PIZZA with Veggie toppings
1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 to 4 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced*
½ to ¾ cup vegetable broth or water
Salt and pepper
½ to 2/3 cup Meatless Bolognese
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
6 to 8 large basil leaves
10 to 11 ounces pizza dough
Flour for dusting the pizza dough and work surface
Crushed red pepper, if desired
Position one oven rack in the center of the oven and a second one about 6 inches above it.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place a large pizza stone on the center rack.
Scatter the red pepper and onion on a roasting pan; drizzle over them ½ cup of the broth or water, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the pan in the preheated oven on the rack above the stone and roast about 20 minutes. Toss the mushrooms into the pan, stirring to combine and adding a little more broth or water, if necessary, to keep the vegetable from burning. Roast another 15 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned.
Remove the vegetables from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F.
Using a tablespoon or two of flour, lightly flour a large flat baking sheet or wooden board. (Insert picture) Pat and stretch the pizza dough into a circle with a diameter of about 10 to 11 inches without tearing it. (Insert picture) Don’t worry if the pizza isn’t perfectly round. That takes some practice, and you’ll get there!
It helps to occasionally lift the dough off the board, holding one side and letting gravity pull it down.
Gently shake the sheet or board to be sure the dough slides easily back and forth. If it doesn’t, sprinkle a little more flour under the dough. This helps to transfer the dough to the pizza stone in the oven.
Spoon the Meatless Bolognese onto the pizza dough, spreading it to about a ½ inch of the pizza’s edge. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast, if using, then distribute the roasted vegetables on top.
Carefully slide the pizza onto the heated stone in the oven and bake about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges of the dough are firm and lightly browned.
Remove the pizza from the oven onto a wooden cutting board and distribute the basil leaves evenly over the top. Slice and serve with crushed red pepper, if desired.
SERVES 2 MAIN DISH, OR 4 APPETIZER SERVINGS
You can substitute 1-1/2 ounces of moist sundried tomatoes, coarsely chopped for the mushrooms, or use a combination of them.
Nutritional yeast is often used as a substitute for Parmesan cheese, which is why just a teaspoon adds rich umami flavor to this cheese-less pizza. But if you don’t have it in your pantry, you can omit it.
You can refrigerate or freeze any remaining Meatless Bolognese. It lasts about 5 days after its opened in the refrigerate and 6 months in the freezer.
BAKED PENNE WITH MEATLESS BOLOGNESE, MOZZARELLA, AND EGGPLANT
EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, WE FEEL IT’S PERMISSIBLE, AS IN THE RECIPE BELOW, TO BREAK A FEW OF OUR RULES AND ASSEMBLE A DISH LIKE THIS MACARONI CASSEROLE. THIS ONE IS GUARANTEED TO PLEASE EVEN THE FUSSIEST OF EATERS AND SNEAKS IN THE SIX DIFFERENT HEALTHY VEGETABLES IN OUR SAUCE ALONG WITH SOME WONDERFUL EGGPLANT. IT’S A GREAT FAMILY DISH AND PERFECT FOR A BARBECUE WHEN YOU’RE FEEDING A CROWD. YOU CAN ASSEMBLE THE DISH A DAY OR HOURS IN ADVANCE AND BAKE IT ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE SERVING.
10-12 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 jars (16 ounces) Meatless Bolognese
1 eggplant (about 1 pound)
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for browning eggplant (optional)
1 pound penne
Brown the Eggplant
Trim off ends of the eggplant and peel it. Slice into ½-inch thick slices.
Set a colander in the kitchen sink or in a large bowl. Stand one layer of eggplant slices upright against the inside of the colander and sprinkle with a little salt. Stand another layer of slices against the first layer and sprinkle them lightly with salt. Continue until all the slices are salted. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Blot the eggplant dry with paper towels.
Add enough oil to a large frying pan to come up about ½ inch deep on the sides of the pan. (To avoid using oil, see recipe note below.*)
Heat the oil over high heat until it starts to shimmer. Using tongs, carefully dip one slice of eggplant into the oil. If it sizzles, the oil is ready for browning.
Transfer as many slices of eggplant into the pan as will fit in a single layer. Cook until golden brown on one side; turn and cook the second side.
Using a wide metal spatula, remove slices from the pan to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Adjust heat or add more oil to the pan, if necessary to brown eggplant without burning it.
When all the eggplant has been browned and drained, cut it into 1 to 2 -inch pieces.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE THE CASSEROLE
Preheat your oven broiler, with a rack about 8 inches from the broiler unit.
Cook the penne according to package directions or until al dente (“firm with a little bite”). While the pasta is cooking, warm the Meatless Bolognese in a medium saucepan, covered, over medium-low heat. Just before the pasta is cooked, remove about 1/3 cup of the frothy, starchy water from the boiling pasta and stir it into the sauce.
Drain the pasta and turn it into a 3-quart oven-proof casserole fitted with a lid. Stir in the Meatless Bolognese, then the eggplant, if using, and finally the cubes of mozzarella.
Place the casserole on the oven rack, and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until the broiler heat starts to melt the cheese.
Remove the casserole from the oven and cover it.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Carefully reposition the rack in the lower third of the oven. Place the covered casserole on the lowered rack and bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until the dish is warmed through and the cheese melted.
Recipe notes: While the eggplant is a tasty addition, it’s not essential. If you’re pressed for time, or not an eggplant lover, leave it out and skip right to directions for “Assembling and Baking the Casserole.”
*Alternatively, to eliminate most of the oil, you can roast the eggplant slices on a lightly oiled large baking sheet in a 400-degree oven about 25 minutes or until they are soft and lightly browned.
Feel free to substitute the mozzarella with your favorite vegan cheese!
Thai cauliflower with chick peas, red lentils and spinach
The ease and taste of this dish astounds us. It’s a perfect vegetable side dish for four, or could be served as a hearty vegan stew for two. Our Velvet Vodka sauce gently cooks and seasons florets of cauliflower, chickpeas, red lentils, and fresh spinach. A little bit of Thai red curry and cayenne pepper is all you need as accent notes. The red lentils and chickpeas offer a delightful chewiness. It’s a go-to-your-pantry-dish that we predict will become a family favorite.
1 teaspoon olive
3-4 tablespoons water
1 ½ cups cauliflower florets
1 jar (16 ounces) Velvet Vodka sauce
1/3 cup uncooked red or orange lentils, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon Thai red curry powder*
¼ teaspoon cayenne red pepper, or to taste
¾ cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 to 4 cups rinsed fresh spinach
Kosher salt to taste
Cooked rice for serving, optional
Combine the olive oil, 3 tablespoons of the water, and the cauliflower in a medium saucepan; cover and cook over medium heat about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the cauliflower begins to soften.
Add the Velvet Vodka to the pan. Add the remaining tablespoon of water to the jar to rinse out any sauce, and pour it into the saucepan.
Add the lentils, the Thai curry powder, and the cayenne red pepper to taste; cover and simmer about 10 minutes, or unit the lentils have softened but still retain a bit of crunch.
Stir in the chickpeas and cook 2 to 3 minutes, covered.
Add the rinsed spinach, with the water that clings to its leaves; cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes more or until the spinach wilts.
Taste and season, if desired, with salt.
Serve over cooked rice or a grain of choice, if desired.
*You can buy Thai Red Curry Powder online or at a market that specializes in Asian foods, or you can substitute a good quality red curry powder.
CHILI-STUFFED ACORN SQUASH
2 acorn squash
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons apple cider
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1-1/4 cup)
2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (about 4 tablespoons)
1 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup bulgur, rinsed
2 jars (16 ounces) Meatless Bolognese
1 can (15 ounces) black beans or kidney beans, lightly rinsed and drained
1 Tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon Garam Masala
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro or parsley, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut one thin slice off the bottom of each half so that it sits flat. Place the halves in a large baking dish, flesh side up. Place one tablespoon apple cider into each squash half, sprinkle squash flesh with salt and pepper to taste, and roast about 40 to 45 minutes or until fork tender.
As the squash roasts, add the onion, peppers, bulgur, and vegetable broth to a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer covered until the vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the chili powder, the Meatless Bolognese, and the black beans or kidney beans. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer over very low heat about 10 minutes more. Stir in the Garam Masala and cook about 2 minutes more or until the flavors are well blended. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, as desired.
Spoon the chili into the warm squash halves, dividing it equally. Sprinkle with the parsley or cilantro and serve warm.
SERVES 4 AS A MAIN DISH
Note: To turn this into a side dish serving for 6; just slice and bake 3 acorn squash, filling each half with the vegetable chili.
1/2 cup canned chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
1/2 cup water (or enough to cover bottom of baking dish)
4 large bell peppers (preferable red, yellow or orange)
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
1-1/3 cups Meatless Bolognese
1-1/3 cups cooked farro or brown rice
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut a thin slice from the stem end of each pepper to remove its top. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse and, if desired, sprinkle the inside of each pepper lightly with salt and pepper. Set peppers aside, reserving tops.
Combine the Meatless Bolognese, farro or brown rice, chick peas, and parsley in a mixing bowl. Stuff peppers with the mixture, and, if using cheese, sprinkle onto the filled peppers, dividing evenly.
Cover each pepper with its top, and stand peppers upright in an ungreased medium baking dish. Pour water into the dish to just cover the bottom and cover the top of the dish with foil.
Bake in center of oven, 45 to 50 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and easily pierced with a sharp knife.
Recipe variations: This same stuffing makes a delicious filling for scooped out shells of zucchini, yellow squash or even eggplant. You can substitute any kind of cooked white rice, grain, or quinoa for the farro or brown rice.
Pinch each salt and pepper
1 teaspoons olive oil
¼ cup Meatless Bolognese
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsle
2 Tablespoons water
1 to 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Beat together the eggs, water, cheese, (if using) salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl until well blended.
Heat the butter or oil in a small non-stick omelet pan or skillet over medium-high heat, tilting the pan to coat the bottom.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan; it will start to set immediately.
In 1 to 2 minutes, when the top surface of the eggs is thickened, spoon the Meatless Bolognese onto one side of the omelet; sprinkle the parsley over the sauce.
Using a broad metal spatula, fold the omelet in half over the filling. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and cook about 1 minute more or until the filling is warm and the egg is fully set.
Slide the omelet onto a plate and serve immediately.