Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza with a Pizzolato Pinot Grigio Review

When Whole Foods contacted me to try this Pizzolato Pinot Grigio I was like, "Umm a thousand times yes. Send me all the alcohol, please." Then I thought to myself, a pinot grigio is white wine? I had to look this up. I don't drink white wine. To my credit, I did notify my contact that my preference leans heavily to the red variety. I have bought one, count it one, bottle of white wine in my lifetime. It was a riesling and I almost had to cut my tongue out. White wine apparently isn't my jam.

Needless to say I was feeling a bit of hesitation in sampling this pinot grigio. I knew I wanted the perfect dish to go with it and I knew white wine goes well with seafood but, obviously, seafood was not going to be on my menu. So, I turned to Google. "Google, what pairs well with a pinot grigio?" I asked. Google wasn't extra helpful. Some sites said to pair it with with a tomato sauce based dish, others said to stay away from acidic foods...like tomato dishes. Some said it pairs nicely with a heavy, buttery dish, while others advised to keep it paired with light dishes. Yet, they all could agree on the seafood. Boo that. I found a few that noted pizza and cooked vegetables were a good match. And so it was.

Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.

With a throng of vegetables from my CSA box waiting to be drafted (see the fruit in the background, they're next), I knew a roasted veggie pizza was meant to be. I found a crust that I adapted from Garnish and Glaze. It only needed 10 minutes to rise and with no kneading necessary, we had dinner done in about an hour and a half!

Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.
Caramelized pistachios green pear aromas follow though on a soft entry to a dryish light-to-medium body with tangy baked apple and kiwi notes. Finishes in a quick, slightly pithy, nutshell accented fade with chalky fruit tannins.
— Tastings.com
Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.

The Pizzolato Pinot Grigio is certified vegan by The Vegan Society of the United Kingdom and is the #1 selling organic pinot grigio in Italy. The wines are made with organically grown grapes or certified organic with no sulfites added and are also Non-GMO Project Verified. All great news! I hate finding a wine that I enjoy only to discover it's filtered with fish bladders, or eggs, and has sulfites added. Some people find they are sensitive to sulfites which  can give them headaches. 

Because I am not exceptionally familiar with white wine, I asked some friends for their thoughts. They told me it would be a great "afternoon" drinking wine...I think this means that it's light and refreshing.

I will definitely reach for Pizzolato wines when I can find them. Knowing they are organic, GMO-free and sulfite-free, and vegan will make wine shopping easy! I pretty much try to buy only organic wine because I know it's filtered in a vegan-friendly way, so I found a few good organic wines and I tend to stick to them. Find this Italian Pinot Grigio for $9.99 at Whole Foods. 

Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.
Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.
Think like a proton. Always positive.
— Unknown
Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.
Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.
Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.

Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella. A perfect compliment to a crisp and refreshing pinot grigio. 

Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.
Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.

Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza

Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella. Serve with a crisp and refreshing pinot grigio for a fun and comforting winter meal. NOTES: Any assorted vegetables good for roasting can be substituted. Use a pre-made pizza crust if you wish. The crust is sweet and bready, so if you like a thin cracker crust maybe swap out for your favorite. Swap the 1 cup wheat flour for an additional cup of all-purpose flour if like. This recipe makes two large pizzas, so feel free to cut in half or just save the other half for another day like we did.

Ingredients

  • -- Veggies --
  • 2 small sweet dumpling squash (or about 2 lbs. of other winter squash), peeled, seeded, and diced small
  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and diced small
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, scrubbed and diced small
  • 3 large carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 inch slices
  • 2 medium red onions, thickly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch slices
  • sprinkling of olive oil
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • dash of ground black pepper
  • -- Dough --
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. quick-rise yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water (110 F)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat white flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
  • -- Toppings --
  • 1 lb. package of vegan shredded mozzarella cheese (I like Daiya)
  • sprinkling of dried basil
  • pat of vegan butter

Cooking Directions

  1. Start by preparing the vegetables. Once they are all chopped, preheat the oven to 425 F with your pizza stone in the oven. Spread the chopped vegetables evenly among two large, rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake at 425 F for about 60 minutes. Toss the veggies have way through, and move the top pan to the bottom rack and the bottom one to the top. Remove from the oven when done, but keep the oven on.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dough. Begin by combining the yeast, sugar, and water in a large bowl. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for about 5 minutes in a warm place, until the yeast is foamy.
  4. Whisk in the salt, olive oil, and agave nectar. Then, stir in the flours ½ cup at a time. Continue to stir for about 5 minutes or so, until the dough begins to form a loose ball.
  5. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot to rise (at least 10 minutes) until there’s only about 20 minutes left for the veggies.
  6. Next, transfer the dough to a heavily floured surface (don’t be afraid to use a lot of flour as the dough is very sticky) and cleave in half. Roll out one of the dough balls into the size of your pizza stone.
  7. Remove the pizza stone from the oven and sprinkle with cornmeal. Transfer the rolled out dough to the stone and top with the mozzarella. Scatter with roasted veggies and bake at 425 F for about 15 minutes, until the crust just begins to brown.
  8. Remove from oven and run butter along the crust edge. Sprinkle pizza with dried basil. Repeat with remaining dough ball.
  9. Serve hot with a glass of Pizzolato Pinot Grigio!
Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.
Produce On Parade - Roasted Squash and Vegetable Pizza - Roasted squash, sweet potato, carrots, and other assorted vegetables adorn a sweet and doughy homemade pizza crust with creamy, vegan mozzarella.

Dutch Word of The Day

The word for a thing or person you can't find the name for --> dinges (ding-es)

Good Deed of The Day

This is my good deed of the day. Did you see that Field Roast has a new line of vegan sliced cheeses?!?! Sweet baby Jesus, Todd almost cried...I almost died!! We have yet to find them way up here in the boondocks of Alaska, so if anyone has made contact with this food of the gods, please let me know how it was! See the three varieties and learn more here

Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart

If you're like me, you just got a legion of pears in your produce box.

It was quite a thrilling experience though, I must say. This go-around, they were red pears! Huzzah! Growing up in Alaska, I've never seen red pears before (I don't want your pity.) They were the most beautiful pears I'd ever laid my eyes upon and I knew they had to go towards something special. 

Everyone is poaching pears it seems, but I don't know think that's my thing. It seems a bit too stuffy of a dish. So very bovaristic. Besides, I don't like the name. I find them intimidating. And I wouldn't go as far to say that poached pears creep me out, buuut...yes. That is what I am saying. They're weird and make me want to run away. All naked and strange. There is no logic for this, I am fully aware. 

Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
If you want to find happiness, find gratitude.
— Steve Maraboli

Anyways, moving on. This tart. It's an inspiring departure from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Such narcissists, don't you think? Share the spotlight a little won't you?Fresh ginger and juicy pear lay abed this sweet walnut and date crust. A novel dessert for this Thanksgiving. Just push aside the other desserts for later.

Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.

This ginger, I had just bought from the store and whoa doggy...it was spicy as hell!! I had to scrape off the ginger bits because I didn't mince them as well as I intended. Doh! Use your brain and use a grater...unlike me. 

Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.

Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart

An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust. NOTES: Be sure to use grated fresh ginger, or a fresh ginger paste, or mince it into eternity. You don't want a spicy little bite of ginger! Make sure to lay the tart pan on foil, it will boil over.

Yield: 10 slices (1 8" tart)

Ingredients

  • -- Crust--
  • 1 cup whole walnuts
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. whole flax seed
  • ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • splash of maple syrup
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • -- Pears --
  • 3 large ripe (but not super ripe) pears, sliced into about 1/8 inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Cooking Directions

  1. In a food processor, process all the crust ingredients for a few minutes until it about forms a ball.
  2. Press into a tart pan. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Place the sliced pears and remaining ingredients, excluding the brown sugar in a medium bowl and toss well to coat.
  4. Arrange in the tart pan over the uncooked crust. Top with the brown sugar.
  5. Place the tart on a foil-lined baking sheet (don’t skip this!!) in the oven for about 40 minutes until the tops of the pears are slightly browned.
  6. Remove and allow to cool completely before removing from the tart pan.
  7. Serve warm, or chilled.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.

Dutch Word of The Day

Snow --> Sneeuw (snee-eww)

Good Deed of The Day

So...the insane amount of snow that blanketed Buffalo, fell just short of the disputed one-day snowfall record set in Valdez, Alaska in 1963. I have no words for this, and it's not really related to the Good Deed of The Day, but...WHATISHAPPENING?! I still have no snow...in ALASKA! Now you know. Go tell your friends of your brilliant trivia. See the full story in our local Alaskan paper

Spiced Lentil Soup with Roasted Beets & Delicata Squash

Stressful times call for your favorite recipe to help ease distress. This is mine. I make many versions of this spiced lentil soup and this one did not disappoint. 

I did take half a second to ponder the decision of putting delicata squash into soup. It was aging rapidly though and I knew I had to use it as soon as possible. If it was an epic fail, well, that would be okay I decided.

Delicata squash in soup is absolutely amazing. The roasted meat is tender and sweet, while the peel is just slightly chewy and caramelized. It's a really wonderful addition. The roasted beets in the soup dyed it a deep magenta, the longer it sat. I'm going to be putting delicata in all my soups now!

Produce On Parade - Spiced Lentil Soup with Roasted Squash & Delicata Squash - This is one of my favorite soups. Based with creamy coconut milk, red lentils mingle with roasted beets and caramelized delicata squash. Spiced with tantalizing aromatics like cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people.
— Cesar Chavez
Produce On Parade - Spiced Lentil Soup with Roasted Squash & Delicata Squash - This is one of my favorite soups. Based with creamy coconut milk, red lentils mingle with roasted beets and caramelized delicata squash. Spiced with tantalizing aromatics like cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

You need this soup in your life. Maybe as a dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas? It would be perfect! 

Spiced Lentil Soup with Roasted Beets & Delicata Squash

This is one of my favorite soups. Based with creamy coconut milk, red lentils mingle with roasted beets and caramelized delicata squash. Spiced with tantalizing aromatics like cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. NOTES: Feel free to leave out the beets if you’re anti-beets. Any lentil can be used to the cooking time may need to be increased if not using red lentils. Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium whole beets, scrubbed and ends trimmed
  • 1 delicata squash, washed and diced
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (I like unrefined)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Sprinkle of crushed red pepper
  • Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 15 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Wrap the whole, scrubbed beets loosely in tinfoil. Place on a baking sheet. Toss the diced squash in olive oil and scatter on the same baking sheet. Roast at 400 F for about 30 minutes. Stir the squash at 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, transfer the squash to bowl for later and turn over the beets. Allow the beets to cook for an additional 15-30 minutes, until fork tender. Remove when done and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, bring the lentils and vegetable broth to a boil, stirring occasionally. Make sure to watch it or it could boil over. Reduce to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then, remove from heat.
  3. In a medium frying pan, heat the coconut oil over low. Add the onion and garlic and sauté a few minutes. Next, add in the turmeric through and including the nutmeg, stirring well and scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Sauté for about 8 minutes, until the onion begins to brown.
  4. Once lentils are done, add the coconut milk through and including the salt to the lentils and broth. Also, add the squash and the onion mixture. When the beets are cooled, dice and add to the soup. Stir well to combine.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with broccoli sprouts like me (if you wish!)
Produce On Parade - Spiced Lentil Soup with Roasted Squash & Delicata Squash - This is one of my favorite soups. Based with creamy coconut milk, red lentils mingle with roasted beets and caramelized delicata squash. Spiced with tantalizing aromatics like cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Produce On Parade - Spiced Lentil Soup with Roasted Squash & Delicata Squash - This is one of my favorite soups. Based with creamy coconut milk, red lentils mingle with roasted beets and caramelized delicata squash. Spiced with tantalizing aromatics like cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Look who's all snuggled up like a bug in a rug! Bob doesn't appreciate the crashing wind. Still not a single flake of snow. I'll keep you updated. I heard on the news, it'll be a new record for southcentral Alaska in November for snowfall...or lack thereof. So depressing, you guys.

Good Deed of The Day

This story is insane. The cast of Walking Dead is apparently so completely grossed out by all the fake bloody flesh, gore, and cannibalism on the show that the entire cast is going vegan and vegetarian! Check out the whole store here

Dutch Word of The Day

Insane --> krankzinnig (crank-zin-igh)