A Sleepy Saturday

Except for the fact that my Saturdays are rarely the lazy, do-nothing hours of sleeping til noon and catching up on tv shows. It’s my own fault – or the fault of my circadian rhythm, anyway. On Saturdays I am usually awake about 6 hours after I went to sleep, ready to take on the world…or at least grab my iPhone and browse the world while propped up by pillows in my cozy warm bed.

Since, as usual, I was up and about early, I decided to bike to the Farmers’ Market as soon as it opened.  To fuel me up for that (15 minute) trek, I shook up my morning smoothie a little bit:

  •  2 T peanut butter (all natural, nothin’ but nuts)
  • large handful of kale
  • 1 banana
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup soft tofu – a bit more than usual, since I wanted to use it up, and I still couldn’t taste it at all!

It just tastes like peanut butter!  And it packs about 11 grams of protein.  Unfortunately, almost immediately after I finished it, I started feeling a bit woozy in my stomach, and stiff in the joints; I think that I have a slight sensitivity to peanuts.  Oh well, I really only eat it for the protein, anyway.  Guess I’ll have to learn to like almond butter or something…

I want to have a few things prepped for the week coming up (or a good old nosh session tonight), so I have a butternut squash roasting in the oven right now. This Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheeze is what I’m making. It is absolutely the more glorious thing I have ever tasted! Honestly, if you’re missing cheese (which I’m not…yet), try it. It just might clear up those cravings. Even if you aren’t vegan, try it. It packs way more of a nutritional punch than its traditional inspiration. Be sure to browse around the Oh She Glows blog while you’re there – she has an inspiring story, and some truly delicious looking recipes!

While we’re on the topic of cheeze, did you know that caramelized onions are an amazing substitute? They get so sweet and almost creamy, they strike me as very similar to cheese, minus the stringy stretch!

That brings me to pizza. My first kick at the cheeseless pizza can was this Roasted Apple, Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion pizza (except I used this dough recipe – it’s super easy and great if you like a thin crust). It is delicious – the hummus-y spread is to die for and I ate the leftovers on Wasa crackers for days – but I wasn’t so sure about the texture of the butternut squash. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan unless it’s in soups or that glorious cheeze sauce.

I tried it again with sweet potato, but there’s just too much taste in those bad boys. It’s a wonderful, delicious taste for sure, but I wasn’t sold on it in a pizza. So tonight I’m switching it up. I will absolutely be using Chloe’s base – last time I actually blended the apple right into the sauce because I didn’t like how they dried out on top of the pizza, and I still have some of that left. In place of the squash, I’m going to roast some zucchini, mushrooms, and red and green peppers, toss on some fresh basil, and of course top it all off with caramelized onions (I could eat them once an hour, seriously).

 …a few hours later…

 And that is exactly what I did. I kid you not, this pizza might just be Vegan Gold. I feel like I should copyright it for my first cookbook (which I have no actual intention of producing). I ended up doing pretty much what I said above, except that I also stirred half a head of roasted garlic into the sauce.

And then I ate the whole thing.  Yep, that’s right.  It was a super thin whole wheat crust covered with nothing but veggies and beans, so I don’t feel too badly.  Except that I’m a little over-full.  It was worth it though.  I will most likely go out tomorrow to buy all the necessary ingredients to restock and do it all again.  But for now, how about a recipe!

 ‘Vegan Gold’ Roasted Vegetable Pizza
(Adapted from Chef Chloe’s Roasted Apple, Butternut Squash, and Caramelized Onion Pizza)

Roasted Vegetable Pizza

  •  one thin pizza crust – whole wheat flour subbed for all-purpose
  • Chef Chloe’s Garlic White Bean puree
  • 1 apple – I used gala
  • ½ head of garlic
  • about 3 cups of ‘roast-able’ veggies (ie: zucchini, mushroom, peppers), chopped
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2 onions, caramelized
  • 2 T loosely packed, fresh basil
  • nutritional yeast
  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place veggies in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste and mix.
  3. Roast in oven for approximates 40 minutes.  Also place the garlic in the oven, unpeeled and wrapped in tinfoil.
  4. While vegetables are roasting, caramelize the onions.
  5. Remove the garlic once it is soft – usually about 30 minutes.
  6. When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and raise the temperature to 425 degrees.
  7. Prepare the Garlic White Bean puree, but add the apple and roasted garlic before pureeing.
  8. Spread the puree on the pizza crust.  Sprinkle generously with nutritional yeast.
  9. Top with roasted vegetables and the caramelized onions.
  10. Bake pizza for 15 – 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and crispy on the edges.
  11. Eat it! Just, maybe not all of it…

*Lou

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