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.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

All Creature's Reviews "Heart Healthy Pizza"

The All Creatures Website has been around for OVER 15 years! One of the original vegan, animal rights websites, it is chockful of recipes, news, reviews, and information.  An obvious labor of love by the Mary and Frank Hoffman Foundation (who've supported and donated to many very important animal rights/vegan documentaries and projects over the past decade and a half), it's old school in design, but still retains its timeliness in content, heart, and spirituality.

I'm honored that they recently reviewed my book here.  An excerpt:

"The thing we like best about Heart Healthy Pizza are the wonderfully different ideas for making heart healthy vegan pizza; things that we hadn't even thought of in our decades of creating healthful vegan recipes, and publishing them on our web site."

The Recipes (with photos) section of this website is extraordinary and one of the first truly comprehensive collections of vegan recipes and animal rights information on the web.  Think about it:  15 years ago this was a godsend. It was still amazing and vital resource to many of us struggling forward without the plethora of vegan cookbooks, websites, blogs, and social media sources available these days to help people eat healthier and vegan.  By all means, check this out!  They've obviously influenced many a recent vegan cookbook author (including, I'm proud to say, yours truly!).  Lord knows how many people they've helped with their web and financial resources.

And while you're at it, check out their newsletter, and pass the link on to someone you know.  This is from two of the original groundbreakers, those who were swimming against society's tide long before many of us had our first tofu burger!  You want to see how far we've come and why? here's one of the reasons: They showed us the true power of the Internet, long before anyone else in the movements!  Explore, learn, enjoy, and marvel at their dedicated and altruistic efforts.  Thank God for all they've done, and I for one, will always be appreciative.  They were a digital oasis in a lonely world at the time, and I'll never forget the comfort I gained from spending time on their website.  Kudos!

Monday, May 13, 2013

"Pac Man" Pizzas!

For fun over the weekend, I made two whole wheat/buckwheat pizza crusted pizzas.  The recipe for the dough is detailed below (it's not gluten-free as is the buckwheat recipe in my book).  The ingredients for each pizza is listed on the main photo (sorry! the "Sorrel, Mint, Chickpea Hummus" recipe is embargoed until published in the upcoming "Vegan Culinary Experience" online magazine).  The "millet cheese-like topping" sauce is a variation from my book (using sunflower seeds instead of cashews).

After sampling each, I noted how much like a popular old video archive game they looked like... hence, "Pac Man" Pizzas!

Remember, the Special Mother's Day Discount for an autographed copy my cookbook, the 1st vegan pizza cookbook, "Heart Healthy Pizza" ends at midnight est. tonight!




"Buckwheat seeds (often referred to as a grain) is most popular in Europe.  A relative of rhubarb, buckwheat has a hardy nutty taste and is often sauteed then cooked with water and other vegetables to make a great stuffy or pilaf. Nutritionally, buckwheat contains all essential amino acids, is rich in iron and zinc, and is a protein-powerhouse with loads of fiber.  Buckwheat adds a nutty flavor to a pizza crust."

• 1 cup of unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
• 1 cup of unbleached whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour
• 1 T. sweetener of choice
• 1 t. salt (optional)
• 1 T. oil (optional)
• 1 to 1 1/4 cups of warm water (as necessary)
• 2 1/4 t. regular yeast (1 packet)

• Bread Machine: add sweetener, oil, and warm water.  Add flours, salt, and yeast. Use "dough/pizza" setting.  As the dough is being mixed, add water in small increments if necessary to get the texture of "an ear lobe" when done kneading.  Let cycle complete (dough will rise).
• By hand: add sweetener, oil, water, and yeast to a bowl, and mix.  Let sit until bubbly.  Slowing add flours, mixing, and adding additional water as needed while kneading (!).  Shape into big ball, put in glass bowl, cover, let rise until roughly doubled in size (60 to 90 minutes).
• Pre-heat oven to 425 to 450 degrees F.
• Split dough in half to make two very thin 12" pizzas, or use for one large 16" pizza.  Shape dough by hand to fit into non-stick pan (or pizza pan) of choice.  Some pans might need a light oiling, some non-stick pans do not.
• Add toppings of choice, bake in oven 15 to 20 minutes until crust is crispy and toppings are browned.

©2013 by Mark Sutton, http://www.hearthealthypizza.com

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bootleg Clips of My Cable Broadcast Debut

They're small (parents took them with smart phones, I haven't seen the full broadcast and won't until the digital version is available late this month), but I strung them together to give some friends, family an idea of how it went.

Great sport, and Jorge Mera did a fine editing job.  Details about this event can be found in my previous post and with the video.

FYI, Mark

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Heart Healthy Pizza" Demo/Interview Being Broadcast this Week

Well, it's happening. The Cable TV demo/interview taping session I blogged about earlier last month, is finally being broadcast.  It'll be in the Fairfax, VA area (ComCast Cable).  Other nearby counties will probably be able to view it as well.  I'm showing start to finish, how to make a plant-based pizza "for the busy professional" in 30 minutes or less (eat your heart out Domino's and Papa John's).
Here's the broadcast information:

"Healthy Food Happy You's" broadcast of Mark's demo of making vegan pizza & interview will be on Fairfax Public Access (FPA) Cable Channel 10 on: Wednesday, May 8th at 9:30 am; Friday, May 10th at 5:30pm; and Sunday, May 12th at 6am.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to be in Fairfax during that period to throw things at the TeeVee, but the digital version of the broadcast will be available later this month, and of course, no matter what the results, will be announced here.

...and if you happen to see it, let me know how it went, will you?  Thanks!

VeggieSue's Review of "Heart Healthy Pizza!"

"While I haven't made that particular pie of his (yet), I have made others, and they beat anything you'll find in the grocer's freezer by miles and are perfectly fine to eat on any plant-based food plan, whether it's Dr. McDougall's, Dr. Fuhrman's or even the more restrictive Dr. Esselstyn's, and everything in-between."

From VeggieSue's Veggie Adventures. I'd gotten lazy and did a web search to find the name of my own video channel (that's what fatigue does to you), and found her short, but cool review of my cookbook!  Sue's also a long-time member of the Fat Free Vegan Yahoo Group, and also, I think, the Eat to Live Yahoo Group.

Thanks, Sue!

Sorrel/Mint Hummus w/Veggies on Wheat/Millet Seed Bread

(Re-posted from April 30th):

So, what did I finally do with the unusual yard-harvested Sorrel & Mint Hummus I posted last entry?  Well, been kicking around a new bread (or pizza dough!) recipe in my head that involves using whole wheat flour and millet seed (millet is not a grain, and I'm not using it as flour herein). But, the quandary was "what" would balance with strong chlorophylly-flavored minty, lemony chickpea hummus?

I literally woke up in bed in the "wee hours" with a flash of solution, it's Middle Easternish!  Cumin and cinnamin... cool... and got to experiment with the tripod and lighting. Here's one of my favorite photos from the two sessions (yup, over a two day period). Recipes will be submitted to the Vegan Culinary Experience magazine for the upcoming "Sandwich" issue! Neat to show that I can do more than pizza in the kitchen. And of course, it's all "no oil."


Heart Healthy "Sorrel & Mint Hummus"

(Re-posted from April 21st):

Sorrel is the rare perennial green, coming back every year in more Northern climes. It's a fav in Europe, usually served as a soup with milk/cream.  Sorrel has a spinach/lemony taste.  A few days ago I picked a bunch of sorrel from the garden as well as mint.  I've only used sorrel previously in salads or on sandwiches. But, in thinking about my next article for "The Vegan Culinary Experience," and the topic will be "sandwiches" I came up with a unique "Sorrel & Mint Hummus" recipe.  I want to show that making pizza isn't all I do...

The lemony sorrel and mint combo, with chickpeas, garlic, and finely ground toasted sesame seeds (thereby no need for the very high fat/oil tahini which is customary), kicked really well together.  If I don't use the recipe for VCE, I'll post it on this blog in mid-May.  One could substitute for the sorrel using raw spinach and probably some additional lemon juice.

Here's a two photo collage of the pre and post results:

Click on to see larger image!

Video/Audio Clip: "Thinking Outside the Pizza Box"

(Re-posted from April 19th):

I've posted a short video clip with audio. The audio was the 1st (and only) practice take for the big DC pizza demonstration/presentation I did back in late January with VSDC (Vegetarian Society of DC).  This is my practice Intro, and I thought even unedited, it might be interesting to people.  I call it "Thinking Outside the Pizza Box."  The team and I made 9 16" pizzas from my cookbook to serve to 30 people. Wildly successful!

A quick bit of effort to also practice using the video/audio editing application I'm using.  It's limited (I'm used to higher end stuff), but I learned a few more things and that's part of the reason I spent the afternoon playing with it.

Note: I've no real control over the poster frame chosen, quite irritating). Here's the video embedded.

Doing TeeVee

(Re-posted from April 15th):

Whew.... just finished several hours at a video studio staffed with several pros who knew their way around the three HUGE cameras facing the set, and amongst them, the GENERAL, issuing orders from a remote control both through the camera operator's headsets on how/when to move his chess pieces (the host of the show, Gina Lewis, and me).

Incredible experience, and if it were not for her hubbie, mother, and kids in the studio, they might have had to cut more of my "off comment" comments... much not said, but thought in earnest.
Still, a thrilling situation.  The director/producer and host are vegan, and I got to make two pizzas "for the busy professional," the second being for closeups and staff internal enjoyment.  Yes, that's TEN veggies on that puppy.

But, I be a "video virgin" no longer, and hope to do more these kinds of events in the future, not just for my book, but to advance concepts of a heart healthy plant-based diet,

I'll post the broadcast times later.... Here's a collage of the more tolerable photos... gawd, I was SO tired (yes, that is my "happy face")  from packing/unpacking/shopping/travel.  Oh well, still cool event!

©2013 by Mark Sutton.

"Preparing & Cooking Kale" - 4 Short Video Clips

(Re-posted from April 9):

Thought it might be useful to post the clips, essentially unedited as rough cuts, as they still might be useful for people and I don't know when I'll have the discretionary time again to not only video me in the kitchen, but properly post-process the results. I first did some video clips back in Sept. 2012 on kale, but wasn't happy with the bits.  These are more focussed, and, imho, better.  Been practicing for an upsoming Cable taping.

PreppingKaleCooking kale takes around 15 to 20 minutes, since these clips represent a "real-time" process, there are a couple of periods where there's not much going on.

Minimally, Part 1 (prepping the kale) and Part 2 (cooking setup, initiating the process) are the most useful of the four clips.

Here's a link to my video channel and, to make it easier to get to, the individual clips.  The kale was being made for the previously posted "plant-based pizza" how-to's.




Heart Healthy Pizza: "I Has A Video Channel" - plus 4 "How-to" Video Clips

(re-posted from April 8th):

Practicing for a video taping for Cable Public Access. Have posted clips of my "practice" sessions (verbal errors, corrections, whatever) without any serious editing as they might be useful for people in:

These are raw experiments (no serious post-editing), but great sport nonetheless.  Don't know when I'll time to do them again, so I wanted these available now.  I will be doing several more in the near future (and not all will be pizza! many cooking techniques, making pizza components, etc.).


Oh, and I has a Video Channel Here's the link which will give you access to all of the above and more. And, obligatory note from a self-published author, you can order an autographed copy of the 1st Vegan Pizza Cook, "Heart Healthy Pizza," here.

"Mad Cowboy Pizza" Recipe, Giveaway, & Short Interview

(re-posted from April 5th):

Somer has outdone herself w/ photos illustrating the Official Mad Cowboy Pizza from my cookbook, "Heart Healthy Pizza."  Back in 2008, Howard actually worked with me in the kitchen, instructing me as to what (and in what order) he wanted on his vegan pizza.  It was great sport!  BTW: by going "no oil" in addition to his already vegan, he's lost considerable weight since then.

©2013 by Vedgedout (note the cheese-like dollops!)

Anyway, at Somer's Vedgedout Blog you'll find several photos of the creation process, all associated recipes, a short interview with yours truly, and a free giveaway of an autographed copy of Heart Healthy Pizza!

" A slice of Mad Cowboy Pizza coming atcha!" - ©2013 by Vedgedout

Well worth your time... have fun! And my thanks to Somer for her excellent (and hard) work.