Roasted Vegetable Cornmeal Tarts, Two Ways

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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.

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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.

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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?

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That’s what I thought.

Toppings:

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

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

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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.

Roasted Apple and Carrot Salad with No-Carb Deep Dish Veggie Lasagna

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Today’s dinner was good exercise for my cutting board. Embracing the cooler weather, I was craving something hearty, warm and included the fresh local apples my mom recently brought back from the orchard. I was also not particularly picky about how much prep time went into this, because it was basically all chopping. Not that I mind, I find it therapeutic (interestingly, although I’ve been chopping my own vegetables since about first grade [I know!] I’ve only cut myself once, and that was last year). This was a two birds, one stone scenario. What a delicious way to blow off steam.

The resulting dish was a delicious warm roasted carrot and apple salad with dried cherries & cranberries, walnuts, and a horseradish & apple cider dressing.

roast salad

Basically take baby carrots, three apples, and 2 oz each dried cherries and cranberries and toss them in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste.

Then mix in 2 Tbsp. horseradish, 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, and 4 Tbsp. olive oil.

Next roast in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes.

Finally add in some walnuts (you may toast them separately if you like, I didn’t want them to burn in the oven) sprinkle with garnish of choice, and promptly consume. Or wait until a deep-dish vegetable lasagna is finished getting all hot for ya.

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A cheese-less, noodle-less vegetable lasagna is constructed by layering eggplant, orange bell peppers, tomatoes, pesto and “tofu cream” in a deep pan. After alternating a sufficient number of layers to fill the pan, top it with some vegan mozzarella, bread crumbs, italian seasoning, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Bake at 450 for 40 mins to achieve the following:

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I livened up the visuals of mine and added another layer of flavor with some fresh basil on top (to make it more italian?).

Altogether, I’m not sure I’ve ever consumed such a wide variety of vegetables in one dinner before. The flavors were so vibrant, fresh, unique and perfect for the season.

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The only way to follow up such a dinner of course, was with some apple crisp lovingly prepared by mom last night. She even specifically looked for a vegan recipe!

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We’re starting to understand each other.

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Bon appetit.

P.S. Tofu cream is made by food-processing some firm tofu with a 1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, some salt and pepper, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 Tbsp. sugar or sweetener and 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast. This is a delicious ricotta alternative, but can also be used as an excellent dip.