Friday, November 18, 2011

Central Florida VegFest 2011

I think I'm very lucky to live in a region that's home to not one, but two, VegFests. Tampa's (home base) was October 15th this year and Central Florida (Orlando) was the following Saturday. Two Saturdays back to back filled with amazing food, beautiful animals, and great friends? Yeah, October was great. So what did I eat in Orlando this year?

I started out with a giant plate of vegan nachos. Oh my goodness, they were amazing. Blue corn chips topped with veggie chili and vegan queso. I split a plate with the boyfriend. Though we have a pretty great relationship, it got a little tense when there were only a few bites left. We worked it out, but maybe next year I'll just pig out with my own plate.

The nachos were just an appetizer there. I didn't drive all the way out to Orlando to stop with a plate of nachos. But there were just so many options! How's a girl to decide? Well, I just had to go with my gut, hehehe. And what really caught my eye was the "meatloaf" sandwich. This picture doesn't really do the sandwich justice. The meatloaf was wonderful, I'm pretty sure it was some kind of lentil loaf. It was smothered in ketchup and sandwiched between two slices of really good bread, served with a side a cole slaw. I really liked this sandwich, but I have some ideas for improving it at home. Mainly, making it an open faced sandwich and replacing the ketchup with...GRAVY!!! I'll keep you posted.

Other items our group of friends had were a veggie dog, a "philly" sub with portabello mushrooms, and a meatball sub. All were great (I stole bites, you know, to give a professional opinion) but I'm really glad I went with the meatloaf.

My only criticism of the Fest this year was the lack of dessert options. Granted, we waited awhile before searching for dessert, until around 3, but still. Cupcakes were the only option but I really wanted some ice cream or sorbet. The banana soft serve truck from Tampa needs to make it over to Orlando next year.

But all in all, it was a pretty great day. The weather was perfect, the company was awesome, and the food was fantastic. I'm not sure where I'll be next year, but hopefully in a town with a VegFest!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vegan Breakfast Pizza

Oh. My. God. This pizza was INSANE!!! Gravy on pizza? Hell yes! I found this recipe on one of my many Food Gawking nights. I knew I just had to make it. And now that you all have the recipe you have to make it too.

Vegan Breakfast Pizza:
  • 1 pizza crust, whatever your favorite is

For the gravy:

  • 1/2 c coconut milk
  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder

For the tofu scramble:

  • 1 package extra firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cubed
  • 1/3 package gimme lean breakfast sausage, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp Earth balance
  • 1/4-1/2 c Nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Dash of turmeric

Preheat the oven for the right temperature for your pizza crust. Start by browning the veggie sausage. When browned, place on a paper towel lined plate. In the same pan, saute the onions until soft. Add the garlic, tofu, and earth balance. Cook until the tofu is crispy and has absorbed all of the earth balance. Then add nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, and turmeric. Add in browned sausage. Stir and lower heat until ready to serve.

While the tofu scramble is cooking start your gravy. In a pan heat the coconut milk until boiling. When boiling, add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and flour and whisk. It will thicken up really quickly. Slowly add in the almond milk (or use more coconut milk) until the right consistency. Spread the gravy on your prepared pizza crust. Place pizza in the oven and cook until the crust is browned.

When the crust is ready, slice and spoon tofu scramble on top. Serve immediately. Devour. Most importantly, enjoy! Also, when I make this again I might make extra gravy to dip the crust in. Because gravy is awesome. I served mine with some fruit, but breakfast potatoes or hash browns would be good as well. Also feel free to add whatever veggies you have on hand to the tofu scramble.