Friday, January 28, 2011

"Pepperoni" Pizza

Why order a plain, non-cheese veggie pizza from a pizzeria when you can make this delicious, and ridiculously easy, version in about 20 minutes at home?

"Pepperoni" Pizza

1 Premade Whole Wheat Crust
1 Small Jar of Ragu Tomato Sauce
1 Box of Lightlife Smart Deli® Pepperoni
1 Bag of Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds
Olive Oil (to brush the crust)

Preheat over to 375°F.

Place the pizza crust on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil.

Spoon sauce onto the crust and cover with a layer of pepperoni.

Cover the sauce and pepperoni, thoroughly, with mozzarella cheese and then add another layer of pepperoni to top it off.

Place on the bottom rack of the oven and cook for about 15-20 (or until the cheese gets melty and the crust is slightly browned.)

Note: If you can't find lightlife or daiya in your area, Yves Meatless Pepperoni and Tofutti Mozzarella Slices are good substitutes.

Servings: About 8 Slices (dependent on the size of the crust)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vegetable Bean Soup

I wanted to make vegetable soup, but was feeling lazy and didn't want to drive all the way to the farmers market to get fresh veggies, so I went to the supermarket and decided to try using frozen. They worked great; I couldn't even tell the difference and it was absolutely delicious.

What makes this soup even better is that it was so inexpensive and easy to make! I got the bags of vegetables on sale, so the entire pot of soup only cost me about $5 and will easily feed me for days. I know that I've spent that much on a 1 cup of "homemade" soup from a store or 2 cans of soup, so it's definitely worth it to make your own sometimes.

Vegetable Bean Soup

3 Bags of Frozen Vegetables (12-16oz) [I used Shoprite's Steam in Bag Asian Stirfry, California Blend (Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrots) and Peas]
1 bag (16 oz) Goya 16 Bean Soup Mix
1 Red Onion
2 Stalks of Celery
1 tbsp minced garlic
Olive Oil (for sautéing)
4 Quarts (16 cups) of water mixed with Osem Chicken Style Consomme [or 4 Quarts of any other type of broth]
  • Bay leaf
  • Old Bay
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon
  • Allspice
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
*Note: At one point, I just started adding different spices and seasonings without writing any of them down. I don't know the exact measurements - and I may have forgotten a spice or two - so just use this list as a guideline. Experiment and decide what tastes good to you!

Before you begin, make sure you rinse the beans.

Saute the onions in a stock pot until they start to turn clear, then add the celery and saute a few minutes longer. Add garlic, stir a few times.

Add the 3 bags of frozen vegetables and the bag of beans.

Add the vegetable broth or water. Bring to a boil.
[Note: If you are using the consomme, add the powder after you bring the water to a boil.]

Add the spices and then stir a few times to mix everything together.

Reduce the heat to simmer [low/medium heat] and cover.

Let the soup simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. When the beans are cooked, the soup is done.
[Note: I let the soup sit on the stove for a few hours after it was done to let the flavors blend together a bit longer.]

Don't forget to remove the bay leaf before serving.

Servings: You'll probably be eating it for the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Split Chickpea Soup

Happy New Year, everyone! I did quite a bit of cooking over the holidays, but didn't have enough time to document anything, so I took a bit of a hiatus but now I'm back. And come bearing gifts of a new soup recipe!

Winter is the perfect time for soup and I've been on such a huge split pea soup kick lately, that I decided to come up with my own version, but with a bit of a variation.

Split Chickpea Soup

16 oz Bagged Beans (8 oz Split Peas / 8 oz Chick Peas)
6 Cups Water (Plus a few more cups - optional)
6 tsp Chicken Style Consomme (I used Osem)
1 Red Onion (chopped)
2 Stalks of Celery (chopped)
1 1/2 tsp Garlic (minced)
1 Bay leaf
Olive Oil (for sautéing)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
4qt stock pot (or sauce pan)

Rinse and drain the peas and chick peas and then set them aside.

Chop up the onion and the celery sticks. Pour a little olive oil in the pot and saute the onions over low to medium heat. After a few minutes, add in the celery and garlic and saute another couple of minutes.

Add the peas, chick peas and water to the pot. Stir to mix everything together and then bring the water to a boil. Add consomme - stir. Add the bay leaf.

Cover and turn heat down between low to medium so that the water stays at a simmer.

Let soup simmer for 1hr & 15 minutes.

Remove bay leaf and puree the soup using a food processor or blender. The soup should be really thick so once you pour it back into the pot, add 1-2 cups of hot water. Stir. If soup is still too thick, add more water until desired thickness is achieved.

Add salt & pepper. Serve.

Makes about 8-10  servings

(The longer the soup sits, the thicker it gets, so you can always thin the soup out by adding a bit of water to it before reheating it.)