Veggie Supreme Vegan Pizza

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I have such fond memories from my childhood of homemade pizza nights, and of my mom trying to enlist my help in rolling out the pizza dough…an activity that sounded fun initially, but one that I lacked the patience for. It’s still one of the things I dislike the most about making pizza, but it’s a necessary evil. That and I refuse to spend $5+ on a pre-made and frozen pizza crust. So maybe it’s a combination of frugality and stubbornness. I’ve seen the light, and instead of making my own dough, something I know how to do but prefer not to, we usually buy it from the pizza joint down the street. They give you a HUGE container full of it, enough for two large pizzas, all for $3! Next time you make your own pizza, try going to a pizza place and asking if they sell dough. :)

Homemade pizza night is always a big hit — whether it’s just the two of us or we’re having friends over to hang out. It’s easy, customizable, and makes the apartment smell incredible. When we adopted a vegan lifestyle, a little part of me was worried about what I’d do if we had people over. After all, when you think pizza you think ooey gooey cheese. And telling people that you’re using vegan cheese instead of what they’re used to, it might set off some alarms.

But this could not be further from the truth! As a former self-professed cheese addict (a real thing, I swear), I can honestly say that Daiya Mozzarella Shreds totally hit the spot on this pizza. They give it that cheesy, melty, ooey gooey appearance that people are used to…all without the nasty stuff in actual cheese. Oh, and if you typically use jarred pizza sauce, do me a favor and just try making the sauce below. It takes less than 2 minutes and there is no cooking involved. It will blow your mind, and you’ll never again be able to go back to the store-bought stuff! No salt, no oil, and sweetened with a few dates…it may not be traditionally Italian, but then again neither is the Prego stuff from the store. 😉

VEGGIE SUPREME VEGAN PIZZA

Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 slice
Nutritional Info: 190 calories, 4.2 g fat, 34.4 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g of fiber, 5.8 g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 

Ingredients

– 1 package pre-made pizza dough, or your own if making yourself
– 1 cup Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
– 1 cup diced peppers
– 1 cup diced mushrooms
– 1 cup diced sweet onions
– 28 oz canned plum tomatoes
– 3 dates
– 1 tbsp Italian seasoning

Directions

1. In a blender, combine canned tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and dates. Blend for 1 minute until fully combined.
2. Pre-heat oven to 475 and start rolling out pizza dough on floured surface.
3. I sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom of the pan or pizza stone so the dough doesn’t stick, but you can also cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Rub the top of the dough with a little bit of olive oil, which will get you that perfect crispy crust!
4. Layer sauce, mozzarella shreds, and toppings and bake for 20-22 minutes, checking around the 18 minute mark to see how it’s looking.

Mixed Rice and Bean Taco Salad

mixed bean and rice taco salad

Every time I make a bean and rice dish, I swear I start humming the song “Baby Got Back”….ya know the line “red beans and rice didn’t miss her!” Tonight’s dinner came together quickly because both Kristian and I initially had plans to be out tonight, both of which fell through. I hadn’t included a Monday dinner in this week’s meal plan, so I took stock of what we had and did a quick run to the food co-op for a few additional items. One such item was 4 lbs of cherries…because I just cannot get enough of them in the summer! YUM. Anyways, taco salad. Here we go!

I’ve been into black rice recently, but find that making a rice medley is a nicer way to enjoy it since it’s pretty dense on its own. We combined half black rice and half brown rice, so that’s what this recipe calls for, but use whatever you’ve got! Some yellow rice would be wonderful in this dish. I can always tell when something is a repeat meal because Kristian, who is usually the slowest eater in the world, absolutely devours it. And that’s exactly what happened with this one! Enjoy.

MIXED RICE AND BEAN TACO SALAD

Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1/2 cup bean mixture
Nutritional Info: 285 calories, 3.6 g fat, 24.6 g carbohydrates, 5 g of fiber, 33 g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 6 (not counting avocado)

Ingredients

– 1 cup rice, dry
– 1 15oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
– 1/4 cup salsa
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 package Upton’s Ground Seitan
– 1/4 cup Daiya Shreds, cheddar style
– 1/2 head romaine lettuce
Optional: avocado and hot sauce!

Directions

1. Cook rice on stove or in rice cooker.
2. Add cooked rice, seitan, beans, salsa, garlic powder, cumin, and a bit of water to a skillet to simmer and combine ingredients.
3. Chop up desired amount of romaine and top with 1/2 cup rice and bean mixture. Drizzle with hot sauce, Daiya cheese shreds, and avocado!

Maple Balsamic Seitan Grain Bowl

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Tonight’s dinner was sort of take-out-esque, in that it almost looked and tasted like a beef and broccoli Chinese food dish. Except replace beef with seitan and broccoli with collard greens. And I’m pretty sure they don’t use maple syrup or balsamic vinegar in most Chinese food dishes, so on second thought it was nothing like beef and broccoli. Moving on!

I had a package of WestSoy seitan strips in the fridge, an enormous bunch of collard greens, and some amaranth that I had no clue what I was going to do with. After some Googling, I discovered that amaranth might not be so great on its own in the dish I was envisioning, so I cooked 50/50 brown rice/amaranth in the ol’ rice cooker. Then, I sautéed 4 giant collard green leaves and the seitan in a bit of water, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar for some flavor!

MAPLE BALSAMIC SEITAN GRAIN BOWL

Servings: 2
Serving Size: 2 bowls

Ingredients

– 1 cup brown rice
– 1 cup amaranth
– 4 leaves collard greens
– 1/2 package seitan strips
– 1 Tbsp maple syrup
– 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 1/8 cup water
– paprika
– garlic powder

Directions

1. In a rice cooker or on the stove, cook brown rice and amaranth in a 2:1 water ratio, so 4 cups for this amount.
2. Over medium-high heat, sauté the collard greens in water until lightly wilted. You could use a bit of oil here, but I find that water is all you need…and it’s nice and light, too. Then add seitan strips, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and spices, stirring to combine fully. Cook roughly 5 minutes to let the flavors absorb.
3. Spoon the cooked rice/amaranth mixture into two bowls (makes much more than two servings, so you’ll have leftovers!). Then divide the collards + seitan between the two bowls, drizzling the remaining sauce over each bowl.

Vegan Grocery Shopping

Just a quick little video that I made to show some typical items that we keep our kitchen stocked with. This was a more expensive trip because of $20 of nuts and a humongous watermelon, but on average we probably spend around $300 a month on groceries for the two of us. We eat 95% of our meals at home, and I bring my lunch every single day (Kristian gets catered lunch at his company), so this is a really great way to cut down on costs while living in one of the most expensive cities in the world!

And it just goes to show that a vegan diet doesn’t have to be super expensive. If you look at the price of meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and dairy…that adds up VERY quickly and can totally bust your grocery budget. So whether you’re looking to save some money or cut down on animal product consumption from a health, ethical, or environmental reason…think about making a vegan grocery shopping trip!

Swiss Chard Chickpea Macro Bowl

Photo May 18, 7 06 14 PMOne of my absolute favorite meals of all time has got to be the humble macro bowl. It’s a good “clean out the fridge and pantry” kinda meal, and the sky’s the limit in terms of ingredients and dressings to use.

Macrobiotic meals in general consist of a nutritionally dense  mix of:

  • whole grains
  • vegetables
  • beans
  • greens
  • seaweed

When you toss all of these yummy items in a bowl…tah-dah! Macro bowl.

I like to cook up a big batch of grains early in the week — usually brown rice, quinoa, or millet. For vegetables, it’s whatever we have on hand and typically depends on the season. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, brussels sprouts, etc. Beans can be whatever you’d like! I rotate between chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and aduki beans. Greens can be kale, collards, swiss chard, or anything else that you enjoy. My top two seaweed choices are usually wakame or dulse.

For this dish, I opted for a super simple dressing (if you can even call it a dressing!): a simple drizzle of tahini with a generous helping of Cholula hot sauce. There are endless dressing options, and I’ll certainly share some of my favorites. But I just needed to get this in my belly tonight! :)

SWISS CHARD CHICKPEA MACRO BOWL

Servings: 1
Serving Size: 1 bowl
Nutritional Info: 269 calories, 10 g fat, 39 g carbohydrates, 10 g of fiber, 11 g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 8

Ingredients

– 1/3 cup cooked brown rice
– 1 cup swiss chard, raw
– 1/3 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 1/3 cup broccoli coins (the product of peeling + slicing typically unused broccoli stems! Try it!)
– 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
– 1 Tbsp crumbled dulse
– 1/3 cup sliced cucumbers
– sprinkle of nutritional yeast
– 1 Tbsp tahini
– drizzle Cholula hot sauce

Directions

1. Cook brown rice.
2. While rice is cooking, prep the rest of your ingredients
3. Combine in a big ol’ bowl, top with dressing, chow down!

Simple Vegan Wrap

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Biking to and from work each day for a grand total of 16 miles means that by the time I get home at night, I am usually famished! Add in an additional 30 minute lunchtime run today to clear my head during work, and that had me scrambling to assemble a quick and easy wrap to devour for dinner.

I’ve been getting these Bake Sense Roll-Ups for a while  now and I really love them. The ingredients are simple and they’re made in Brooklyn. Win-win!

Typically, when people think wrap or sandwich, meat and cheese are the first two fillings that come to mind. But plant-based wraps are just as good, if not BETTER! Try this one out and see for yourself how light yet filling it is.

SIMPLE VEGAN WRAP

Servings: 1
Serving Size: 1 wrap
Nutritional Info: 240 calories, 1 g fat, 46 g carbohydrates, 11 g of fiber, 12 g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 8

Ingredients

– 1 whole wheat wrap
– 4-5 leaves romaine lettuce
– 1 Tbsp Just Mayo
– 1 Tbsp hummus
– 3 slices Upton’s Seitan Bacon
– 1/4 sliced bell pepper

Directions

Spread Just Mayo and hummus on the wrap, layer additional ingredients, roll, and chow down!

 

Spiralized Summer Salad

spiralized cucumber salad

It’s finally spiralizing weather! Earlier this week, I dug my spiralizer out of the depths of the cabinet in preparation for it getting lots of use this summer. I was flying solo for dinner tonight, so I resorted to an old favorite that is a total cinch to throw together.

SPIRALIZED SUMMER SALAD

Servings: 1
Serving Size: 2 cups
Nutritional Info: 240 calories, 1 g fat, 46 g carbohydrates, 11 g of fiber, 12 g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5

Ingredients

– 1 medium cucumber
– 2 large cherry tomatoes
– 1/4 diced red onion
– 1/3 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 1/4 sliced bell pepper
– 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions

1. Use whatever tool you have to spiralize the cucumber. I have a Paderno Spiralizer and really love it!
2. Slice and dice assorted veggies. If you don’t have some of the ingredients, use whatever you have on hand.
3. Combine all ingredients into a bowl, squeeze 1/4 lemon on top and enjoy!