Roasted Vegetable Cornmeal Tarts, Two Ways

IMG_3926

What do you get when you have a whole fridge of vegetables that needed to be eaten like, yesterday, and no ambition to use a fork?

A vegan variation of pizza, of course.

IMG_3927

But let’s be honest: it’s difficult to sell people on a pizza with no cheese (although really, who needs it?) that’s why this is a tart. Tarts are fancier; they get the people excited.

IMG_3919

So now it’s not a “hey, I know how to chop vegetables and put a frozen crust in the oven” kind of night, but a “why yes, we’re having roasted vegetable cornmeal tarts in two varieties” kind of night.

Which do you think is more likely to attract that hottie at the health food store and get way more instagram likes?

IMG_3932

That’s what I thought.

Toppings:

-Onions, green peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and olives.

-Oven roasted zucchini, butternut squash, tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic.

tarts

Saute the peppers and onions separately until just tender, everything else can go in the oven at 400 for 10 minutes before loading it all up on your crusts and baking for an additional 12-15 mins. I bought the crusts in the freezer section of whole foods next to the frozen pizzas, but I know my secret’s safe with you. Now go show off.

Bon appetit.

Advertisements

I’d Love to Go Vegan, But I Don’t Have Time To Cook!

IMG_3782

 

So what do Vegans eat for lunch, anyway?

No human who works or has a life really has time to prepare fantastically gourmet meals three times a day. Being a vegan is actually really simple, not scary at all, and doesn’t require ridiculous or foreign-sounding ingredients lists. Don’t get me wrong – there are lots of ways to play with food, and the 10 million vegan bloggers out there all do a fantastic job of demonstrating the culinary prowess and bravado that goes with making really fantastic food.

Of course there are cooks all across the world who upstage little old me in that department.

But this is what happens when an average girl wants to eat a normal lunch and doesn’t have 40 minutes to make it happen. It’s healthy, balanced, vegan, and easy.

IMG_3784

 

I mashed up some tofu in a bowl with a little dried onion soup mix and some breadcrumbs, then fried it up like a burger until it was warm and crispy. About 5 minutes.

Then I topped it with basil, black beans, tomato and avocado. It was basically building a sandwich, minus the bread.

Sliced apples and sunflower butter on the side.

Done!

And no oven required. Bon appetit.

Fast Food, or Real Food Fast

IMG_3715

If there is one thing I would impart to the entire world if I could, it would be that being vegan is easy. Many people understand the environmental and health benefits of being vegan, but don’t think it would fit into their busy lifestyle.

Well, that’s bullshit because it can, and this blog is here to prove it.

For lunch today I opened the refrigerator and did that thing we all do where I stared at the contents and waited for something to jump out and cook itself. Nothing did. I checked the cabinets, the pantry and eventually came back to the fridge to look again because obviously something might have changed while I was gone.

Nope; Not really.

So, I grabbed a few containers of canned goods we hadn’t finished and decided to mush them up together and put the result on bread. Brilliance or luck? I’d like to think both but being honest, probably the latter. I don’t have that many brilliant moments, I just get hungry a lot.

Either way, the outcome was an amazingly accidental sandwich spread/potential dip that took literally 20 seconds to make and used up some leftover ingredients.

IMG_3717

Layered on a baguette from last night (that dad served with some meaty chili I couldn’t eat) with avocado and cucumber slices. I scooped some mellon on the side and this was a beautiful product of happenstance, jerry-rigging, experimentation, or whatever you would like to call random food-processing.

The moral of the story: this took less time than it would to cook a chicken breast, chop a salad, or order takeout. Don’t be afraid to throw something together, and see what you get. You’d be surprised what goodness comes out of taking risks, and being vegan.

Bon appetit.

IMG_3714

Ingredients

1/2 can of artichoke hearts

1/2 can of black beans

1/4 C. roasted red peppers

Olive oil

sandwich spread

Method

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend, adding oil until mixture reaches desired consistency.

You could blend longer for a creamier spread, or only a few pulses for a chunky dip.

Serving suggestion: On everything; chips, carrots, peppers, bread, crackers, veggie burgers, or mixed with green beans for a cold salad.

The Junk Food Vegan

IMG_3692

Health is hard.

It seems like every day there’s a new study released about the benefits of this berry or that grain, and we’re supposed to incorporate these new “discoveries” into our lifestyle at the drop of hat.

Let’s be honest though, ain’t nobody got time for that. 

IMG_3691

And when you ain’t got no time, you’re probably gonna do what I did: throw something in the oven. Vegans today are not unaware of such glorious inventions as “the microwave” or “the frozen section.” In fact, there are a surprising number of pre-made options available, the most glorious of which being pizza (as a 22 year-old what else can you say about this decision other than, “but of course”).

Enter: Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Phantasmagoria.

IMG_3689

Ok, that’s not really what it’s called but that’s how I feel about it. Just check out that ingredients list! Sexy. You are what you eat right? So, it’s perfectly normal to think of an ingredients list as sexy.

It is.

IMG_3699

So even though pizza is normally considered junk food, this savory little indulgence comes as close to healthy possible, or even desirable. The only thing left is carbs…and if you tried to make this without carbs I’d kill you.

Just consume with a fruit, a vegetable (kale salad, anyone?) and of course your preferred beverage of the moment; which we all know is a healthy pumpkin spice latte, served in a cat in the hat mug because creativity is cool.

IMG_3693

Bon appetit.

Brown Sugar Roasted Brussels Sprouts

IMG_3587

I know, I know. You have deep and complicated issues with brussels sprouts. You get flashbacks of being forced to stay at the dinner table as a child until you had eaten them all, holding your nose at the repugnant cruciferous beasts. Believe me, your not alone. Nobody can blame you, brussels sprouts are often the main obstacle between a child and his dessert, or are used by parents as a threat.

“Timmy, no chocolate cake tonight if I don’t see you eat every vegetable on that plate, young man!”

But this is no way for brussels sprouts to be treated, all they’ve ever done for a body is good. Loaded with fiber, vitamin c, and cancer fighting properties, brussels sprouts deserve a second look.

And with caramelization like that, I’d say they look rather ravishing.

Bon appetit.

IMG_3591

Ingredients

2 lbs of brussels sprouts, cut in half

2 Tbsp. vegan butter, melted

1/3 C. brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

brussels

Method

Toss brussels sprouts in the vegan butter and brown sugar to coat evenly.

Spread the sprouts out on a baking sheet, and sprinkle on however much salt and pepper you prefer. I like this recipe to have a little bite of salt, so I add less pepper.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, tossing the brussels once halfway through for even browning.

Serving suggestion: with fall pesto bean stew, or a whole grain.

IMG_3590

Vegan Chocolate Cake

IMG_3479

Let’s talk about cake, baby.

As a vegan, the number one thing I have difficulty with is dessert. (Most) dark chocolate is thankfully a-ok, but when it comes to grab and go options, pretty much every pre-made dessert on the planet includes dairy. As more of a cook than a baker, this saddens me deeply.

However, necessity is the mother of invention so naturally I took to google and found me a recipe. Posted by aliciak on instructables.com, it might be the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. And I like my cake like I like my men – rich, dark, and freakin delicious.

This is the third time I’ve made this cake, and they’ve all turned out fantastic (even the second one, when still drunk from the night before I forgot to add the flour and turned it into a “torte”).

It’s moist, decadent, rich, and she even includes a glaze recipe that knocks it outta the park. Or, you can be like me and skip it all together because like I said, I’m lazy like that.

The best part – we’re vegan, which means we can eat the batter.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar

Method

Put it all in a mixer, and mix. That’s literally how I did it.

Serving suggestion: in your mouth, all at once.

Bon appetit.