DINNER IMPROV: Green Pizza (Herb Dough with Roasted Cabbage, Asparagus, Kale)

Last week I ventured out to the Trader Joe’s by my Gram’s home, about an hour away. After I picked up approx. one million packs of tempeh (see: eight), I spent nearly an hour and a half roaming the isles. When I was a kid, the thing I hated most in life was food shopping. Oh, the irony!

I also snagged a few of their refrigerated pizza doughs – these are great to keep in the freezer until you find yourself with a bunch of veggies that are about to expire and you turn them into a pizza dinner. It’s like eating the plate!

The herb dough inspired this recipe. I thought it would be pretty to make an all-green pizza. You can go crazy with this and add whatever you like to eat on top – this would be great with pesto, leeks, shallots, etc…

GREEN PIZZA

  • 1 pack Trader Joe’s herb pizza dough (or use any vegan pizza dough)
  • about 8 stalks of asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 small green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 3-4 green onions (scallions) chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper

Green pizza

Let your oven warm to 400 degrees. Chop the veggies. Toss all veggies EXCEPT green onion in a bowl with a small amount of olive oil to coat. Lay them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for about 15 mins, so they begin to wilt but not yet brown.

Green pizza

Green pizza

In the meantime, roll out the dough on a floured surface. Transfer to a flat baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil on top. Throw the fresh minced garlic on the pizza, then brush the garlic and olive oil into the raw dough.

Green Pizza

When the veggies come out of the oven, put them on top of the pizza dough. Add chopped green onion. Bake for about 8-10 minutes when dough and veggies just start to brown.

Green Pizza

 

Garlicky and green!

 

The fresh garlic in the  dough makes it taste like garlic bread, and the sweetness of the roasted cabbage comes through behind the asparagus and kale. DELICIOUS.

Enjoy!

 

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But WHAT Do You EAT?: Vegetarian Summerfest FOOD 2011!

Summerfest was wonderful (which is an understatement) for many reasons, but one of the cherry-on-top bonuses of the week had to be that the college cafeteria was turned into a 100% vegan buffet for every meal. 

Every meal had a featured hot dish line, soup, fully stocked salad bar with homemade dressings (and extras like nutritional yeast and three kinds of lettuce!), a raw foods station, a gluten-free station, and several kinds of pizzas covered in Teese or Daiya. WOW.

(*Note: They do not offer coffee. Herbal green teas and juice like crazy, but for coffee you have to sneak off campus and drive a half mile up the road to stupid Starbucks. Which for some folks -ahem- needed to happen because the 4-5 hours of sleep every night made waking up difficult. Next year, BYO coffee pot.)

I took photos of almost every meal I had, and wanted to share them with you in case you are in a bit of a cooking/lunch idea/dinner menu slump. I may not remember everything exactly as it was, but I can tell you it was delicious and there is such a fun novelty of eating and not having to ask about ingredients, etc..

And now the real reason you’re here, the food!

Bean chili over quinoa with gluten free cornbread and sauteed greens. Mushroom pizza. Salad with the BEST RAW DRESSING OH MY GOSH.

A lunch.

 

Breakfast potatoes, mixed veggie millet, and fruit. Salad with lemon tahini dressing. Carrot muffin.

A breakfast.

This was my lunch after breakfast, a cooking demo with food samples, and hanging out at the vita-mix table… I opted for a mostly-raw lunch. The wrap is a savory tofu salad, and the raw foods plate is explained below.

A lunch.

They served raw food meals every day!

Sign explaining the above photo.

 

Salad, sauteed kale, pizza, veggie fritter, spicy cashew curry, raw peach soup, butterscotch cake.

A dinner.

Vegetable and tofu casserole, rice with a red pepper sauce, stromboli, salad with vegan thousand island dressing.

A lunch.

 

Baked BBQ tofu, collard greens, fresh herb and soup, pizza, salad, whipped berry dessert.

A dinner.

Potato bar! Sweet potato with tofu sour scream and PEANUT SAUCE THAT WAS INCREDIBLE, salad, bean and grains bake, garlic pizza, olive and tomato soup, cocoa cupcake.

A lunch.

 

FRENCH ONION SOUP!!!!!, unlimited Gardein baked chicken (*note: this was hilarious and weird because they are so much like chicken a lot of people were freaking out and thinking someone played a cruel joke), pasta and salad.

A dinner.

Pancakes with plums and cherries, grits, brown rice (got carried away with the sauce, woopsies), fruit and Field Roast sausage!  Plus the aforementioned coffee. 

A breakfast.

 

You’ll find this interesting: despite eating very well at every meal, noshing on cooking demo samples and lingering around the Vita-Mix guys several times a day… I lost weight. 

I thought it was just in my head, but my clothes were looser and upon returning home, one of the first things Ryan said to me mid-spooning was, “Where did your belly go?”     AH, THE POWER OF A PLANT-BASED DIET.

 

NEW YEARS EVE!: What is NOG, anyway?

This year after party-hopping among the homes of wonderful, creative people I settled in at my pal Alison’s colorful home for some of the tastiest vegan delights a celebrating girl could ever wish for!

Since the only thing I saw made from start-to-finish was the pizza, I’ll give you a step by step for this wickedly incredible indulgence, and the rest will have to come from a guest post and/or collaborative video with Ms. Alison herself. (She’s cute, you’ll like it!)

You’ll have to sit tight for this mixed drink recipe based on the Master Cleanse. No, really. Think: fresh lemonade, cayenne pepper, and various alcoholic additions like whiskey and bourbon. It was weird and awesome. Just don’t get silly and try to drink only this for 10 days. I won’t be responsible when you get fired and your partner dumps you because you’re a sloppy drunk.

Onward to the pizza! This is super easy, takes only a few minutes to put together, and can obviously be made with whatever ingredients you want. But know this: it was the best pizza I’ve had in a really long time. Thanks in no small part to the use of my favorite condiment ever ever ever, buffalo wing sauce. (Can we all agree to a universal new name for this? “Buffalos are cute Sauce”?)

Let’s watch Shiner make us this most delicious, hard-not-to-inhale food.

STEP 1: Begin with pizza dough. You can find balls (huh huh, I said “balls”) of dough in the freezer section of most grocery stores, but Shiner told me about this neat little trick where you can call a local pizza place and ask to buy just some of the dough, and most will sell it to you! They probably won’t even think you’re weird! (Ask about ingredients, obviously.)

STEP 2: Add the Sauce. I believe in this case he used an organic jarred marinara (spaghetti) sauce. Get crafty and make your own – and if you know how to do that, invite the rest of us over so we can learn, too.

STEP 3: Heat some breaded faux-chicken patties, cut into small pieces, then put in a container that has a lid. Add Buffalos Are Cute Sauce (see above), put on the lid and shake it all up til all the pieces are coated in spicy goodness.

*Note: I’ve made a lot of buffalo sauce stuff with unbreaded fake chicken, but really, the breaded stuff is SO MUCH BETTER on a pizza like this. Shiner has made a billion vegan chicken pizzas and concludes that breaded faux-chicken totally the way to go. I now concur.

STEP 4: Here comes an avalanche of Daiya! Daiya is still a relatively new vegan item, and has won so many accolades in the past year for being the very best metling vegan cheese ever. EVER. Cheddar and mozzarella flavors are available, in this case we used the latter.

And check this out: 1/4 a cup of Daiya cheese only has 90 CALORIES! If you like melty cheese but hate the gas/bloating/fat/sad cows, give this a try. I would NOT recommend something that tastes bad for fear it would forever turn you off to vegan alternatives. Your mind will explode. Truth.

STEP 5: Bake in the oven until cheese is melty and crust is a little crispy. Try 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

BEHOLD THE BEAUTY THAT IS ABOUT TO FILL YOUR BELLY.

I could sing Marvin Gaye songs to it all night long.

Alison wasn’t done with the tricks up her cardigan sleeve just yet. She outdid herself when she emerged from the kitchen with a punch bowl of VEGAN EGG NOG. It was incredible! I MUST have her here soon to fill you in how to do this, but I know it did include: rice milk, banana, nutmeg and cinnamon, some sort of liquor, etc…

That lead us all to a question that I’m still not sure I know the answer to. If you have insight, please comment below. WHAT IS “NOG”? It sounds horrible. Disgusting. Like something you cough up when you’re sick. Nog. Noggg. Ew!

The internet tells me this: “Nog used to refer to strong ale in England.” That’s not good enough. I can’t believe anyone would actually, willingly call something nog when there are so many more combinations of consonants and vowels available.

In any case, the vegan egg nog was delicious, despite the ridiculous name.

In the words of my pal Melanie “2011 is going to be my year even more than 2010 was”. HECK YES. Happy 2011!