Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Case of Vegetarian Pepperoni Pizza

I wasn't ALWAYS vegetarian. Not when I went to college, which means I fell in love with pizza – pepperoni pizza. Now...you can get pepperoni pizza just about anywhere. Vegetarian pizza as well. But not vegetarian pepperoni pizza.

Since I became vegetarian, and was faced with the dilemma of never eating pepperoni pizza again, or occasionally using one of those meat alternative products, I chose the latter.

Meat alternative products tend to be dry, due to a much lower fat content than meat. So I make necessary adjustments. In this case, I layer the cheese on top of the veggie pepperoni.

There's no doubt this is fast food for busy vegetarians with CRAVINGS. So I'll make my next recipe more in line with the Slow Food movement, like comforting Cabbage Rolls. Or maybe more gourmet, like Tomato Chèvre Tart. 

Vegetarian Pepperoni Pizza

1 focaccia
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 package Yves Veggie Pizza Pepperoni
1 large bocconcini, sliced
1 small bunch fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Lay the focaccia on a pan. Spread with the pizza sauce. Arrange the veggie pepperoni slices on top, then the sliced cheese. Bake for approximately 20 min. or until the crust browns and crisps, and the cheese oozes golden. Remove from the oven. Then by holding the top of each oregano stem with one hand and grasping a little further down with the fingers of the other hand and pulling down, sprinkle the pizza with fresh oregano. Serves 2. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Case of Pineapple Black Bean Salsa

Adore the scent of cilantro? The sweet-tart taste of pineapple? If so, this salsa is for you. Guaranteed to brighten a day, like a stroll on a DR beach. Exaggeration? What if I serve it in individual bowls on lime green plates, with mounds of the best, salty, crunchy tortilla chips...

You won't be surprised to learn I could be caught offering Pineapple Black Bean Salsa with tortilla chips as a light (whoa, not in the caloric sense) supper, say if Karl and I are tuning in to the new fall television season. Yes...we do get cable in Black Currant Bay. Salsa to Dancing with the Stars anyone? 

Pineapple Black Bean Salsa

1/2 pineapple, chopped
19-oz can black beans, rinsed
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds

Combine all the ingredients and chill. Serves 4.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Case of Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Smoothie (Picture Update)

Continuous improvement is my goal. If I tweak a previous post (correct an embarrassing spelling mistake for example), I won't deliberately point it out (am I nuts?), but if I make an important change or addition, I'll post an update, like this. UPDATE – picture of Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Smoothie. Get the recipe here.

I sipped the above, early this morning, while reading Blogging for Dummies. I was holding the glass, and sipping, and my mind wandered. Raspberry pink...martini glass... Of course I remembered that day last winter, in my friend Kathleen's kitchen. Kathleen's a kindred soul marooned in Black Currant Bay – a romance novelist.

     "What can I get you?" she asked. "Hot Chocolate? Chocolate Martini?"
     I lifted my brows because it was 10:00 in the morning.
     She clarified, "Honour of Valentine's Day."
     "By my calendar, not for another two weeks."
     "Celebrating the whole month of February," she said. And slipping me a china plate in a rose pattern, she added, "Cupcake with your drink?"
     The frosted and heart-sprinkled cakes looked tempting piled on a 3-tiered serving plate on her kitchen table. "Why not?" I said, taking one. "Never drink before noon I’m told, but nobody says a thing about cupcakes."
     "Fabulous breakfast food!" Quite the reader of expressions, she added, “What? Had your breakfast already?"
     "No."
     "There you go then. And they're 100% vegetarian."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Case of Carrot Ginger Soup

Every single time I stop in at Harvey's, somebody else besides me is ordering a veggie burger. Talk about mainstreaming. Still, tons of people look at me like I'm an artsy-fartsy, tree-huggin'...when I mention I'm vegetarian. Perhaps it's because you can't be in a Harvey's and in Black Currant Bay simultaneously.

Maybe some have the misapprehension that eating vegetarian is about deprivation. Not! I refuse to eat less-than food. Food means...well, food means a lot to me. In fact, if you were to ask me right this second to tell you what my vegetarian food motto might be, I'd say...why...I'd say, "Pig Out!"

And what's not to love about Carrot Ginger Soup? Saucy in the spice department. Just sweet enough to serve with toasted chocolate cherry bread. Yes! You read right. Toasted CHOCOLATE CHERRY BREAD (as pictured above). I was on this buying trip to the Greater Toronto Area, stopped in at Longo's, and there it was – calling to me from its crowded bakery basket...and I just couldn't leave it there.

Carrot Ginger Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp ginger root, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
pinch cayenne
1-1/2 lb carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
6 cups water
6 rounded tsps (for 6 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt
pepper

Sauté the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil for 5 min. Add the cumin, paprika and cayenne and sauté 30 sec. Add the carrots, potatoes, water, vegetable bouillon powder, honey and lemon juice and simmer, covered, for 30 min. Purée (wear an oven mitt and press down firmly on the blender lid because hot liquids can erupt). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4.