Deep Dish Pizza + Lightlife Coupon Giveaway

29 Apr DSC_0370dit

Why hello again!

Are you still reading?

It’s been a while since I was here!

Today I’m going to be sharing one of my favorite pizza recipes, deep dish! Being from the Midwest, Chicago style pizza is a big thing here. I do love the sauce on top, but my favorite part is the thick crust.

Sausage is almost as important to Chicago style pizza as the crust, and my favorite vegan sausage is made by Lightlife. I used to buy it every time I visited Trader Joe’s, as it’s the perfect breakfast sausage, served with scrambled tofu. Lightlife has a great range of vegan products. My favorite include:

Please click continue reading below to enter my giveaway for 5 $1 off any Lightlife product coupons!!

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Vegan Pizza Rolls

4 Mar Vegan Pizza Rolls

I am a 90’s kid and there’s no reason for me to deny it. I spent many an afternoon in front of a TV watching cartoons with a box of Totino’s pizza rolls. I’m sure most other 90’s kids remember watching shows like Hey Arnold and Rugrats after school, although maybe the pizza rolls were a particular remnant of my own childhood.

Vegan Pizza Rolls

I always have fun recreating foods like this and pizza rolls have been on my to-do list for years. I very specifically remember the thin and crispy, oily crust, so I knew a pizza crust wasn’t going to work here. I made a basic pasta dough, but used a bit of vital wheat gluten to firm it up. Alternatively, you could just use bread flour, but it’s not something I usually have on hand.

I didn’t get any pictures of the rolling and filling process, but it’s the same as making ravioli. YouTube is a great help for beginners if you’ve never made ravioli before, but it’s pretty simple. Dough, filling, and dough, and just seal around the edges.

I fried these, but they could possibly be baked on a parchment lined pan. The crispy crust effect won’t be the same so as long as you’re not eating them daily, I recommend a shallow fry. This recipe makes about 12, but you can easily double it and keep the rest refrigerated after cooking until you’re ready to eat them.

 

Be sure to check out the Vegan Meringue Group on Facebook for more aquafaba recipes and a thorough FAQ.

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Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

24 Feb Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

I don’t think I’ve ever been one to shy away from my love of carbs (except for during a brief Atkins diet period in the early 2000s.) There is just something wonderful about fresh homemade pasta. I will pretty much eat any pasta, but homemade pasta is something otherworldly. I discovered this recipe for homemade pasta from Vegan Dad years ago and I’ve used it pretty consistently since then. One of my favorite recipes for ravioli is filled with butternut squash, but it’s not really squash season anymore.

Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

We love this cashew spinach ricotta in my vegan lasagna recipe, so I knew it would be a hit here.  I added a touch of miso paste this time around, but it’s totally optional so if you don’t have any, don’t fret. You may need to adjust the salt level without the miso, so be sure to taste the cashew ricotta for quality control purposes. Or, you know, general hunger purposes. This recipe made about 30 ravioli for me, but if you plan to make square ravioli with an overlapping pasta layer, be sure to double the dough recipe.

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Greek Chickpeas and Rice

26 Jan

I think there’s something really comforting about a big bowl of beans and rice. There’s so many different variations from different cultures that it’s hard to choose just one to love. Fortunately for me, no one is making me choose. But if I had to, I’d probably pick this dish because I love tangy Greek tomato sauces and creamy chickpeas.

Greek Chickpeas and Rice

This dish is very similar to the spanakorizo I posted a while ago, but without the spinach and a little more flavorful sauce. It’s an awesome meal for the cold days of winter, especially if you’ve recently been sick and have absolutely no appetite for anything but comfort food. Maybe that’s just me. If you want to make it even more authentic, try a few cubes of this delicious vegan feta on top. You won’t regret it.

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Tomato Tuna

10 Jan Tomato Tuna

Last year I read about Tomato Sushi and attempted my own version over the summer.  I read online that it was simply skinned tomatoes in a marinade, cooked sous vide. My attempt was ok, but the flavor was mostly soy sauce and nori.

Tomato Tuna

A few weeks ago I purchased Earth Balance with added omega 3. I was put off by the strong fish smell from the algal oil, but I was determined to find a good use for it, as I hate food waste. I saw a post on Instagram that was of the real tomato sushi and thought,  “well, there’s a use for that stinky fish butter.

Tomato Tuna

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Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

5 Jan DSC_0334dit

This past week there was torrential rainfall in the Midwest and we happened to be affected by it. We live in an older house that I love, but the previous owners decided to finish most of the basement. This usually isn’t a problem: we have extra space for entertaining and a whole extra room to display some of my husband’s Marvel action figures.

Until it floods.

And yes, he collects action figures. Our bathroom is actually Simpsons themed. You can totally tell we’re adults who grew up in the 90s. My husband had taken a few days off between Christmas and New Years, and spent most of that time on his hands and knees tearing up laminate. This week, we have people installing a sump pump (I didn’t even know what that was) in our basement. These nice guys actually went through the effort of hauling away all of our basement flooring, so I decided to make these cinnamon rolls for them.Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Little did I know, one was on a diet, so after I shared with the other guy, I ate four. So it goes.Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

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Vegetable Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

29 Dec Vegetable Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

As many vegan bloggers before me, I have discovered the magic that is cashew ricotta. Creamy, savory cashew cheese between layers of soft pasta and marinara…I don’t think there’s anything that could make me happier. If I’m being absolutely honest, I only had ricotta once before switching to a vegan lifestyle, but I definitely don’t think I’m missing out on anything.

Vegetable Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

I love making lasagna because it’s a meal that lasts for days and tastes even better as leftovers. I always used lasagna noodles that require boiling in the past, but we switched to the no boil kind and it makes this meal that much easier.

Vegetable Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

Like most everything I make, I like to change up the vegetables in this. My only consistency is the spinach and ricotta. Try it with roasted red peppers and portobello mushrooms,  or sundried tomatoes and caramelized onions.

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Vegan Caramel Turtles

22 Dec Vegan Caramel Turtles

 
I made these turtles as a present for my family last year on Christmas and they requested I make them again this year. And by requested, I mean demanded. But I was happy to oblige because these are delicious and I get to opportunity to taste test them before the big day.
I’m a huge fan of rich, chewy caramel, but it’s hard to find a vegan version that compares to the non-vegan kind. Cocomels are the only ones I’m aware of, although there could be more. I used this same caramel recipe in my birthday dacquoise, but it’s originally from Fork and Beans. If you’ve never made homemade caramel before, here’s a disclaimer: it’s easy to screw up. Trust me, I’ve screwed it up multiple times and I have made this recipe a LOT.

Vegan Caramel Turtles

A few tips for your success include:

  • low and slow is the way to go. Don’t try to heat it too fast, because it will burn to the bottom of your pan and ruin it forever. Not like I’ve had experience with that.
  • use parchment paper in the pan. Aluminum foil and wax paper will not work. You’ll end up peeling them off the caramel while trying to salvage any bits of caramel and it’s just really messy. Seriously, I haven’t done this a few times either.
  • don’t try to use an immersion blender if the emulsion breaks. Caramel is hot. Like over boiling temperature hot. If you stick a blender in it, it’s going to splash onto your arm and burn you. Definitely don’t try this. See the first tip on how to avoid the emulsion breaking.
  • don’t expect it to be as firm as non-vegan caramel. Unless you have a candy thermometer, it might get firmer. I haven’t been able to successfully get it that firm. Let me know if you do.

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Baked Vegan Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

13 Dec

Cheesecake.

Rich, creamy, luscious, thick cheesecake. On top of a salty pretzel crust and drizzled with blueberry sauce.

Baked Vegan Cheesecake

Another one of those recipes that I have never even attempted before going vegan, yet worked out perfectly. I’ve been intrigued with New York style cheesecake for a while now, but most recipes call for a massive amount of eggs to set the texture. Before now, I would have never been able to replicate them. But yet again, VeganEgg to the rescue! Since VeganEgg sets at higher heats, it works perfectly in this custard-style application.

Baked Vegan Cheesecake

This recipe is so ridiculously easy that I’m considering making another cheesecake tomorrow. Two cheesecakes is not a problem, right? Not in this household.

 

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Perfect, Fudgey, Crispy Vegan Brownies

8 Dec Perfect, Fudgey, Crispy Vegan Brownies

When I first discovered aquafaba, I made several attempts at creating a perfect brownie. 5 to be exact, within the span of a week.  Unfortunately, aquafaba doesn’t set like eggs do in baking, so it wasn’t a perfect replacer.  I did find adding a little tofu to set worked pretty well and ended up with dense gooey brownies, but I knew I could improve.

Perfect, Fudgey, Crispy Vegan Brownies

And then came the VeganEgg. That’s right, this recipe is going to require a hard to find ingredient. In fact, you may have to order it online (Amazon and Vegan Essentials carry it.) Sorry about that, but I promise you it’s worth finding! The VeganEgg will perform that crucial task of ‘setting’ during baking, while aquafaba helps create that desirable shiny, crispy crust. You can read my review of VeganEgg here.

One of the keys to brownie perfection is cooling time before cutting. You can even speed this up by tossing them in the freezer. If you cut them too early, that nice crackly crust will tear, leaving you with jagged edges and crumbles. If that doesn’t matter to you, feel free to eat them up while they’re still hot.

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