Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Making pizza with kids is a great way to have fun together, be creative, and get your kids to try new veggies, and it can be a really healthy meal to share too.

We usually make the yeast-free pizza crust from Sarah Kramer's La Dolce Vegan, because it's fast and easy, but use any pizza crust you like, store bought or homemade. We usually make our own sauce as well, but sauce from a jar is quick and easy and good too. We used black olives, sauted mushrooms, and red peppers this time, but the best part of making your own pizza is being free to use anything that pleases you. We used dayia cheese shreds this time, and it is so awesome the way it melts like regular cheese. I am very fond of M.V.C. pizza cheese too, it is pretty amazing.

To make crust from La Dolce Vegan : 11/2 cups flour (we use whole wheat)
                                                            1 tsp baking powder
                                                            1/2 tsp dried oregano
                                                            1/2 tsp dried basil
                                                            1/2 tsp salt
                                                            1/8 tsp black pepper
                                                            egg replacer to equal one egg
                                                            1/4 cup oil
                                                            1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. lightly oil a baking sheet. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir in egg replacer, oil, and milk until well mixed. Place dough on baking sheet and with floured hands press dough down to fit pizza pan. Bake for 10 minutes BEFORE adding pizza toppings. Then bake for another 10 - 15 minutes. Makes one pizza crust.

We always use flax egg replacer in our crust. To make, first grind up some flax seeds in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder. Then mix 2 tbsp flax powder with 3 tbsp water and let sit 2-3 minutes before adding to baking.

Some things that I find helpful when making pizza with children are to put pizza toppings in small bowls. It limits the amount of things going on the pizza without you having to keep reminding them to not put on too much. And use a few things you know your child loves, but add one or two toppings they have not had before. This time I had a bowl of olives and a bowl of vegan cheese, which I know little sprout #1 loves, but I also had a bowl of mushrooms and some red peppers that she'd not had before and she used them and tried them too!

Make your pizza as crazy, exotic, plain or simple as you like it. And have fun!


I've been longing for a muffaletta sandwich. The kind you can get in the French Quarter in New Orleans. It has been a terribly long time since I've had one, so I decided to concoct my own vegan version. It was so very good! I started with a sourdough round from my local bakery, I bought some marinated olives, a jar of marinated veggies, vegan "cheese" slices, tofurky ( the only vegan "meat" I like), plus some old hot peppers, jarred, roasted red peppers, and baby greens that were already in my fridge. This was SO GOOD! I'll definitely make it again, and again, and again!
                      You'll need: a round sourdough (or any rustic bread you like)
                                          some marinated olives (several different types mixed together is nice)
                                         a jar of marinated, mixed vegetables
                                          jarred roasted red peppers
                                         hot peppers, if you like them
                                         vegan cheese slices ( I used Galaxy Nutritional Foods American Flavor)
                                         vegan cold cuts, a mix would probably be more authentic, but I used tofurky
                                         lettuce (I went with the mixed baby greens that were in my fridge)
                                        something to weigh the sandwich down with
1. Slice the sourdough in half so you have a top and a bottom. Remove a bunch of the bread from inside (little sprout #1 enjoyed dipping the insides in her soup at lunch while I made the sandwich).

2. Layer everything on in what ever order makes sense to you, but you really want the oil from the olives to mix in with everything.

3. Put the top on and weigh that sandwich down! I put mine in a large pot and put a cast iron skillet on top with some soy milk boxes in the skillet for weight. Use what you have to make it work. And leave it for a couple hours.

4. Cut it up, mine was cut in four pie shaped wedges, but how ever you want to do it is fine.

That's it! Easy peasy, and so good.  It taste's really yummy with an icy cold root beer.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vegan Tofu Pad Thai

1 Block Tofu
2 Tbsp Peanut Oil
1 Onion
3 Cloves finely chopped garlic
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Bunch Scallions
2 Cups Veggies
1/3 Cup Sweetener
3 Tbsp Crunchy Peanut Butter
1/3 Cup Tamari (Wheat free tamari makes this gluten free!)
3 Juiced Limes OR 1/3 Cup Juice
1/3 cup Water
1/2 Tsp Thai Chili Paste
2 Cups Mung Bean Sprouts.
Crushed Peanuts
Quartered Lime

  1. Preheat frying pan or wok on medium heat for 5 minutes. (I use a cast iron pan. If you have a non stick pan you will want to reduce the warming time so as not to burn the non-stick coating)
  2. Add 1 Tbsp. peanut oil and let it sit for a minute to get up to temperature
  3. Cut drained tofu into small strips about 3x3/4x1/2 inch each.
  4. Gently place the tofu into the prepared frying pan.
  5. KEEP TOFU MOVING! if you let the tofu sit too long and then use a spoon to move it, the tofu will stick to the pan and break up into small pieces.
  6. When tofu is golden brown all over, remove from heat and set aside.
  7. In a large thick pan or wok (a large cast iron pot is what we use) heat up remaining peanut oil on medium heat for 1 minute.
  8. Cook onions (chopped the onion into thin rings about 1/4 inch thick and then quarter each ring to create cooked onion strips.) and garlic until onions are translucent. Keep the heat low enough so that the garlic doesn't burn.
  9. Add water, sugar, tamari, Thai chili paste, peanut butter and minced ginger. Mix thoroughly to dissolve and combine all ingredients.
  10. In a separate pot cook pad Thai noodles (sometimes called rice linguine) until they are tender but not completely done (they will finish cooking when combined with veggies.)
  11. Add Bean sprouts and veggies (We used snow peas, one slivered carrot some mixed sliced peppers and finely chopped broccoli. Use whatever is in season that you like.)
  12. Cook on medium heat stirring frequently to prevent sticking until sauce has begun to thicken.
  13. Add prepared tofu and noodles.
  14. Cook until sauce is thick and all ingredients are hot.
  15. Serve with a slice of lime and Crushed peanuts.

Vegan Vegetarian Pad Thai Gluten free Dairy Tofu Wheat noodles

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Butternut Squash, Black Bean Stew Over Polenta With Cilantro Pesto

This stew is sweet and satisfying. One bowl fills you right up. This is a perfect dinner for a cold night. I made extra polenta the night we had the stew and put it in a square pan. (We then sliced it up and cooked it in a skillet and topped it with warm salsa and avacado slices for lunch the next day.)

                                                              1 onion, finely chopped                                          
                                                              2 cloves garlic
                                                              4 cups butternut squash, chopped into 1" cubes
                                                              25 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
                                                              1 tsp. each : cumin, marjoram, parsley, and sage
                                                              1 bay leaf
                                                              Salt and pepper to taste
                                                              Enough water to cover the squash
                                                              Vegan cheese shreds ( optional )
                                                              Veggie broth

1. Saute onions and garlic in a little veggie broth (water or oil can also be used) until soft.
2. Add squash, herbs, and enough water to cover the squash and cook over medium/high heat until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Add black beans, salt and pepper and cook until beans are hot.
4. While stew is cooking make polenta according to directions on the box, stir, stir, stir!

                                                             Pesto: 1 bunch cilantro
                                                                         1 bunch of parsley
                                                                         1/4 cup lime juice
                                                                         1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
                                                                         1/2 cup walnuts
                                                                         1/4 cup olive oil
                                                                         salt and pepper to taste
                        Mix it all up in a blender or food processor.

To serve: spoon hot polenta into a bowl, ladel the stew over polenta, and top with pesto and vegan shredded cheese. Soooo good! Little Sprout #1 liked it too!