09.29.12_Vegan Buffalo Pizza

Photo credit: nofaceplate.blogspot.com
Let me start by apologizing for going almost an entire month without posting! I cannot believe that it is already October. Time has been flying by. I started a new job this month which has been keeping me super busy and Phillip also got to travel for his job so needless to say, we've been all over the place. With that being said, I also cannot believe that this is our 100th post! We are still having a great time cooking vegetarian meals and blogging whenever we get the chance. Thanks to everyone who has read any of the posts of the past year or so and continues to read the blog. Now, onto the post!

While Phillip was out of town I went over to have a relaxing night in with Caitlin. She told me she had found a recipe for a Vegan Buffalo Pizza that sounded like it was right up my alley. Caitlin told me that she had to "make the cheese" so I was intrigued to see how this all worked out. The "cheese" itself was a cashew cream with garlic and nutritional yeast which apparently is what gives it the smell and taste of cheese. Caitlin took the lead on this but it seemed simple enough.

Once I got to her place, we roasted slices of tomatoes and mushrooms in a 400° oven for 20 minutes. We tossed the mushrooms in hot sauce before roasting. The recipe calls for Franks Red Hot (mine and Phillip's favorite) but Whole Foods does not carry that so Caitlin bought a different hot sauce. And boy was it hot. It was super delicious but had a serious kick! While the vegetables were roasting, we rolled out store bought dough and chopped up some celery sticks and carrots. We brushed the dough with olive oil then spread a good heaping of the "cheese" out to act as the glue. We topped the pizza with the mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots and celery, before dropping globs of the "cheese" around the pizza.

The pizza baked for about 12-15 minutes in a 450° oven. While the pizza was baking we made the jalapeno parsley puree that got drizzled on top. After I pulsed all the ingredients together it seemed a bit runny, so I added a few TBSP of flour to thicken it up. The pizza was surprisingly delicious though incredibly spicy. I think a large portion of that can be attributed to the hot sauce we used because we even took out the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno. Caitlin made some Fall Sangria to go with it, making for a fun and relaxing night with my best friend! For some reason my pictures turned out terrible (blurry and super dark) so I had to steal one from the original recipe. Thanks nofaceplate!

09.24.12_Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli Pasta

Hello all, this is Phillip again. It's been hard to keep up with the blog recently with our new jobs. Even with the recent changes in our lives, we make sure to stick to our vegetarian home cooking lifestyle, even if we eat dinner a little bit later.

A couple weeks ago, Jonathan had to stay at work late, so I made our dinner. As with everything I cook, the easier the dish is, the better. Jonathan sent me this recipe for Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli and said it would be good to toss into pasta with some olive oil and lemon juice. Here's our version of Ina's great dish:

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli Pasta
Serves 2

For the roasted broccoli:
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 TSP lemon zest
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBSP julienned fresh basil leaves
  • 1 TSP red chili flakes
For the pasta:
  •  1/2 lb fettuccine
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

I cut the broccoli florets from the stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets - per Ina's instructions. I cut all of the florets in half, long-ways, and laid them flat on the baking sheet. I tossed the broccoli with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and roasted them in the oven for 25 minutes.

While the broccoli was cooking, I boiled the pasta. After draining the pasta and setting it aside, I pulled out the broccoli and tasted a couple florets. I don't ever remember eating roasted broccoli before, but it tasted a lot like the kale chips I like to make. There's just something I must love about roasting dark greens until they're about to char.

I tossed the hot broccoli with a little bit of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan and basil. Once I completed the roasted broccoli, I tossed it throughout the pasta, adding the remaining lemon juice and a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper.

This is a simple meal that was incredibly delicious. Next time, I would add even more broccoli, because I was so obsessed with it.

09.09.12_Spinach Burgers and Potato Wedges

Caitlin posted a link to a recipe for Spinach Burgers on my Facebook wall the other day. She told me that when she made them they fell apart a  bit but that hopefully using real eggs instead of egg replacement would hold the burgers together better. I've had a lot of bad luck with "burgers" falling apart when trying to flip them. I did not want to take any chances with these so I decided to take the recipe and adapt it a bit so that they would hold together better.

The burgers stayed together great and tasted amazing. My mom makes this Spniach Souffle/Casserole that I LOVE and the burgers reminded me of that a lot. We served the burgers on regular buns, and topped them with some hot sauce; you know how much we love hot sauce (see Buffalo Fried Goat Cheese, Tofu Buffalo Wings, Buffalo Popcorn Chik'n). I had a leftover burger for lunch today and put ranch on it since we were out of hot sauce and it was equally delicious. Phillip made some potato wedges as a yummy side dish.

Spinach Burgers
Serves 4  
Adapted from The Domestic Mama & The Village Cook 
  • 1 10oz bag spinach
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cub panko bread crumbs (or regular if that's what you have)
  • 1 TSP red pepper flakes
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • Extra virgin olive oil

1. Defrost the spinach and squeeze out all the excess water. I usually wrap the spinach in paper towels when doing this.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the spinach, cheese, egg whites, egg, onion, garlic pepper flakes, salt, flour and bread crumbs until everything is incorporated. I used my hands for this. Also, I minced the onion super fine because Phillip isn't a huge fan of onion still and I also did not want huge chunks of almost raw onion running throughout the patties. If the mixture seems a little too wet, you can always add more flour or bread crumbs.
3. Divide the mixture into four equal parts and form them into patties.
4. In a large skillet, add some extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat, and cook the patties about 4-5 minutes on each side. Cover the pan so that the patties will steam a bit, helping the cheese melt and the onions soften.
5. Serve plan or with a dash of hot sauce, ranch, or any other toppings you like!

Potato Wedges
Serves 4  
  • 3 russet potatoes
  • 1 TBSP fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 TBSP red pepper flakes
  • 1 TSP fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place potatoes in pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
3. Remove potatoes and place in an ice bath for a minute or two, to make them easier to handle.
4. Cut potatoes into about eight equal wedges. Place wedges in large mixing bowl.
5. Coat potatoes with olive oil, and mix in with the rest of the ingredients. Toss well to make sure it is evenly coated.
6. Place wedges on baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping half-way through.