Recipe: Whole Wheat Vegan Pizza

image-8

I’m pretty proud of this melt-in-your-mouth homemade creation.

Ah, how I love pizza. It is one of the things I miss most about the Standard American Diet: a hot, cheesy, slice of deliciousness with a satisfying, carb-y crunch at the end.  I have definitely been known at my low points to succumb to late night pizza desires, preferably at Antonio’s Pizza by the Slice:

Exhibit A.

Exhibit A.

So, after getting off of work an hour and a half later than usual tonight, I wanted something for dinner that would really hit the spot. This pizza sure did the trick…I am a bit ashamed to admit I ate a whopping three slices.

The other awesome thing about homemade pizza is that it has the same all-purpose function as a great casserole: you can chop up any unused vegetables in your refrigerator before they would otherwise go to waste. Tonight, I literally took out every perishable veggie from my fridge, methodically chopped them all up, and tossed them artfully on my pie.

Even though I have recently begun to suspect that I’m slightly sensitive to gluten, I decided to bite the bullet and use up the rest of my whole-wheat, organic King Arthur’s flour in the spirit of using my unused food. (I recently bought gluten-free brown rice flour and am excited to try it in some new recipes, soon to come.)

image-6

She is a thing of beauty.

Whole Wheat Vegan Pizza

for the dough

  • 3 1/2 cups organic, whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur’s brand)
  • 2 tbsp dry, active yeast
  • Freshly cracked sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (not too hot–you should be able to touch it with your finger)

for the toppings
(once again, you can really use anything you want here- this is what I used today)

  • 3 chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped jalapeño peppers, seeded and pitted
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced into thin circles
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into thin circles
  • 1 jar organic pasta sauce (make sure there is no sugar in the ingredients)
  • red pepper flakes
  • paprika
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • Daiya mozzarella-flavored “cheese” (I used half mozz+half cheddar, because I only had a little mozz left)
  • Freshly torn basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil (preferably organic and cold-pressed)

dough instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Put the yeast and the warm water in a small bowl. Stir and let sit until dissolved.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour and salt. Press the (dried) cup measurer into the center of the flour to make a well-shaped indention.
  4. Pour the warm water and yeast mixture into the indention, and then mix the entire batter together. (I used a metal spoon at first, and then used my hands to really knead all the ingredients together.) Work the dough into a ball shape.
  5. Wash and flour your hands. Continue to add (small amounts) of flour to your hands and knead until the dough is no longer sticking to them.
  6. Wash out the bowl you used to mix the flour and water together. Lightly oil it with cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Place the dough ball in the bowl and cover with something that will let the dough “breathe” (damp paper towel, tea cloth, damp cloth, etc.)
  8. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 min-1 hr. I usually place the bowl in my oven, but don’t actually turn the oven on.
  9. Use a rolling pin (or tumbler glass, if you’re a poor college student like me) to roll the dough out onto a lightly greased 32 inch pizza pan. Make sure you get all of the air out.
  10. Put the tin in the oven for about 10 minutes to make sure the dough will bake completely in the center. Take the pan out, and increase the oven heat to about 350 degrees.

now, for the toppings:

  1. Add the pasta sauce, and spread evenly across the dough. If you’re a sauce-lover like myself, you might use as much as a whole jar.
  2. Begin to add your toppings. I like to add the bigger stuff on the bottom: sliced tomato, sliced zucchini, etc., and work my way to the finely chopped ingredients: garlic, jalapeño, etc.
  3. Add any spices you like. I added paprika, freshly cracked pepper, and red paper flakes.
  4. Bake the pizza in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of baking, add the Daiya and torn basil. (Slice into the center of the pizza to make sure the dough is fully cooked before removing.)
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes, and enjoy!

I served this dish with a side of yesterday’s Crunchy Vegan Kale Chips…a perfectly light complement to this hearty meal.

Recipe: Vegan Southwestern Broccoli Casserole

Gooey, creamy, and full of veggies -- this casserole was a hit.

Gooey, creamy, and full of veggies — this casserole was a hit.

Inspired by yesterday’s Broccoli Cheez Bites, I decided to whip up a casserole with similar ingredients for dinner tonight. I haven’t enjoyed a casserole since childhood, and I’m a little disappointed I haven’t thought to use them as a part of my poor-college-student arsenal of kitchen knowledge. Casseroles are incredibly cost-effective and easy to make. They also are a great way to incorporate unused veggies into a meal before they go to waste.

I have also never tried to make a vegan casserole. I think I did pretty well for my first attempt! After perusing the blogosphere for the ingredients in a “typical” casserole recipe, I came up with this concoction.

(You can literally use anything you want or have on hand in a casserole. These ingredients are the ones I had on hand, so this is what I came up with.)

Vegan Southwestern Broccoli Casserole

4 wild mushrooms, chopped
1 white onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Garlic cloves to taste, minced (I love garlic, so I used about 4)
3 cups chopped broccoli
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 large roma tomatoes, chopped
Hummus (I used half a container of Lilly’s brand)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 cup salsa (or however much you desire-I love salsa and added a lot)
1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese (or any flavor, really)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix onion, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, and broccoli together in a bowl.

Add salsa and mix together, using your hands. Add nutritional yeast and mix with hands. Add hummus and mix with hands. The result should be a thick, creamy mixture. (For an extra cheesy dish, add extra Daiya to the mixture as well.)

Lightly grease a glass casserole dish. Place the mixture evenly in the dish. Cover the top of the dish with a layer of Daiya cheese and freshly cracked pepper.

Bake for 30-45 minutes and enjoy!

Broccoli “Cheez” Bites

image

Cheezy goodness.

Mmmmm, cheese. I definitely can commiserate with the emphatic cries of non-vegans who just can’t live without it. When I first became a vegan, I adhered to a vegan-at-home, vegetarian-out regimen, occasionally indulging in a slice of cheese pizza (meatless, of course) when I was out on the town. Eventually, I decided it was time to put on my big girl panties and start eating 100% vegan, 100% of the time.

That was when, in a cheese-induced desperation, I discovered Daiya. Delicious, affordable, and soy-free, I just can’t rave enough about this dairy-free cheese.

But this isn’t a PSA, so on to the recipe. Today, I was craving some hummus and Daiya after work, and rummaged through my kitchen pantry to create these little beauties. They were a hit – even my non-veg boyfriend loved them.

Broccoli “Cheez” Bites

1 cup chopped, thawed frozen broccoli
1 cup Daiya cheddar style cheese
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup hummus

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, and form small patties with your hands.

Place the balls on a lightly oiled pan. I smushed mine once on the pan to help retain shape.

Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the patties and bake for another 15 minutes.

Garnish with freshly cracked pepper, and enjoy!