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

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

chickpea mushroom toast

I knew I was going to like “Mushrooms and Garbanzos on Toast with Cider and Thyme” before I tried it. It hits a lot of my favorite food tastes and textures: crispy bread, browned mushrooms, tart vinegar, sautéed shallots, fresh herbs. I was right. It’s so delicious.

I’ve made it 5 times in the last two weeks. It’s so easy and quick, it tastes amazing, it’s filling and feels hearty, it’s cheap, it’s vegan. I’ve made a few of changes to mine from the original recipe on Food52, sometimes for taste, sometimes for budget: I use fresh rosemary instead of thyme, sherry cooking wine instead of hard cider, onion instead of shallot, corn starch instead of arrowroot starch, baby bella mushrooms instead of shiitakes, added garlic, and I don’t have poultry seasoning so I use a combination of spices to replace it.

That sounds like a lot of changes, but the spirit of the food is the same. You should play around with it too and find the yummy toast that speaks to you!  You could add non-dairy milk to make it creamier; you could increase the proportion of liquid to make more gravy; you could change up the spices; you could add vegetable stock; you could do this with lentils; you could change the kind of mushroom. You can do anything! You’re in charge.

Enjoy! Continue reading chickpea mushroom toast

basic vegan risotto

Risotto feels so luxurious and elegant, but there’s nothing particularly fancy about it. The ingredients are cheap and the preparation is easy.  At the end, though, you’re left with a rich, creamy dish fit for a damn queen. This recipe substitutes olive oil for the traditional butter and vegan parmesan for real parmesan (or Parmigiano-Reggiano, if you’re a stickler for the rules).

The creaminess of risotto comes from using high-starch rice, such as arborio, and frequent stirring, which loosens the starch so that it can be absorbed into the cooking liquid where it acts as a thickener. Without lots of starch, it’s hard to get a creamy risotto without adding creamy ingredients.  On the other hand, a risotto made with high-starch rice gets super creamy and delicious with no extra creaminess needed.  I think I’ve said creamy enough, so let’s get to the recipe! Continue reading basic vegan risotto