Review: Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Greenpoint, NY.

I can’t remember exactly how it was that I heard about Vinnie’s Pizzeria but, my goodness, I’m so glad that I went there. The first time I had their pizza was at their Greenpoint location with my cousin. We were both starving and walked quite a ways to the pizzeria and were welcomed by the strong aroma of fresh pizza and garlic (I’m drooling just thinking about it!). They have a wide selection of omnivore and vegan pizzas, and will top any of the vegan slices with daiya if you’d like.

After talking with one of the guys that works there, I picked out the SUPER LOADED Veggie pizza and had them put Daiya Mozzarella on top of it, along with the T. Hanks BBQ Chicken Pizza. Both slices were SO good, honestly some of the best pizza I’ve ever had, besides my homemade pizza of course. 😉

The Veggie slice was topped with steamed broccoli, artichoke hearts, black olives, oven-roasted bell peppers, garlic sauteed spinach, onions, and mushrooms; I told you it was loaded! The T. Hanks slice was covered in mozzarella and cheddar shreds, BBQ chicken, red onion and BBQ Sauce; look at that picture and tell me that you’re not drooling!

The next time I went to Vinnie’s was with my boyfriend, and we made a late night stop by the Williamsburg location. I went against my craving for a gooey, cheesy daiya covered slice of pizza pie and went with a BBA slice topped with black beans, avocado slices, pico de gallo and faux feta. And on the side? Gluttony! Kidding… sort of. 😀 It was actually a faux ham and cheese roll paired with marinara sauce. Yum!

I’d have to say, I did love the ham roll and the pizza was good; but, I loved the Greenpoint location better. The people that worked there were super down to earth and it was more of a family spot, as opposed to the slightly obnoxious, hipster crowd of the Williamsburg location. I strongly recommend that you head over to the location nearest to you!

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara & Focaccia

Let me start off by saying that it’s quite obvious that I’m a squash lover. Most of my family and friends are aware of this and if you didn’t know it yet, you soon will! I love all types of squash; the light and crisp summer squashes, the hearty fall and winter squashes with their hard shells and squashes with unique textures that are great for substituting noodles in pasta dishes!

The post today is about how much I love spaghetti squash and a great marinara sauce for it. Spaghetti squash is great for casseroles as well as pseudo pasta dishes, and is so easy to prepare that you’ll wonder why you even bothered to boil some starchy store bought noodles for your awesome sauce (whichever one you like). I prefer to bake mine, but if I’m running out of time I use the microwave; so now you have no excuses NOT to use this wonderful specimen of a squash. 😉

I made this dish while in New York, so that my cousin could try out some of my cooking. It went terrifically with the Mediterranean Focaccia that I made, and the crisp romaine salad with yellow cherry tomatoes and fresh mushrooms. This dish would also be great with some garlic bread and putting black olives in the marinara would definitely take it up a notch!

Ingredients (Servings: 4)

  • 6 Medium-Sized Tomatoes, Roughly Chopped
  • 10 Pieces of Sun Dried Tomato
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup White Onions, Diced
  • 4 Button Mushrooms, Chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
  • 1/4 tsp. Dried Parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1 Medium-Sized Spaghetti Squash, Roughly 4 Cups Once Scraped Out

Directions:

  1. Wash off your spaghetti squash and slice it in half. Place face down on a baking dish and fill the bottom with water until it is about 1/4″ high and poke several holes in the rind with a fork. Bake at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes or until the rind is soft when you poke it.
  2. While that is baking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in oil until the onions are clear. In the meantime place the fresh and the sun dried tomatoes into a food processor or blender and puree until completely smooth, you may need to do this in two batches depending on how big your appliance is.
  3. Pour the tomato mixture into the pan along with the mushrooms and herbs/spices. Stir together and let simmer for 15 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the spaghetti squash is done baking, what 5-10 minutes for it to cool slightly and scrape out the insides with a fork. Drain it in a colander if there is a lot of excess moisture, then mix it into the marinara sauce. Serve warm and top with a pinch of nutritional yeast if you want the same effect as Parmesan cheese.

Michigan & Enormous Produce

After my (too short) trip to New York, I flew to Michigan to visit family and celebrate my grandma’s 86th birthday. Most of my family here is from the Detroit area, but my grandparent’s house is pretty much in the middle of nowhere about 25 minutes outside of Cadillac. After meeting up with my parents, we headed up north and spent a few days there; unfortunately the weather sucked and it was freezing, windy, and raining.

But, the trip was relaxing and not all bad. One of the neighbors that we’re close with has a big garden and brought two HUMUNGOUS heads of kale, a baby-sized rutabaga, and a nice zucchini over for me to cook! I was totally overwhelmed by the size and quantity of the kale (pictured above) and it took me quite a while to trim and clean it, so get ready for a lot of kale recipes!

It’s really awesome to experience the middle of fall out here in Michigan, it’s nice and cool now with a breeze and the leaves are falling all around. I’m out here for another few days, so we’ll see what adventures I can find and I may just post some non-food pictures showing you where I’ve been. Do you think that’s a good idea? 🙂

Huge Rutabaga!

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