I’ve been spending a lot of time talking about the couch to 5k and not a lot of time talking about food, so it’s time to switch things up.

The other day I had a hankering for pizza, but not Daiya pizza, just sauce and veggies. I’ve actually had this craving for about a month but every time we go to the store, the ONE pizza crust we found to be vegan has been missing. It was a generic brand and it’s like the execs of Jewel Osco just decided hey vegans, we’ve discontinued your pizza crust. Could I make my own crust? Well, yes. But that requires time, know-how, and probably bigger counters than I have in my teensy-weensy kitchen. So pizzaless I’ve been.

We paid a visit to Fresh Market about a week ago and a pizza crust caught my eye–Rustic Crust Old World. It looked so delicious and authentic and I thought there’s no chance it’s vegan. But it was! Should I have spent $5 on ONE crust? Well, no. But I did. And I was waiting and waiting until that familiar pang for pizza struck. It did so on Sunday.

I basically rummaged through my fridge for any and all veggies that looked like they were nearing iffy status and used them on this pizza. We’re talking orange peppers, green peppers, broccoli, spinach, onions. (As a side note, I find I purchase the same veggies week to week. I have really got to branch out.) The canned sauce I bought already had some spices in it but I thought hey, what the hell! Added some minced garlic, some oregano, some crushed red pepper, and voila.

The package says to bake this bad boy at 425 for 8-12 minutes. I thought it would take less time because it didn’t have any cheese or meat, but it actually took a little bit more than the 12 minutes advertised.

I’d really like to take a whirl at making my own pizza sauce from scratch because this canned sauce I used was a little on the sweet side for me. It did the job in a pinch, though!

I still have half the pizza in my fridge and it’s probably going bad by now. It was delicious and the crust was totally worth every penny–but the calories haven’t really fit with my diet plan so I’ve been putting off finishing it.

Switching gears…tonight’s dinner was borderline weird. Okay, more than borderline.

I was starving the second half of my work day. All I could think about was food. All I wanted to do was come home and binge on something salty. Then all I wanted was to stop and pick something up because I didn’t want to cook. By the time I got home, I thought that I’d just make do with what I could find. and then I got the bright idea to fry up some tofu!

I rarely prepare tofu a different way than pressing it and dry-frying it, then marinating it and adding it to whatever dish. I’ve actually never had tofu in anything that wasn’t Asian-inspired. I add tofu to my Thai dishes and with the exception of the few sauces and smoothies I’ve made with silken tofu, that’s about as creative as I’ve gotten. Sad, right? After the day I had I just really wanted some comfort food, diet be damned. So I fried some tofu.

But then came the dilemma: what is this tofu going to complement? I thought tacos sounded divine, but my taco shells went bad and I had virtually no veggies, so that was out…but I was really stuck on the taco idea and I have plenty of cans of beans, so I prepared what could possibly be the oddest, most bizarre combination of foods I’ve ever prepared: fried tofu, steamed broccoli, and pinto beans. What?

I know, very strange. And way too much tofu on that plate for any reasonable human to consume in one sitting. I used a variation of this recipe for the breading–really, the only variations I made were using whole wheat flour, and I nixed sage and subbed in oregano and a little bit of crushed red pepper (have I mentioned that I like it spicy?) I’d like to add the leftover tofu to a salad but I’m fresh out of lettuce and other garden greens. I haven’t decided what to do with the leftovers…but if there’s a will, there’s a way! What’s the weirdest combination of foods you’ve ever made?

I’m having some friends over this weekend and I’ve already promised to not make entirely vegan foods because there will be two very carnivorous men present, but my one friend is a vegetarian and will (hopefully) be very open to any new vegan treats I should try. I think I’ve already decided on making some salsa, some flatbread pizzas (just veggies for me, a cheese for her, and something with meat for the boys) and perhaps some chickpea chocolate chip cookie dough. What are your favorite vegan hors d’oeuvres? Bear in mind I have a very small kitchen and need a few low-maintenance foods to make that will be crowd-pleasers!

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8 thoughts on “food!

  1. Reading this post is just reminding me how badly I want a real kitchen – everything looks so delicious, even the cheese-less pizza, which surprised me (not quite a vegan yet).

    I’ve made tofu/refried bean tacos before (literally mix firm tofu, refried beans, and taco seasoning, then microwave), and if you serve it as a dip with chips, that would probably make an easy finger food to munch on. My non-veg friends love it, and have even started making it on their own. Hope the get-together goes well!

    • I was iffy about cheeseless pizza too–my first vegan pizza, I made with imitation cheese. Just sauce and veggies though is INCREDIBLY (and surprisingly!) good–especially if you have a good crust. The crust I used was awesome, but I bet a homemade one would be even better 🙂

  2. toxicvegan says:

    It’s a bit calorific but Sarah Kramer has a recipe for pinwheel pesto – either buy vegan pesto, or blend up basil, garlic, salt and olive oil. But ready made pastry, roll it out and spread with pesto. You roll up the pastry like a Swiss roll and cut into slices which you bake for about ten mins in the oven – naughty but nice!!

    Also, have you tried adding blended cashew to your pizzas? They suggest this in the Engine 2 diet and it gives a really nice tangy addition to veggies and sauce.


  3. Hehe – I’ve eaten some whacked out combos myself when I’ve been alone at home with a nearly empty refrigerator. Sometimes I come up with something very successful and sometimes it’s just a horror! That tofu looks pretty tasty.

  4. Your pizza looks delish, but one small tip:
    Stop torturing yourself with expensive pizza crust! Do you have olive oil, flour, and water? If so, just pick up a packet of active dry yeast, and you’ve got your crust right there! It’s SO easy, and SO much cheaper! We make our own once a week now and we think it tastes better than the crust we used to buy. Try it once, and see what you think:
    4 cups flour ( I like wheat, he likes unbleached all purpose, so we do half and half)
    1 1/2 cups warm water (not hot!)
    1/3 cup olive oil
    1 tsp active dry yeast.
    salt to taste
    add the yeast to the water and wait a few minutes for it to get bubbly. You can put a pinch of sugar in if you want to make the yeast happy., then mix all ingrediants into a dough ball. put in a bowl with an olive oil coating, cover and place in a warm place. Wait for it to rise ( I don’t usually give it more than an hour). Spread out on a pizza stone or cookie sheet, cover with ingredients. Bake at 500 (yes, HOT) for 8 minutes, then rotate and bake 8 more minutes. DONE! The high temp also helps melt vegan cheese, if you use it. When you’re comfortable making it, start adding in fun italian spices, or a little corn meal on the bottom for a bit of grit.

    • Thanks for the pizza crust recipe! The only reason I haven’t done that is because I had it in my mind that I didn’t have enough counter space. My counter space is verrrryyyy minimal and I thought I’d have to roll the dough out in flour all over the place and make a big mess…same reason why I never made sugar cookies pre-vegan. I clearly know nothing about pizza! ha. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Oh, yeah, wierdest combo of foods? I had chocolate cake and guacamole once for breakfast…New Years Day. It ….did…not….end…..well.

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