Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nifty Pizza #15 - IOWA!

It's time for a Pizza that holds a very special place in our hearts...IOWA!
KT here: Before I moved to Southern Minnesota, I didn't even realize what a magical place Iowa is.  A few weeks into my stay in the Midwest, my good friend Gary took me on a drive to the magical land of Decorah, Iowa.  Since then, I travel there about once a week (don't worry, it's only about 45 minutes away, and with Carla in tow it feels like 5 minutes at most). I can't stay away! Who knew that in Iowa I would find Middle Earth (the hiking trails), a mecca for vegan goodness (the Oneota Co-op), my new favorite coffee shop (Magpie, of course!) and a best friend (I'm looking at you, Sarah).  Therefore, Iowa is now incredibly near and dear to I knew this particular pie had to be extra special. 
KT and Pam, praising the vegan paninis in Iowa!
We put our heads together and came up with something fantastic! The inspiration for this pizza comes from Iowa corn casserole - a potluck staple chocked full of creamed corn, bacon, onions, and bell peppers. What's more, Iowa is full of beautiful cornfields, which KT drives through on her way to Decorah every week. The sauce for the pizza is actually Roasted Corn Chowder (recipe below), which you could eat as is or turn into Iowa Corn Casserole! 3 different meals from the same recipe!
Nifty Pizza #15 - IOWA!
For the Roasted Corn Chowder
4-5 ears of Corn
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
2 ribs of Celery, sliced
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups Vegetable Stock
1 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk
Salt and Pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 
2. Pull back the husks of the corn and remove the corn silk.  Then bring the husks back up over the corn.  Place the ears of corn on a baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, turning a couple of times during the roasting process.
3. Remove corn from oven and let cool.  Remove the  husks and, using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cobs and collect in a bowl.  Set aside.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and celery, cover, and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the potato and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender (about 25 minutes).  Uncover, add the corn, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, ladle 2 cups of the soup into a food processor or blender, and process until smooth.  Stir the puree back into the chowder, add the soy milk, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Nifty Iowa Pizza
Dough for 1 Pizza Crust
2 cups of Roasted Corn Chowder
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 package of Tempeh Bacon, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced
1/2 cup Corn Kernels
Vegan Cheddar Cheese (Daiya works best!)
Vegan Parmesean Cheese
Creshed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare pizza dough.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook to soften.  Then add in bacon and brown it slightly.  Lastly, add in green bell pepper and corn kernels.  Let everything cook just enough to caramalize slightly. 
3. Unless your chowder is particularly thick, give it a little drain so that your pizza crust doesn't become soggy.  Spread the chowder over the pizza dough.
4. Top with the slightly caramalized bacon and veggies. Sprkinle on the Daiya Cheddar and vegan parmesean.  Add a dusting of crushed red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning (if desired).
5. Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack and 10 minutes on the bottom rack.
6. Remove from oven, slice, plate, and convince your mother to move to Decorah.

Peace, Love, and Water Street
Pam and KT

Monday, October 15, 2012

I love to eat Apples and Bananas...

IT'S FALL!!! (The best season of them all...I made a rhyme)

And after a romp around the local orchard, KT had a bounty of fresh local apples to bake with!  She decided to whip up some delicious banana bread, with an autumnul flare!

Autumn Spice Banana Bread

1/3 cup Earth Balance, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
2 cups Flour
1 and 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 and 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 very ripe Bananas, mashed
1 Apple, chopped
1/2 cup Almond Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon to taste
Nutmeg to taste
Ginger to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix Earth Balance and Sugar.
3. Stir in Flour, Baking Powder, and Paking Soda.
4. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
5. Pour batter into an oiled bread pan.
6. Bake for 50 minutes, and let the fall aromas fill your kitchen!

This recipe is incredibly simple but incredibly delicious.  Plus, what is better than fall-time food?!
The answer is nothing.

Peace, Love, and Cider
Pam and KT

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Nifty Pizza #14 - Indiana!

Even though it is known as the "Crossroads of America," Indiana tends to get overlooked.  At least in the Food Universe (aka - our universe), it's hard to pinpoint what exactly this lovely land is known for.  Since you can't really put a hoosier on a pizza, we had to hit the books and do some research.
We learned that The Indiana Foodways Alliance is currently seeking to brand Indiana foods the way Southern foods have been.  This way, people from other areas of the U.S.A. (like us), can become aware of the traditional Indiana fare that we have been missing.  These specific foods include Onion Pie, a pie of sweet onions, bacon, eggs, and cheese.  With this in mind, a delicious breakfast pizza was born!!
Nifty Pizza #14 - INDIANA!

Pizza dough for one crust
"Cheesy" Sauce (You can find the recipe here)
Your favorite Tofu Scramble recipe (You can find the recipe we use here)
Browned Vegan Bacon
Caramalized sweet onion
Vegan "Cheese" Shreds (we used a mix of mozzarella and cheddar Daiya)
A sprinkling of Vegan Parmesean
Ranch Dressing (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Assemble by spreading the "cheesy" sauce on your pizza crust.  Cover with tofu scramble.  Scatter the browned vegan bacon and vegan cheddar/mozzarella shreds.  Sprinkle with just a little parmesean. 
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
4. Remove from oven, and let sit for 5 minutes (try to restrain yourself) before slicing, plating, and drizzling with ranch dressing.
5. Enjoy a slice any hour of the day.  It is totally acceptable for any meal or snack!

Vegan Ranch Dressing
1 Cup Vegan Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Vegan Sour Cream
1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Mix all ingredients together!  Drizzle over your delicious slice of Indiana Branded Pizza!!

Peace, Love, and Hoosiers!
Pam and KT