Sunday, July 6, 2014

Victoria Moran Interviews Happy Cow, Jill Nussinow, & Yours Truly

Victoria Moran ("Main Street Vegan") interviewed Eric Brent (Happy Cow), myself (Heart Healthy Pizza), and Jill Nussinow (aka, "The Veggie Queen" and author of the cookbooks "CHAMPs" & "The New Fast Food") just over a week ago.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Eric and Jill, and my session with Victoria covered much more than my book (my relationship with Howard Lyman, aka, "The Mad Cowboy," diet, nutrition, yadda).  The audio of the interview is now available at the link below as a streaming file or a downloadable mp3.  Enjoy!  I hope to do it again with Ms. Moran... she's quite articulate, interesting, and knowledgable.  There are many excellent interviews in her archive, which I highly recommend.

The Interview entitled "Food, Glorious Food" here!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pizza Cookbook Review a& FREE Giveaway

"VeganRunnerEats" reviews "Heart Healthy Pizza," offers FREE book giveaway.  Some great photos, I'll post the recipes later this week (in the process of moving domiciles). Check it out:  Here's one of her photos:


Monday, August 12, 2013

Digital Radio Interview with Me: "I Like Thinking."

About a year ago, I did my first interview in promoting my self-published book.  It was in Fairfax, VA, and I spent days preparing.  I showed up with a pizza ('natch), hobbling with a cane (from a leg injury) and in quite the physical pain.  It was a struggle, and the start of a new and longer experience.  The interviewer, Daniel Michael, had started an online radio station (Mainstreet Universe) and I was one of his first interviews, ever.

Last night, it was an extraordinary experience to interview with Dan after all this time.  We've both grown, gained knowledge, and I felt so relaxed and comfortable to be with the guy who helped initiate my marketing efforts a year ago.  It was so strange, but fitting, to have spent an hour interviewing Dr. Neal Barnard, in person, a few days earlier (for the Mad Cowboy Newsletter, out next month), then spend time with Dan and his team.

I've done a lot of interviews in the past year, but this one was special, and I think the results show a maturation process effected that almost scares me.  I appeared to be lucid, engaging, and polite.  Go figure.  Why I don't do dairy or oil, global water issues, growing food... it covers an interesting range of topics.  Probably the most "wide-range" interview I've done so far.

My final statements in this session struck me today as I reviewed the broadcast:  "I like being asked questions.  Questions make me think.  I like thinking."

That about sums it... I need a lot of rest, though.  Dr. Barnard was incredible and last night was a catharsis of sorts.  Lots to, well, "think" about.

Here's a link to the audio of the interview with Dan and his team.  I'm honored and delighted to have been there and recognize that growth is sometimes tasking, but it does occur, and not often in ways you can possibly anticipate.  As I noted in the interview, plants, when under stress, produce additional and extra nourishment that that aids tremendously in our own health when consumed.

Not unlike our own lives in a similar ongoing process.  Here's a link to the audio of our chat:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Thinking Outside the Pizza Box" - Article, Recipes, Videos, and More

A few months ago I did my 1st TeeVee gig on how to make a plant-based pizza for the "busy professional" in less than 30 minutes. Here's the full 30 min. video and then the cropped 3 minute version (focused on just making the pizza).  I later wrote a short article documenting the recipes for the Vegetarian Society of DC (the oldest such group in this country). The quick "cheese-like" topping is gluten-free and modified recipe from the 1st Vegan Pizza Cookbook, "Heart Healthy Pizza."

As a proud Life Member of VSDC, it was wonderful to see my article in their newsletter. My thanks to VSDC for all their efforts in promoting veganism and a healthy plant-based lifestyle.

JPEG version of the Article "Making a Plant-based Pizza in 30 Minutes:" (the full newsletter not totally accessible in all browsers):

25 Minute Cable TeeVee Demo:

3 Minute "Close-in" Demo:

"Thinking Outside the Pizza Box" 8 Min. Ramble/Short Video:

Now, there's enough information for anyone who wants to make a healthy plant-based pizza in 30 minutes or less.  No more excuses...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DC Area AR2013 Conference & "Making a Pizza in 30 Minutes" Clip

Preparing to table at a Conference (in this case, the esteemed Animal Rights 2013 Conference in DC) is a daunting task.  Sure, I've helped others at Conferences, and did several "head photographer" gigs for the the yearly FARM sponsored Conferences (including the 1st ever, "this is what happened the past few days photo slideshows" presentation at the Banquet (back when it was difficult, before Instagram and WannaPeek? or WatchMoreOfMyStuff!, the past two being non-existent, of course).

This time,though, I don't have a team and I've had to invest in books, various resources, exhibiter fee(s), handouts, the early setup, managing my event, talking all day each day for 3 to 4 days, then breaking it all down. Logistically, it's amazing what some of these Activist Groups do so frequently, and they deserve credit from the physically, emotionally, and spiritually hungry people who attend these events, often oblivous to all that these people went through on their behalf, and for the animals.  Then there's the incredible program of speakers, panels, and learning.  And there's the food... gawd, the food...

To support my effort, I've clipped out a 3 minute or so video clip from my recent 1st Cable TV Broadcast, the "up close and personal" stuff on how to make a plant-based pizza in 30 minutes and surrounded it with some text.  I'll be adding this to 2 more minutes of text, quotes, marketing stuff, for an estimate 5 or 6 minute "loop" I can show on a large monitor at my table.

Hopefully seeing how I make pizza will answer a lot of questions early, demonstrate how simple it is, and be encouraged to do the same (maybe even buy a autographed copy of the 1st Vegan Cookbook with a Conference Discount. Stop by and visit! I'll be bored beyond belief unless I get to interact with other quasi-humans.

Here's an imbedded version of the 1st part of my "soon to be created" video piece.  Thanks again to Jorge Meras, at Healthy Food Happy You for his directorial and producing efforts:

Of course, I'm not anxious to "hear my voice" looping over again and again (think Prometheus and the vulture), but I want to help people realize that they can truly make and enjoy "heart healthy pizza."
So, if you're in the DC area the next four days, stop by the Mark Hilton Hotel and visit AR2013.  The entire exhibit area is FREE, there's FREE transport from the Metro to the hotel available, and a LOT of FREE vegan snacks, goodies, and information.  Visit to support the exhibiters, to support the animals, and meet a lot of great like-minded people.  You could spend your time much less wisely in this beastly DC heat.... oh, did I mention the food (FREE samples and hotel-provided?).

"Making Pizza:" Mark's Cable TV Debut Now Available Online

It was my 1st time in a TV studio, let alone being filmed in front of 3 cameras, team of people in a hidden booth barking orders through headsets to those around myself and the hostess.  All volunteers, we were there to film my making a pizza, start to finish, and a short interview.  Although this was to be a half hour episode, we were in the studio for several hours.  It's amazing how much time was spent standing, re-doing things, waiting... the hostess was shivering from the cold, I was in pain from a leg injury (couldn't use my cane on set), and I had no makeup! (looking like a gaunt vegan zombie from no sleep the night before).

The Director/Producer, Jorge Mera, did a marvelous job of editing, though, and Gina Lewis (the hostess) was a real pro.  I think the primary missions were accomplished: demonstrated making a truly heart healthy plant-based pizza in 30 minutes or less ("for the busy professional"), gain experience in these kinds of presentations, and learn (which camera to look at? you wore black???).  Still, all things considered, I'm content that it was worth the effort.  The second half, where I make the same pizza again with the camera in close all the time, imho, is particularly effective.  Wish we had more time at the end to talk about my cookbook.  The final broadcasts were on Fairfax Public Access TV, Channel 10.

Anyway, here it is! I be a "video virgin" no longer... Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

For Pizza & Pasta: "A Plant-Based Cheese-like Sauce Recipe"

A frustrating aspect of writing a cookbook is all those tests, recipes, and ideas that for a variety of reasons, don't get done or included in time for publication.  Lord knows, there's so many brunch and dessert pizza concepts, tons of other cheese-like sauces, and additional neat ideas that didn't make the cut in my cookbook. After all, I spent over 5 1/2 years research recipes for this effort, and at some time, it hadda be released!

One of the more intriguing ideas was using my 60 published cheese-like sauces for purposes other than pizza (here's a link to the Recipes Index for all recipes). I was able to use left-over sauce to great effect with pasta, in quesadillas, as a crudite dip, on baked potatoes or steamed veggies, in spreads, and more. But, only having tried this with a couple of them, I was hesitant to promote the concept much more than a tacit reference here or there in the book itself.

However, since that time, I've successfully tested several of the recipes, made fresh for purposes other than pizza, and taking advantage of left-over sauce (most keep at least 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator). I've been wanting to document this online for awhile now, and today's the day:

The "cheese-like" sauce recipe I'm publishing here is a variation of one of my favorite "non-grain-based" sauces, the infamous "Cauliflower, Millet, Carrot, and Mustard" sauce.  Clearly influenced by the classic macrobiotic "faux mashed potatoes" recipe (using millet, cauliflower, and onions), it was one of the recipes that I deliberately set out to make work when writing the book. I also love this recipe as it's a "one-pot" process by which the cauliflower, millet, and carrot, are cooked together, then blended as a cheese-like sauce/topping.  In the case of this experiment, I thought that using 1/2 cup of peeled raw finely diced sweet potato would work as well as carrot due to color, similar density, like texture.  I also used a "spicy" mustard instead of plain to add a little "kick" to it all.

First up, I made a "whole wheat & rye flour" dough for the pizza crust, and topped it with raw chopped kale, sliced tomatoes, diced shiitake mushrooms, herbs, and sliced onions.  Then I made the sauce (recipe below) and put around half of it on the pizza (sprinkling on some ground black pepper) and baking as normal.  Here's some photos of the pizza while being constructed, after backing, and playing around with the camera to get a shot of "pizza in hand" (the idea from a photo here by Somer Vedge).

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"Want Some Fresh Pizza?" Click on for Larger Image
"Day-old Slice!" Click on for Larger Image

A few days later, I decided it was time to play with the roughly 1 1/2 cup of leftover sauce.  I added some dry vermouth to a medium "wok-like" cooking pan (sorry, I didn't measure anything, this is a basic cooking process), followed by crudely sliced onions, chopped garlic, dried red chili pepper flakes (from crunching the homegrown peppers,and dicing the skins as well), a lot of chopped mixed greens from the garden, leftover sliced/chopped tomatoes, and brought this all to a steaming simmer, stirring frequently, until the kale started to wilt (covered with a pan lid when not mixing).  I then added some sliced/diced mushrooms, a little balsamic vinegar. To keep it low sodium, no soy sauce or tamari was added, additional water if needed to keep veggies from sticking.

Then, when everything almost done, I added a little liquid cautiously, and then added a bunch of pre-cooked wheat/oat high fiber spagetti pasta, again, stirring deeply and slowly until the chill was gone. I added the leftover cheese-like sauce, stirring frequently and deeply, not adding liquid until it was too thick. Soon, the sauce begins to thicken to the desired degree, you'll need to turn off the heat, and cover until served.

Here's photos of the results!
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And now, finally, the cheese like sauce recipe for your enjoyment!

Cauliflower, Millet, and Carrot* Sauce

• 1 cups cauliflower (chopped/diced, 1/2" pieces)
• 1/2 cup uncooked millet
• 1/3 cup raw carrot (diced)
• 2 cups water (as needed)
• 1 t. garlic powder
• 1 t. salt (optional)
• 2 to 2 1/2 T. corn starch
• 2 T. wet mustard of choice
• 1 t. red Tabasco sauce
• 1 cup water

1. Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a small pot, then simmer on lowest heat setting for 25 to 30 minutes. Turn off heat, and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool to room temperature. If necessary, drain.
2. Put vegetable mixture into a blender or food processor (mash a little with the back of a wooden spoon)
3. Add remaining ingredients, reserving the water to add in small increments, gradually increasing the processing seed until the mixture is a smooth and thick pancake-like batter.
4. Pour on top of prepared pizza and back at 425 to 450 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes, or as preferred.

 Depending upon the type of pizza being made, fresh or dried herbs can be added and hand mixed into the batter when smooth.
 Mix in chopped canned green chiles and sliced black olives with leftover sauce to make nachos (pour over tortilla chips, etc., and heat) or in quesadillas.
* I used 1/2 cup raw peeled diced sweet potato, instead of carrot, for this test.  Cooked in place of the carrot.
• The addition of around 1/4 cup of raw unsalted sunflower seeds will add a nice extra creaminess to this sauce.  Be sure to allow for a little extra blending time to facilitate a silkier sauce texture. 

 This recipes makes around 3 1/2 cups of sauce.

The above is ©2013 by Mark Sutton, "Heart Healthy Pizza: Over 100 Plant-Based Recipes for the Healthiest Pizza in the World." You can order autographed copies of my book here.