Posts tagged ‘veggie’

November 11, 2013

Vegetarian Buffalo-Style Chick’n Pizza

Can you say yum?

Can you say yum?

Morning, Friends! Brooke here. I know it’s a bit early to be discussing dinner plans, but have I got a treat for you! This one goes out to all you vegetarians out there (it’s ok . . . you non-veggies can join in too). If you want to wake up your taste buds and impress your hungry family, you’ve got to try this recipe. Or as I like to call it—a new twist on an old favorite.

Welcome to Aggieland
An Aggieland Classic
If any of you guys are a member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggies as I am (Class of ’97—WHOOP!), you will know of the greatness of Wings ‘N More, situated in the heart of Aggieland. Before I committed to a vegetarian (and much healthier) lifestyle, Wings ‘N More was a frequent stop of mine during my college years. They served chicken wings dripping in fiery Tabasco-like sauce customizable from mild to extra hot and full of garlic (yum!!), with celery and ranch or blue-cheese dressing on the side to cool the flames. And then the coup de grâce . . . razor-thin onion rings fried to a crispy golden-brown, served with tasty ketchup. I didn’t even like onion rings before then—that’s how good they were. Looking back now, my fond memories of this sweet time are tinged with horror at my eating wings and my disgust of the fried, fatty, delicious saltiness of it all. No wonder my stomach was always upset after these meals! Well, I eventually graduated and came to my senses, but that tangy, fiery sauce haunts my memories to this day.
A Healthy Reinvention
Imagine my joy when I discovered a better, blood-pressure-friendly version of that killer combination so loved long ago (in a pizza no less!). As a vegetarian, I often grow weary of the mental math of potential substitutes needed every time I find a tasty recipe that calls for meat of some kind. Really? Does everything have to include meat to be a meal? No! Thankfully, this recipe was easy for me to adapt, and even more thankfully, my non-vegetarian husband loved it. Success! Now it’s your turn . . .
Vegetarian Buffalo-Style Chick’n Pizza
• Whole-wheat pre-made pizza crust (I used Boboli®)
• 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 Quorn® Naked Chick’n Cutlets, cooked and shredded (each cutlet is equivalent to approx. 3-4 oz. regular chicken)
• 3 stalks of celery, sliced thinly
• 2 green onions, sliced thinly
• 2 Tbsp Tabasco® or other hot sauce, and another 1 Tbsp for garnish
• 4 oz low-fat blue cheese
• Dash of dried oregano, basil, or parsley for garnish (optional)
Note: This recipe makes a pretty chunky topping. If you like fewer toppings and more crust, use 2 chick’n cutlets, 2 stalks of celery, 1 green onion, 3 oz blue cheese, and (perhaps) a bit less hot sauce—your call 😉
1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
2. Put your pizza crust on a baking rack set on top of a cookie sheet.
3. Lightly brush the olive oil over the crust (for a golden finish and a bit of healthy fat).
4. In a medium bowl, combine the chick’n, celery, green onions, and 2 Tbsp of the Tabasco until everything is well coated.
5. Spread chick’n mixture over the pizza crust, leaving about 1 in. of crust uncovered around the edges. Pat the mixture evenly across, ensuring a balanced blend of celery and chick’n pieces. Crumble the blue cheese over the mixture, and drizzle the remaining 1 Tbsp of hot sauce over the top. Beautiful!
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or so, checking the crust and cheese for goldening (yes, I just made that word up!).
7. Take the pizza out of the oven and sprinkle oregano, basil, and/or parsley across the top. Slice and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this pizza as much as we did. Have a great week and gig ‘em!
XO, Brooke

gig em ags 2

August 13, 2013

Fresh and Fast: Veggie Burritos

summer heat

Wow, it’s hot outside! Surviving the month of August has always felt like an endurance sport to me. When even the mosquitoes are worn out from the heat, you know summer’s getting pretty serious. The last place you want to be is stuck in front of a hot stove cooking dinner, right? Well, I have the perfect dish for you! It’s delicious, healthy, involves almost no cooking, and makes enough leftovers for several lunches—yippee! These veggie burritos have become a favorite of ours, and I bet your family will love them too.

IMG_4286

Veggie Burritos

  • 2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. brown rice, cooked
  • 3 green onions, white and green portions, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, or 3-5 small tomatoes, chopped
  • small bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • ½ c. shredded Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, or nondairy cheese (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp salsa
  • 3½ Tbsp lime or lemon juice, fresh
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp cumin (optional)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • whole wheat or corn tortillas
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • white mushrooms, sliced
Looking good already!

Looking good already!

Drain and rinse the black beans, then put in a large mixing bowl. Add the brown rice to the beans. If you are really pinched for time and don’t have a batch of rice on hand, just use a package of frozen brown rice and heat it up—a total lifesaver! Add the green onions, tomato, cilantro, shredded cheese, and salsa to the rice and bean mixture and stir.

Fresh and light

Fresh summer veggies over rice and beans

In a separate bowl, combine 3 Tbsp lime or lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, crushed red pepper, sea salt, and black pepper. Using a small whisk or a fork, stir the canola oil in to the lime dressing. Then pour the finished dressing over the rice and bean mixture, stirring thoroughly. Tasty trick: Drizzle the remaining ½ Tbsp lime or lemon juice over the sliced avocado, and then add a bit of sea salt. Set aside.

Rice and bean mixture--ready to go

Rice and bean mixture–ready to go

If you like, warm the tortilla, and then spread 2-3 Tbsp of the rice and bean mixture down the middle of the tortilla. Arrange the avocado slices along the mixture, then add the slices of mushroom. If you like (and I always like), drizzle some extra salsa and cheese across the top before serving. If you make this dish for dinner, you will have even tastier leftovers for several days that make lunch prep a total snap!

Other Yummy Additions

When it comes to adding veggies and fruit to jazz up the flavor, the sky’s the limit. Be sure to add the extra bits at the very end or after heating up the rice and beans for leftovers. That way, the additions keep their cool sweetness and crunch. Here are some great ideas:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Matchstick-sliced radishes, zucchini, squash, jicama, or cucumber
  • Sliced mango
  • Mango salsa (yum!)
  • Sprouts
  • Baby spinach leaves or other raw greens

Mmmm . . . I’m hungry already. Enjoy and stay cool!

XO, Brooke