Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Making Vegan Delicious

It has been interesting to me, the reaction I have recieved from various people on my decision to go vegan. Mostly I hear, "Oh, that sounds so hard. I could never do that," or some variation of, "I just don't know what I would eat! A lot of rice and beans I guess." Well, I do love well-seasoned black beans (see previous post) and I adore my mom's special homemade refried beans--but being vegan for me goes way beyond the beans. I love to cook, and I love to eat delicious food (I wasn't brought up in my parent's household for nothing!) so any serious lifestyle change for me could not exclude fine dining. I'm not much for the fake "meat" they market for vegetarians--I tried some veggie "bacon" a few weeks ago and was NOT impressed. What I have found is that I can add various combinations of fresh or frozen veggetables to recipes that I previously used meat, and the taste--in my opinion--is far better than the version I was used to.

Still skeptical? Well, I am going to share my favorite dish--what I made for my birthday dinner (Randy helped with the dishes). My mom is to credit for the origional, non-vegan version of the recipe. I just tweaked it to fit my needs :)

Taco Pizza

1 recipe pizza dough (see below)
12 oz. refried beans (vegetarian)
1/2 pkg shredded soy cheese
1 c fresh or bottled salsa
1 ripe avacado
1 head shredded lettuce or leaf lettuce
2 c. tortilla chips (preferably organic)
1 can sliced black olives

Mix up pizza dough, let rise until double. Roll out onto pizza stone or pan: prick with fork. Bake @ 425 for 10 minutes. Take from oven and spread refried beans on top, leaving 1/2 " around the edge. Spread salsa over the beans, crush the tortilla chips and spread over salsa. Top with cheese and bake for additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven, add lettuce, avacado, additonal tomatos, olives, etc. Cut and enjoy.

Pizza Dough

1 c warm water
1 TB yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tb oil
2 1/2 c flour
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