October 30, 2014

Hawaiian BBQ Pizza with Cashew Parmesan

We'll get to this pizza in a minute, but first I have to ask... have you tried cashew parmesan? It's straight up magic dust. Amazing, nutrient-packed, flavorful magic dust. And it's not just some one-trick pony. Sprinkle it on pizza, veggies, pasta, salads, sandwiches, wraps, you name it. DELICIOUS. I was never a huge fan of soy cheese and only have it once in a while, so when I discovered this simple, homemade alternative I went nuts. It filled a huge gap in my life and took our homemade vegan pizzas to a whole other level. So now that I've successfully proclaimed my love, we'll jump back to the pizza at hand. Our favorite combo has always been Hawaiian style with sweet pineapple, onion, cilantro, and BBQ sauce. This vegan version doesn't skip a beat and is just as delicious (possibly even more) as the original. The parmesan brings it all together and I love to add beans for heartiness and protein. Use as much or as little of the toppings to suit your own taste - enjoy!

Vegan, gluten-free (with gf pizza crust)
Cashew parmesan adapted from Naked Kitchen
Makes 2 medium pizzas

15 oz. can black beans
1/2 small red onion
2 cups pineapple (canned or fresh)
1 cup BBQ sauce
Pizza crust (homemade or store-bought)

{For the cashew parmesan}*
1 cup raw cashews
6 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Make the cashew parmesan: place all ingredients in a food processor and process until crumbly.
Preheat oven to 400 (or whatever temp your crust is happiest).
Slice onion and chop pineapple.
Evenly spread the BBQ sauce on each crust (using about 1/2 cup per crust, more or less to taste).
Sprinkle a layer of parmesan, then black beans, onion, and pineapple.
Place in oven and bake 10-15 minutes or until your crust is baked through.
While pizza is baking, roughly chop cilantro.
When pizza is done, top with cilantro. I do another light sprinkle of cashew parmesan for good measure ;)

*Note: You'll have leftover parmesan, but it stores in the fridge for a few months - score! We only use about half of it for the two pizzas so if you don't want leftovers, go ahead and cut the recipe in half.

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October 19, 2014

Asian Garlic Green Beans

I've always loved green beans so I'm continually looking for new ways to make them shine. This recipe definitely fits the bill. It's pretty simple, but we loved it too much not to share. Just a few easy ingredients come together to make a great side pairing for your favorite Asian-inspired meals. Don't forget to scoop up the remaining bits of garlic and shallot at the bottom of the pan when serving - they're tiny, but pack a HUGE explosion of flavor! Husband is a big fan :) Hope you are too!

Vegan, gluten-free (with tamari)
Yields 4-6 side servings

1 pound green beans
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot
2 Tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
Optional: sesame seeds for topping

Trim ends off green beans. Mince garlic, and chop shallot.
Add sesame oil to a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Let heat for a couple minutes until hot.
Add shallot and garlic. Heat for 20-30 seconds.
Add green beans and stir well to coat.
Saute until just tender, about 5-6 minutes, stirring often so garlic doesn't burn.
Add tamari/soy sauce. Toss to combine and cook 1-2 minutes.
When serving, don't forget the garlic/shallot pieces on the bottom of the pan - huge flavor!

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October 12, 2014

Hearty Vegan Chili

Chilly? Chili! The award for ultimate cold-weather comfort food definitely goes to chili. Thick, dense goodness packed with nutrients and protein that warms you from the inside out. Sign. me. up. I love hugging a bowl of this in front of the fire on blustery days. Especially Sundays as we hang around and watch football :) It's super satisfying with hearty beans and veggies in a flavorful, dense tomato sauce. Whether you're vegan or not, this chili will knock your socks off! As written below, it's not spicy (toddler in the house) so add cayenne pepper or chipotle to kick it up if you wish. We love this version, but feel free to do some ad-libbing with other veggies: butternut squash, zucchini, or corn for a little sweetness would be great in here!

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves 4

1 onion
1 red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic
15 oz. can kidney beans
15 oz. can black beans (or pinto, etc.)
15 oz. can diced tomatoes (I use petite diced)
6 oz. tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. oregano
Salt to taste
Toppings of choice: green onion, avocado, cilantro, vegan sour cream, etc.
Optional: cayenne pepper or chipotle powder for a kick

Dice onion and bell pepper. Mince garlic.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion and bell pepper for about 8 minutes.
Add garlic and saute 30 seconds.
Add vegetable broth, tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, and seasonings.
Bring to a light boil.
Meanwhile, rinse and drain beans.
Add beans and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.
Serve with toppings of choice.

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