Savory Bites

My cousin has been living in the city all summer and goes back to Texas this week. I have been lucky enough to see him almost every week. Last weekend, I invited him and other family over for dinner so we could all share more time before he leaves.

My apartment, like many apartments in NYC, is small, so a sit-down dinner is a challenge. I decided, instead, to have a finger food meal to make things easier and normalize the idea of sitting on the couch while eating. The dinner went great and I invented a new yummers finger food for the occasion, Savory Bites.


The idea comes from using filo dough, but I dislike using that dough. It can be a lot of work and my approach remains easy cooking. Instead, I used crescent rolls. The kind that come in tubes.

I made two different kinds. One that was like pizza and another with pesto. To do the exact same thing, you will need:

  • Two rolls of crescent roll dough, in the tube, check the ingredients to make sure they are vegan
  • Spaghetti sauce, I used a garlic heavy one
  • Black olives sliced into thin circles
  • Shredded vegan mozzarella 
  • Vegan pesto
  • Small onion, diced into small pieces 
  • Small red bell pepper, diced into small pieces 
  • A few button mushrooms, diced into small pieces
  • Tablespoon of olive oil

Start by sautéing the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms in olive oil. Sauté on medium heat until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool. Take the first roll and open onto parchment or wax paper. This will let the dough be more easily removed later. With your fingers, mash together all the seams to make one sheet of dough. Using a rolling pin (or label-free and cleaned wine bottle), roll out the dough a couple times in each direction to flatten and even everything.

For the pesto bites: Use a spoon to add a thin layer of pesto to the dough, then a thin layer of the cooked veggies, and a thin layer of cheese. There will be left over filling. The layers should be thin because the dough is delicate and won’t roll well if too thick.


Looking at the longest edge of the dough, begin to roll that edge towards its opposite edge. Don’t be afraid to help the dough off the parchment paper. If the original seams reappear, this is okay. Try to carefully mash them together again and keep rolling. Soon you will have a long roll of dough with filling. Take a sharp knife and slowly cut into circles of about an inch thick. I got about 12 circles from each roll. Place each circle on a pan with at least one inch between each.


They won’t look perfect, and this is okay. Flavor is most important.

For the pizza bites: Follow the same dough preparation process of making into sheet. Add a thin layer of speghetti sauce, a thin layer of black olives, and a thin layer of cheese. Follow the same roll and cut process.


Cook the bites at 375 for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden.

So yummy! Everyone ate as many as they could and kept going back to grab another one. The process can easily be used for other savory or sweet ingredients.

I hope you try these and let me know how it goes, especially if you try different ingredients. I will absolutely be making these again.

Eat Nice Vegan Ravioli 

Yummy-ness abounded from these raviolis. I was thrilled for an easy dinner option and they boiled up beautifully. The raviolis are larger than other brands I have tried.

To make it perfect, I heated up small jar of red sauce and  mozzarella, to add a creamy and cheesy experience, and served  everything over fresh baby spinach.


It was delicious. Highly recommend if you come across Eat Nice raviolis.

Not Quite Lasagna

  
I love lasagna, but it always takes me forever to make and the noodles are usually my biggest frustration point. One night I decided to use very different ingredients and layer them together like lasagna. We scarfed this down!

  
It was so good we didn’t even have leftovers. And it’s gluten free!

What you will need:

4 good sized red potatoes, washed and pricked with a fork. Red potatoes are usually small, so I picked out the bigger ones

1 bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into desired size

1 big jar vegan spicy spaghetti sauce

1 batch of Alfredo sauce

Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes in a microwave safe dish with lid, cook on high for 10 minutes. While cooking, begin making the Alfredo sauce. When microwave dings, use an oven mit to make sure the potatoes are soft/done. If done, set potatoes onto a cutting board to cool. If not done, cook another 2 minutes and check again.

Using the same microwave safe dish with cover, place all kale and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water in dish and cover. Cook in microwave on high for 5 minutes to steam. Set aside to cool.

Finish Alfredo sauce and pull out lasagna dish. Once potatoes are cool enough to touch, use a sharp knife to gently slice into 1/2 inch circles.

Layers-

Spaghetti sauce

Potatoes

Kale

Alfredo sauce

Spaghetti sauce

Potatoes

Kale

Alfredo sauce

Spaghetti sauce

Place in oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until bubbling. Yummers!

Follow Your Heart VeganEgg Frittata

  
Woo hoo! Finally found the VeganEgg at a local grocery. Now what? It has been almost two decades since I cooked with eggs. Also, I have read reviews that this product will mimic the texture of eggs, but not the full flavor. Okay. So make something with egg that has its own personality. Frittata!

  
I had never made a frittata, but knew they are considered simple. A quick search of recipes gave me confidence I could pull this off. But, first, I had to make sure my pan could go from stovetop to oven without melting. An important piece of the recipe. Another quick internet search. Luckily, mine can. I based the recipe on the size of my pan that is not super big. What you will need:

1/2 an onion, sliced thin in half circles

1/2 a red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed and sliced thin to match the onion

4 mushrooms, sliced thin

2 kale stalks, stems removed and torn into smaller pieces

1/2 tsp avocado oil

1/2 tsp liquid aminos

2 shakes pepper

4 eggs worth VeganEgg; 8 TBS and 2 cups water, follow package instruction

Preheat oven to 450. Sauté at medium all but the VeganEgg until soft. Add VeganEgg and stir together. Make everything flat and raise burner heat to medium high. Let cook until the sides are pulling away from the pan. Move pan to oven and cook until top is browning.

After pulling from the oven, I decided to sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.

  
I was not disappointed. I think next time I will add some nutritional yeast. It was good, but from the veggies. The VeganEgg will benefit from more spices. This was Yummers though!

Lasagna In A Pot

  
Raise you hand if you love lasagna. (Me! Me! Pick me!)

Now, raise your hand if you don’t always have time to make lasagna. (MEEE!!)

Here’s an easy option to enjoy lasagna without needing as much time to make it. I made up this recipe years ago when I was missing meals in a box. We all get weird cravings. What you will need:

1 box pasta, I used gluten free

1 medium onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 cup fresh basil, stems removed and coarsely chopped

1 tsp avocado oil

2 TBS minced garlic

1 cup diced mushrooms

1 can black olives, sliced into circles

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can crushed fire roasted tomatoes

1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chili

1 tsp liquid aminoes

1/2 tsp black pepper 

1 cup mozerella cheese

Cook pasta according to directions. Place all chopped veggies and oil in large pot to sauté. Once onions are desired consistency, add tomatoes, beans, olives, and spices. Let heat. Add cooked pasta and cheese. Stir. Serve warm. Yummers!!

Brick Oven Pizzeria

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This pizzeria has been in Omaha for over a year now, but I only recently had a chance to check it out. I LOVE that the main sign prominently says “vegan friendly.” Though, I was unsure just how friendly the place would be.

I was happily floored. Not only is there an extensive list of vegan options beyond pizza, the prep area for vegan food is completely separate from where other food is prepared. Again, floored.

We ordered a salad, a grilled cheese sandwich, and a calzone. I was again amazed by the grilled cheese. It is unexpected deliciousness full of vegetables.

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If you are in Omaha, or plan to visit, I highly recommend Brick Oven. The owners are super nice and the food full of yummers.

 

Not Spaghetti

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This was another night when I had several ingredients that seemed unrelated, but I was hungry and had little time. It turned out delicious. What you will need:

1 spaghetti squash

1 broccoli head, or more

Your favorite spaghetti sauce, I had some of my homemade sauce in the freezer

Non-meatballs, also had in the freezer

Wash outside of squash and place in a microwave safe dish with a lid. Microwave for 10 minutes and check if soft. If not soft yet, microwave in two minute increments until soft. Cut broccoli into bite sized pieces and steam. Prepare spaghetti sauce and non-meatballs as indicated on package or defrost from freezer if homemade.

Once squash is soft, carefully cut in half and let cool a few minutes. Scoop out the seeds and then the meat of the squash. Place squash meat onto plates. Layer with broccoli and non-meat balls and cover with sauce. Yummers!

Pizza

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Pizza is one of my favorite food groups. If not already making pizza, please try it out. Easy and delicious. The key to good pizza is thin layers. Thin layers allow the cheese to easily cover all the yummy vegetables. This is my favorite combination:

1 pre-made crust

3 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup walnut pieces

1 fresh tomato, sliced thin

4 mushrooms, sliced thin

1/2 cup baby spinach

1/2 to 1 cup vegan mozzarella, grated

Brush crust with olive oil. Lay garlic slices in one layer over the entire crust. Follow with walnuts, tomato slices, mushroom slices, and spinach. Try to lay the spinach flat. Cover with cheese and bake according to crust package directions. Yummers!