Monday, January 26, 2009

pizza mania

Yeah, that's right.  But first, let me show you some other meals.
broiled tofu, rice w/peas, mint & dill, turnip greens

This meal was a labor of love.  By labor, I mean that I not only burned my arm on a hot pan, but I also cut the shit out of my thumb while chopping herbs.  By love, I mean that, in theory, I really love this meal.  In actuality, it was just ok.  I have a confession to make:  I don't know how to cook rice.  I mean...I get how to do it.  But for some reason, my rice never works.  It doesn't matter if I do it on the stovetop or in my rice cooker.  The stuff sticks to the bottom and burns.  This rice wasn't even done all the way.  Al dente rice is not that great.  However, it was saved by the amazing flavor combo of mint and dill.  I've blogged about this before, but seriously, if you haven't made anything with these two herbs yet, you're doing yourself a disservice.  Anyway, that's broiled tofu with some sauce Michael brought home from Hibachi, but it was reaaaallly salty.  And turnip greens are gross.  Sorry!  Anyway, it was ok.  I didn't starve that night, in other words.
shredded seitan w/shallots and 'green beans'

I could have sworn we had green beans in the freezer.  Apparently not, haha...  I've found, though, that brussels sprouts sub in nicely for any vegetable.  Because they rule.  This was a recipe from Vegan Planet, and it was just ok.  Not overly flavorful.  But not bad.  In fact, this is my general experience so far with this book.  So many of the recipes look amazing!  But then...  they're just ok.  But not bad.  I mad the manhattan 'clam' chowder too, but it's not even worth blogging about, really.  It was so-so.
grilled cheeze w/tomato soup

Now this was good.  This is the gooey grilled cheeze recipe from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook.  I was skeptical.  But it was amazing!  It tasted a lot like the grilled cheeses of my youth.  Creamy.  Salty.  Yummy.  I did add in about 1/4 cup of cashew cream (cashews blended with veggie broth) and then added a slice of tomato when I grilled them.  Seriously, they were so, so good.  And easy peasy to make.  That tomato soup is a hodgepodge of canned soup, diced tomatoes, soymilk, and nutritional yeast.  It was ok, but a little sweet.  I like a salty tomato soup more.

And now, on to the main event.  Pizza.
simple pizza, italian style

So, last night we made pizza.  I read the pizza novel in VWAV and decided that it needed to be done.  The dough turned out amazing.  I finally got some yeast that works (this strangely [ha] makes a big difference in whether or not dough rises...who knew).  This first one was a skimped version of what we originally meant to make, just because we really needed pizza immediately and couldn't wait to put on the rest of the ingredients.  And yeah, you might say that all pizza is 'Italian style', but you're wrong.  I've been to Italy.  They don't put a whole lot of shit on their pizza there.  The pizza I got in Italy had:  like 3 slices of tomato (thin slices), a sprinkle of basil, garlic, and a teeeeny tiny sprinkle of mozzarella.  Well, we didn't do mozzarella, but we did add marinated artichoke hearts.  This was freaking amazing.  Simple, but delicious.  

Granted, this is what I usually want my pizzas to look like:
loaded

But simple is good too.  This one had all that other stuff (minus artichokes), plus onions, spinach, broccoli, red bell peppers, and FYH mozzarella.  It was yummy, as well.  But strangely, not as much so as the former.

And, because these pizzas were SO good...  yeah, we're having pizza again tonight.  The dough is rising right now.  Gimme a break, it's Monday and I'm not motivated to do much else.

Oh, and Michael also wants Mac n Cheeze, so we're having that too.  Nothin' wrong with that, my friends.  Once in awhile, anyway.

23 comments:

shelby said...

That grilled cheese is totally calling my name! YUM!

foodfashionfun said...

Dude, you make some incredible looking pizza!

Hannah said...

I don't usually -crave- tofu, but I seriously am now... That first dish looks like it would have been worth any amount of labor!

T said...

That grilled cheese looks so ... cheesy! Like the velveeta ones my mom used to make. Crazy.

And I'm glad to hear that pizza crust recipe is good- I've been eyeballing it lately to use up some Teese...

As for the other stuff? Well, it can't all be winners. At least they look delish tho, even if you didn't like them.

Zucchini Breath said...

Easy Peasy way to cook rice! Even I can't fark it up!

1 part rice, 2 parts cold water. Put in saucepan on ELECTRIC stove (gas won't work) Leave pan, uncovered, with rice and COLD water on the burner until it just starts to bubble then turn off the heat and put a tight lid on the pan. Leave it on the hot burner with the heat off for at least 20 minutes. Longer if you need to, it will wait.

Never burns, always perfect! You can also add some seasonings to the rice and cold water before cooking to make "dirty rice".

Cheers!

Zucchini Breath said...

Oh, and the pizza? Looks wonderful!
I would seriously do almost anything for a vegan grilled cheese and tomato soup. My mom used to give me the dairy equivalent on days I stayed home from school sick.

Georgia said...

oh yeah - your pizza is reminding me how much I should make mine again.

I like the idea of simple is better.

Grilled sammie also looks fantastic (in a simple comfort food kinda way)

and enjoy your pizza tonight because there is no such thing as too much pizza

Becks - Not a Rabbit. said...

Burning yourself cooking sucks! I still have the scar from the cuppies I made on Christmas Eve >:o(

That cheeze sammich looks gooooood. I'm not a fan of vegan cheeze, but I keep hearing about that book. I'm intrigued.....

Mmmmm, pizza!
The pizza dough recipe in VWAV is the only thing I have ever made out of that book. EVER! And I don't even let it rise, I add instant yeast to the flour, add the water, I mix, then I bake. I'm such a rebel! (but it works). I'm too lazy and hungry to ever prove dough. I made quick garlic and herb knots on Saturday with the dough and they were AWESOME!! >;oD

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

We just had pizza mania over here this weekend! yum yum.

Sal said...

Your grilled cheese looks so gooey & awesome, I really want that book! The pizza looks great too.

I dunno what type of rice you used but here’s my mum gave me this recipe ages ago for some spicy rice and I now do my white rice (usually basmati) this way and it always works:

Measure out your rice then pour on 2.5 x (volume) hot water, so for 1 cup dry rice – 2.5 cups water. Then bring to the boil and turn down to a low boil/simmer. Cook like this uncovered, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes then turn it off, cover it and leave it alone for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes it will be perfect.

Brown rice though is trickier, I just pour on a buttload of water so it doesn’t go dry and stir it frequently then drain it at the end, as I can NEVER get proportions right.

I am also one for kitchen mishaps - I have a gazillion burn scars!!

miss v said...

i have the uncheese cookbook too - i've been wanting to try the grilled cheeze, but was a little worried it wouldn't turn out. i'm totally digging yours!

Virginia said...

ooooh that grilled cheese!!! i don't have that cookbook =( i was craving a grilled "cheeze" and tomato soup meal just the other day!

jessy said...

ya know, i find the same thing with the Vegan Planet recipes - they don't ever have enough flavor for us. i think i'm gonna have to double all the spices in them or something - i dunno. glad i'm not the only one think'n they're not bad, but just okay. for a while dan & i kept thinking it was us! ahahahaa! i have not had turnip greens and OH YEAH - the produce peeps at my grocery store ACTUALLY LEFT THE GREENS ON SOME BEETS! so i had some beet greens (for the love of batman, FINALLY!) yesterday for lunch - i was supersadfaced to find that they're okay - i love chard & kale mucho mas. but it's all good. ANYWAYS - on to your foodz...

burning your arm + cutting the shit outta your thumb = the suck. and i'm sorry that rice isn't cooperating with you. it took me something like 2 damn years to "get rice", and that's just the short grained stuff. i have zero luck with long grained brown rice & white rice. but i'm good with the nubby little rices. damn you, rices!

sweet jeebus, i need to make me some gooey grilled cheezes! i would put pickles & mustard on them like i used to. mmmmmmmm!

yay for pizzas of yumminess! that's cool on the simple italian pizzas. i had no idea they don't layer their pizzas with craziness over there - they like to let the crust shine on through. mmmmmmm! marinated artichokes = the best! and FYH = scrummy, too! i keep forgetting to pick more up. damnit!

hooray for more pizza last night, too - you better post pictures! :) we just had pizza last thursday and tonight we're having calzones. i love pizza awesomeness! did you say mac n' cheeze, too?! ooooh - now i'm think'n about a mac 'n cheeze pizza. ooooooooooh my! YES!

saveyrgeneration said...

Dave and I had grilled cheese last night, too. only it was a three-cheese. and we were without tomato soup :(

Steel City Vegan said...

I have been craving grilled cheese and tomato soup forEVER. I need to make this! Yum!

aTxVegn said...

Gosh, I've had those clutzy nights in the kitchen too. Usually I spill and make a huge mess in addition to injuring myself.

For rice - I totally suck at making rice. I can't make it in a pressure cooker or a rice cooker or a pot. Now I always bake it and it always turns out. Any kind of rice. Let me know if you want a recipe and I'll send it.

Yummy pizzas! Anything on top of homemade pizza dough is awesome.

shellyfish said...

You poor, injured sweet thing! I hope you're ok. I'm constantly cutting my left thumb, I mean, so many of my food pictures feature my thumb in a bandaid!
That pizza must have helped take away some of the pain, right?

Vegan_Noodle said...

Rice never works out for me either... I blame it on the fact that my gas stove doesn't have a very low setting, so it always burns.

The pizza looks fabulous. I love artichokes on my pizza. Mmm mmm!

And glad to have another idea of what to make from the uncheese cookbook!

DJ Karma (VegSpinz) said...

Pizza- Yes!

tahinitoo said...

I made a comment and it went away, so here is the same comment from my weak memory: MAKE ME A GRILLED CHEESE SAMMIE PLEASE.

PB and Jess said...

Hi AP, I recognized you from VegWeb (at least I hope it's you, lol). I'm "icephrosty" on there. I'm new to the blog scene and your posts are really awesome. I've gotta start taking pics before I chow down! Your pizza looks so good! I just got some teese for my birthday and can't wait to try that on pizza. The shredded seitan is making me hungry right now!!

madaboutudon said...

Everything looks so good! Especially that seitan + brussels dish. Yum yum, this post has my stomach growling!

Monika K said...

Can you seriously start work as my personal chef? Pizza? Yes. Mac n Cheeze? Absolutely. Grilled Cheeze with tomato? Heck yeah. My tummy is a' grumblin'...