Buffalo Cauliflower Potato Pizza

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This is going to blow your mind. This turned out to be the most amazing pizza—ever. I was inspired by Kelly over at Vegan Thyme who made this using Gardein, but because Gardein never seems to agree with me, I thought I’d sub in cauliflower. A friend had made buffalo “wings” from cauliflower and used this recipe from PETA. If anything, try the wings—they are incredible! (just double it if you’re feeding a crowd). March Madness, anyone? Can I tell you how excited we are that our CSU Rams have advanced?! GO RAMS!!

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So, making cauliflower wings is definitely going to add to your prep time, so I recommend enlisting some help. That’s why you had kids, right? The Eighth Grader was a great sous chef. I also made several changes to the original, just based on what I had on hand, so feel free to tweak the recipe. This recipe is going to require a certain timing of tasks, but thankfully, they’re all easy to do. So, get ready for some amazing pizza that you won’t mind making again and again!

INGREDIENTS:

Wings:

1 C almond milk

1 C flour (any variety)

2 tsp garlic powder

1 head cauliflower, chopped into pieces

1 C buffalo wing sauce (I used Wing Time)

1 Tbs olive oil or Earth Balance, melted

Dough: (I made a quick, no-rise pizza dough. So if you like a thin crust, crispy dough, this is a good one to use. Otherwise, if you have more time, I recommend a yeast-based one).

2-1/2 C flour

2-3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 Tbs olive oil

3/4 C to 1 C warm water

Pizza:

3 large russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced thin (my sous chef used a potato chip slicer—major time saver)!

3/4 C red onion, chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp black pepper

5 mushrooms, diced

3 celery stalks, sliced

1 tsp olive oil

Daiya mozzarella, optional

Vegan ranch dressing (Try Follow Your Heart Vegan Ranch or make your own)

Sauce:

2 Tbs flour

1/3 C warm water

3 Tbs Earth Balance

1 C vegetable broth, warmed up

Dash or two of red wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

So, first off, prep the potatoes. Once they’re sliced, place in a bowl of water with 1 tsp of salt and let sit for 30-45 minutes. This is a good time to make the dough and chop up the mushrooms, celery, and cauliflower. Drain the potatoes and season them with the rosemary, basil, and pepper; stir in the red onion.

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To make the dough, mix the dry ingredients together in a stand mixer. Slowly add the olive oil and warm water until you have a dough that is just slightly sticky. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes.

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This is where timing comes in. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out the dough to fit an 11″x17″ pan. I actually let it hang over the edges a little to account for shrinkage:

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Stick with a fork in several places and bake 5 minutes. This is also where you’ll need a hand. While your amazing helper lines the crust with the potatoes and onions . . .

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. . . you’ll want to be making the “wings.” Pretty easy: Preheat oven to 450. Whisk together the milk, flour and garlic powder in a medium bowl. You’ll have a pancake batter-like consistency. Add the cauliflower and coat them completely; transfer to a baking dish.

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Bake for 15-18 minutes . . .

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While they’re baking, whisk together the wing sauce and olive oil (or Earth Balance). Loosen the cauliflower if it’s stuck to the dish. Pour the wing sauce over the cauliflower and bake another 5-8 minutes.

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Now, while those are baking, saute up the celery and mushrooms in the olive oil. Also, start the sauce in a small saucepan. Combine the 2 Tbs of flour and 1/3 C warm water; set aside. Melt the 3 Tbs of Earth Balance in a the pan and add 1 Tbs of the flour-water mixture and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the rest over medium heat. Just a little at  time, add the broth. Whisk until thickened; add the red wine vinegar.

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So now, your wings are ready to come out of  the oven. Throw the pizza in the oven (still at 400 degrees) and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes start to brown on the edges. This is a good reason to use a slicer to make them thin, otherwise, they’ll take too long to cook and your crust will be lovely shade of black. I then chopped up the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.

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It even looks like chicken pieces! Try not to eat it all yet. Combine the cauliflower in a bowl with the celery and mushrooms and pour the sauce over them and coat well. When you have just a few minutes left on the potatoes, sprinkle the top with a little Daiya cheese.

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Yum!

Cut into squares and top with the cauliflower/veggie mix and ranch dressing. Thoroughly enjoy!

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Going Cruelty-Free

In an earlier post, I talked about cruelty-free cosmetics and where you can find a list of companies that do not test on animals. I’m working on eliminating all animal products and tested-on-animal products from our house as much as I can. I couldn’t justify wearing eye shadows and blushes that were experimented on animals anymore. Besides, if a product has to be tested on animals in the first place to see if would burn my skin off, cause a rash, or induce blindness, I don’t need to be putting it on my face anyway. So off to my nearest Sephora to find cruelty-free makeup. As far as cosmetics goes, they carry 2 brands: Urban Decay and Tarte. Not all Tarte products are vegan, but they do have a decent line of cruelty-free products. What I got from Tarte was actually their “gift with purchase” and I don’t know that I would purchase their products since their other products are tested on animals. However, perhaps the more people who buy their cruelty-free products, the more likely they are to make all their cosmetics vegan.

So I brought my expensive bag of goodies home . . . along with the ten stupid sheets of tissue paper that Sephora felt I needed . . .

Here’s the Tarte gift-with-purchase:

…with more tissue, of course.

On to skin care . . . I had picked up free samples of Boscia skin care products, a brand backed by PETAAll Boscia products are 100% preservative-free and natural. In fact, their products are created in a “state of the art Clean Room manufacturing facility where no human contact occurs.” Their dedication to quality is pretty amazing. You can read more about it HERE.

The little blue jar is an facial scrub/exfoliant from Ole Henriksen. I use this a couple of days a week. Love it! And it doesn’t hurt that it smells amazing.

So what’s the verdict?

I LOVE the Boscia products! (And so does my skin). It’s been about 2-1/2 weeks since I started this new regimen and my skin has improved a great deal. Yes, these products cost a lot more than drugstore products, but the quality is amazing and I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my skin. The facial cleaner is like washing my face with silk, and the moisturizer (oil-free with SPF) is great. It does have a woodsy, earthy, dirt-like smell, but that’s ok; I only smell it when I first put it on.

So far, I’ve been happy with the Urban Decay, except for the “Skyscraper” one—the brush is really ridiculous and doesn’t work well. I returned it for another. The Tarte mascara is a good one though. UD doesn’t have a lot of blush options—I think just four, and they’re mostly pink shades, as opposed to reds, browns or neutrals. I am happy with the one I chose. The eye primer and eye shadows from Urban Decay are excellent. They have a huge variety of colors and they last pretty much all day. The Naked foundation is superb and even though it’s full coverage, it’s not thick and pasty. I’ve been really happy with UD’s eye pencil as well, just be sure to also pick up their sharpener. I found out the hard way that not all eye pencil sharpeners play nice with other brands of eyeliners.

I received a free sample of Urban Decay’s “De Slick,” a setting spray. Basically, it’s like hairspray for your face. I haven’t tried it yet, so one of these days I will . . .

I’ll continue with these products and let you know what I think of them as I go along. And please, let me know what your favorite vegan products are and why you love them!

Have you taken the Leaping Bunny Pledge?

Like many, I’ve evolved over time to becoming a “strict” vegan. I got rid of dairy in 2007, gave up meat in 2009, have since stop buying and wearing leather and fur (although I never wore fur to begin with) and I’ve been getting rid of all cosmetics and other products that test on animals. Thankfully, Leaping Bunny makes it easy to find cruelty-free products. By signing up (for free!) and taking the leap to be cruelty-free, Leaping Bunny will send you this Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide that lists A-Z, companies that “do not test finished products, ingredients, or formulations on animals.”

It is estimated that up to 100 million animals are tested on annually. Some would argue that many medical breakthroughs of the 20th Century have been established because of animal testing, but I see no reason why lipsticks, eye shadows, and other cosmetic and toiletries need to be tested on animals, which include, but are not limited to primates, dogs, rabbits, cats, and mice. To learn more, I strongly urge you read these 11 Facts about Animal Testing at DoSomething.org. And you can also rely on PETA to show you the horrors of animal testing too. I may not be able to stop animal testing, but I can certainly do something about it at home. I’ll be the first to admit, it can be hard to give up products that you’ve come to love. We all get addicted to certain lotions, makeups, soaps, etc., but it’s not the end of the world. In fact, you may just find a new and cruelty-free favorite. I don’t expect my readers (vegan and non-vegan) to eliminate these animal products from their homes, but I hope to at least make you think about these products you use and what the animals had to suffer through to get it in your hands. (I know, I’m laying on the guilt here…)

If you want to know what companies still test on animals, check out this list. Print it off and start throwing stuff away (or donate it). PETA also is a great resource for more information. Click HERE. 

What are your recommendations for cruelty-free products? 

Feast On This!

Did You Watch Oprah?

On Tuesday, she aired the results of she and 378 of her staffers going vegan for a week. It was fascinating to watch, and great to see the results of many of the participants. A total of 444 pounds were lost, but 80-some were gained. Several staffers even plan to stick with it. On the show, was Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules and Kathy Freston, the Veganist. I was delighted of course that veganism made it all the way to Oprah-Land, but I was disappointed that there wasn’t more brought up about the ill-health effects of eating animal products; it focused only on animal welfare it seemed–which is great, too, but I think what is going to make an impact on most people, is how is it’s going to affect them–not the animal. I didn’t feel that it was an accurate portrayal of the vegan diet and all that it is about. Of course, that may not have been Oprah’s aim. I was actually surprised that Pollan seemed determined to put a damper on the vegan diet the whole time, yet I agreed with him that meat and dairy industries need to be reformed. I definitely plan on picking up Freston’s book though.

What did you think?


Make it a Vegan Super Bowl Party

Super Bowls parties are known for being packed with chicken wings, cheese dips and spread, but that doesn’t mean they have to be staples of the shindig. Ecorazzi lists their top 10 vegan Super Bowl foods. The Buffalo Tofu looks fabulous!

Other winning appetizers to bring: Party Cheese Ball, Crock Cheez, Stuffed Mushrooms, Cheez Platter, Cheddar & Sun-Dried Tomato Dip, 8-Layer Dip, Spring Rolls, Avocado Bruschetta,  or Spinach Dip!

One commercial you won’t see aired during the big game will be PETA’s attention-getting “veg-porn” ad, called “Veggie Love.” I’m sure you’ve all seen it by now because it’s been getting lots of internet views. I realize it’s all about getting attention, but I wonder if the money could have been spent in better ways—in a way that would have actually benefited animals and have a positive impact. I love PETA and respect what they do, but there are times I feel they shoot themselves in the foot once in a while.

What do you think of the ad?



“Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning “lousy hunter.”

-Andy Rooney

Feast On This!

“I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan!”

Who knew that Doritos makes a vegan tortilla chip?!


In fact, you might be surprised that several products in grocery stores are actually vegan. There were lots of products that I often avoided, assuming they weren’t vegan, but man, was I shocked. Duncan Hines actually has 3 vegan frostings! Ok, so not all the food is considered healthy, but if you think you have to knock yourself out looking for a vegan cracker, well. . . forget about it! Crack open a box of Ritz–not an animal product to be found on their ingredient list. PETA has compiled lists and lists of products available at your local grocery store (no trip to Whole Foods required) that are actually vegan. Even several varieties of Jell-O Instant Pudding are vegan. Who woudda thunk?

The site has lists for: breakfast foods, beverages, snacks, condiments, baked goods, refrigerated/frozen foods, baking and staples. They are also constantly adding products to the lists.

Remember, dark chocolate is vegan! So you can load up on Ghiradelli Twilight Delight Intense Dark!



How About A Dog and A Beer?

Like airport travel (see last week’s post), enjoying a vegan meal at the game is virtuously impossible. You’re usually stuck with either popcorn, peanuts and cotton candy. Blech! Well, things could be changing at a stadium near you, thanks to Johanna McCoy, founder of Soy Happy, an organization that encourages stadium venues around the country to offer meat-free options. They even have a list of stadiums that now offer meat-free options, and are constantly updating it. It looks like right now, baseball stadiums are the the only sports venues they have “enlightened”, but are working towards others like NHL, NBA, etc., as well as theme parks and other attractions. Thanks Johanna!


Hooray for Animal Sanctuaries!

VegNews brings you Chester, the big piggie, and his little friend, Emma Sue, who were rescued from slaughter. They enjoy walks on the beach, pina coladas. . .ok, well not exactly, more like walks in the woods and peanut butter sandwiches. It always great to see animals get a second chance and thrive–thanks to amazing people who make it happen.There is also a list of other successful animal sanctuaries to read up on, find one near you, and donate! It’s not cheap keeping these farms running, especially when there are so many animals to save.

(Photo courtesy of Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary in Deer Trail, CO)


Think of the fierce energy concentrated in an acorn!  You bury it in the ground, and it explodes into an oak!  Bury a sheep, and nothing happens but decay.

-George Bernard Shaw