We are in the hottest month of Summer and here it has been humid as hell. The other day it was raining and I felt like I was back in Michigan, when my family would travel out there each August. I would stand outside during the thunderstorms, under the pouring rain, and it would still be almost 90F outside. With such greenery out there, it was a lot more enjoyable, where as here it’s just a light rain and tons of concrete.
Luckily the moisture has taken a break and today we had some nice breezes with the heat, so it wasn’t like walking into a sauna every time you went outside. This is the time of year when eating anything warm just sounds terrible – aside from grilled goodies, of course. Because of this, I have a nice, chilled salad recipe for you today! It’s perfect served as a side, maybe along with that Herbed Tofu Tomato Salad recipe from last week? Which, by the way, was a total hit! I’ve had at least five or six people make it and be very pleased with the outcome.
Anyway, this salad is made with sweet yellow and white corn, mostly for a little extra color, a creamy basil pesto aioli, fresh spinach and some red onion. Super easy to put together and is PACKED with flavor, especially after you chill the dish before serving it. If you want to make it a little healthier, add more spinach to the end product and omit some of the vegan mayo from the aioli, replacing it with plain yogurt.
Oh! I almost forgot, I have some incredibly exciting news! I’ll be a speaker at Vida Vegan Con 2015 in Austin! Eep! I’m super excited and feel very lucky to have been chosen out of the many people who applied to speak, and can’t wait until they announce the rest of the speakers closer to the end of the month. Who all is planning on going? If you’re on the fence, let me say that it was an awesome experience and you should take a look at my 1, 2, 3 part review of the 2013 conference.
That extremely special day is upon us, tomorrow, June 30th is Vegan Pizza Day! You want to talk about a holiday that I can celebrate? This day is definitely one of them and I plan on having plenty of vegan pizza tomorrow, much to my waistline’s chagrin. But, I couldn’t go into this weekend without providing you with an awesome pizza recipe, plus a few from the archives.
Of course, I didn’t want to make the pizza for only myself, so I called my darling friend and loyal taste-tester Amanda over for a pizza experiment. Her and I both agree that grilling a pizza is really freaking fun, interesting and super tasty. In fact, it’s going to be just a little hard to bake my next homemade pizza in the oven, although it may be just a teeny bit easier.
The recipe and ingredients for this pizza are super simple, but the key points that make it go above and beyond your pre-made pizzas are a homemade crust and homemade BBQ sauce. No, this isn’t my delicious Strawberry BBQ sauce from a couple of months back, this is a more traditional, savory BBQ sauce with a kick.
A great recipe for homemade BBQ sauce and grilled pizza that will make your taste buds cheer!
¼ Cup Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
1½ Tbsp. White Vinegar
2 tsp. Molasses
2 tsp. Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1½ tsp. Yellow Mustard
½ tsp. Onion Powder
½ tsp. Garlic Powder
½ tsp. Liquid Smoke
¼ tsp. Ancho Chili Powder
¼ tsp. Paprika (or Smoked Paprika if you have it)
¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Pepper to Taste
½ Cup Beer (Preferred: Golden Summer Ales or Lagers)
1 Tbsp. Rapid Rise Yeast
½ Cup Warm Water
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Agave Nectar
1¼ Cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Dried Cilantro
¼ tsp. Onion Powder
¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
Cornmeal for Sprinkling
1 Small Package of Gardein BBQ Shreds
Galaxy Foods Vegan Mexican Shreds
½ Cup Fresh Pineapple, Chopped
¼ Cup Red Onion, Sliced into Slivers
2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro
Put every ingredient from the tomato paste to the beer into a blender and puree until completely smooth, you may need to add a little water depending on how thick you like it.
Pour the mixture into a small pan and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take it of the heat and pour it into a jar or cup for easy application.
Save the pan and saute the Gardein shreds in it for 5 minutes over medium heat. Set them aside until you top the pizza.
Clean and preheat your grill to roughly 350-400°F. Mix the yeast with the lukewarm water until the yeast is dissolved. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
Mix the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, olive oil, and agave nectar into the yeast mixture. Combine the flour and dried cilantro, then add the wet mixture to the flour. Knead dough until it is fully mixed, adding flour if the dough is too tacky.
Roll dough into a ball and let sit in an oil coated bowl for 20 minutes. Afterward, roll out the dough roughly ¼” to ½” thick over cornmeal and place on pan or stone that has cornmeal sprinkled over the top (it helps with sliding the dough off).
Bring the crust out to your grill and carefully place it over the heat (be careful of hot spots). Grill for 3-4 minutes on one side, you'll see that it starts to bubble up; then flip over and grill for 2 minutes.
Bring the crust back inside and slather a layer of the BBQ sauce on top. Sprinkle the Mexican shreds over the sauce, arrange your BBQ Shreds, pineapple, red onion and cilantro on top.
Lower your BBQ's heat to around 300°F and grill the pizza for 4-6 mins. make sure that you do not burn the crust (like I did, ha ha). Once the cheese is melted, and the crust is browned on the bottom, carefully take the pizza off of the grill and serve!
The BBQ Sauce recipe is a little more than what you'll use on your pizza (depending on your preference). If you want more for the rest of the summer, double the recipe.
Now you can surprise your family and friends with a pizza made in an nontraditional way. If pineapple and BBQ sauce aren’t your thing, try out a Seitan Sausage Crumble pizza; or a Rustic Flatbread made with zucchini and arugula (perfect for summer!). Say you’re trying to eat a little healthier and want to forgo the crust, this Pizza-Stuffed Spaghetti squash is a great solution and insanely good. There are tons of options for you!
So enjoy your vegan pizza day! Tell me, what are your favorite pizza toppings?
It has been kind of crazy at home lately, hence the less-than-consistent posting (sorry!), but I’ve been able to fit in a few delicious meals here and there and this one is definitely among them. The best way for my to describe this to you is that it’s the love child of tzatziki sauce and a potato-less potato salad.
This refreshing, light, and yummy salad can be eaten as a side, used as a dip for crunchy pita chips or placed in a wrap (maybe with baked falafel?). It is super easy to make, even if you don’t have a spiralizer, and aside from soaking the cashews it takes hardly any time at all!
With fresh ingredients like this, I just had to call it a summer salad. The crisp cucumbers, peppery radishes, and fresh lemon juice bring this dish to life and will make the transition from spring to summer much easier.
This was a great dinner salad that I had the other night, filled with many, many veggies that were calling to me in my fridge. It started with a bed of fresh baby spinach, chunks of summer squash, crunchy bits of radish, cute cherry tomatoes, sprouted lentils (for some added protein), grilled corn, sweet red onion, little bits of bell pepper and a few slices of creamy avocado. I dressed it with a homemade lemon-garlic vinaigrette that was a great balance between tangy, spicy and sweet.
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!