Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Roasted Veggie Thin Crust Pizza

We couldn't have envisioned a better pizza!! Caitlin and I were craving a "homemade" thin crust pizza with roasted veggies as the star topping and this pizza definitely delivered, it was everything we wanted and more! I use quotation marks around homemade because the pizza dough was store-bought. One day we will give homemade pizza dough a try. Oh yeah, and the tomato sauce wasn't homemade either. 
I have no regrets!

You see that Booster Juice cup in the corner? That's what hungry grrrls drink while preparing dinner, haha. Our favourite is Sonic Soy - sooo good. 

Oh ma'am! just looking at these pictures makes me want a slice right now! PIZZA IS MY FAVOURITE FOOD. The roasted veggies were so buttery soft and the hint of garlicky tomato sauce was perfect. And of course, the thin crust! It's been so long since I've had a good thin crust pizza. It was back in the day when I also had cheese on my pizza :O

You can totally use homemade tomato sauce and dough. Plus, you can use whatever vegetables you'd like. We're here to inspire tasty pizza everywhere, LOL. I always feel weird giving a recipe for something that's pretty intuitive so don't feel confined by my instructions, okay?

Roasted Veggie Thin Crust Pizza
Olive oil
2 medium eggplants
2 medium-large zucchini
½ cup of cherry tomatoes
tomato sauce
pizza dough*

*We were able to get three pizzas out of our dough but that all depends on how thin you roll out the dough and everything.

Preheat the oven to 425˚F.

Slice the eggplant into 1” rounds. Quarter the zucchini lengthwise and then cut it in thirds or fourths, depending on the size. You don’t want the zucchini to be cut too small because it roasts down quite substantially. Cover the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil and place the eggplant and zucchini on it. Cover the tops of the veg generously in olive oil. You will most likely need more than one baking sheet or to simply roast the veggies in batches. Roast for approximately 40 mins or until golden and soft. It's probably better if you just keep an eye on them so flip the veggies around every 15 mins or so. Add the tomatoes about halfway through cooking.

While the veggies roast, cut your dough into thirds and roll it out to about a quarter of an inch thick. Spread a thin layer of sauce along the surface of the dough.

When the veg is ready, divide it among the pizza crusts and then cook the pizza for approximately 20 mins but it all depends on the dough you’re using so just keep an eye on it. 

Here are a few words of wisdom a la Parks and Recreation:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Oat Flour

I'm a cookie kind of gal. Some people like fancy desserts but cookies will do just fine for me thanks. Don't get me wrong I like a fancy dessert every now and then but the humble cookie is what I really enjoy.

These cookies are soft and chewy with great peanut butter flavour. Truth be told, I much prefer peanut butter chocolate chip cookies over regular chocolate chip cookies. Firstly, I love pb and secondly, I don't like eating bites of regular chocolate chip cookies that don't have any chocolate chips. With pb cookies the whole cookie is tasty not just the parts with chocolate chips.

Plus, these cookies are made with oat flour which helps to give that chewier texture. Who doesn't like a chewy cookie, even if it's just slightly chewy? I love to eat peanut butter cookies that are made with heartier flours, how about you?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Oat Flour
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup cane sugar
1 heaping tbsp molasses
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup oat flour (use gluten free oats for gf)
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup Silk Coffee Creamer (or any non-dairy milk)
1/3 cup chocolate chips or more if you prefer

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.
Mix the sugar and molasses together in a large bowl until the molasses is well incorporated within the sugar. Next, add the peanut butter and cream the sugar and pb with electric beaters. Add the vanilla and beat a little more. Add the oat flour and mix to combine; it can get a little messy with beaters so if you have a strong arm you might want to abandon them at this point. Add the non-dairy milk of your choice and chocolate chips until just combined.  
Roll the dough into small balls and flatten in the palm of your hand. Place them ½ inch apart on the sheet and bake for 8-10 mins. After a few minutes remove them baking sheet and place on a cookie rack.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Beanball Sandwich with Artichoke Hearts

I love beans and beanballs are even better. This sandwich was so good. You can use homemade tomato sauce or store-bought. For store-bought sauce we love Victoria's All Natural Marinara Sauce, which you can find at Costco.

I heated a few artichoke hearts that I had chopped up and added them to the sandwich. They gave the sandwich a nice savory/brine-y flavour that cut the sweetness of the beanballs and the tomato sauce. 

You could, of course, add lots of toppings to this sandwich to make it pretty deluxe. Sauteed rapini or spinach, romaine leaves, chopped olives, sweet peppers... whatever you like! 

I substituted chickpea flour for the vital wheat gluten that the original recipe calls for, this made for softer beanballs. Using vital wheat gluten is ideal for a more or less true meatball texture but using chickpea flour (or even regular flour for that matter) doesn't affect the flavour by any means. Additionally, if you don't use vital wheat gluten these can easily become gluten-free beanballs!

Beanball Sandwich
Adapted from Veganomicon

1 20 oz can of red kidney beans
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
½ cup breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs
¼ cup chickpea flour or vital wheat gluten
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375° and grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

Mash the beans with a potato masher, make sure you break down any whole beans but don’t leave yourself with complete mush, keep some texture. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix through so that everything is incorporated well. Roll the bean mixture into walnut-size balls.

Place the beanballs on the baking sheet and drizzle or spray a little olive oil on top. Bake for 15 mins, they should be lightly browned. Flip them and place them in the oven again for 10 mins. Pour ½ cup of marinara sauce on top of the beanballs and make sure they’re coated. Bake for another 5 mins.

Warm some extra sauce in a saucepan and slice a couple of submarine buns in half. When the beanballs are ready remove them from the oven, spread some sauce on the buns, and add the beanballs plus any toppings.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes - Springtime Special

With it being Spring and everything I decided to make carrot cake cupcakes. Easter Bunny approved ;)

I just love Spring so much, it is truly a wonderful time of year. I also love the pastel colours that are out at this time of year, too. You just can't beat the pretty factor of pastels. That's why it was so fun to decorate these cupcakes! Hooray for Spring!

It's so beautiful and balmy today, it's totally caught me by surprise! I love balmy weather. It's the absolute best, haha. I love saying balmy too. Cheap thrills here. 

These cupcakes are sooo good! They've got a great, subtle sweetness and a light carrot taste. I used an extra fine grater so these don't have an overpowering carrot flavour but you can see little specks of orange which let you know they're carrot. These are also pretty fluffy cupcakes, maybe the extra fine grate on the carrot helps? 

I didn't go with a traditional cream cheese frosting because right now the only cream cheese we have on hand is this nasty Daiya variety. I mean yuck! So, I went with a regular vanilla frosting and added a dash of cinnamon. I've never been a big cream cheese fan anyway.

I really enjoy these cupcakes - their seasonally appropriateness and their delicious flavour!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
2/3 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup avocado oil
1/3 cup vanilla
1 cup soy yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup AP flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 cup finely grated carrot
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and spray liners with cooking spray/oil.
In a mixing bowl, mix together sugar, oil, yogurt, and vanilla. Sift in dry ingredients and combine until smooth. Fold in carrot and walnuts.
Fill the liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 26-28 mins. Let cool and then frost.

Vanilla and Cinnamon Frosting*
¼ cup margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
Splash of original unsweetened almond milk like Silk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp cinnamon

Beat margarine and ½ cup of powdered sugar together (it will be paste-like but don’t worry). Add the remaining sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat with a whisk.
*This doesn't make a lot of frosting so you can easily double it if you’d like.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vegan Strawberry Coffee Cake

Coffee cake is the perfect afternoon snack and with the holidays fast approaching this might just be the dessert you've been searching for.

Also, it's a great use for those strawberries that are a little less than perfect this time of year! Or just those rotting strawberries in your fridge.

Lately, we've very much been feeling the fruitier desserts rather than just chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Maybe it has something to do with Spring being upon us and the warmer weather that is approaching, or at least the presence of the sun since we're still below normal temps here. 

Here's a song I like to listen to during Spring.

This is a nice, moist cake, probably due to the substitution of yogurt for almond milk in the original recipe. It gives the cake more of a sponge-y texture that the addition of buttermilk normally yields. In that case this coffee cake is very close to that of a traditional, non-vegan coffee cake. 

Vegan Strawberry Coffee Cake
Adapted from Vegan Yack Attack
2 cups strawberries, diced
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 tbsp corn starch
¼ tsp lemon zest
½ tbsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
½ cup vanilla soy yogurt
1 tbsp ground flax
3 tbsp hot water
1 ½ cup AP flour
¾ cup cane sugar
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup cold margarine
½ tsp vanilla

Heat strawberries and sugar over medium heat in a sauté pan with half of the water. Bring to a boil and lower heat, stir occasionally. Make a mixture of the remaining water and the corn starch, make sure corn starch has dissolved. Once the fruit has broken down add the corn starch mixture and stir until the berries have thickened slightly. Remove from heat and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350˚F and take out an 8X8 in baking dish. Miraculously you do not need to grease it (I was skeptical too but it is true).

Pour ACV and vanilla yogurt into a liquid measuring cup, stir and let sit until curdled. Mix flaxseed and hot water together, also let sit until thickened. Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut in the margarine until crumbly. I just used a fork here and it worked well but you could use two butter knives. Add the flax egg and vanilla extract to the yogurt, stir and then add to the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, the dough will be clumpy.

Spread half of the batter along the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the strawberry mixture on top, followed by the rest of the batter – just dump spoonfuls of it on top of the berries, no need to smooth it out. Place it in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. The top should be golden. Let cool for 30 mins.    

Monday, March 31, 2014

Lemony Greek-Style Roasted Potatoes

YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE POTATOES. Please, do it. Honestly, they were the greatest thing I have eaten in a long time and I want to make them everyday. I can't even describe how delicious these are. They do take a good hour to roast but it's SO SO SO worth it! Best roasted potatoes in the world, I tell you.

Lemony Potatoes from Veganomicon

2 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold (yellow flesh) potatoes (medium to small potatoes work best)
1/3 C olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 C vegetable broth
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp tomato paste
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the potatoes, slice in half lengthwise, and slice each half into wedges no more then 3/4″ thick.
In a large, deep baking pan or casserole dish (at least 10 17-inches or bigger), combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, vegetable broth, oregano, salt, and tomato paste. Add the peeled, sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and toss the potatoes to cover with the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with foil (or use lid of casserole dish), place in the oven, and bake for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are almost done. Several times during the baking process, remove the pan from the oven, uncover, stir the potatoes, place the cover back, and return the pan to the oven.
Uncover the pan one last time, stir the potatoes again, and bake, uncovered, for an additional 15-20 minutes, until most of the sauce has evaporated and some of the potatoes have just started to brown on their edges.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Vegan Hazelnut Cupcakes with Mocha Hazelnut Mousse Filling and Chocolate Ganache

We made these cupcakes for our Mom's birthday recently. We went all out and ventured into the "fancy" section of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. This recipe is a 2-parter because of the mousse but, as usual, it's totally worth the extra time and effort. These cupcakes are fluffy, light, and decadent! The chocolate ganache is a must for the frosting. Nothing else would do. Make these for someone you love or just for yourself (self-love, right?!). 

Recipe found in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World on Page 113. 
Also available online here.
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