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arugula

Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

The blog is undergoing a sweet potato takeover.

Here goes the third recipe in a row, although, this time it’s not breakfast-oriented but rather an awesome lunch or dinner option…That just so happens to be vegan and gluten-free.

High five to my favorite kind of tuber.
Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

With warmer and warmer days quickly creeping in, there’s only a limited amount of time left where I can justify using sweet potatoes on as many occasions as possible.

Here, I tried to create a winter-meets-spring recipe, mixing hearty sweet potatoes with the summer-like vibes of pizza, arugula and tomatoes.

That’s as good of an excuse as any that I can give you to bake up some sweet potatoes in the middle of June.
Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust
This was my first time experimenting with making a sweet potato crust, and while I was a bit nervous with how it would turn out, I was pleasantly surprised by the results.

My main challenge was determining whether to mix the baked sweet potato with oats or chickpea flour to compose the dough. I make socca — a pizza-like flatbread created simply from chickpea flour and water — all of the time, so it seemed natural to go that route.

However, ultimately, I wanted the dough to be a bit chewier, like actual pizza, versus the more tender consistency of socca, so I decided to pulse some oats and create an oat flour of sorts instead.

Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

The result? An incredibly delicious crust that was surprisingly easy to make.

The crust here is certainly chewier than socca, but I would say a bit softer than a traditional dough. That being said, you can both eat this pizza with a fork, like you might socca, or pick it up with your hands, like you would with pizza.

It’s not too hard to cut through, but it’s also durable enough to do a fold-over and devour as you would a large, triangular slice of ‘za.
Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

I also went with a white sauce for the pizza, which I felt might pair better with the subtle sweetness of the crust and the bitter arugula with which I wanted to compliment it.

While the almond milk bechamel is another step in itself, it relies on just four ingredients, which are whisked to create the sauce in just a handful of minutes.

Vegan Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

Lastly, let’s talk about the vegan chorizo. I love Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, and a little bit of it goes a long way. However, if that’s not accessible to you, you could easily pan-fry some thinly sliced vegan sausage, instead, or tempeh bacon, or other substitute of your choice. Anything with a hint of spice and smokiness would pair quite well with the crust.

And, of course, the crust could be finished with an entirely different topping combination of your own — feel free to get creative!

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Butternut Brie Sandwiches with Caramelized Shallots and Arugula

Butternut Brie Sandwiches with Caramelized Shallots and Arugula

I don’t do a ton of dairy.

However, like s’mores around a campfire, butternut and brie is one of my all-time favorite autumn combinations. I don’t eat it often, but when I do, I’m a happy camper.

Butternut Brie Sandwiches with Caramelized Shallots and Arugula

There’s something about the natural nuttiness of butternut squash that lends itself well to the buttery, slight earthiness of brie. Melt the one onto the softness of the other, and magic happens.

Throw in some caramelized shallots and a crusty bread to offset that cream, and true sandwich sorcery is cast.

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Beet Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese Over Arugula

Beet Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese Over Arugula

As a kid, I preferred blue to pink. This fared quite nicely for my parents, who loved to dress me in my brother’s hand-me-downs.

But these days, my heart melts for magenta — especially when we’re talking food. And one small beet makes it easy to bring that color to life

arugula

Here, grated beets sweep in to keep pesto from turning that ugly shade of green that normally happens when basil oxidizes. It adds a slight earthiness to the pesto, but is far from the prominent flavor.

Pair with arugula for an added pop of color and goat cheese for a delightful creamy finish.

Beet Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese Over Arugula

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Arugula, Apple and Tempeh Bacon Sandwich with Caramelized Onions

Arugula, Apple and Tempeh Bacon Sandwich

Most times of the year, when I go to the grocery store, 75% of my basket is filled with fruit and vedge. However, lately I’ve been swimming in honeycrisps and butternuts and greens from the farmer’s market where I work. My grocery trips have been minimized, and my produce budget even more so.

Now when I go to the store, I end up with a basket that looks nothing like myself.

tempeh_apple (3 of 3)

I am a people-watcher. I love the art of observing others. So when going stir-crazy in the Whole Foods check-out line, I’m watching. I’m analyzing what the people in front of me plan to make for dinner. I’m picking out recipes for them in my mind, and I’m judging — er, I mean guessing — their lifestyle and personality traits. All from the items cruising their way to the cash register.

I, of course, am also seeking out my future husband. I’m scanning the lines in search of the handsome guy who’s buying figs and sweet potatoes, brazil nuts and oatmeal, and ingredients you can actually cook with. If you need to find me, I’ll be in that line. And hopefully exiting it with dinner plans. Just kidding.

Lately, however, trips to the grocery store have been scarce, and the farmer’s market is my new best friend. From it, I was able to pick up the fresh fall arugula and apples that compose this meal. Complimented by the rich flavors of caramelized onion, curry and parsley, this creates a surprising and satisfying sandwich. I love adding a sweet crunch in unexpected places, and here the apples carry this out beautifully. Choose your favorite eating variety, and make sure to thinly slice.

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Mediterranean Garlicky Eggplant

Mediterranean Eggplant

When eating Italian, I feel like I’m often on an Easter egg hunt. Like my little nieces and nephews this past weekend, I am on a search. Only this search is for the garlic. And when my fork and spoon come across a clove, rejoice, my taste buds do. I am one who can never get enough garlic. Hence the 20+ cloves that went into this eggplant dish.

There are instances where, yes, I admit, you can go overboard on garlic. But with eggplant, I find that rarely rings true. Like it does with oil, eggplant is a sponge for flavor. The sweetness of sautéed or roasted garlic is often what I bring out to get soaked up.

Here, the eggplant and garlic is paired with a bite of arugula and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s a flavorful dish that holds up well to whole grains or pasta. Enjoy with others if you don’t want your flavorful perfume to go noticed.

Eggplant and Garlic

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