Tortilla Pizza

During my recent visit to Assisi I devoured some amazing pizzas, senza formaggio of course. All of the restaurants that serve pizza have wood burning ovens so the bases are light and ultra crispy. It’s like pizza heaven. Since I’ve been back I’ve been craving pizza but I didn’t want a heavy, doughy base that would leave me feeling full and heavy. My sister’s been trying tortilla pizzas recently and raves about them so I thought I’d give it a go. There’s no going back; guilt free midweek pizzas have arrived at casa mia!

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What you’ll need for the sauce: (makes enough for 3-4 pizzas)

  • 4 to 6 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 to 6 wild garlic leaves (if using regular garlic use 2 cloves and sauté in some oil first)
  • Teaspoon of dried oregano (optional)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

What you’ll need for the pizzas: (choose your own toppings, I went with my Assisi favourites and ingredients are per pizza)

  • 1 tortilla wrap per pizza
  • 1 large portobello mushroom, cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 to 3 artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • some Violife cream cheese with herbs
  • wild rocket leaves for garnish
  • some oil for frying

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°. Cut the tortillas into quarters and cook tortillas for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tinned tomatoes to a pan along with the sundried tomatoes. Cook for about 20mins over a medium heat, until some of the water has evaporated. When ready blend the mix using a hand blender.
  3. Heat a little oil on a pan and cook the portobello mushrooms. Season with some salt when done.
  4. Cover the tortilla slices with some sauce and layer up the pizza with the toppings of your choice. Return to the oven and continue to cook for a further 10mins.
  5. Remove from the oven and add some vegan cream cheese and rocket.
  6. Finish with some chilli flakes.

Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or@thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

Chinese Black Bean Sauce

It’s always a huge complement when people enjoy your food but for me the biggest complement of all is that my sister is not only enjoying my food, she’s coming to mine every week for Meatless Monday. You see it’s not that she can’t live without meat in her diet, not at all, in fact she’s quite happy to cut it out a little. The thing that makes our weekly dinner dates such a thrill for me is that my sister is such a particular eater and by particular I mean she’s never been one for trying new things. It’s still baby steps so I’m trying to recreate a lot of the foods that I know she loves to eat before I try more “daring” dishes.

My sister is a massive fan of Chinese food and Black Bean sauce dishes were always a favourite of mine. On my biannual fashion trips to Xiamen in China, I took immense pleasure from eating plain rice with black bean sauce, so garlicy and gingery. Then, last year on a trip to Vietnam I was lucky enough to find a street food place serving rice noodles with black bean sauce. It was so delicious and so simple. What a find! So, this recipe is inspired by the cities of Xiamen in China and Hanoi in Vietnam and it’s inspired by my sister who now gets excited about vegan food.

2What you’ll need: For the sauce (serves 4-6)

  • 100g of fermented black beans (you can get these from the Asian market)
  • A whole bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
  • 100ml of vegetable oil
  • 50ml of Shaoxing rice wine
  • A knob of ginger approx 4cms, peeled and sliced
  • 2 x green chillies, deseeded
  • 1tablespoon of caster sugar
  • 1 bunch of spring onions

Method:

  1. Wash the beans thoroughly and remove any of the dried ginger. The beans are very salty so they’ll need a good rinse.
  2. Heat a wok over a high head and add about one quarter of the oil to the pan. Add the beans, garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mix and set aside.
  3. Add the Spring onions to the wok and continue to cook until the mixture has softened.9
  4. Add the Shaoxing rice wine and the sugar and mix well. Reduce the heat and allow to cook on a low heat until the liquid has reduced by three quarters.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool.
  6. Transfer the cooled ingredients to a blender and mix on a high speed whilst adding the remaining oil.
  7. Remove from the blender and stir in the 2 tablespoons of whole black beans. Use straight away or freeze.3

What you’ll need: for the noodle dish (serves 2)

  • 1/2 portion of the Black Bean Sauce recipe from above
  • 2 measures of rice noodles ( I use a pasta measure)
  • 1/4 bunch of spring onions, white and green parts cut diagonally into 4cms strips1 small white onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 100g of chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 large carrot peeled and cut into 4 x 1 cms chips
  • Some red and green chillies for extra kick and garnish
  • A splash of soy sauce or tamari to your taste

Method:

  1. Boil the rice noodles in some water.
  2. Remove from the pan and rinse under cold water, set aside.
  3. Heat some toasted sesame oil in a wok.
  4. Add the mushrooms and white onion and sauté until the mushrooms are almost cooked.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to cook while tossing the veg regularly.
  6. Add a splash of soy sauce or tamari to your taste6
  7. When the veg is cooked add the noodles to heat. When they become less sticky add the black bean sauce. Add a splash of soy or tamari to help loosen the noodles.
  8. Use a pair of cooking tongs to gently mix the noodles with the sauce.
  9. Remove from the wok and serve up.

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Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or @thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

Nutty Basil Pesto

I’m sure you’ve realised by now that I’m not one for strictly following recipes. Although I give you recipes with exact measurements here on the blog, I always encourage you to use your taste-bud-intuition, it knows best! While I might like an extra pinch of salt, you might prefer an extra pinch of pepper. This flexibility is particularly relevant for pestos. You can make a vegan pesto with a number of fresh herbs including mint, parsley or coriander. You can also choose the type of nuts you want to use for your pesto too, influencing the texture and flavour. I had intended making a traditional basil pesto but I ran out of pine nuts and used a half batch of walnuts instead. I think I’m kinda’ in love with walnuts at the moment but you could use hazelnuts if you have some.

If there is one rule to follow then it’s got to be that you use your best olive oil for a pesto!

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What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (taste-bud-intuition)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil (use your judgement, you might need a little more for a looser texture)
  • 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste

Method:

  1. Place all of the Fresh ingredients and the nutritional yeast into a food processor and mix until you’ve got a coarse paste.
  2. Slowly add in the olive oil until you’ve reached your required consistency.
  3. Season to taste.

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Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or @thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

Chinese Garlic Broccoli

One of the things I miss most about working full time as a fashion designer is the travel. I am blessed to have worked in an industry that took me to many places around the world and offered me the opportunity to sample some weird and wonderful things to eat. Do I miss the jet lag, hell no! But I do miss the food. One of my favourite dishes from China that I love to cook at home is Chinese Garlic Broccoli. I couldn’t leave the city of Wuxi without having at least three helpings of this simple and delicious dish. And, as a bonus it’s got an impressive nutritional profile being high in fibre, potassium, Vitamin C, B6 and A!

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What you’ll need: Serves 2 (or just one if it’s for me)

  • 200g long stemmed broccoli
  • two cloves of garlic sliced finely
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil (I like to use the pure sesame oil from the Asian market for this dish but you can use toasted sesame oil too)
  • a splash of soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free version)
  • some toasted sesame seeds for serving

Method:

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan and set aside to cool. Place a wok over a gentle heat and cook the garlic briefly in the sesame oil. You just want to soften the garlic, you don’t want it to go brown. Turn the heat up a little and add the broccoli that’s still wet from washing. Cook on a high heat tossing the broccoli constantly, the wok should be making a sizzling sound. Add a splash of water to help steam the broccoli. When the liquid is reducing and the broccoli is a bright green colour lower the heat and add a splash of soy sauce or tamari. Give the broccoli a good toss. Remove from the wok and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

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Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or @thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx