Day was on Saturday, but no matter – every day is Vegan Pizza Day at the Garbato-Brady household!

To celebrate, we made two pies: a french fry pizza and a scrambled tofu “breakfast” pizza. The french fry pizza is old hat, but the scrambled tofu pizza? That’s all-new, baby!

It’s a concoction I’ve wanted to try for some time now, but wasn’t entirely sure how to pull off. Do I let the tofu scramble bake with the pie? Bake it beforehand so that it’s twiced-baked? But won’t that risk drying the tofu out? Maybe I should make it separately and add it to the pizza just prior to serving? So many possibilities!

It was a tough choice, but in the end I went with option B – and it worked out spectacularly! To help keep the tofu moist, I only lightly pressed it, so that it still retained a little moisture upon entering the skillet. Once finished, we nestled the scrambled tofu – which is adapted from a recipe found in Cooking Vegan by Vesanto Melina and Joseph Forest – between two layers of cheddar Daiya cheese, to help keep it nice and juicy. And of course the garlic sauce helped too!

While this scrambled tofu tastes incredible atop a pizza, you can also enjoy it solo. Or, for a special treat, put it – along with some with vegan gravy and/or breakfast sausage – in an English muffin to make a vegan Egg McMuffin. May I suggest the light mushroom gravy in Cooking Vegan, paired with a Lightlife Smart Links?

 

Breakfast Pizza with Garlic Sauce & Scrambled Tofu

 

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Ingredients

…for a Fluffy White Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C) [Optional: sub in 1/2 cup of plain soy milk; this gave us a slightly thinner crust.]
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

…for the scrambled tofu

1 pound firm tofu, pressed
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms (fresh or canned)
1/2 onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup tomatoes, diced*
1/4 cup corn (canned or frozen)*
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon parsley OR 1 tablespoon chives
1/4 teaspoon salt

* Feel free to swap these out for your own favorite veggies – bell peppers, cabbage, etc.

…for the garlic sauce

2 tablespoons margarine
a dash of garlic powder

…for the pizza

Cheddar Daiya cheese, or the vegan cheese of your choice
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan

 

2012-06-30 - Tofu Scramble for Pizza - 0005

Scrambled tofu in progress!

Directions

1. To prepare the dough: stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil and salt, as well as any extra spices or seasonings. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

2. About a 45 minutes before you’d like to start making the pizza, begin preparing the scrambled tofu. Lightly press the brick of tofu for five to ten minutes to drain the excess moisture. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook on medium for about ten minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the diced onion and continue to cook for another five minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and corn and continue to cook for another five minutes, or until the corn and tomatoes are tender.

3. As the veggies are cooking, place the tofu in a large bowl and mash it with a fork until it becomes crumbly. Add a tablespoon of the nooch and mix well.

4. Pour the tofu into the skillet and mix it in with the veggies. Reduce the heat to low. Add the rest of the nutritional yeast, soy sauce, cumin, turmeric, parsley/chives, and the salt. Mix well. Cook for another few minutes on low; continue to stir. When done cooking, remove from the heat, cover, and set aside.

5. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

6. Make the garlic sauce: in a small bowl, nuke the margarine a few seconds at a time until it’s melted. Add a dash of garlic and mix well. Set aside.

7. To assemble the pizza, start by spreading a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.

8. Using your fingers or a brush, spread the garlic sauce evenly onto the dough. Add a thin layer of cheddar Daiya, followed by all of the scrambled tofu, and a little more cheddar cheese to garnish.

9. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas.

10. Enjoy often: for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

 

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Happy Vegan Pizza Day!

June 30th, 2012 10:00 am by Kelly


Second annual, vegans! There so much going on today, where do I even start?

Whether you’re eating out, throwing a vegan pizza potluck party with a friend, or staying in and making your own pizza, we’ve got you covered @ fuck yeah vegan pizza! We’ll be posting Vegan Pizza Day updates in real time, and all our past posts are organized by tag:

To find a vegan (or vegan-friendly) pizzeria near you, browse by city (e.g., to see all posts from New York City, you’d use the URL veganpizzafuckyeah.tumblr.com/tagged/nyc; for Syracuse, veganpizzafuckyeah.tumblr.com/tagged/syracuse; and so on).

To see a list of pizza recipes, jump straight to veganpizzafuckyeah.tumblr.com/tagged/recipes.

And to browse by ingredients, simply type in the desired foodstuff, e.g. veganpizzafuckyeah.tumblr.com/tagged/kale (for kale! duh!).

We’re also holding a shiny new contest in honor of the occasion! From now until Monday night, share pictures of your Vegan Pizza Day eats for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the vegan store of your choice. The contest is open internationally, and you don’t need a tumblr account to enter. Vegan pizza for everyone!

While you’re at it, send your pics to the quarrygirl blog (one of the Vegan Pizza Day founders) for publication – email quarrygirl [at] gmail.com. You’ll be famous!

And don’t forget to join the event on Facebook! Chat with other vegan pizzanistas about your quest for the perfect thin crust, the merits of Daiya over Follow Your Heart, or where best to find a vegan slice in upstate New York. Community, yo!

Of course, we also have a ton of delicious recipes cataloged right here on The PPP Blog! Go to: Food & Recipes.

Shane and I are eating in tonight, since I have lots of super-important tumblog contest moderating to do. On the menu: a tofu scramble breakfast pizza with garlic sauce and Daiya cheese AND a cheddar french fry pizza. YUM!

How about you?

Whatever kind of pie you’re eating, don’t forget to photograph and share it!

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