Saturday, November 17, 2012


Well hello, blog world! It's been a long time! As you can probably guess I've been extremely busy with my PhD program and I haven't made the time to do any blogging (or even really a lot of cooking!) these past few months. I assure you, I'm not giving up on the blog. Just needed a break to get used to being back in school. Also, for an awkward amount of time I was only making recipes from Oh She Glows and I didn't want you guys to get sick of recipes from the same place (even though they are delicious and you should all try them anyways).

I have a  new cookbook and I'm kind of obsessed with it. It is a little on the hippier side of the hippy spectrum but by that I mean it has a lot of wonderful, whole grain and whole food "healthier" recipes. Do not let this deter you from purchasing a copy. It is a fabulous cookbook and everything I've made out of it so far has been delicious. The cookbook is Dreena Burton's "Let them eat vegan!". Really, just go out and buy it. It's one of the few cookbooks I would recommend with no hesitation. For those of you who are gluten free, nut free, and/or soy free she has a lot of recipes in the book that are friendly for you! Also, she gives a proper substitutes that would make the non-gluten/nut/soy free recipes that way. Before getting on with today's recipe, here is a list of what I've made in her cookbook: "Steel-Cut Oats in an Instant!", "Whole-Grain Chia Pancakes", "Cocoa Almond Jumbles", "Spinach Cashew Pizza Cheese Spread", "Beans 'n' Greens Soup", "Peanut Thai Vegetable Stew", "Corn Chowder Quinoa Casserole", "Festive Chickpea Tart", "Sugar-Free Chocolate Cake", "Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream", "Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream" and maybe a few others I can't remember. I respect this cookbook because it has a substantial dessert section. Anyways, if you have any questions about it just shoot me a comment!

So the stromboli recipe doesn't come from this cookbook, but part of it does, which is why I mentioned the cookbook. I actually made this one up and I'm pretty proud of it. Sometimes, on a Friday evening, after a long week of classes, right before vacation, magic can happen in the kitchen.

I was planning on making a pizza and using up the leftover red pepper we had from something else and I thought that maybe I should do something a little more exciting. I remembered the "Spinach Cashew Pizza Cheese Spread" from Dreena Burton's cookbook and thought that it would be a good base for the pizza. Then I thought, why stop at pizza when you could make STROMBOLI?? So I did a little research and found an easy pizza dough recipe* (I wanted a dough that had to rise just to test out a new recipe, sorry mom) and a how-to stromboli recipe.

OK, here we go:

Spinach Cashew Pizza Cheese Spread recipe (from "Let them eat vegan!")
I halved the original recipe and added a few things so this is not the original recipe, just my version of it.


- 1/2 cup soaked raw cashews plus 1/4 cup soaked raw almonds, drained (soak for about an hour, that's fine)
- 1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup (packed) spinach leaves
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 - 1 tsp oregano
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1-2 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
- a few spoons of tomato sauce of your choice. (I used my mom's homemade tomato sauce that was in our freezer from her last visit an we used the rest of the frozen batch for stromboli dipping)

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients until smooth. This will take a minute or two of processing, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor a few times throughout. Once smooth, use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. With the almonds, it has almost a ricotta texture.

Stromboli recipe:

1. Get your dough ready. I made the recipe posted above and added some garlic powder, dried basil and oregano, just for extra flavor.

Dough, right before punching it down.
Estes got flour on her face awwww
2. Since the dough has to rise for an hour, get your other ingredients ready, make the spinach cashew spread and hang out until the dough is ready.

I chose caramelized onions and diced red peppers (and olives - not pictured)
The spinach cashew spread - it's not the prettiest green color but it tastes wonderful, so trust it!
3. When the dough is ready, put your pizza stone** in the oven and preheat oven to 450ºF.

4. On a floured surface, roll out/stretch the dough into a rectangle.

5. Spread the spinach cashew spread on the base, leaving a little room around the top edge. Then add your other toppings (again, we used caramelized onions, red peppers and diced olives).

6. Carefully roll up, pinching the seams and folding the sides under.

7. Place on a cornmeal-dusted pizza board (or pan if using) and brush with olive oil.

8. Pop in the oven and turn down the temperature to 400˚F.

9. Keep a close eye on the stromboli. It's done when lightly browned on top. This took us about 25 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes then cut with a serrated knife and serve with tomato sauce for dipping.

I was worried it would be too dry in the middle but it was so perfect. I promise you won't miss the cheese in this. Michael said that next to his favorite stromboli from Gettysburg High School (don't ask), this is a strong second. I'll take it.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

*I used 2.5 cups white all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.
**I used a pizza stone, but you can use a regular baking pan- adjust the baking temperature and time as needed. If you have a pizza stone, definitely use that because it makes the crust nice and crispy on the outside but soft in the middle. Plus, your entire house will smell like a pizzeria and who doesn't want that!?

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