Tag Archives: pizza

Barbecue, vegetarian-style

15 Jan

Last week, I really wanted to try making homemade barbecue sauce. I did it once before with decent results, but I wanted something thick and flavorful to eat this week with mushrooms. I decided to try out the Backyard BBQ Sauce recipe from Veganomicon (which you can also see here) and was quite pleased with the results. I used diced tomatoes instead of canned and pureed the whole thing with my immersion blender at the end. It made one piece of a delicious dinner (well, two, actually):

BBQDinner had a good-ol’ Okie vibe with a healthy spin, as you can see. Sorry it’s so dark but, well, it was dark outside. Ha. Clockwise from left is roasted garlic mashed potatoes and kohlrabi (made this way, but way less and using half potatoes and half kohlrabi), sauteed Swiss chard (it has become my favorite green), and barley and portobellos in the homemade sauce. The night before, we just had the potatoes (but a lot more than that serving) and mushrooms. I preferred the better rounded version.

Even after cooking four big mushrooms in it, we still had about a cup of the barbecue sauce left. What’s a girl to do?

Whole pizzaPizza! This was a Sunday meal. As in, this was basically all we ate on Sunday. It was huge and very filling. On top of the crust (made following this easy recipe), I layered barbecue sauce, jalapeno jack cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions, artichoke hearts, and then a little more cheese. Fifteen minutes in the oven, and it came out delicious. Here’s a slice:

Pizza sliceI’m telling you: this sauce is perfect for pizza. It’s thick and a little spicy, but it still beautifully complements are favorite pizza toppings. I bet crumbled tempeh would be a great addition, too, and I think you could easily leave off the cheese or sub in Daiya for a vegan meal.


Weekend eats

9 Oct

Here’s a round-up of what I ate this weekend.

I was flying solo on Friday night due to Mr. X being on set into the wee hours. The fridge situation was weird, so I went for a random combination. The result was this:

Roasted butternut squash, white beans (yes, we are STILL eating these), Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno. It was surprisingly tasty. I would 100% make the combination again.

On Saturday, X requested my Asian Noodle Salad, so I made a quickie version for lunch:

Romaine for all the leafiness, red pepper (and no green), whole wheat spaghetti noodles, Armenian cucumber, and toasted cashews. The dressing was more or less the same, though I used way less oil. It was quick and tasty.

Dinner was also at my sexy Latin man’s request:

Yep, pizza using my sourdough crust, though I used whole wheat flour for half the recipe since I ran out of white whole wheat. The result was extra nutty and really good. We topped it with Roasted Tomato Sauce (made from canned tomatoes this time), red pepper, onion, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and Tofurkey Italian sausage. Yep, no cheese! X is doing the vegan thang with me this month in solidarity, and to lower his cholesterol. This pizza actually tasted better as leftovers the next day when we reheated it in the oven. Who knew? The peppers and mushrooms just got a little extra soft, so next time I will lightly saute both before layering them on the pizza.

And on Sunday, I ran my four miles and then devoured a fatty slice of leftover pizza. At 1:30, I met some coworkers and other ladies for brunch (fo’ free — holla!) and enjoyed this delicious meal from Mohawk Bend:

So good. It was the House Smoked Mushroom Hash (“tofu scramble romesco, choice of toast” — I had sourdough). There was also a Bloody Mary (totally vegan!) and a nibble of their signature Buffalo Style Cauliflower, both of which escaped my iPhone. And then there was sauv blanc. And then a Moscow Mule (or two). I passed out early. Shocking.

Piece de resistance . . . is futile

4 Sep

Friends, I interrupt my regularly scheduled post on what I ate over Labor Day weekend to bring you, instead, the greatest thing I’ve ever created in the kitchen. Excuse me, make that my tour de force, my magnum opus, my piece de resistance . . . is futile.

Yep, it’s a pizza.

But it’s not just a pizza. It’s a symphony featuring a homemade crust, homemade sauce, and a medley of veggies grown right here in the LA area.

I’ve become totally obsessed with my sourdough starter (mentioned here originally). With the plethora of veggies — especially squash — quite literally spilling out of my fridge (and trying to take out a shelf with them), I thought a pizza topped with some of them would be tasty, so I did some investigating on a sourdough crust. I found this one and thought it seemed doable on my Monday off. The only alterations I made to the recipe were using white whole wheat flour instead of unbleached white, and I used about a tablespoon of oregano instead of the “pizza dough flavor.” While kneading it in my mixer, I had to add more liquid (a little over a half cup total) and then a little bit more flour (not exactly sure the amount — a couple of tablespoons maybe) to get the right consistency. It depends on your starter, though, so start with the base recipe and then add what you need to make it smooth and a little sticky.

Then it rose for about three hours, though it was actually usable after about two. I should have taken a picture of it in the bowl, but I didn’t think of it at the time. It looked so happy and sweet. Then I spread it out onto a 12″x17″ cookie sheet with sides:

It rose again for about an hour while I prepped the rest of the ingredients. I sliced and salted the small-ish zucchini and large-ish Japanese eggplant and then threw together the Roasted Tomato Sauce:

I tweaked my original recipe by using a splash of balsamic vinegar in place of the wine, adding 2/3 a bunch of basil, and substituting two cherry peppers for the crushed red pepper.

Then, when the sauce was done, I let it simmer while I baked the crust. At the same time, I roasted the zucchini and eggplant on another cookie sheet, but I didn’t photograph them. I sliced the mushrooms, and my husband grated the cheese. Then, the kitchen filled with an intoxicating smell, and after eight minutes, the crust was lightly browned and ready:

So I topped it. I spread on the tomato sauce, layered on most of the cheese, evenly-ish distributed the zucchini and eggplant, covered everything in a thick blanket of mushrooms, sprinkled some finely chopped onion and garlic, and then finished with the rest of the cheese:

Into the oven she went for eight more magical minutes until what emerged was a perfect synthesis of spices and veggies and taste sensations in the form of a thick-crust pizza:

So then we sliced it:

And ate it by candlelight, with a little petite syrah.

“I’ll meet you any time you want / In our Italian restaurant”

I was not exaggerating above. I’ve never made any dish that filled me with such an amazing sense of accomplishment or joy. X told me it is the best thing I’ve ever made, and I’m inclined to agree.

There isn’t really an easy recipe to share for this meal, since it’s so all over the place and, with the homemade dough, quite time-consuming, but here’s the best I can do:

  • 1 recipe pizza dough (I used this one)
  • 1 recipe pizza sauce (I used this one)
  • Veggies for topping, prepared your favorite way (I included roasted zucchini and Japanese eggplant, fresh cremini mushrooms, garlic, and onion)
  • Shredded cheese (I used Monterey Jack)

Spread your pizza dough on a pizza pan or cookie sheet with sides. Pre-bake according to recipe instructions. Then layer on your toppings, starting with the sauce, then the cheese, then the veggies, and ending with a little more cheese. Bake according to the recipe, but the general rule is until everything is warm and the cheese is bubbly.

Another thing to love about my pizza: it featured five goodies from my CSA box. The zucchini, Japanese eggplant, basil, cherry tomatoes, and onion were either in this week’s or last week’s order. So we’re talking a fresh, local, homemade, and delicious meal triumph that put my happily to bed Monday night and allowed me to awaken refreshed and ready to run (literally) at 6:15 this morning. That, my friends, is a triumph.

What’s your favorite pizza topping? In addition to the above, I adore artichoke hearts and will probably include them the next time we make pizza, since this crust recipe is thick enough to stand up to heavy ingredients.

Call me the pizzaiola

20 Jan

That’s me! Or at least it was last night.

Delicious vegan pizza on a whole wheat crust. I asked for crust recipes last week and gave one submitted by my fellow former Scrippsie Jessie a whirl. Here’s her recipe, and below are my modifications:

  • I used one cup of unbleached white flour and one cup of whole wheat
  • I used a Fleischmann’s yeast packet, which has slightly more than two teaspoons
  • The seasoning was oregano and thyme only
  • I reduced the olive oil to 1 tablespoon
  • I subbed two pinches of raw sugar for the honey (and mixed it with the dry instead of the wet)

The tweaks sound like a lot more than they really were. We followed the instructions to a T, except that I “rolled” the dough out by hand since I don’t own a rolling pin. It was actually really fun, but obviously it resulted in oddly shaped pizzas. The dough came together super quickly and tasted incredible. Seriously. I can see spicing it up differently and using it like a flatbread with all kinds of toppings: hummus, refried beans, pesto pizza, etc. If you’ve never worked with yeast before, I highly recommend this recipe. It was foolproof, even with the small changes I made. Thanks so much, Jessie!

We decided to whip up a homemade sauce to go with it. This is more of a method than a recipe, since most of the measuring was to taste, but I’ll share anyway.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Two drizzles of olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-6 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly (depending on your preferences)
  • Dash (maybe 1/4 cup) dry red wine, optional
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dried oregano
  • Crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F. Wash and dry the tomatoes, then place them in a small baking dish (not a cookie sheet — use something with sides) and drizzle on a little olive oil. Toss to coat, and stick ’em in the oven until they get soft and start to shrivel. It’ll take 10-15 minutes, or longer if you like ’em thoroughly roasted.

Heat the other drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt, and saute until they soften. Add the tomatoes as well as the juices they released in the baking dish. Use your stirring implement to mash the tomatoes and stir it all together so it becomes saucy. Add the wine, if using. I only threw some in because we were drinking an old-vine Zinfandel. Now add the oregano and crushed red pepper to taste. Stir and reduce the heat to low while you finish preparing the rest of your pizza ingredients. If you like your sauce pureed, feel free to throw it in the blender or use an immersion blender.

It was a really tasty and easy sauce. It’s a little oniony, though, so if that’s not your thing, feel free to use less. I’m pro-onion myself. Same goes with the garlic. I may have used more than six cloves honestly, but I do have a love affair with the stuff. The recipe made the perfect amount for two people, plus a little extra for today’s lunch, which I’ll talk about below.

We each had our own incredibly delicious, filling pizza topped with the sauce, fresh cremini mushrooms from the farmers market, artichoke hearts (from a can, but packed in water), and caramelized onion (thanks for the suggestion, Lynn!). These totally made the pizzas!). His also had mozzarella cheese, but I went with a healthy sprinkle of nooch. These were a meal in themselves, and I can’t wait to make them again!

Ways to reduce the fat from this meal:

  • I will use less oil in the pizza dough next time. The result wasn’t oily-tasting at all, but I think I could get away with a teaspoon.
  • Tossing the tomatoes with oil before throwing them in the oven wasn’t necessary. I was worried about them sticking, but a shot of cooking spray would have done the trick.
  • I might even try sweating out the onions and garlic in a little broth next time.

The best part about making pizza for dinner last night is today’s experimental lunch. I set aside a small amount of the dough and some toppings to throw together a calzone of sorts.

Yes, very rustic. I didn’t pre-bake the dough like I did for the pizzas. Instead, I just piled sauce, veggies, nutritional yeast, and crushed red pepper in the middle of the dough, folded it, and coaxed the edges together. I baked it for about 15 minutes by accident (did I mention the old-vine Zin?), but it survived the cooking time admirably. Today, I reheated it for 1:30 in the microwave, and it was delicious! It didn’t get mushy or anything. The flavors had time to meld and mingle overnight, and it was really a mid-day delight. I served it up with some farmers-market lettuce topped with salad dressing (TJ’s balsamic vinaigrette) stolen from the work kitchen again.

Delicious and a lot more exciting than yesterday’s PB sammie.

On cupcakes and amazing soup

7 Nov

Today my taller half and I ventured to Oklahoma City to attend The Girlie Show, a super kick-butt craft show full of talented ladies held every November. It’s a great opportunity to get started on holiday shopping, and it’s also a wonderful way to blow some of your holiday-shopping money on yourself.

Anyway, I don’t go to OKC terribly often because: 1. it’s an hour and a half away, 2. the toll costs $8 round trip, and 3. Tulsa is generally more awesome. Sorry friends, but it’s true. However, I do make it to Das Kapital several times a year, and it’s always a great opportunity to try out some tasty food. Today did not disappoint.

My first food encounter was the fine folks of culinary stop was a booth giving out free coffee samples from Elemental Coffee Roasters at The Girlie Show. I tried the Groove blend, which was light but still strong. I had about a shot-glass’s worth and was still bouncing off the walls. I should really never drink coffee twice in one day. All in all, it was a tasty brew, but I would have to try more blends before giving a real review. Also, I have no photos. No pictures, no write-up, I say.

Afterward, we ventured over to Saturn Grill in suburb Nichols Hills (which I didn’t realize until today even existed). Check out their interesting menu here. My cheese-loving half went with the Rustin Roman Pie:

It featured red sauce, roma tomato, red onion, fresh basil, mozzarella, goat cheese, and Kalamata olives. He was quite happy and ate every bite. I had a small nibble and gave it a thumbs up.

I veganized the Grilled Veggie Sandwich (held the mayo) and tried the daily soup, Pumpkin Ancho:

Oh my word. The sandwich was good — the veggies (zucchini, bell pepper, onion, portobello mushroom, plus spinach and tomato) were well grilled and full of flavor:

but the soup was one of the best soups I’ve ever had in my life. It had so much savory body and delectable spicy notes. It’s normally topped with sour cream and pecans, but I had them hold the dairy. I can’t imagine it would be better with it. I need to recreate the soup.

On the side were a trio of housemade pickles that I could sorta tolerate. That says a lot coming from me, an avowed pickle-hater. As I told the woman who worked there, they actually taste like a vegetable. My taller half loved the two pieces I didn’t touch.

Over all, I give it *** on the veggie-options scale and ***** on the tastiness scale. That soup inched it up an extra star. (See this post for more info on the scales.)

Saturn Grill has two locations, one at 6432 S. Avondale Dr. in Nichols Hills and another at 4401 W. Memorial in OKC.


After lunch, we jetted a mere 0.7 miles up the road for cupcakes from Green Goodies by Tiffany — vegan cupcakes, in fact. A representative was there offering free samples at The Girlie Show, but none of the ones on offer were dairy-free. She told me, however, that vegan ones are available in the store every day, so I knew I wanted to drop by before we made the trek home.

It has an adorable exterior:

And an even cuter interior, but I didn’t take a photo. Silly Brigid. They offer a variety of flavors in organic, vegan/allergy-free, or diabetic-friendly and gluten-free. They do special orders, too. Pretty great, eh? Well, the proof is in the pudding cupcake.

Above is my taller half’s Salted Caramel (a vanilla cupcake with a caramel interior topped with buttercream frosting a caramel drizzle), and below is my vegan Green Hostess (a chocolate cupcake filled with vanilla buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache and a recognizable swirl). Here is what my love said about his:

The salted caramel cupcake rattled the walls and set fire to the floor!

I had a nibble and my goodness, it was incredible. Mine, however, was…also incredible! It tasted very much like a Hostess cupcake except instead of chemicals and beef fat, it was full of real-food flavor and a delicious dark-chocolate wallop. It was incredibly fluffy and moist, and the ganache was thick and chocolatey. The gal working today told me it’s their most popular flavor period. Check out the interior:

They can do any flavor in any of the preferred options (vegan, wheat-free, etc.) with advance notice. They also do cupcake towers for weddings and the like. If you’re in Oklahoma City, don’t miss out!

Over all, I give it ***** on the veggie-options scale and ***** on the tastiness scale. This is serious cupcake bidness. These are by far the best cupcakes — let alone vegan ones — I’ve had at a specialty shop.

Green Goodies by Tiffany is located at 7606 N. Western Ave. in Nichols Hills.