Vegan French Bread Pizza

Vegan French Bread PizzaDid you eat that fancy microwave French Bread pizza in your youth? I don’t remember having it at home, but when I went to college I bought it to eat in my dorm room. The picture on the box always looked so delicious, but the flavor and texture never quite measured up for me. It was always a soggy, sad mess when it finally hit my plate. Last week I decided to use a loaf of bread from the Farmer’s Market to make a worthy vegan french bread pizza. Topped with Field Roast sausage, fresh olives and Follow Your Heart cheese this was a huge hit. Huge hit is probably an understatement. My husband and son inhaled their pizza and I should have made double the amount that I made. Lesson learned…make big portions of vegan french bread pizza!

Vegan French Bread Pizza

There isn’t a recipe for this pizza, more of a methodology. You can use any toppings and vegan cheese that you like. Cook the pizza at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is getting melty and the bread toasty. I turn the broiler on at that point to add some color to the cheese and really crisp the edges of the bread.

Tips for delicious vegan french bread pizza:

  • Use a light, airy french bread – really dense french bread makes a pizza that is difficult to bite into and the bread to topping ratio is hard to get right because the bread is so dense.
  • Cook your Field Roast (or veggie meat of choice) before you put it on the pizza and in the oven. This lets the veggie meat get crisp without burning your whole pizza.
  • Use a good quality pizza sauce. My favorite is the fresh sauce from Whole Foods. It is inexpensive and has great flavor.
  • Use good quality olives from the olive bar. These will up the flavor of your pizza.
  • After cooking for 7-10 minutes, pull your pizza out of the oven. Turn on your broiler. Spray the top of the pizza with a little canola oil spray. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes…watch carefully to prevent burning! The oil helps the cheese melt and get good color.

Vegan French Bread Pizza


Vegan Matcha Latte

Vegan Matcha LatteI was intrigued about the power of Matcha tea when I heard one of my coffee-obsessed friends say he made the switch to matcha. I knew it had to be powerful to inspire such a devout coffee lover to abandon his favorite drink! If your not familiar with matcha it is a powder tea made from dried, young green tea leaves. In the past I tried foods made with matcha and I hated them so I assumed I wouldn’t like the tea by itself. Happily I tried making myself a Vegan Matcha Latte and I am totally hooked. Every morning I wake up and make myself a mint latte and savor it while I read the paper before my son gets up. If you are looking for a delicious drink that supplies sustained energy, without the ups and downs of coffee, give my minty Vegan Matcha Latte a try.

Vegan Matcha Latte-4Kathy Patalsky over at Happy Healthy Life has created an awesome guide to matcha. Be sure to check out all of the information she has provided. She tested out an impressive number of matchas!

Vegan Matcha Latte-2Based on Kathy’s guide I tried DoMatcha from Whole Foods. I also tried ordering Encha online since she spoke so highly of the flavor and interviewed the founder in another matcha post. I was also inspired by the Encha story and their commitment to organic matcha. Since the tea is made from grinding the entire leaves it is very important to buy organic matcha if you want to reduce your pesticide exposure. I’m now a subscriber and have the Encha matcha delivered monthly. It is delicious and by far my favorite matcha.

Vegan Matcha Latte-1

To make my Vegan Matcha Latte I use both a milk warmer/frother and a handheld frother. I use both of these items since I am trying to not wake my son up early in the morning. I put all of the ingredients in my Secura milk frother using the “warmer whisk”. It warms the milk and stirs everything together, but it doesn’t produce any froth. I use the handheld frother to add froth once I pour the latte into my mug. If my son is awake I just heat the milk and blend everything in my blender. Traditionally people use a bamboo whisk to mix the matcha with milk or water. Personally I didn’t have any success with that method so I abandoned that technique. Nobody likes a chunky latte!

Vegan Matcha Latte-5

Some people love matcha in cold drinks as well. I definitely prefer it warm, but occasionally I’ll make a matcha smoothie. I use the same recipe as below, but I add 1/4 cup of ice and a scoop of chocolate protein powder.

Do you use matcha? What are your favorite recipes?

Vegan Mint Matcha Latte
 
Warm, minty latte that will have you ready to face the morning with the power of Matcha Tea.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon Matcha tea
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
Instructions
  1. MILK FROTHER: Add all ingredients to milk frother using the mixing disc. Mix until warm and frothy. Serve warm.
  2. BLENDER: Warm milk. Add warm milk and remaining ingredients to blender and blend until uniform. Serve warm

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Vegan Tortilla Casserole

 

Vegan Tortilla Casserole

Confession – I don’t only read vegan blogs. I’m often inspired looking at blogs that feature food I wouldn’t eat. One of my favorite non-vegan blogs is Pinch of Yum. It is beautifully written and photographed by Lindsay Ostrom. Her food looks delicious and the recipes include plenty of spices to get my creative juices flowing. She recently published a recipe for a vegetarian tortilla casserole. She actually uses tofu in her filling, so you can see why I like her! I set out to make a vegan tortilla casserole after seeing her post. Mine is made with black beans, green chiles, homemade enchilada sauce and vegan cheese.

Vegan Tortilla Casserole

The homemade enchilada sauce recipe is simple and can be made in just a few minutes in the blender. The recipe makes 4 cups and you will only use 2-3 cups in your casserole. I’ll be showing you a recipe for vegan beef and cheese burritos soon where you can use any leftover sauce. This recipe is delicious with homemade enchilada sauce, but I have also made it with canned sauce. I like the Hatch brand and the Frontera brand.

Vegan Tortilla Casserole

One thing I did not change from Lindsay’s original recipe was to cover it with her Magic Green Sauce. This sauce is everything I love – spicy and tangy with a bit of texture. We have used it in falafel bowls and sandwiches, as well as on tofu. If you like herby sauces with a kick be sure to try this sauce drizzled over the casserole. It is magic!

Vegan Tortilla Casserole

The casserole is great to make ahead and doubles really well for a large group. The leftovers are also delicious.

What are your favorite food blogs? I’m always looking for new recipes and inspiration.

Vegan Tortilla Casserole
 
Spicy, soul soothing black bean vegan tortilla casserole. Delicious right out of the oven and equally tasty for lunch the next day.
Ingredients
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 TB garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilies
  • 2 15.5 oz cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 8 oz vegan cheese shreds
  • 3 cups enchilada sauce - homemade or store-bought
  • Black olives (optional - for topping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and diced green chilis. Stir to combine and then add in black beans. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  4. In greased casserole dish spread ¼ cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. Layer pan with 4 tortillas. Take half of the bean mixture and spread over the tortillas. Sprinkle ½ cup of cheese over beans. Pour 1 cup of enchilada sauce over the cheese. Now repeat process - layer 4 tortillas, top with remaining bean mixture, ½ cup cheese and 1 cup of enchilada sauce.
  5. For final layer top with remaining 4 tortillas. Pour the remaining cup of enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with black olives if desired.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and wait 5 minutes before serving.

Enchilada Sauce
 
Easy, spicy enchilada sauce made in your blender.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups tomato sauce - make sure no salt is added
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 TB garlic
  • 3 TB chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder (optional - leave out for a milder sauce)
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded if you want the sauce less spicy)
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 TB tamari
  • 1 TB agave
Instructions
  1. Add everything to your blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!