Classic Magic Bars

Happy Friday!! I promised you a recipe for Magic Bars, and a vegan Magic Bars recipe you shall have.

Magic Bars, My Grandmother's Recipe | Orthodox and Vegan
This is Tete’s recipe card, I use a combination of this and the original Eagle Brand recipe. All we need to do is swap out a couple ingredients. For the sweetened condensed milk, you can use any non-dairy version. I bought Nature’s Charm Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk, but you could also make your own. Here’s another option with soy milk.

Sadly, I recently discovered Ghirardelli started putting milk in their semisweet chocolate chips, but don’t worry – Trader Joe’s has vegan chocolate chips for $2!

Tete makes Magic Bars with a corn flake crust, but since I didn’t have any on hand I went with the traditional graham cracker crust.
(Honey is a perfectly Lenten ingredient, but to make these vegan you’ll want a honey-free graham cracker such as Nabisco’s Original flavor)

What I Ate Wednesday: Magic Bars | Orthodox and Vegan
Magic Bars
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs (8-9 squares)
1/2 C margarine, melted
1 C chopped walnuts
1 1/2 C chocolate chips*
1 1/2 C flaked coconut*
1 1/3 C non-dairy sweetened condensed milk (or as close as your can is to that amount!)

Preheat oven to 350.
Pour into the bottom of a 9×13″ baking pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly over margarine. Add chopped walnuts evenly over graham cracker crumbs. Next, add an even layer of chocolate chips, and top evenly with flaked coconut. Now drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over on top. EVENLY.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and beautiful. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before cutting (I like to let mine cool completely).

*Optional: After pouring on the sweetened condensed milk, you may wish to lightly sprinkle on additional chocolate chips covered with more flaked coconut. Whether you wish to reserve some chocolate chips & coconut for this purpose or simply use more is up to you.

St. Demetrios Cake

Myrrh Streaming Relics of St. Demetrios of Thessaloniki
The holy, glorious and right-victorious Great-Martyr Demetrios of Thessaloniki, whose memory we commemorate on October 26, is one of the most popular Orthodox saints, and a myrrh-streamer. He is special to me because I venerated his relics in Agios Demetrios Church in Thessaloniki, and later was gifted with some of the sweet-smelling myrrh that streams from those relics. I keep the myrrh in a little pouch in my purse – which, by the way, makes everything in my purse smell wonderful – in case an emergency anointing is ever necessary. You just never know.

St. Demetrios Cake | Orthodox and Vegan
Well, since we have Phanouropita for St. Phanourios, I thought it would be nice to have a special cake for St. Demetrios. I’m not sure if it’s proper to call it a Demetriopita, so we’ll just call it St. Demetrius Cake 🙂 I created this recipe for the Feast Day of St. Demetrios, but like Phanouropita, I think it would be nice to make any time of year when you’re asking for special intercessions from St. Demetrios, or when there’s been a miracle through his prayers or through anointing with his myrrh oil.

I’ve adapted a recipe for olive oil cake since St. Demetrios is a myrrh streamer. The blueberries I like because, besides tasting wonderful, St. Demetrios is a Great Martyr and the purple color reminds me of the line from the apolytikion for All Saints, “Adorned with the blood of Thy Martyrs throughout all the world as in purple and fine linen. . .” The cinnamon is very faint, just enough to give this simple Lenten cake a little warmth and depth. Feel free to double the amount if you really love cinnamon.

A couple notes about the St. Demetrios cake:
-Since blueberries are out of season here this time of year (and also because…purple swirls), I’ve been using frozen. I let them thaw first, which means there is a lot of extra liquid. Because of this, I cut down by 1/4 C the amount of liquid in the original recipe. If you’re using fresh blueberries, you may need to add a bit more liquid; however, excess liquid will result in a weirdly dense cake with an unpleasant texture.

-It matters what kind of olive oil you use. In the end, I went with an extra light olive oil that is specifically for baking (just check the label) because not everyone wants to taste olives in their dessert. I originally started out using my finest unfiltered organic olive oil. I actually liked the unusual flavor, but my taste-tester thought it was too overwhelming. Feel free to experiment.

St. Demetrios Cake | Orthodox and Vegan

My sad attempt at decorating the cake with a delta for Demetrios

St. Demetrios Cake
2 C flour
3/4 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
3/4 C unsweetened almond milk
1/2 C light olive oil, for baking
juice of one lemon
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C blueberries*

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8″ square pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine first six ingredients. Make a well in the center, and add wet ingredients. Mix just until combined, then gently fold in blueberries with a spoon or rubber spatula.
Pour batter into greased pan and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

*Tossing blueberries in flour helps to keep them from falling to the bottom of the cake. You may wish to set aside 1/4 C of the combined dry ingredients to toss the blueberries in before folding them into the batter.
Also, you can double the blueberries but will probably end up with a stickier cake.

Just like with Phanouropita, you can certainly adapt this recipe to suit your taste – after all, it is your own special offering to St. Demetrios! For example, although the cake is delicious on its own, you may want to dress it up by dusting it with confectioners sugar, or drizzling it with vanilla icing.

Apolytikion of St. Demetrios, Third Mode
A great champion hath the whole world
Found thee to be when in grave perils
For thou dost put to flight the heathen, O victorious one
As thou didst humble Lyaeus’s arrogance
And gavest boldness to Nestor in the stadium
Thus, O Holy Great-Martyr Demetrios,
Do thou entreat Christ God that we be granted great mercy.

Stale Cupcake Bread Pudding

Stale Cupcake Bread Pudding | Orthodox and Vegan
So…my brother got married this weekend!!! He and his beautiful wife had mini cupcakes instead of a traditional cake, and they were all vegan. I dunno why everyone didn’t eat 10 of them each, but we ended up having about 80 leftover. We tried our best to eat them, but we barely made a dent before they got stale. Luckily, like stale bread, there are uses for stale cupcakes. In this case, Stale Cupcake Bread Pudding!

Stale Cupcake Bread Pudding | Orthodox and Vegan
These are lemon frosted vanilla cupcakes, and I even found a way to use some of the frosting.

Stale Cupcake Bread Pudding | Orthodox and Vegan
By the time we’re finished with these crusty old cupcakes, they’ll be tender and moist, covered in a delicious creamy sauce.

Stale Cupcake Bread Pudding | Orthodox and Vegan
Stale Cupcake Bread Pudding
8 to 10 mini cupcakes
1/4 C + 2 Tbsp frosting
1 can full fat coconut milk
2 bananas, mashed*
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional: 1/2 tsp cinnamon (depending on the flavor of cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 350.
Scrape frosting from cupcakes into a small bowl and set aside.
Quarter cupcakes and place them in a single layer in a greased 8″ square cake pan.
In a medium bowl, combined canned coconut milk, mashed bananas, vanilla extract, and optional cinnamon. Melt 1/4 C + 2 Tbsp frosting, stir into coconut milk mixture.
Pour coconut milk mixture over cupcakes, making sure cupcakes are completely covered.
Bake at 350 for approximately 40 minutes, or until the top of the pudding begins to brown. The pudding can be served warm or chilled.

*If you’re using a flavor of cupcake that won’t go well with banana, use a different egg replacer such as Ener-G, flax egg, or chia egg. WARNING: I tried using baking soda & vinegar as I do for my favorite cake, and it tasted TERRIBLE. There is nothing to counteract the baking soda, so that was the dominant flavor.

You could use the remaining frosting to ice the pudding, but it was too sweet for me.

What is your favorite way to give new life to leftovers?

Mac n Cheese Stuffed Crescent Rolls

The other day I was looking at a box of Daiya brand Cheesy Mac, one of my favorite brands of boxed vegan mac n cheese. I noticed in the nutritional info it claims one box makes about three servings. THREE servings?! No way, I definitely eat the whole thing every time!!! Granted, I may be a glutton, but… Luckily I found a way to stretch one box of cheesy mac into several servings: Mac n Cheese Stuffed Crescent Rolls.

I stuffed 8 crescent rolls with Daiya mac n cheese, but after doing some calculations I could’ve actually done about 48 stuffed crescent rolls! (I just only had one can of dough at the time, and was forced to eat the leftover cheesy mac on its own) This is very simple to do, and very tasty. My non-vegan dad was kind of upset with me because he only got to try one on his lunch break, and by the time he came home from work I had eaten the other seven.

Did I mention you shouldn’t look to me for dietary advice?

Mac n Cheese Stuffed Crescent Rolls | Orthodox and Vegan
Mac n Cheese Stuffed Crescent Rolls
1 can vegan crescent roll dough, 8 servings*
1 pkg Daiya Cheesy Mac, prepared according to instructions
1 Tbsp margarine, melted
garlic powder, pepper to taste
optional: Tofurky deli slices

Preheat oven to 375.
Add a couple dashes of pepper and garlic powder to your prepared Cheesy Mac, stir and set aside.
Open crescent roll dough, and roll out on work surface as you normally would. Place one tablespoon of Daiya Cheesy Mac near the top center of the crescent roll dough (the wide end), and carefully roll into crescent shape – you will most likely need to fold in at least one side to keep the Cheesy Mac from coming out. Place on baking tray. Repeat until all crescent rolls are complete.
Generously brush rolls with margarine, and sprinkle with garlic powder to taste.
Bake crescent rolls 10-13 minutes, until golden brown.

If using deli slices
To bulk up the snack – and the flavor – cut four vegan deli slices (meat substitute) in half. Fold each half in half. Place in at the top center of the crescent roll dough before adding Cheesy Mac.

*Since each box of Daiya Cheesy Mac makes three 1 Cup servings, or 48 tablespoons, you should be able to fill 48 crescent rolls. Adjust margarine and deli slices accordingly.

I was really excited to find out some Meijer and Pillsbury brand canned dough is vegan. What’s your favorite surprisingly vegan item?

How to Make Prosphora (Bread of Holy Oblation)

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan

Thought I’d update this old recipe and step-by-step instruction for baking Holy Bread (Prosphora) for use in the Orthodox Church, according to the tradition of my Antiochian parish. There are various traditions, so check with your priest and ask his preference. The full recipe is at the bottom.

By the way, what is prosphora??? Prosphora is a Greek word meaning “offering”. Prosphora bread is made for use in the Eucharist in Orthodox Christian churches.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
We use all purpose bleached flour – Yes, it’s OK to use bleached flour, you can read more about that HERE. We use rapid rise yeast, so it isn’t necessary to dissolve it in water before adding it.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Just showing this because I thought the graphic was funny 🙂

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Starting out with 2 C of water

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Looking a little dry. Time for another 2 cups of water, slowly added while the machine is mixing.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
One thing I hate about adding water is the dough starts to separate again, or gets some weird texture and looks like it’s ruined. Every time I added water, I had to step away from the machine because I started having a little panic attack. It seemed like it took forever for the dough to get back to “normal”.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Finally the dough looks okay. It’s smooth and soft, but very firm, not dry. Turn it out into a large floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap so it can rise.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
I like to take pictures of my fist punching the dough, that’s my favorite part.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Now we tear off equal portions to be rolled out, the size will depend on your parish tradition.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
We use a tin to cut a perfect circle – old coffee tins work well.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
We do two layers just like we do with our Artoklasia bread.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Now for the seal. Isn’t this a cute little loaf? It’s made from scraps.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
This is a very clear seal.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Press down very firmly. I like to give it a wiggle, too…but I was also told I had to work FASTER! Or while you’re working on the next loaf, your first loaf might start to puff up and the seal won’t look as awesome.

Orthodox Bread of Holy Oblation

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
He’s good at this.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Poke holes in the corners of the Lamb (the center part of the seal) and in a few places around the edge of the loaf to keep the seal from rising and getting distorted as it bakes. We used a chopstick, but you could use a wooden skewer or toothpick.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
I need to buy some seals of my own. Stamping the bread with a seal is an ancient tradition. St. John Chrysostom, who lived from 347-407, mentioned it in his writings, noting that all the bread was “sealed”. Probably with a cross.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Bake the bread until just barely golden brown. It should sound hollow when you knock on it.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Here’s a finished loaf. Let’s talk abut the meaning of the symbols. I’m just learning this myself, I was told to read The Prothesis from The Order of Preparation for Divine Liturgy from the red service book (I don’t know if there’s some official name for the book, but that’s what we all call it). First, notice the IC XC NIKA in the small squares on the top & bottom, and the large square in the center of the loaf. IC XC NIKA is an abbreviation which means “Jesus Christ conquers.”

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Typically the large center square is the Lamb, cut out and used for Holy Communion. Then the small square on the top is removed in honor of the living, and the one on the bottom in memory of the dead. Then other portions are removed in honor of various other things.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
This triangular piece is for the Theotokos. Theotokos is a Greek word that means God-bearer, or Birth-giver of God. In the year 431, the Council of Ephesus decreed that Mary is Theotokos because her son Jesus is one person who is both God and man, divine and human. So she not only gave birth to his human nature, but also to God Himself.

The Greek letters mu & theta are an abbreviation for “Mother of God.” Looking closely at the triangle, you’ll see it’s formed by kind of stacking the theta on the mu. Hovering on either side are the spear and the sponge (you can see those more clearly on the picture of the seal itself).

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
The 9 small triangles on the right represent the 9 ranks of commemorations:

1. Michael & Gabriel, and all the angels of heaven
2. Baptist John and all the Prophets
3. Apostles
4. Hierarchs
5. Martyrs
6. The Holy Ascetics
7. The Unmercenary Healers
8. Sts. Joachim and Anna, and the saints of the day
9. Saint whose liturgy we celebrate (St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil)

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
And these little guys that fill in the empty spaces are not only ornamental but functional. They keep air bubbles from forming. Neat! But from there, or elsewhere, other portions are removed in honor of the Archbishop, Bishop and every order of clergy.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Each portion is usually cut from a separate loaf, using five loaves total. The remaining bread is used for the antidoron – yet another Greek word, it means “instead of the gifts,” and it is a blessed bread not used for Communion. Customs vary, but generally it’s distributed to anyone present, including non-Orthodox (the lamb being reserved for Orthodox Christians since it’s in the Eucharist). Technically, though, you should not take a piece after Liturgy if you already had one after receiving communion (doesn’t seem like many people keep this rule anymore!) or you at least should not take more than one piece for yourself each time.

Prosphora (Holy Bread) Baking | Orthodox and Vegan
Just in case anyone thought this was fancy sandwich bread 🙂

Prosphora/Holy Bread
5 lbs all purpose bleached flour, plus extra for dusting surface
1 packet quick rapid yeast
1 tsp salt
2 – 5 C warm (mildly hot) water, or as needed

Put 5 pounds of flour, yeast, and salt in large commercial stand mixer bowl. Briefly mix to combine dry ingredients, then add 2 cups mildly hot water and continue mixing. Add water as needed until a soft, but very firm, dough has formed.

Turn dough out into a very large floured bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a draft-free spot until doubled in size – approximately 2 hours.

Preheat commercial convection oven to 325 (you may need to use higher heat for a standard oven). Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper and dust them with flour.

Punch the dough.

Tear off equal portions of dough to roll out on a floured surface, the size will depend on the tradition in your parish. After rolling out the dough, you may choose to use a tin to cut it into a clean circle shape.

If making two-layer bread as we do: Place bottom layers on lined and floured baking sheets.

Wet the top of the bottom layers of dough, one at a time, then place the other layer on top.
(At this point some people let their loaves rise a second time, for about 30 minutes. We didn’t do that, but since we rolled out all the loaves at once, they probably did rise for about 10-15 minutes while they waited to be sealed.)

Dust the loaf tops lightly with flour, and be sure to flour your seal regularly between loaves.
Press the seal down very firmly, giving it a gentle wiggle during release.

Poke holes in the corners of the Lamb (the center part of the seal) and in a few places around the edge of the loaf to keep the seal from rising and getting distorted as it bakes. We used a chopstick, but you could use a wooden skewer or toothpick.

The bread should be a light golden brown (very light). Knock on the bread to see if it sounds hollow. If so, the bread should be done. Allow it to cool on racks.

After our bread is cooled we bag it up in very large freezer bags, 2 loaves to a bag, and they’ll keep in the freezer for several weeks. Let the loaves thaw overnight at room temperature (although you can defrost in the microwave in an emergency).

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Tahini

20131129 tahini chocolate chip cookies9

This recipe for chocolate chip cookies with tahini is inspired by cookies my sister brought home from St. John Chrysostomos Greek Orthodox Monastery in Pleasant Prairie, WI. At the time, I found one recipe for tahini-based chocolate chip cookies online. It used vodka instead of water, but since I usually make booze flavored and booze soaked desserts for feasts, I decided to switch out the vodka for water during the fast.

The tahini works as a great replacement for butter, and the taste is surprisingly mild (if noticeable at all).

20131129 tahini chocolate chip cookies7
Drop onto a greased cookie sheet by the spoonful. After I bake mine for about 8 minutes, I stick them under the broiler briefly to give them a little color. They don’t brown like regular cookies.

20131129 tahini chocolate chip cookies8
The recipe made about 32 medium sized cookies. When I used 1 C of sugar there was a very faint taste of tahini, but when I used 1 1/2 C and couldn’t taste the tahini at all, it seemed too sweet. I think 1 1/4 C might be perfect.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Tahini

2 C flour
1 to 1 1/4 C white sugar*
1/4 C brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tahini
2/3 C water (or unsweetened non-dairy milk)
2 tsp vanilla

1 C vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, add tahini, water, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet. You may add more water, 1 Tbsp at a time, if dough seems too thick. Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop onto a greased cookie sheet by the spoonful and bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Then place cookies on top rack under the broiler just until they begin to brown slightly on top. Place on wire rack to cool.

*1 1/4 C sugar was pretty sweet for me, but cutting the sugar to 1 C means there’s a faint taste of tahini.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

A friend asked if I could make Lenten brownies for him. I know a few years ago I made vegan brownies with bananas, but I cannot find the recipe anywhere! Looking over a few classic brownie recipes, though, I realized this is one of the easiest desserts to veganize, and these vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies were born 😀

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
I replaced the butter with peanut butter, and egg is replaced with banana. I was also able to cut down on refined sugar thanks to the natural sweetness of the bananas. For my friend, I kept them extra “healthy” (I mean, they’re still brownies) by using chopped dates in place of chocolate chips. I’ve tried this recipe with a gluten free flour mix and it worked just as well, although the brownies were a little fudgier – is that a bad thing?? Nope.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
Bake until beautiful 🙂

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
I didn’t even get to try one whole brownie because they were promised to another, but…I cut off a piece to make a nice, even square. And it was wonderful.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
3/4 C natural peanut butter
8 squares unsweetened chocolate*
1 1/2 C sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
1 C flour
optional: chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc

Preheat oven to 325.
In medium saucepan, heat peanut butter on low for approximately 5 minutes. Add chocolate and stir until completely melted. Add sugar and stir to incorporate. Add mashed bananas and vanilla, and stir until incorporated. Add 1 C flour, stir to incorporate. Removed from heat and fold in optional ingredients.

Pour batter into a greased 9×13″ baking dish. Bake at 325 for 25 to 30 minutes.

By the way, these are perfect for a strict fasting day since there’s no added oil!

*1/4 C vegan chocolate chips can be used in place of unsweetened chocolate squares. Since chocolate chips are sweetened, I’d recommend cutting the sugar to 1 1/4 C unless you eat like John Travolta in Michael.

Life Hack: Vegan Nacho Cheez

Vegan Nacho Cheez Sauce | Orthodox and Vegan
Have I told you how much I LOVE tahini sauce?! It is simple to make, includes few ingredients, and is quite versatile. The variation I use for vegan nachos is my favorite. I pay about $7 for a 32oz jar of tahini, enough to make approximately 25 large plates of nachos! It doesn’t really taste like cheese*, but it does taste pretty wonderful.

*UPDATE* So a friend of mine made his own little variation based on my recipe and had some friends totally believing they were eating a very non-vegan cheese sauce! SO THERE.

Lenten Tahini Nacho Sauce
And the rest of the ingredients for the nachos are just as simple: finely chopped veggies – I prefer bell pepper, onion, and tomato, and sometimes fresh garlic. Black beans and corn would also be great. Simply drizzle the tahini sauce over the chips, add toppings…

Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce
and bake!

Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce
The sauce thickens and keeps the toppings from falling off.

Lenten Recipes: Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce
When the sauce begins to brown you know it’s done.

Lenten Recipes: Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce | Orthodox and Vegan
Tahini Nacho Cheez Sauce
2 heaping Tbsp tahini
Lemon juice, salt and garlic to taste.
1/2 tsp turmeric, for color
20-30 shakes of Frank’s Redhot Sauce (depending on how hot you want it)

Whisk all ingredients together. Add water a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Other optional seasonings:
black pepper
smoked paprika
chili powder

Now, you can use this sauce as a dip (or eat it with a spoon, I won’t judge!), but for vegan nachos:

Preheat oven to 400.
In a small bowl, stir together tahini, water, and lemon juice. Season to taste with spices and hot sauce, adding turmeric for color if desired. Finely chop toppings of choice.
On a baking tray or large oven proof plate, arrange tortilla chips in a single layer. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Sprinkle with toppings.

Bake 10 – 15 minutes, until tahini sauce thickens and begins to brown.

Oh, and this sauce is also perfect for chili cheez fries! What’s your favorite way to spice up tahini sauce???

Pizza Week 2016, Day 2: Tomato Basil VioLife on Ultra Thin Crust

Vegan Tomato Basil VioLife Pizza
Tonight’s pizza: the lazy woman’s Tortilla Pizza, smothered in Tomato Basil VioLife cheese, topped with thinly sliced onion and tomato, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with nutritional yeast. Tortilla pizzas remind me of the ultra thin crust pizzas I had in Rome, it made it easy to eat an entire pizza yourself. In this case, I ate two! To get a nice crunchy crust, I placed the tortillas under the broiler, turning every so often until both sides were nice and firm, and just starting to brown.

When the tortillas are firm enough that you could add the toppings and stick your pizza straight on the rack without fear of it falling apart, it’s ready! I skipped the sauce and went straight for the cheese since the cheese has a tomato flavor anyway. And I didn’t use any seasonings because the basil really comes through beautifully.
Besides having a wonderful flavor, the olive oil helps the cheese melt. VioLife isn’t the meltiest vegan cheese out there, but under the broiler it gets bubbly and soft. I only put two torn up slices on the first pizza, but on the second pizza (pictured) I did four. Yes, I’m admitting to eating six pieces of this cheese in one meal. It’s that good.

How is your Pizza Week shaping up?

Pizza Week 2016, Day 1: Breakfast Pizza

It’s here, guys – Pizza Week is HERE!!! And I got started bright and early with a breakfast pizza. Now, I have to admit I lied yesterday when I finished my VioLife post by saying I was off to get my pizza crust started. I went to a party, came home and slept on the couch, got up at 3 to clean the kitchen, and made the dough around 3:45am. I didn’t realize I was almost out of flour, and the only yeast in the pantry…expired in 2010! But I decided to try it anyway, maybe it was still okay………

Well, this morning I checked my lump of dough safely set aside in the draft-free oven. It was REALLY cold in that oven! And the dough hadn’t risen at all. But I was not deterred, I would just have a flatbread pizza, simple as that.

Vegan Breakfast Pizza with VeganEgg and VioLife Cheese
And if you don’t mind my saying so, I think it turned out pretty darn well. In fact, it is beautiful.

Anyway, you can use your favorite crust recipe or a store-bought crust, or try my old favorite recipe from a vintage TimeLife cookbook. As for the toppings…

Vegan Breakfast Pizza
Crust of choice
1/4 – 1/2 C chopped onion (to taste)
1/4 – 1/2 C chopped bell pepper (to taste)
One serving VeganEgg, prepared scrambled
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil
Garlic powder, to taste
VioLife Prosociano (Parmesan), or other favorite vegan cheese

Preheat oven to 500.
Saute onions and bell pepper in oil just until tender. Set aside.
Prepare scrambled VeganEgg, seasoned with salt and pepper.

If you’re using a homemade pizza dough, oil your pizza pan, roll out the dough to desired thickness, and place dough on greased pan. If you’re using store-bought, just stick the crust on the pan 🙂 Lightly drizzle crust/dough with olive oil and spread evenly. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Top with sauteed veggies and scrambled VeganEgg.

Bake for 5 – 10 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned. Remove from oven and immediately top with shaved Prosociano. If you’re in the US, we don’t have VioLife yet 🙁 But you can use your favorite vegan parm, mozzarella, nutritional yeast, or just skip it!

But seriously…as soon as VioLife is available here, you MUST try the Prosociano. It’s a hard cheese with a great salty, nutty, and slightly sharp flavor. I’m going to be so sad when it’s gone, who knows when I’ll be able to get my hands on more??? If you’re ever in Greece or the UK, I recommend pulling an I Love Lucy-type move to smuggle it home – put a hollow prego-belly on under your shirt, and fill it with VioLife.

More pizza to come all week, more VioLife reviews, and a proper VeganEgg review coming soon!!!