Wednesday, May 26, 2010

National Vegetarian Week! ~Day 3~

In honor of National Vegetarian Week. I've decided to post a weeks of my favorite vegetarian recipes that I make on a regular basis. I started with my Tortilla Roll-ups and yesterday I moved on to Hotwing Potato Wedges, but today... VEGAN/VEGETARIAN PIZZA!

Here is my Vegetarian Weeks Recipe List: (including links to past recipes!)

Monday:  Tortilla Roll-ups (- I've posted these before but they've always been a hit so I'm posting them again. If you plan on going online and googling Tortilla Roll-ups you won't find this recipe. I made this up one [very] drunken night years ago - it was an accident and a delicious one at that.)

TuesdayHotwing Potato Wedges Tuesday: Hotwing Potato Wedges(created for tailgating and because I feel I miss out on the finger licking fun of hotwings. This is a good alternative and it's delicious TA-boot)

WednesdayVegetarian/Vegan Pizza (people see the word "Vegan" and cringe at the idea of eating cardboard slathered in wallpaper paste. Don't be that guy... don't be that guy...)

ThursdaySalsa Bean Burgers with extra salsa sauce (I made this the other day and my husband loved it - the patties are big and filling, plus there was left overs so I had them for lunch for 2 days.)

FridaySalsa Avocado Dip (pretty much sums that up)

SaturdayBBQ Tofu with jasmine rice (once again - not brain surgery)

SundayThanksgiving Day Sheperd's Pie (There is nothing I love more than thanksgiving dinner. I make it at least 4+ times a year in different guises. This is one of my favs because I love shepard's pie and I love potpies and I love eating hearty meals. I apologize that its in the 80s this week.)

Vegan / Vegetarian Pizza

Pizza Dough... I've been trying (and trying) many different recipes. I've done the "beer" pizza dough to the old fashion buy the pre-made crap at the store. Here is my very FAVORITE recipe.

Mitch's Basic Pizza Dough

This is the one we decided we loved more than anything in my house and we have pizza at least once a week so we are well versed in this department. (I can't eat the chain kind and the kind I like... place went under. Enter us making our own.)

This is the recipe from the link above:

3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

I made a few changes for my own taste.
First, I do a mix of UNBLEACHED all purpose flour and (also unbleached) wheat flour.
Second, I like to make some garlic infused oil. It's easy. Grab a few whole garlic cloves - saute them in the olive oil until the garlic is nice and brown - strain out the garlic, let the oil cool. (Make a little extra. It's a nice thing to have on hand for salads and what naught.) If you don't have garlic on hand and still want to jazz this up - take the oil and add a teaspoon of garlic powder and put it in the microwave for about 10 seconds - then stir. (If you don't care for olive oil - use your vegan butter spread - melt it in the micro, add the garlic powder and let it cool)
Third, I use a whole packet of fast rise yeast. This makes my life easier.
Fourth, I sub the honey with my Florida Crystals (aka organic sugar)
Fifth, I only use a pinch of salt.

Set your oven to 425 degrees (218 Celsius) and let that darn thing pre-heat for at least 10 minutes.

SO - Take your 1 cup (8oz) warmer water. Melt the sugar in it and then add the yeast. Set it aside so it gets all yeasty.

You can follow the directions on the link to the original recipe, or you can be impulsive (like me) and just dump all the flour into your standing mixer, add your pinch of salt (turn it on low for a sec to mix it all nice) pour in your yeast mixture - turn it on until the mixer starts to make a jump for it. Then start kneading by hand.

(You may need more flour! You know - for dusting, etc.)

After you have everything looking pretty - let the dough rest. This is important. Trust me, it'll end poorly if you don't. Give it a few hours and in the mean time pick out your toppings!

For sauce, you can make your own.
I used to use this on:

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 6 fluid ounces warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste

(which is from But I make some alterations.

Instead of Parmesan Cheese I use Nutritional Yeast. (which is SO delicious)  I totally skip the Anchovy Paste (never a fan - up the salt if you are a fan but want to skip the fish) and just make a simple syrup with your organic cane sugar (or use an another honey alternative like barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup, molasses, maple syrup or liquid stevia. I'm leaving agave off the list due to the recent find that its pretty much worse the refined sugar.)

If you don't want to or don't have the time to make the sauce - Newman's Own has some sauces that are AWESOME and they don't have things in it like High Fructose Corn Syrup or Whey. But if you're buying ALWAYS READ THE LABELS, they like to sneak attack you with these things... MIND YOUR FOOD!

And then top it how you want!

For a cheese alternative I've used Vegan Gourmet and it's great. I love this stuff. Locally (as in the Cleveland area) I know you can get it a The Nature's Bin in Lakewood (that's where I get it) but you can also buy it online at places like Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe.

Sometimes we just skip cheese and top it with tons of things and I always sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on mine and boy is it YUM-TACULAR!


This next section I plan on post all week long too! Plus I'm adding things too keep it fresh!

(Links to what is in the above picture: Earthlings (documentary about animal cruelty put out by Joaquin Phoenix; Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: Awesome cookbook and here is the blog; The China Study: This book talks about nutrition and why we have heart disease and so much else wrong with us; Vegan Freak - book and blog, previously listed below; The Joy of Vegan Baking - direct and to the point!; Veganomicon - a book I want wicked bad!)

Vegetarian/ Vegan Resources:

In Ohio we (being the fun state that we are) recently passed an issues known as Issue 2 this past November. In that issues we stripped the rights of these animals that are being factory farmed in our state. Yes, I know some people say "Whatever they're food" but like I said before you should really MIND what you put in your BODY. The conditions these animals are in is deplorable and this actually effects what we eat - what we consume - WHAT IS IN OUR BODIES. 

There is a man named Eddie Garza that relocated to Ohio from Texas to help us get the 600,000 signatures we need to get this put back on the bill. To help us help the animals and in turn help ourselves. They need people to get these signatures! They need YOU! 

Here is his information:
Eddie Garza
Texas Campaign Coordinator
Mercy For Animals
214.609.4066 phone
614.559.6796 fax

PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Lend a hand! The more people helping the better chance of something happening. This is important to us and to our children. Just get a hold of him, take a sheet to work - have people sign it. (legibly) 

If you are looking to become Vegan or Vegetarian and just don't know where to begin because its hard. (because it honestly is a hard thing to do - I've fallen off the wagon over the last 20 years, but I keep trying) Here is a link to a ton of resources that you can DOWNLOAD FOR FREE!!! And who doesn't like free?

MORE Reading!!

And finally here are some other sites you just cruise around and check out:

Don't know where to shop? You can go to Whole Foods or Trader Joes - both have lots of veggie friendly foods. Not by some place that has either of these stores? Farmers Markets!!! Too busy for the farmers Markets?

We live in a day and age where we aren't hunters and gathers - we are shoppers and consumers. I understand why the Cherokee went hunting, but we have stores on every corner. There really is no reason for us to be consuming large quantities of meat. (And don't start giving me the "protein" argument. I will never agree with you. I was a vegetarian the entire time I was pregnant and my son was born strong and healthy, to the point it was a topic of conversation in the birthing room.)

It's easy and it's cheap to eat meat, but at what cost? It's effecting everything from global warming to your liver - so give it a go! Try my recipes, look up some other ones! One day a week say TO HELL with animal products! 


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