Category Archives: Italian

Vegan Italian Sausage – You won’t believe it’s not meat!

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I recently did a 40 Day Yoga Challenge where I wasn’t eating any meat other than seafood. During that time Evan and I went to a party at our good friends Liz and Kyle’s house for some Paella! She made vegan Spanish chorizo for some of the other non meat eaters and I instead of using real meat (thanks Liz)! It was awesome, texture and all, that’s right… I said it… texture and all- and even better it wasn’t made from tofu! I made her version during my 40 Day Challenge in my own Paella at home with great results. So I decided to make an Italian version for fun a couple of nights ago. It turned out fantastic, even Evan was a big fan!

This Italian sausage goes great in pasta dishes or in a salad like you will see below. I’ll also include the nutrition facts ūüôā ¬†It contains 16 grams of PROTEIN!, pretty good for a vegan “meat” ūüôā

I made this simple salad today for lunch: Baby Kale, Spinach, Red Onion, Cucumbers, Grape Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, and of course my Italian Vegan Sausage. With a Greek Yogurt, Lemon, Sage, Sirracha Dressing. It hit the spot!

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Serves: Approximately 9 : 2 oz servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C. Pinto beans, rinsed. You can use canned beans- I used canned organic beans…
  • 1 C. Organic vegetable broth
  • 1 TBS. Olive oil
  • 2 TBS. Light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Lemon zest
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 1/4 C. Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1/4 C. Nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBS Basil, chopped very fine
  • 1 TBS Oregano
  • 1 TBS Marjoram
  • 1/2 TBS Onion powder
  • 2 tsp. Red pepper flake
  • 1/2 TBS Black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Set up steaming apparatus. (Large pot, little bit of water, steam tray, and lid.)
  2. Lay out 3 sheet of foil to wrap sausage in. A sushi roller will help for this later.
  3. Mash beans well in medium bowl.
  4. Add all ingredients IN ORDER to bowl.
  5. Once all ingredients are added, knead “dough” with hands until all ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Divide dough into 3 balls, roll each ball out into a link shape and place each one on a separate sheet of foil. This is where the sushi roller comes in handy… Roll the foil around the link and use the sushi roller to roll and compact your link making it nice and firm. Twist off ends of foil and repeat with the rest.
  7. Place sausages in steaming apparatus and steam for 40 min on low/medium.
  8. Unroll- careful they will be hot and let cool. Then you can slice and cook up on the stove to get some crispiness if desired. DO NOT USE HIGH HEAT, they will burn.

Serve as you wish! On a salad, pasta, sandwich, wrap, the possibilites are endless.

Paella Made with Vegan Spanish Chorizo!

Sausage and Porcini Pizza with a Homemade Pesto

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Here’s the pizza I promised and let me tell ya… it was an amazing pizza! Everything was made from scratch (minus the cheese, but I’m working on changing that). I can’t tell you how much better homemade crust, sausage, and pesto is!!! If you haven’t made any of these by hand it’s time to start and here’s why:

Store bought pizza crust: Like Boboli for example are about $3-5 and contains all of these ingredients some of which are GMO:¬†Unbleached enriched wheat flour [flour, malted barley flour, reduced iron, niacin, thiamin mononitrate (vitamin b1), riboflavin (vitamin b2), folic acid], water, palm oil, yeast, salt, milk casein, sugar, mozzarella cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt and enzymes), preservatives (calcium propionate, sorbic acid ), fumaric acid, modified food starch, sodium phosphate, whey, monoglycerides, lactic acid, natural flavor, garlic, artificial color. ¬†Making your own consists of much less: Flour, yeast, water, oil, and salt… all for approximately 60 cents!

Store Bought Pesto 4oz: For about $4-7 Contains: Basil, Soybean Oil, Garlic, Romano Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Olive Oil, Spice, Salt, Lactic Acid, Torula Yeast, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors (Soy). Contains Soybeans, Milk. Making 8oz of your own: Basil, Olive Oil (good stuff), Pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, Garlic, Salt and Pepper for about $5-6

Store Bought Sausage 1lb:¬†For about $4-6 Contains:¬†Pork (high fat content), Water, Salt, Corn Syrup, Monosodium Glutamate (AKA MSG), Dextrose, Spices, Natural Flavors, BHT, BHA, Citric Acid. Making your own: Pork, Turkey, Identifiable spices that I’m proud to disclose, Shallots, Garlic, Green Onion for about $ 2.50

Yes it’s work, it is much harder than picking up the phone and calling Domino’s! In the end- not only is better for your wallet and your body but it’s also fun to create meals you can feel good about eating that won’t come back to haunt you the next day… or even next couple of days for that matter, you know what I’m talking about…

Prep: 1 hr

Cook Time: 20-25 min

Makes: 8 Slices or serves 2-3

Ingredients:

Toppings

  • Sausage balls
  • Porcini mushrooms
  • 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella, sliced into medallions.
  • 1/4 C. Pesto
  • 1/4 C. Parmigiano reggiano, the GOOD stuff!
Sausage 
  • 1/4 lb Ground pork
  • 1/4 lb Ground turkey
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 TBS scallion, chopped finely
  • 2 TBS Shallots, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp. Marjoram
  • 1 tsp. Sage
  • 1/8 tsp. Tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground pink peppercorn
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Salt
Mix well and roll into marble sized balls. Cook in large skillet until cook through. Reserve for pizza
Basil Pesto (this makes a cup) you can store or freeze what you don’t use.
  • 2 C. Fresh Basil Packed, big stems removed
  • 2/3 C. Olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1/4 C. Pine Nuts
  • 1/2 C.- 3/4 C. Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  • Salt and pepper
Mix all ingredient in processor, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Crust/Dough

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) Package active dry yeast
  • 1 C. Warm water
  • 1 TBS. Sea salt
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 cups Bread flour

Instructions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
  2. Add sea salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 5 minutes. If making 2 pies split dough into 2 balls.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  6. Cover, let rise in warmest place in house away from draft until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  7. Punch dough down each ball.
  8. Roll out dough as you like and place on your cooking surface. (stone, tin, pan, etc.)
    I pre bake my crust for about 5 min on the stone to firm it up… this ensures that the meatballs don’t roll off when you slide it in the oven.
    To Top: Spread pesto evenly, then place mozzarella on top, then porcini’s and meat balls, Finally sprinkle with Parmigiano reggiano.
    Bake for 20-25 min until bubbly and golden  :)
    Enjoy and Cheers!
    DON’T FORGET there’s still time to enter my OXO Giveaway if you haven’t already!

Homemade Sauceless Pizza with Brussel Sprouts, Mozzarella, Shallots, and Bacon (this is my fav pizza recipe ever)!

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I have been on a pizza kick lately… well actually for my whole life. I love pizza but what I have begun to love even more is making my own at home. After countless different versions of topping combinations, store bought dough, homemade dough, sauce or sauceless, making pizzas until my hands ache parties I have decided that THIS recipe is hands down the best pizza you can make at home! This would be a great Superbowl Pizza!

Prep: 1.5 hrs

Cook Time: 15-20

Serves: 2-3

Makes: 2 medium thin crust pies

Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1¬†(1/4 ounce) Package¬†active dry yeast
  • 1 C. Warm water
  • 1 TBS. Sea¬†salt
  • 2¬†tsp Olive oil
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2¬†cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C. Cornmeal

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
  2. Add sea salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes. If making 2 pies split dough into 2 balls.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  6. Cover, let rise in warmest place in house away from draft until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  7. Punch dough down each ball.
  8. Brush 2,  10 inch pizza pans with oil and sprinkle cornmeal to cover pan.
  9. Press dough across bottom of pan forming collar around edge to hold filling Top with fillings and bake at 425¬įF for 15-20 minutes.

 Toppings

  • 5-6 slices of cooked bacon, not too cooked
  • 2 C. Sliced brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 C.¬†Parmigiano Reggiano¬†, shredded
  • 20 1/8 inch slices of fresh mozzarella rounds
  • 1/2 C. Shallots, sliced
  • Olive oil, 3 TBS
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Instructions:

  1. Prepare dough and make pies.
  2. In a small bowl mix olive oil and spices.
  3. Spread oil mixture onto pies evenly.
  4. Distribute Mozzarella on to pies (they don’t have to touch, when they melt they will spread out).
  5. Distribute brussel sprouts bacon and shallots on top of mozzarella.
  6. Sprinkle the Parmigiano Reggiano lightly on top of both pies.
  7. Bake for about 15 min-20 min until crust is crispy and cheese is brown and bubbly.

Enjoy! Cheers!

It’sa Parma Pizza! My Rendition of a Favorite from Mandola’s Italian Market

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Ever since I got my Kitchen Aid mixer I’ve been experimenting with tons of new things (new to me)! I love bread so I’ve made a few batches of that lately. I’ve also been doing pizza crusts which are FAR better than anything you can buy frozen or pre-made ūüôā We recently moved far away from any “real” pizza (all that’s out here is Domino’s). So one night I decided I would create one of our favorites at home.¬†This is my rendition of the Parma Pizza at Mandola’s Italian Market. It was very similar, it had crispy crust, it looked the same, ¬†and it was tasty! The only thing I would have done differently was get the dough thinner (we prefer cracker like crust), this was a bit thicker but still good. I still miss our usual Thursday Mandola’s night out… but this helps!

Prep: 1.5 hrs

Cook Time: 15-20

Serves: 2-3

Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1¬†(1/4 ounce) Package¬†active dry yeast
  • 1 C. Warm water
  • 1/2¬†tsp. Sea¬†salt
  • 2¬†tsp Olive oil
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2¬†cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C. Cornmeal

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
  2. Add sea salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  6. Cover, let rise in warmest place in house away from draft until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  7. Punch dough down.
  8. Brush 14 inch pizza pan with oil and sprinkle cornmeal to cover pan.
  9. Press dough across bottom of pan forming collar around edge to hold filling Top with fillings and bake at 425¬įF for 15-20 minutes.

 Toppings

  • 7-9 Slices of Parma ham aka¬†Prosciutto
  • 1/4 C. Parmigiano Reggiano¬†, shredded
  • 1/2 C. Mozzarella, shredded
  • 4 C. Fresh arugula
  • Olive oil, 2 TBS
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/4 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea salt
  • 10-15 Pieces of shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Lemon juice from 2 lemons and a tsp of olive oil mixed together.

Instructions:

  1. Prepare dough and make pie.
  2. In a small bowl mix olive oil and spices.
  3. Spread oil mixture onto pie evenly.
  4. Distribute 1/2 C. Mozzarella on to pie.
  5. Distribute Parma ham on top of the cheese.
  6. Sprinkle the Parmigiano Reggiano lightly on top of the Parma ham.
  7. Bake for about 15 min-20 min until crust is crispy.
  8. Top with arugula and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.
  9. Drizzle lemon juice and oil on top!