Sneakily delicious dishes that bring all the omnivores to the yard! Look for the cookbook in 2010!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



Everybody loves pizza, even {and especially!} vegans. When I went vegan, I thought my pizza days were over. Silly rabbit that I was - turns out vegan pizza is especially good!

The Ninjahusband and I love to make pizza together at home. Unfortunately, our opinions differ on appropriate toppings, but one thing we can agree on is our dough. He is a master of dough-making, and we have recently discovered {and tweaked} what we think is the best pizza dough recipe out there.

Super Sneaky Ninja Pizza Dough
Makes 2 crusts, 4 mini crusts, or 3 calzones

2 tbsp dry active yeast {or 2 packets}
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

1. Gently whisk together yeast, sugar, and water. Set aside for 5 - 10 minutes, until the yeast has "bloomed". You will know it is ready when it looks kind of frothy and bubbly.

2. Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, with the dough hook attached.

3. Add the yeast mixture to your flour, as well as the olive oil, and knead with the dough hook for 5 - 10 minutes until thoroughly mixed and elastic.

4. Dump the dough out onto the counter, and knead a little more, until the dough is easy to work with. Divide into 2 for regular sized pizzas {or 4 for mini pizzas, or 3 for calzones}, and stretch each into an approximate crust shape. Let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Stretch the dough again into its final, desired shape. Top, and bake at 500 F for 12 minutes, until the edges are golden.

You can top your pizza with anything you like. The possibilities are endless. With pizza nowadays, I like to think outside of the "cheese" realm, however the pizza above features Teese vegan cheese, Smart Deli pepperoni, green peppers, and black olives. I also made a killer calzone the other day with Daiya vegan cheese, Smart Deli pepperoni, green peppers, sauteed mushrooms and garlic, and black olives.

Mmmm pizzalicious!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

White Girl Daal

Daal w/ Basmati Rice

In our household, Indian-inspired food is queen. Ever since he was 10 months old and had his first taste of channa masala, the Supertoddler has devoured Indian food like it was his last meal. I have a couple of good Indian cookbooks, and we have an amazing Indian restaurant in the area. Those things, paired with the emergency Amy's frozen Indian food dinner have been able to fulfill almost any need for the cuisine that we've had over the last couple of years. I've not really ventured off into my own territory, making my own creations using those flavorful ingredients...until now.

I've never found a daal recipe that I've been satisfied with. They always seem to come out very bland and lacking the umph daals have in restaurants. One night, when Supertoddler was begging for his beloved Indian food, I decided to try my hand at creating my own simple daal from quick-cooking red lentils. How hard could it be?

The resulting daal, although possibly not very authentic {I don't know, any seasoned Indian chefs, help me out here} was flavorful and rich, and the leftovers were lovely for days to come. It is now the Supertoddler's favorite dish, and he asks for it often. I present to you...White Girl Daal {so respectfully named on account of my inability to assure you of any degree of its authenticity}.

White Girl Daal
Makes 4-6 servings.

3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over
water {I'll explain amounts later}
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 14.5oz can diced tomatos, drained {or one large tomato, chopped}
2 tbsp canola or other mild-flavored oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 curry leaves, chopped {optional} - you can find these at an Indian market
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala {an Indian spice blend}
salt, to taste

1. In a medium pot, combine lentils, 1 1/2 cups of water, tumeric, and onion. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender and starting to break apart. During this simmering time, stir the lentils every few minutes, and if they look like they are getting low on water {and trust me, they will} add another half a cup. I honestly have no idea how much water I usually add to this, as it varies every time. Just keep an eye on it, trust yourself, and add water as you feel it is needed.

2. Add the tomato, and continue to simmer as you prepare the other ingredients.

3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, curry leaves {if using}, and spices. Sautee until the garlic is golden {but not burnt!}. Add this mixture to the lentils, and stir to combine.

4. Season with salt to taste, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes to blend flavors. Serve with rice or flatbread.