Roasted Garlic, Kale, and Baby Bella Pizza

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Hooray! Two posts in a row!

I had this recipe posted TWICE in my pinterest board…it clearly had an impact on me! Incorporating my favorite ingredients, garlic, kale, and mushrooms, it also was on a pizza! I haven’t made a pizza in ages.

I am really impressed with the ability of Veggie Cheese’s (Vegan purple bag!) ability to melt, an important component of fake cheese. For this recipe I also broke and finally bought new olive oil. I had been using almond oil for a while, and it has been lovely! (No, it doesnt taste of almonds, just a lighter oil). As usual, I decided to make my own pizza crust. If you choose this option, please see my directions to the PERFECT pizza crust here

If you are curious for the original recipe, please visit Oh My Veggies


Ingredients

  • pizza crust
  • 1 bulb of roasted garlic
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 stems kale
  • 7 baby bella mushrooms
  • cheese (I used vegan mozzarella, regular mozzarella would also work)
  • salt and pepper

First you need to roast the garlic. Embarrassingly enough, I had never done this before! Thankfully wikipedia helped…First take the bulb of garlic and peel off the outer paper layer. Then, chop off the very tip of the top of the bulb, so you can see into the cloves…but do not take off too much of the cloves! Drizzle olive oil on the top, wrap in tinfoil and heat in the oven at 350 for 35 minutes. Voila! Roasted Garlic.

But can’t you just use regular squished garlic?

NO YOU CANNOT!! Trust me on this…roasted garlic is the way to go!

While the garlic is roasting you have the opportunity to make pizza dough, read, catch up on the news, clean your kitchen, do some laundry, run to publix (if it is downstairs like mine!), or some other activity.

Once the garlic is roasted, take it out of the oven, open the foil and let it cool off…it is hot! very hot!

While the garlic is cooling, slice the baby bella mushrooms, and heat them in a frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. They should take about 3 minutes to get nice and soft. Then add the kale, cut/chopped/ripped into manageable pieces. Sautee for another 3-4 minutes until the kale is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

The garlic should be good now! Take the cloves out of their individualized wrappers (this was easier than anticipated), add a little bit of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and mash the cloves with a fork to create a paste. Mine was more lumpy than pasty, but it worked out fine in the end.

If you bought your pizza crust, put it on a pan (dont forget to grease the pan!). If you made your pizza crust, roll it out and put it on a pan. Cover in roasted garlic paste, but be sure to leave space for the crust!

Place enough cheese to lightly cover the crust, add the mushrooms and kale, and add more cheese. The amount of cheese really is a personal decision between you, your tastebuds, and your stomach.

Bake in the oven at 450 for 10-15 minutes, depending on how cooked you want the crust. One of my favorite parts about vegan cooking is that everything can be eaten raw…so undercooking is never a problem!

When the crust is golden to satisfaction, remove from oven, allow to cool, and enjoy!

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Cauliflower Rice Paella…after a long hiatus

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The school year ended, which was insane. Final exams, award ceremonies, pizza parties, study guides, year books, weeping children who actually will miss school, cleaning EVERYTHING out of the classroom and post planning (teacher workdays)…the end of the year is rough! In addition, summer camp started the week after school let out…and I am still doing a few hours at sylvan. I have been cooking…just not a lot of new and adventurous things.

Hopefully after this post, I will start to cook more and more, and actually use my blog!

Last night, Josh and I decided to cook at his apartment (he is now obligated to try my cooking experiments!). Being ever so tolerant of my vegan ways, he agreed to try Cauliflower Rice Paella which I found pinned to my pinterest board…the original recipe is here and their photos look significantly better than mine!


We ended up using two large frying pans for this dish…there is a lot of stuff!

1 head of cauliflower
olive oil
1/2 medium onion, minced (yes mom, i still pick out my onions!)
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 c. celery, chopped
1 1/2 t. minced garlic
a few shakes of paprika
a few shakes of cayenne
some salt and pepper
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. vegetable stock
1 c. cherry tomatoes, split
1 12oz jar quartered artichoke hearts (drained!)
1 can of chick peas (drained!)
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
15-20 Spanish olives
1 lime


In a frying pan (or two) sauté the onion (minced), celery, and pepper, until slightly tender. Meanwhile, chop up the cauliflower into florets, and pulse them in the blender until it is the consistency of rice. If your blender is not strong enough, you may need to make several small batches. It is nice to have a vegetable alternative for grain every now and then!

Once the veggies are soft, add the cauliflower and wait…this is a great time to dance around the apartment! I highly recommend ’80’s Dance Party’ on Pandora…the Styx station is really good too…

After about two songs…or 6 minutes (please stir during this time!) add in the garlic, cayenne, apple cider vinegar, vegetable stock, salt, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and chickpeas. I got overzealous and added the scallions and olives at this time…apparently you are supposed to wait…

Time to dance again! After another two songs, or 6 minutes, your meal should be ready. Spoon generously into a bowl, add a squirt of lime, and enjoy!

What I love about this dish is that it is filling, healthy, and almost entirely made of vegetables! It is also extraordinarily colorful…and versatile (Josh added roasted red peppers and cherry peppers to his).

It is good to be writing again 🙂

Simple spicy chili

I must apologize for my lack of participation in mine and Jenni’s blog but it is the end of my fall semester at school and the stress is building. Thankfully I take my last final tomorrow.

To make sure that I still eat okay, as well as my roommate Dale and his girlfriend Natalie during our stressful studious week, I made Chili tonight for dinner. It took a quick run to the store for diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and ground beef.

For this recipe you will need:

2lbs ground beef or chicken or vegan crumbles if you wish

1 can pinto beans

1 can kidney beans

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes chili seasoned

1 8oz can of tomatoe sauce

1/4 of a cup of chili powder

cayenne to taste

salt&pepper to taste

1 green pepper

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

I tossed in a little bit of beef broth to make it slightly soupier, as well as basil, oregano, and fennel.

1) Brown the beef in a pan, about 8-10 minutes.

2) Once the beef is browned add it and the rest of the ingredients to a big pot and let stew for 1-2 hours.

(obviously chop the veggies.)

It came out fantastic and it allowed for myself, Dale and Natalie to have plenty plus we have leftovers for tomorrow.

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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

For my second post tonight, I treat you my fantastic followers to vegan chocolate cupcakes.  I’m not the biggest fan of baking and I’m generally not that fantastic at it, but this is a straight forward recipe with out any crazy substitutions. 

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour 
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups water

pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, and line standard muffin tin with paper liners

sift together all dry ingredients in medium sized bowl

with an electric mixer on medium high speed mix together all wet ingredients until well combined; add flour mixture and mix until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed (batter will be very thin)

fill cups 3/4 full; bake for 20-25 minutes rotating tin halfway through

 

Enjoy everyone! We will be back on our regularly scheduled postings tomorrow :]

twist on a egg sandwich

so lovely followers I apologize for mine and Jenni’s lack of posting. Yesterday I got distracted my napping before I saw a 12:40am showing on Wreck it Ralph (which was awesome by the way), to apologize I will be posting twice tonight 😀 

I’ve always loved a good egg sandwich, but I found that any place I can buy it from just doesn’t do it the way I like it and after making this sandwich, I shun all fast food egg sandwiches, cast away the greasy croissants and exile the fake egg patties. 

What you’ll meed for this recipe:

Toasted Bread of your choice, I like some sort of thick crusty bread. 

1-2 eggs fried, I like my eggs a little runny. 

Thinly sliced red potatoes 

1-2 asparagus stalks cut into pieces about bread length, and if you don’t like asparagus you can replace it with some other green, peppers, spinach your choice. 

a slice of cheddar cheese. 

 

First heat some oil in a pan and toss in your asparagus, and thinly sliced potatoes. Let them cook up with some salt, pepper and paprika if you have it on hand. When you can pierce through the potatoes and asparagus take them off and assembled all of the items on the bread.  Put the sandwich back on the heat to soften up the cheese and toast the bread a bit more. 

 

Twice Baked Curry-esq Potatoes

When I go grocery shopping, I try to buy items that can be used for many meals. This not only lowers the cost of the overall food bill, but forces me to be creative with how I use the various food objects. This week, my focus was on potatoes.

Pinterest supplied me with this recipe I tweaked it a little…well, a lot. My Nana makes the best twice baked potatoes, and I was excited to try this twist on a beloved recipe.

This dish was made at the same time as the baked quinoa (see yesterday’s post…it was fantastic!) and the kitchen got a little hectic. Kristina was chopping veggies, I was measuring things, we were both throwing things into pots, texting on our cellphones, talking via facebook, and trying to keep the two recipes separate while working on a tight schedule to ensure that we could eat before going out for halloween. I am quite pleased that we managed to a.) get everything ready, b.) have time to eat, and c.) not poison ourselves in the process.

Ingredients

4 potatoes
3 cloves of garlic
8 baby carrots (or one large carrot)
2 tbs veggie oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground ginger
juice of half a lemon
some milk/almond milk/soy milk/rice milk/broth/something to make the potatoes not dry
sea salt to taste

First bake the potatoes. Wash them, poke holes in them, place them in a pan and bake. I had them in at 425 for 40 minutes and they were perfect. Once the timer goes off, take them out, cut them in half and wait.

While waiting for the potatoes to cool, saute the ground mustard and coriander seeds in vegetable oil. Then cut the carrots and onions (Kristina used a cheese grater to shred the vile onions so that I wouldn’t notice their existence), and add them to the pot. After a few minutes add the garlic, cumin, and turmeric.

While all of this is cooking, scoop out the insides of the potatoes (leaving a little bit in for a cushion and to keep the shape). Add some sort of liquid to help with the mashing process. I used unsweetened almond milk. Add the mixture that is on the stove and stir until completely combined. Add lemon juice, sea salt, and keep on stirring! When the mixture is a lovely shade of yellow add back into the skins, place back into the oven, and cook for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

These are EXTREMELY HOT when they come out…

The taste was good, a bit on the spicy side. I should have added more liquid though as they were a bit dry… My Nana still holds the title for best twice baked potatoes.

Baked Quinoa

While Jenni has an obsession with finding recipes on Pinterest, I flock to tumblr with similar purpose. Today while browsing the land of tumblr searching for Doctor Who gifs, I found myself with the insatiable need for more vegan recipes, and quickly went to the handy search feature and typed in vegan and it procured a whole plethora of delectable looking delicacies. At the end of the post is a link to the blog that I found the recipe on, I hope you enjoy and check out more of her recipes because they all looked amazing.

For this recipe you will need:

1 zucchini
5-6 Campari tomatoes
1 cup chickpeas
1 cup quinoa
2 cups veggie broth
3 cloves garlic
Little bit olive oil
Red pepper flakes

I also put in cayenne pepper, rosemary, oregano and parsley.

Start by heating oil in a pan and add the garlic, at the same time putting the veggie broth and quinoa in another pit and letting it come to a boil. When the oil is warm put in the zucchini, tomatoes and chickpeas.

About 15 minutes later the quinoa should have absorbed most of the veggie broth, with a little left in it take it off the heat and put it aside for 5 minutes covered. When the 5 minutes have past put the quinoa in with the veggie mixture and let it sit for another 5 minutes and soak up the liquid from the tomatoes and veggies.

After that put the entire mixture in a oven safe vessel and cover with cheese of your choice, we used daiya which is vegan cheddar “cheese” bake in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.

Over all this dish was really good and I enjoyed it a lot. I would totally make I again, it was healthy, filling and totally satisfying.

http://www.mitchinthekitchen.com/post/32075925091/baked-quinoa-with-tomatoes-and-cheddar

Baked Mac and Cheese with Spinach

Macaroni and Cheese is a traditional staple of childhood. Growing up, my mom would make her version of “grown up” mac and cheese with breadcrumbs, various cheeses, and herbs to take a simple dish and transform it into a comfort food delicacy. As children though, Nikki and I only had eyes for the mac and cheese in the blue box. Despite the warnings that the orange dust may cause us to glow in the dark, it was not until I grew older that I truly appreciated my mom’s variation on the dish.

Now it is my turn to take a simple food and completely change it…I present you with Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese Spinach Muffins! At first glance (ok, after a lot of glances), it may seem that those words not only have no business being next to each other, but make for a culinary disaster. Somehow, this dish came together really nicely!

The recipe was another pinterest find at and looked really intriguing. I had recently stumbled upon Daiya cheddar cheese in publix (veggie, non-soy, non-dairy cheese which used to only be found in specialty stores like Whole Foods). I already had non-dairy butter, and possessed a quart of non-sweetened almond milk. Foraging for the few extra ingredients and I was set to go! I modified the recipe, and have my version below with the vegan substitutes in parentheses. Variations from the original include dijon mustard instead of a secondary cheese, and oregano as a throwback to my mom’s recipe.

Ingredients

4 cups macaroni
1 tbs flour
1 tbs butter (earth balance non-dairy)
1 cup skim milk (non-sweetened almond milk)
1/3 cup cheddar cheese (daiya cheddar)
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
1 egg (used a large tbs of milled flaxseed for both egg products)
1 egg white (see above)
1 10 oz pkg of frozen spinach
a few shakes of oregano
a few shakes of black pepper

Cook the macaroni until tender and set aside. Defrost the spinach in your favorite manor. I used a sauce pan and water…some people prefer to defrost via the microwave. The original recipe also states that you can substitute one cup of fresh spinach (then cooked) in this recipe.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and allow for the mixture to thicken. Add the chopped clove of garlic and milk and mix until thoroughly warmed. Once the concoction is close to boil, add the cheese and whisk until all melted. (the daiya melted really really well!). Add the mustard, oregano, and pepper. Stir really well and remove from heat. Add the eggs or egg substitute and stir until completely mixed. (if using flax seeds, do not add extra water!).

Hopefully by now, the spinach is defrosted (mine took ages!). Rinse the spinach and pat dry. Caution, it will still be really hot. Stir all the ingredients together until the macaroni is completely covered, and the spinach is spread throughout the mixture.

Spoon the macaroni into a greased (or otherwise prepared) muffin tray. Cook at 400 degrees for 10-15 min, wait until the tops are slightly browned. Leave in the tray for five minutes after taking out of the fridge. Serve and enjoy!

I felt that I could have used more pepper…fortunately, it can be added later!

Let me know if you tried this, or the non vegan version. I would love to hear other everyone else’s turned out!

I paired this dish with a cup of tomato soup and a piece of “Italian Five Grain Baguette” from Publix…both also vegan!

Simple Sauces

I am a big fan of a really good sauce, red sauce for pasta, gravy for potatoes, buerre blanc and many others. They are a simple addition to a meal that can make it all the better, but not everyone knows how to make or master these simple little devils. To me there is nothing worse than a bad red sauce or any sauce for that matter. So hopefully with this post and my advice you to can be on your way to sauce mastery. 

Now, for the all important question at least for people like my lovely co-blogger, can you make it vegan? Well yes you can and I will explain as we go along the substitutions you can make to do so. 

Let’s start with the red sauce: 

a red sauce is one of the most simple and most versatile sauces.  To me the best part of a red sauce is how quickly you can make one and have it taste so amazing.  Since I usually just make it for one night, even though red sauce freezes quite well, you don’t need a lot of ingredients. 

3-4 big leaves of Basil, cut up

3 garlic gloves, chopped

1 smallish onion, I keep them in rings so that people like Jenni who don’t like onions can easily remove them and give them to me the onion lover. 

1 16 oz can of Tomato Sauce

1 small can of tomato paste

1 8oz can of diced tomatoes 

red pepper flakes.

combine all the ingredients into a pot and let it simmer.  The longer you let the sauce simmer the more it will absorb the flavors. 

 

On to the gravy:

I like to think that one of my specialities is gravy, and I get deeply agitated and angry by really shitty jarred gravy. Now with Thanksgiving quickly approaching I’ll tell you guys about the gravy I made last year.  The way that I am going to explain this isn’t going to be vegan at all but I’ll explain at the end a vegan version. 

When you get a turkey it usually has the gizzard and stuff in a bag inside that you can use for cooking with so my mother and I took those and kept them bundled together and placed them in a pot of chicken broth along with rosemary, thyme, onions, salt and pepper.  It stayed simmering on the stove for the 8ish hours we cooked the turkey so that it fully absorbed the flavors. 

To make a gravy you first need to make a rue, which is essentially flour and a type of fat (usually butter, and for you vegans out there vegan butter will do.) So, first melt the butter and add a little bit of flour at a time, so that it thickens but not so much that it is nasty and floury.  Slowly add the broth that has been simmering to this mixture little by little so that it thickens if it isn’t thickening add a little bit more flour be careful not to add too much or it will taste absolutely horrible.  A whisk really helps with breaking up the flour and thickening the sauce.  You’ll be able to tell when it is nice and thick, and feel free to taste it during the cooking process.  It was amazing last year.  

For the Vegans out there you can make a gravy that is just as good with vegetable stock, a rue and some adobo seasoning. 

 

I’ll have to explain the buerre blanc another day through an actual recipe because I fear this post of far too long and no one will read it if I keep going.  

 

Happy saucing 😀

Guest Blog: Nikki’s Pumpkin Spice Cookies


She is so going to have to teach me how to make awesome photos like that!

Today’s contribution comes from my sister Nikki. Nikki is a first year higher education graduate student at the University of Central Florida, and works as a Residential Graduate Assistant at Rollins College. In between her classwork, her GA duties, training for marathons (she has one coming up!), and obsessing over corgis, she manages to bake for her residents and friends.

A few weeks ago, I attempted baking, and realized that it was not a failed adventure! Nikki somehow managed to obtain the baking gene from our Mom, and is able to make even simple recipes amazing. Someday I will post about our ‘bunny cake’ fiasco. (cakes that look like bunnies…no, I have not cheated on being a vegan to consume a rabbit). The following is Nikki’s post…in her own words!

Ingredients:

organic pumpkin filling
chocolate chips
spice cake mix

“hi i am nikki! i cook these for my residents! Cook in the oven at 365 for 10 minutes. Dont add eggs or oil from cake mix, just use the powder. cookies will be soft and cakey!”

She would probably write more…but is responsible and is finishing her homework before going to a staff meeting!