Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mama's a genius....

Portabello Mushroom and Tomato Sandwich With Caramelized Onions...

This sandwich is so awesome that I'm seriously considering opening a restaurant that serves it. My mom made it for me the other night, and I'm pretty sure I fell in love. It's lighter than a burger, but with all of the flavor and more. Serve with pickles, fries, sweet potatoes, or all three. Don't even bother with ketchup, mustard, barbecue, or ranch. They're not at all necessary.

Serves 4.
Total cook time: about 15 minutes.


4 whole portabello mushrooms
1 large tomato, sliced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 orange pepper, sliced (optional)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
Dash of salt
Dash of black pepper
4 hamburger buns (ciabatta would be good)

1. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic, portabello mushrooms, and half of the balsamic. Cook 3 minutes.

2. Add the tomato, the orange pepper, the remaining balsamic, salt, and black pepper to the pan. Cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high to high heat.

3. Toast the buns, put veggies on the buns, and enjoy.

Teryaki Zucchini and Eggplant:

Teryaki Zucchini and  Eggplant:

I made these veggies as a side on Mother's Day. My biggest issue with cooking summer squash is trying to char them a little without them getting soggy, so I cooked them on high heat for about 6 minutes. I didn't think anyone in my family would eat these, but they were gone the minute I put them on the table.


1 zucchini, sliced
1 medium eggplant, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup teryaki sauce
1 tsp. olive oil
Salt, to taste
Dash of black pepper


1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add garlic and saute briefly. Add zucchini, eggplant, teryaki, salt, and pepper.

2. Saute on high heat 6 minutes or until desired tenderness. You may have to cook these in 2 batches (mine barely fit into the huge pan that I used).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vegan Pasta Salad: ♥♥♥


Vegan pasta salad:


1 package penne or spring noodles, cooked according to package directions (add the chopped garlic to the noodles while boiling)
1/2 cup zucchini, diced
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped small
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
1/4 cup baby carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup Italian dressing (I used Good Seasons)
1/8 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1 tsp. Salad Supreme seasoning
1 to 2 tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of parsley or oregano (optional)


1. Add noodles and garlic to pot of boiling water. Cook according to package directions.
2. Once noodles are cooked and strained, add 1 tbsp oil, all of the veggies, Italian dressing, and balsamic. Add the salad supreme seasoning (if using).Toss to coat. Add more oil or dressing if needed.
3. Refrigerate for an hour or serve warm.

Vegan Garlic Knots:


Garlic Knots:

This recipe is a lot easier than it looks, and I’ve been told that these knots put Red Lobster’s biscuits to shame.  Enjoy.

Serves 8 (depending, I’ve known a few people who have eaten 5 knots in one sitting – not mentioning names).
Total cook time: about an hour


3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 to 1 ½ cups warm water
¼ cup warm water + 1 package rapid rise yeast + 1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more to coat
Dash of salt, pepper

1.       Dissolve yeast and sugar in the ¼ cup water. Set aside 10 minutes, until foamy.
2.       Add flour, oil, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Add yeast mixture. Slowly mix in the remaining water. The dough will be a little sticky, just add flour until you can knead it without it sticking.
3.       Knead for 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, coat with olive oil, and cover with a damp towel.
4.       Let rise for 25 minutes.
5.       After the dough has risen, roll it out into a 12 inch by 12 inch square. Cut in half, and then cut the halves into 6 inch by 1 inch strips. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil.
6.       Take each strip and knot it. Place on baking sheet.
7.       Let the knots rise for another 20 minutes.
8.       Preheat oven to 400º F.
9.       Once the knots are ready, brush them generously with the garlic “butter” (recipe below). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden-brown.
10.    Coat the knots with the remaining garlic butter.

Garlic Butter:

7 cloves garlic, minced or diced
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup Earth Balance buttery spread
¼ cup olive oil
Dash of salt

1.       While the dough is rising, add all ingredients to a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

♡ Vegan Kebabs:


Serves 6.
Total cook time: about 30 minutes.

My mother and I had a lot of fun with this. We had a few mimosas while prepping on Mother's Day morning. She accidentally got the orange juice with high pulp, and they were probably thicker than milkshakes. Her comment: "It's like food, with champagne in it!" (My mother is a very special person).


1 red onion, cubed
1 green pepper, cubed
1 orange or yellow pepper, cubed
1 pineapple, cubed
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup grapes

(We also meant to add zucchini and mango, but I forgot to bring it)

For the Balsamic Reduction:

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. Earth Balance buttery spread
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (or to taste)
Dash of salt


1. Whisk balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and brown sugar together in a small pot. Bring to a boil.

2. Whisk in remaining ingredients and reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.

3. Set aside.

4. Once the reduction is made, add the veggies and fruit to the kebabs in whichever order you want.

5. Brush with the balsamic reduction and grill on medium high heat for 7 to 10 minutes, turning kebabs half way through.

Vegan Smashed Redskin Potato Pizza: ♡


Serves 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are)
Total cook time: a little over an hour

If you've never made your own pizza dough before, this recipe is a little ambitious. Feel free to prepare the dough the night before to save time. You can also use premade dough or pizza shells, but  making the dough from scratch is most definitely worth it.

For the dough:
1/3 cup warm water + 1 tsp sugar + 1 tsp yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup rice flour (or just use 2 cups bread flour)
3 tbsp olive or canola oil, plus a little more for coating
garlic salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Parsley, basil, or any other herbs (optional)

1.      Stir yeast, 1/3 cup water, and sugar until dissolved. Let sit at least 10 minutes until activated and frothy.
2.       Add flour, oil, and yeast mixture. Stir until well combined.
3.      Add 3/4 cup cold water, garlic salt, and pepper. I also added a little bit a parsley and basil.
4.      Knead at least 5 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is sticky.
5.      Coat the bowl with olive oil, form the dough into a ball, cover with a damp cloth, and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.

For the potatoes:
4 medium redskin potatoes, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
1/3 cup almond milk
3 tbsp earth balance buttery spread (non-dairy)
1 tbsp. olive oil (for brushing over the dough)
Garlic salt
1 tsp paprika
Dash of pepper
1 tsp parsley
Leeks (optional)

1.      Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Boil the potato and chopped garlic ten minutes or until tender, add spinach and leeks 2 minutes before done boiling.
2.      When bringing potatoes to a boil, add the diced red onions to a pan coated with olive oil. Saute on medium to medium high heat until caramelized.
3.      Drain potatoes, stir in earth balance, salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, and almond milk. Smash the potato mixture with a potato masher. Make sure you do not over mash them.
4.      When the potatoes have about 5 minutes left, spread the pizza dough evenly in the cast iron skillet and bake on bottom rack for about 5 minutes.
5.      Take the dough out and spread the potato mixture evenly over the dough. Spread the onions on top. Add more parsley/ salt to taste. Coat the crust with olive oil.
6.      Bake for 25 minutes on middle rack of oven, move to bottom rack for the last 5 minutes (make sure to check it periodically though, as ovens vary).

NOTE: if you are not using a cast iron skillet, bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes.

PS: The potatoes are also really delicious on their own!
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