Amazing Vegan Stir Fry

Prepare to be amazed. Restaurant worthy dish right here! Stir fry is always good, but this stir fry is truly, in a word...amazing. That's really all I have for today. No angry rant about animal rights, no talk of the fact that my birthday is in less than one week (fingers crossed for a small, furry animal companion). Nope, just this awesome-sauce stir fry. Produce On Parade - Amazing Vegan Stir Fry

Well, I would like to add that I get unnecessarily excited about my birthday. It's my day to make whatever outrageously grotesque, over-the-top dessert I want. It has to be completely incongruous to a shocking degree. Oh yes, I go for the big leagues. Sometimes I even make more than one!

It's my day to pretty much just jam out to my own beat. Katie all day. Non-stop. That means cooking and grocery shopping (without being rushed), plants are usually involved, and of course most of the day is spent singing out regular everyday conversations to Todd (think New Girl style). And not wearing pants. Obviously. It's clearly the most glorious day of my year. 

Produce On Parade - Amazing Vegan Stir Fry

This stir fry is straight up amazing. Fresh veggies sauteed in a delicious and easy homemade stir fry sauce marry with baked tofu so golden brown that even the pickiest eaters will love this dish. If you're not vegan or even vegetarian, or hate tofu, or your partner hates tofu...I double-dog-dare you to try this recipe and tell me you didn't like it. Do itYou're going to love it! Trust me. 

Amazing Vegan Stir Fry

Serves 4

Notes: Feel free to add sliced carrots or red pepper in your stir fry. I'm not partial to them in mine, but I know they are classic stir fry additions. Also, really try to find the vacuum packed tofu! If you can't then the kind that comes in the plastic bin can be used, but it will need to be pressed for 30 minutes prior to use. I ate this on it's own, but feel free to serve over rice, quinoa, couscous, or millet. 

  • Tofu:
  • 1 20 oz. package of vacuum packed extra firm tofu, cubed
  • Veggies:
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup snow peas, halved on a diagonal
  • 1 cup canned baby corn, diagonally sliced
  • 1 cup asparagus, diagonally sliced
  • Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup liquid amino acids or soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 F. Dry off the tofu with a few paper towels then cube into bite size pieces. Coat a baking sheet with a nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the tofu, so no pieces are overlapping. 

Bake at 400 F for about 35 minutes until the tofu is dry and golden brown. Remove and turn off oven. Set aside until ready to use. 

Produce On Parade - Amazing Vegan Stir Fry

Meanwhile, prepare the veggies. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium-low. Then, add the veggies and saute for about 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. 

Produce On Parade - Amazing Vegan Stir FryProduce On Parade - Amazing Vegan Stir Fry

While the veggies are sauteing, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl or pyrex measuring cup. Then, add to the veggies and stir well to coat. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, then cover and cook for 3 more minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Add the baked tofu and stir well to combine. 

Produce On Parade - Amazing Vegan Stir Fry

Serve hot. This stir fry can be eaten alone as I did, or served over rice, quinoa, couscous, or millet. 

Produce On Parade - Amazing Vegan Stir FryProduce On Parade - Amazing Vegan Stir Fry

Just chair dancing my little butt off while singing my little heart out to this song. Sing with me!

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German Word of The Day: Stir fry --> Gemüsepfanne (pronounced: gehmoozeup-fameh) Gemüse means vegetables and Pfanne means pan, cool huh?!

Good Deed of The Day: Have you heard about "soring" with regards to horses? It's where unscrupulous trainers deliberately inflict pain on the horses in order to exaggerate their high-stepping gait to gain unfair competitive advantage at horse shows. They use caustic chemicals, chains, hoof knives and grinders, sharp objects, weighted shoes, and other painful devices and techniques that make it hurt for the horse to step down. Sickening, huh? Let's put a stop to it. Sign the petition, here.

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Amazing Pizza From Scratch

Produce on Parade: Amazing Pizza From Scratch

This pizza is so easy. If you're still buying pre-made pizza crust from the store and pizza sauce from a jar, you're really missing out. Nothing compares to just makin' it yourself. And why not? It's easy, cheap and fairly quick too! This dough requires just a handful of ingredients and it only takes 40 minutes to rise. in addition it's a Cook's Illustrated recipe, so you know it's going to be good. Same goes with the sauce. Super duper easy and super duper good. Everything goes in the blender, and voila. Donezo. Pizza from scratch is the way to go. People will envy your domestic and culinary superiority, though it's really not about that. It'll make you feel all rustic and wholesome. I love that feeling, especially in our digital age.

Produce on Parade: Amazing Pizza From Scratch To me, there's an immense importance in having the ability to cultivate a life filled with real and healthy cooking, a respect for nature, gardening, reading, friendship and the ability to repair things as opposed to giving up. All these ideas seem so far away in many of our lives, maybe not all the time, but sometimes. And I feel it too. I must confess, I have a sewing machine. I've used it twice. One day when we have more space, I hope to use it a lot more. I want to make things. Also, my garden is very small indeed, but I'm working it. And yes, my "book" happens to be a Kindle Fire, but that doesn't mean I don't read the same words as in a paper book. And though my friends are very few, they are of the highest caliber. Just the way I like it. So you see, I'm not as "down-to-Earth" as I ultimately hope to be but I'm getting there. A little is better than none at all.

So, back to pizza and how awesome it feels to make your own dough and sauce from scratch! Todd and my favorite piece of pizza involves cheese, black olives, Italian sausage, and sliced tomatoes. We add the on tomatoes after pizza has finished baking. We also added some vegan salami for Todd because we couldn't find vegan pepperoni! Feel free to try out our favored toppings or pick your own! The options are pretty much limitless.

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I would like to take this opportunity to discuss something very important. Pizza stones. Pizza stones are truly amazing. If you've ever made a pizza who's crust was limp and squishy and's not your fault. You were missing a vital piece of the pie (hehe)...a pizza stone. This hero will ensure that your pizza crust is crunchy and firm and downright perfect.

If you do not have a pizza stone, I highly recommend purchasing one. I refuse to vouch for the amazingness of this pizza without the use of a pizza stone, dang nab it. So ask for one for Christmas or your birthday or something if you're a Frugal Francine like myself, though they aren't really expensive. Did you know that they shouldn't be washed with water? Nope, just clean them with a metal scraper. It's actually easier too. Water absorbs into the stone and can cause it to crack! Also, the black stains that occur over time are actually desired and it means that the stone is well seasoned. Who knew?

Okay back to business  I am not blind to the fact that if you've never made pizza from scratch before, it can be intimidating. I know how this may seem. It looks like a lot, but trust me when I tell you that it couldn't be easier. You trust me right? It's really very easy and simple and requires just minimal planning. I don't understand why more people don't do it. Anyways, hold my hand and here we go!

Amazing Pizza From Scratch 

Makes 2 large pizzas

  • For the Dough
  • 1 3/4 cups water divided, 1/2 cup warm, remaining at tap temperature
  • 1 envelope instant dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • For the Sauce
  • 1 15oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 6oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 fresh basil leaves or 1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • pinch of salt
  • For the Toppings
  • 1 8oz. package of shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
  • 1 vegan Italian sausage link, sliced
  • 4 slices of vegan salami or pepperoni, chopped
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 2 small vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced in segments

The first item of business is to ensure that your pizza stone is in your oven. Preheat the oven to 500 F. The stone needs to rest in the oven for at least 30 minutes at 500 F. This is important, don't skip it.

Produce on Parade: Amazing Pizza From Scratch

For the Dough:

Add 1/4 cup of warm water into a small bowl. Sprinkle in the instant yeast, give it a very gentle stir and then let it rest for about 5 minutes. Add another 1/4 cup of  warm water, plus 1 1/4 cups of tap water as well as the olive oil. Stir gently. In the meantime, add the flour and salt to the food processor and pulse to combine. Next, add the liquid ingredients, reserving about one tablespoon. Pulse. The dough should easily form into ball, however, if it doesn't then it may then need a little more liquid. In this case, stop the processor and add the reserved liquid. Pulse again until a ball forms. Process the dough about 30 seconds more or until it's satiny and smooth .

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface by hand. This should only take a few strokes or until it forms a smooth, round ball. Lightly spray or oil a medium/large bowl, place the dough ball inside and cover with a warm, damp cloth. Allow the dough to rise until it's doubled in size (hey a rhyme!), or about 40 minutes, the longer, the better. Meanwhile make the sauce and prepare the toppings.

Once the dough has risen, cleave it in half and and form into two balls. Put one of the balls back into the bowl and cover again with the damp cloth until ready to use. Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten the dough ball into a disk with your hand. Starting at the center of the disc and using the ball of your palm, stretch the sides of the disc outward until the desired crust size is reached. Transfer the dough to the heated pizza stone and brush the top and edges of the dough very lightly with olive oil before the sauce and toppings go on.

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For the Sauce:

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend it up! Divide the sauce in half and spread onto the uncooked pizza crust with a spatula. Well that was easy. Now isn't that better than the stuff in the jar?

Produce on Parade: Amazing Pizza From Scratch

For the Toppings:

Split the toppings in half and layer the uncooked pizza crust with the sauce first, then the cheese, followed by your toppings. We like the tomatoes added after the pizza has been baked but it's all personal preference so do what you like!

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I assembled the pizza right on the stone but you don't have to. It's probably safer...but I live on the edge! Bake each pizza separately at 500 F for about 12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the crust begins to turn brown.

Produce on Parade: Amazing Pizza From Scratch

Dang, do you feel awesome or what?Produce on Parade: Amazing Pizza From Scratch

A slice just for you.