Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fast Awesome Pizza Dough

I love making me some pizzas. I hate waiting hours for dat pizza dough to rise. SOLUTION!

(Cue really loud fast music)

Now that my career as a hardcore singer is secure, here is what you need for two regular pizzas or one big, thick pizza:

2 - 3 C flour*
1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp salt
1 C warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried herbs of your choice, optional (basil, oregano, rosemary, chili powder, etc)

*Your amount of flour used will depend on the type you use. Ex) with an unbleached white, it is about 2 1/2 cups.


1. In a large bowl, mix 2 C flour, yeast, salt, and herbs.

2. Mix in warm water and olive oil.

3. You want a soft dough, but not a dry one. Mix/knead the dough by continuing to add flour by 1/4 C if needed.

4. Once you have a nice dough, knead for about 5 min on a floured surface until it is smooth and elastic.

5. Place back in bowl, cover with a slightly damp cloth, Let rise 10 minutes.

6. Preheat oven for 400 for normal pizzas, 375 for thick pizza.

7. Form the dough into balls and roll out to desired shape/thickness.

8. Oil pans and place dough on it. (*You can sprinkle cornmeal on the pan before you put the dough on it, if you're into that kinda thing)

9. Poke holes in the bottom and load up with sauces and toppings!

10. Bake 20-30 min or until golden brown.

Or make 6 mini pizzas you can bake in the toaster oven!

Protip: arugula on top! Boom!

PROTIP: Only need one pizza? Go ahead and bake a plain crust for 5 minutes, then put it in the freezer for later baking!

PROTIP: Calzones! Need I say more?

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Yuba (tofu skin in Japanese) is a very delicate dish that is very easy to make! The time you put in to it is so worth it!


Soy milk*
Soy sauce
Scallions, sliced (optional)
Wasabi paste (optional)

1 C soy milk = one serving.

*If possible, use a pure soy milk with no additives. Store bought is fine though, it's just a pinch sweeter.


Non-stick frying pan/skillet (NOT sauce pan)
Chopsticks or spatula
Small dessert bowl

1. In your frying pan, pour soy milk and heat on low-medium.

2. In a couple minutes, a slight skin will start to form on the top. When a skin has formed over the entire top (not just the center), use the chopsticks or spatula to start from the sides to pick up the ENTIRE skin in one piece. (It's totally ok if it rips, no one will know).

3. Place skin in the little bowl.

4. Repeat until all the soy milk is used. If making extra, pour in more soy milk as it gets low.

5. Pour a little soy sauce around the yuba. Add a pinch of wasabi on top and garnish with sliced scallions and present!

Amazing fresh and warm, but still great cold!
Mix wasabi with soy sauce before eating. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Awesome Mushroom Sauce

This sauce is so simple, yet mind-blowingly good!
You can use it on pasta, tofu slabs, a savory non-Asian stir fry... anything really!
Morel mushrooms work the best in this, but any number of mushrooms and mushrooms mixes could work in this (make sure they are fresh or re-hydrated. Fresh are available around May).

Awesome Mushroom Sauce (with bonus fried mushrooms)

1/3 C onion, diced
1/3 C red pepper, diced
4 T margarine

2 T flour
1 t sugar
1 T soy sauce
1 or 2 C vegetable broth (for a thick or soupy sauce)

1 lb fresh mushrooms, Morels suggested

1/2 lb (8oz) pasta, angel hair suggested

I love them so much. Changed the world of mushrooms for me!

1. Saute onions and peppers in 2 Tablespoons of margarine for 1 minute.

2. In a separate, medium sauce pan on medium heat, melt remaining 2 Tbsp of margarine with flour, sugar, and soy sauce. Mix well until thick and starting to bubble. This is your roux to make a thick, luscious sauce!

3. Turn to low heat. Mix in broth, mushrooms, onions and peppers. (My preference is to lean towards 1 C broth for a thick pasta sauce)

4.Cover and cook for 30 min. When done, feel free to taste for salt and fresh ground pepper

5. While sauce is cooking, cook pasta according to directions and drain.

6. Mix sauce with pasta or ladle sauce on top. YUMMMMMMYYYYY

PRO TIP: Knock yourself by adding extra veggies to stage 3. Peas, carrots, eggplant, etc. These are also good veggies to cut in large pieces for a stir fry to use with this sauce.

Original recipe on The Great
Full of lots of great Morel tips and eats!

Tofu with white button mushrooms and scallions


Pan fried mushrooms to go on top! (as shown in top photo)
Once again, this works best with morels.

Toss mushrooms in flour, and pan fry in hot margarine until crispy, golden brown! Heaven!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bourgeois Breakfast Buddies

This is just a fancier version of my Breakfast Buddies morning sandwiches. Instead of using a biscuit as the "bun", I have used croissant dough! Mmmm.

You will need:
Prepared polenta, firm. (This is your "egg")
Vegan sausage
Vegan cheeze

Add or omit anything else you like! (onions, faux ham, better than bacon, Hollandaise sauce, etc)

Take the croissant dough, and make it into a triangle shape.
(If using stuff in the can, they probably already will be, if not, roll out and cut)

Place goodies in the middle, take one of the triangle edges and fold it over your filling, connecting with the other side of the dough. Take the two left over edges and connect them in the middle. Bake as directed!

Simple and fancy! Win!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cashew Cheddar Cheeze Spread

Well, I finally broke down and joined Twitter. I am not "tweeting", but signed up because bands and what not have twitter-only news and such. However, most of my followings are now food related. Twitter has pushed me farther into the foodie realm. That is where I stumbled upon this recipe from Pretty Smart Raw Food Ideas.


1 C raw cashews, soaked 1 – 2 hrs., and drained
1/3 lg orange (or red) bell pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1 t onion powder
1/2 t sea salt
1 T chili seasoning, or to taste (optional)
Water to just cover cashews
***Pour in a little at a time, this is WAY too much water.

* Combine all ingredients in the VitaMix (or a high-speed blender) and process until smooth.
* Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

It is best the next day I think, when the flavors have time to develop. Fresh, it still has a taste of cashews, but then the sharpness of the "cheddar cheeze" hits you. Yum. It has the texture of hummus, and is just as good on crackers and carrot sticks!

It may be blasphemy to put a raw spread on a cooked food, but it's still delicious! I saved some to put on a grilled cheeze. Of course it's not ooey-gooey since it is a spread, but it has great flavor and you can pile it on because it is way healthier than the processed fake-cheezes.

Grilled Cheeze with fresh basil and tomatoes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Green Bean Casserole

I'll be honest. The thought of the traditional green bean casserole turns my stomach. Lifeless, canned green beans with salty, fake onion thingies on top? No thanks.

I recently had some fresh green beans, and wanted to do something special with them. Something saucy!
I made my own casserole based on this recipe for Green Bean Casserole Redux at And boy oh boy, was it ever good!

Like everything, I just eyeballed it. I used what I had on hand, which was a handful of green beans, enoki mushrooms, powdered garlic & thyme, and onions instead of shallots. No biggie, still delicious! I also used individual bowls to bake it in.

Green Bean Casserole Redux

* Béchamel Sauce (warmed)
[Vegan Ronin's Béchamel Recipe]
* 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/2 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 teaspoons minced thyme leaves
* 5 medium shallots, sliced (about 1 1/3 cups)
* 3/4 cup flour for dusting shallots
* 2 cups vegetable oil for frying

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until bright green and just tender, about 6 minutes; drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until cold. Set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot and shimmering, add mushrooms and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are brown on edges, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

3. Combine green beans, mushroom mixture, béchamel sauce, and thyme in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer into a 2-1/2-quart baking dish and set aside.

4. Dust sliced shallots in flour and shake off excess. Set aside.

5. Pour vegetable oil into a large 10-inch frying pan (should be 1 inch deep). Heat over medium-high heat to 350°F, about 4 minutes.

6. Fry shallots in batches, until light golden brown on edges, about 2 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

7. Top casserole with fried shallots and bake in oven until shallots are golden and crispy and casserole is bubbly and heated through, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Vegan Empanadas

Empanada: a stuffed bread or pastry. South American empanadas are normally small and semi-circular. Thanks Wiki!

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times: March 2009, pg 85.

I followed the recipe in general, I will put my comments and ideas in regular (parentheses) but everything else in italics is 100% VT. Photos are mine of course.

Banana and Black Bean Empanadas
Serves 6
A more healthful variation on the classic Argentinean pastry, these empanadas call for whole-wheat flour and are baked instead of deep-fried.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-pupose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
4 Tbs. cold soy margarine, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup cooked black beans
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
2 bananas, peeled and diced (1 cup)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 ts. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

(If you DO NOT want/have bananas, use 2 CUPS of whatever. Corn, chopped peppers, more beans, spinach, fake meat, etc)

1. To make Crust: Sift flours salt, and chili powder into a bowl. Mix in margarine with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together applesauce, vinegar, and 1/3 cup cold water in a separate bowl. Stir applesauce mixture into flour mixture until texture dough forms, adding up to 1/4 cup more water if necessary. (I used 1/2 C of water- just remember add it slowly, not all at once!) Knead on lightly floured surface until dough comes together. Form into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour, or overnight.

2. To make Filling, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add beans and garlic, reduce heat to medium, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in bananas, cumin, cayenne, and coriander, and cook 2 minutes, or until bananas begin to break down and spices are fragrant. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro and red pepper sauce.

3. Preheat oven to 400F.
(Depending on your oven- wait until you're done rolling the dough, otherwise you will be wasting A LOT of energy) Divide dough into 12 balls. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll out each ball to 6-inch round (1/4-inch thick) on lightly floured work surface. Fill with 2 Tbs. Filling (More like 3 Tbs to fill it up with non-banana filling) and brush edges of pastry with water. Fold dough circle in half, press to close, and crimp edges with fork to seal.

Transfer to prepared baking sheet, and repeat with remaining dough balls and Filling. chill 10 minutes. Bake empanadas 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet before serving.

(I would brush a little oil on top before baking to give it some crunch)

I used the rest of my can of black beans, mixed peppers, corn, and veggie steak strips in my empanadas.
The spice mix is nice. The dough is really good and I would like to use it again to make calzones or Cornish pasties. It's a little soft- not a lot of crispiness, which is why I suggested the oil. They seem to be a bit dry though. You cannot add sauce to the inside or the dough won't be crisp. So some salsa or heated enchilada sauce might be nice to have on hand.
Reheat leftovers in the toaster oven- totally awesome.


Monday, March 02, 2009


Thank you! Thank you Vegan Dad! For being totally super awesome!

This recipe is obviously from Vegan Dad: Homemade Sausages. They are dead easy to make, super customizable (more spicy? more savory? no prob!), half or double the recipe... can I say more? You won't being buying fakes from the store anymore!
Pro-tip: Fennel seed is the KEY to awesome sausageness, try not to skip it!

- 1/2 cup pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cold vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, grated (with a microplane, or very finely minced)
- 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Several dashes fresh black pepper

1. Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready, bring water to a full boil. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.
2. Have ready 6 sheets of tin foil. In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork. Divide dough into 6 even parts. Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll. Don’t worry too much about shaping it, it will snap into shape while it’s steaming because this recipe is awesome.
3. Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes.

With Japanese curry

Sausage with onions and ketchup. No need to hide all those flavors!