Stuffed Pita Pizzas

I am, admittedly, a huge fan of pizza. Huge. If somebody said to me “Amy, I’m terribly sorry but the only food left on the planet is vegan pizza“, I would most likely do flips and awesome stunts to show my approval. During the early days of my vegan journey a co-worker gently scoffed at me when I told her that I ate pizza without cheese. She assumed that was impossible and nonsensical. Well guess what? She was wrong. Pizza doesn’t need cheese to taste amazing! Usually I pile my pizzas high with fresh veggies and on rare occasions I will sneak some vegan cheese on top. Apparently it’s “old school” to prefer Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet cheeses over the monopolizing Daiya. Since I don’t care for Daiya, I must be old school. Good enough for me, I an ager anyways!

My intense pizza craving struck yesterday afternoon. I was way too lazy to make homemade dough so I came up with a plan: why not use the stash of pitas Tim and I recently made for the pizza crust? And then, I took it a step further: I stuffed the inside of the pita with cheese and topped the outside with a quick homemade sauce and some veggies. It was so fast and easy!! The cheese was hidden inside the pizza like a carefully wrapped present. It melted wonderfully and tasted so good! I don’t have much of a recipe since it’s such a simple process:

1. Make or buy some pitas.
2. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
3. Cut a vertical slit across the top of a pita (or several pitas depending on how many you want to eat) with scissors like so:

4. Carefully fill the inside of the pita with your choice of vegan cheese (I used Follow Your Heart mozzarella).
5. Spread pizza sauce on top of filled pita.
6. Add toppings to pizza (I used mushrooms, peppers, olives, and fresh parsley).
7. Bake your pizza(s) in the oven for about 18-22 minutes. Check often to make sure it doesn’t get over-baked or burn. My oven is a demon and therefore very unreliable.
8. Cut into slices and eat! You could sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top if you fancy that (I do).

Easy as heck, right? One pita made a decent-sized serving for me but it wouldn’t be out of the question to eat two stuffed pita pizzas if you so desired. I made two last night and had the second one for lunch today.

Tell me, what are your favorite pizza toppings? I always put the same stuff on mine and it might be fun to switch it up a bit!

One Crazy April

Well, the weather here in Portland, OR has been a blend of four seasons over the last few days. This seems to be a worldwide trend, and I kinda like it…I know, I know, who likes hail, snow, rain, sun, wind, and cold all in one day? I do. I grew up less than a mile away from Lake Erie in Pennsylvania, and this is a welcoming memory of childhood…Anyway, weather that is as temperamental as my mood leads to lots of fun in the kitchen! So that’s good…

First up, I made a huge batch of granola. The recipe is adapted from The Big Book of Vegetarian, which happens to have a ton of yummy vegan recipes (and veganizable vegetarian recipes). This is the Spiced Vanilla Granola, made with considerably less sugar than the recipe calls for. This is a very versatile granola, you can add any combination of nuts and dried fruit, and it still turns out perfect every time!

After the granola, I made pita dough (again). I think I’ve become a pita fanatic. Pita is awesome because one batch makes enough dough for at least 16 pitas, and you can freeze the unbaked dough balls for later! This pita dough is for tomorrow night’s dinner: FALAFEL!!!! My favorite part of making any yeast dough is watching the yeast get all foamy! As I have mentioned in a previous post, talk to your yeast! Say things like “Hey lil’ yeasties, it’s time to go for a swim!”…

Once the pitas were finished baking, I was hungry. So, I made a snack with a chickpea spread from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook (my very first vegan cookbook!), and cut a pita into triangles. This is one of the most addictive spreads around, and my pita was psyched to not be naked anymore.

Once I finished my snack, I went on to making more jam, with the last of my berries in the freezer (picked…2 summers ago!!!!). Lemon juice is essential to jam-making.

A Strawberry-Raspberry Jam:

Next up: Tuscan White Bean Soup, also from The Big Book of Vegetarian. This is a hearty, healthy, delicious soup (especially on a day when the weather keeps you indoors).

Maybe you are wondering, where’s the dessert?! Well, I can’t go a day without some sort of tasty treat, so today (and many days) I made Chocolate Pudding, courtesy of Fat Free Vegan (my oh my, this is sooooo gooood!!!!).

And lastly, on Wednesday I received a little package in the mail from Hannah (aka Bittersweet). I was lucky enough to be one of the winners in her bunny contest. So, you don’t have to guess who was hiding in the envelope! That’s right! A sweet little pink bunny, who I have named Krames (after a sneaky spider who lived in the hallway of my building, until he ran off with another spider named Willis, who lived in my apartment…). Thank you Hannah! As it turns out, Krames loves vegan cupcakes (go figure!). On Friday night, my boyfriend and I were desperate for a treat, but I had no sugar anywhere! I did have some soy sweetened condensed milk. I ended up making vanilla cupcakes without a recipe (a little of this and a little of that), and topping them with some homemade hot cocoa mix I had in the cupboard. They actually turned out very well, not too sweet, with a lovely texture and crumb. But the “recipe” only made three cupcakes. One for me, one for Tim (my boyfriend), and one for Krames. Perfect!

A Spring Montage, Seitan Gyros, and Something Sweet…

Happy Spring! The weather here in Portland today was lovely and sunny, so I went on a walk and took some photographs. The flowers are blooming everywhere and the bees are pollinating, and with that said…

I made Seitan Gyros (from Vegan Express) for dinner with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes (also from Vegan Express, but without the olives). The pitas and the seitan (recipe for the seitan from Vegan with a Vengeance) were both homemade.

And finally…dessert! The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is a favorite among many, including myself. And since tomorrow is Easter, I wanted to make some peanut butter eggs. Instead of an egg shape I decided on an orb shape. So really, these are peanut butter orbs. Simply peanut butter mixed with some powdered sugar and a little Earth Balance, dipped in melted chocolate. These are difficult to stop eating. I always freeze them hoping that the wait to thaw them will deter me (and my boyfriend, who sneaks these from freezer to mouth without the thawing) from snarfing them all up in minutes. Sometimes that method works, and most of the time it doesn’t.

That’s it. Hopefully I will have some time tomorrow to post whatever ends up on the Easter menu!