vegan pizza

Pizza, mio amore! I have always loved you: feeling lucky to eat Hungry Howie’s in elementary school for Friday lunches, making pizza on a grill in the summer, eating Domino’s drunk and late at night in college, discovering pizza rosa on the streets of Rome. It never occurred to me to order or make pizza without cheese, but even before trying to be vegan was a twinkle in my eye, I often peeled the cheese off pizza, a habit that baffled and even disgusted most people who saw me do it. But I am here to say that cheese-less pizza is delicious! Without cheese, the sauces and toppings get to be in the spotlight (and your sauces and toppings will be so good that you don’t need cheese to enjoy pizza!). No cheese makes for a different pizza experience, but I think it’s exceptional. Below is my favorite pizza dough recipe, favorite sauce recipe, and favorite toppings. Enjoy! Continue reading vegan pizza

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a delicious way to eat brussels sprouts

I feel kind of silly, but I just learned that the correct way to refer to those delicious, tiny cabbages that are so trendy these days is Brussels sprouts, as in the city of Brussels! I’ve been spelling it brussel sprouts for years! The humiliation! I might continue to not capitalize the “b” because that just seems like too much respect for one vegetable.

Anyway, this recipe was inspired by some brussels sprouts I had at The Lowry in Minneapolis a few months ago. Their brussels sprouts were fried, and then drizzled in honey and sprinkled with toasted almonds and goat cheese. Very delicious. I mistakenly got them as an appetizer with a group of (foolish) people who did not like brussels sprouts, and though I also ordered an entree, the brussels sprouts really would have sufficed. They were crispy, caramelized, tangy, nutty, salty, and sweet. Brussels sprouts at their finest.

This recipe was altered a bit to fit the ingredients I already had, but the idea is similar. I used a balsamic reduction instead of honey because I really love vinegar, nixed the almonds because I didn’t want to buy them, and added shiitake bacon to make it a real meal. This would be great with almonds or other nuts, and can be eaten without cheese or with a vegan goat cheese to make it vegan. Enjoy! Continue reading a delicious way to eat brussels sprouts

portobello poblano tacos

I love mushrooms and am always looking for more things to do with them! Go to an amusement park, rollerblade in the park, grab a drink at that new, cool bar in town…Ha ha just kidding, I meant I’m always looking for new ways to eat them!

Anyway, I made these tacos, and they were delicious! They are also very easy to make, and don’t take super long. They are deeply savory, salty, a little spicy, and not too heavy while still being filling! I ate them with a corn and bean salad (just corn, beans, red onion, lime juice, and spices). I watched an episode of Chef’s Table while I ate and felt inadequate, which didn’t feel as nice as the taco I was inhaling. I do not recommend Chef’s Table as a media pairing with this meal, or any meal for that matter. It will just make you feel bad.

Anyway, happy summer! Pepper season (and the season of most delicious things) is nearly upon us, and all of us who work in offices all day have increased staring out the window time by 50% (only some of us are daydreaming of peppers though). Enjoy the tacos and the sunshine, fellow Northern Hemisphere folks! Continue reading portobello poblano tacos

miso chicken ramen

I had my first bowl of ramen in March 2016. I could not believe I had gone 21 years without ever having ramen that wasn’t Maruchan instant noodles! It was a shockingly different dish from the salty, thin broth-ed soup of my youth. As I had more experiences with ramen and became more interested in cooking, I was excited to find a recipe for ramen that I could make. LOL! If anyone else has looked into making ramen from scratch at home, they know it is a long and fussy process. Fortunately, there are versions of ramen in between traditional and instant. This is one!

Though I aspire to eat entirely vegan, I also prioritize wasting as little food as possible, which means that I sometimes eat meaty leftovers that no one else wants. In this case, I had some shredded chicken on hand from a friend who was going out of town and wouldn’t be able to eat it. I was craving something warm and comforting, and decided to try my hand at a ramen-y noodle soup. It turned out to be really delicious! The broth was rich, savory, and salty, and everything else was nice and simple. I think this could pretty easily be made with tofu or mushrooms if you want to make it vegan-friendly. Otherwise, everything else is vegan! It was really satisfying, and very easy to make. I’m excited to look around for more pseudo-ramen recipes. If you’re looking for a vegan, full-on ramen experience, though, here’s a recipe that I haven’t tried but that looks delicious from Serious Eats. Enjoy! Continue reading miso chicken ramen

vegan baozi with savory miso-mushroom filling

I think we can all agree that “savory, filled dough pocket” is the most delicious food category on this beautiful planet we call home. Empanadas, gyoza, ravioli, pierogies, samosas. They’re all so different, but they all take me to sweet, sweet ecstasy! I especially love bao, soft, puffy steamed buns with savory fillings. I’ve been intimidated by them for a while because they require a yeast dough, but they ended up being pretty easy! They just require some time and patience. They can be filled with anything your little heart desires. This filling was very delicious– savory, rich but not heavy, and salty with a bit of bite from the vinegar.

I synthesized two recipes from the Kitchn and Food52. Good luck and enjoy!!!! (Also, for active dry yeast users, the Food52 recipe uses that kind of yeast. Very easily adaptable.) Continue reading vegan baozi with savory miso-mushroom filling

cucumber toast / the best dressing in the world

Since I was very young, I’ve loved cucumber sandwiches with cream cheese. When I started eating fewer animal products, I stopped eating cream cheese, and the grocery stores near me don’t sell vegan cream cheese. RATS! No more delicious cucumber sandwiches for me, I thought.

But then I realized cream cheese isn’t the only delicious thing in the world.  For instance, my mom makes a really yummy dressing in the summer, when her garden explodes with cucumbers.  So I’ve started eating a lot of cucumbers on toast with this dressing to get my cucumber and cream cheese sandwich fix. It’s not exactly the same, but the dressing is creamy and tangy, so it hits the spot.

The dressing uses mayo, which is not vegan, but it’s possible to buy vegan mayo, and it’s really easy to make yourself! I will put a few recipes for vegan mayo below. This dressing goes really well as a sauce on other sandwiches too, and tastes great with roasted artichokes and green salads. Enjoy!

Continue reading cucumber toast / the best dressing in the world

avocado tahini toast

This recipe was inspired by an avocado toast I had when I last went home to Ann Arbor. I got potato tacos (which, incidentally, were good as hell) and a side of avocado toast with tahini and cucumbers, which turned out to be an absolute monster. The bread was so thick, it was too big to fit in my mouth vertically. I was uncomfortably full after the meal, but I couldn’t get that avocado toast out of my head… It was love at first bite! (Has anyone thought of that joke before? Highly doubt it!) The nuttiness of the tahini complemented the subtle sweetness of the avocado, and the creamy textures of the tahini and avocado were interrupted perfectly by the crunch of the cucumbers. The only thing I wished for was some heat, so I added some red pepper flakes and cayenne to my version. This is perfect brunch food because it doesn’t take you to a painfully full place (unless you also eat it with a full plate of tacos) but it does keep you full until din din. Try not to get too big of a head for making yourself fancy avocado toast though (ha ha!).

The picture here is an earlier version of the toast in which I just sliced the avocado instead of mashing it; I also ate half before I remembered I wanted to take a pic. Anyway, not that important. This recipe is extremely flexible, so live your dreams.  And if anyone is in Ann Arbor looking for a hawt bite, check out Avalon Café and Kitchen! Their food is so good—I highly recommend their potato tacos, avocado toast, and shakshuka. Continue reading avocado tahini toast