Vegetarian Stromboli

I am not vegetarian. However, I am totally in support of eating less meat, and enjoy cooking vegetarian meals; they’re quite tasty! Last year I found this Vegetarian Stromboli recipe and had to try it, seeing as stromboli is possible one of my favourite meals ever. Especially when you  have leftovers, and eat them cold the next day for lunch? Mmmm even better than cold pizza!

I decided to make it again for everyone during our weekly community dinner, and it was a hit! I made a double recipe to feed 7 people, so 1 would probably feed 4. It was gobbled up so quickly, people are going to love you for it! We had an argument beforehand about if Stromboli was different from Calzones. I think it is, especially the meat Stromboli that my parents make; Calzones in my  mind are more like a big pizza pocket, whereas Stromboli is another level of awesome. My parents’ traditional recipe has multiple kinds of meats and cheeses, a flavour explosion! Yum.

But anywho. This is a vegetarian recipe that’s slightly more pizza like, and chock full of delicious vegetables. I had to make the pizza sauce and the dough from scratch, but feel free to use store bought dough or sauce. (Making stuff from scratch is more fun though! At least in my humble opinion).

Original recipe credit goes to: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pizza-dough-i/ http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-pizza-sauce-i/
http://stephaniecooks.blogspot.ca/2011/09/roasted-vegetable-stromboli.html

First prepare all the ingredients the sauce, the dough, and the roasted vegetables. Then time for the assembly…

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Start out with a floured surface, your dough, and a rolling pin.

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Roll the dough out into a nice large oblong shape. As rectangular as possible, but it doesn’t need to be exact. Just make sure the length isn’t longer than the pan you’re planning to use.

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Next spread on half of your pizza sauce. Cover the middle third in a lengthwise strip.

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Pile on the veggies!!! Then cover the veggies with the remaining sauce so it’s all throughout the stromboli. Yum.

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Cover with cheese- the best part! (with a pinch or two finding its way to your mouth of course) You’re almost done.

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Mmmm doesn’t that look absolutely delicious?

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Fold it up, like a burrito. I like to fold in the short ends first and then fold the sides, but really it doesn’t matter a whole lot. As long as the insides are contained.

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Coat with your garlic olive oil. The little specks are the pieces of toasted garlic. But you can also use garlic powder. Set in the oven at 450 F for about 15 mins, until the dough crunches when you poke it.

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Cut into slices and feast! So much gooey yumminess you can’t go wrong. One of my favourites.

 

Vegetarian Stromboli

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough

  •  3 cups flour
  • 1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

Pizza Sauce

  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (optional)

Filling/assembly

  • 1 zucchini (cut in slices)
  • 1/2 head of broccoli (cut into florettes)
  • 1/2 carrot (cut into slices)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 1/2 green pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 head cauliflower (cut into florettes)
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms (sliced)
  • olive oil (approximately 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 4 cloves garlic

First step: Prepare the components! Chop the vegetables and put them together in a bowl. Drizzle an amount of olive oil on the vegetables and stir them to distribute the oil (I don’t know how much I used, probably a few tablespoons). You could also add some chopped garlic or onion to the mix, it would probably taste pretty good. Then put the vegetables on a greased pan and pop in the oven at 375 for 30-40 minutes, stirring at least once. Also feel free to switch up the veggies and use whatever you have, these are just a suggestion. Make some extra and save for another meal. Roasted veggies are awesome.

Next, start on the pizza sauce. Combine all the ingredients (6 oz tomato paste, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, salt, pepper, 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano, 1/2 tablespoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary) in a small pot and simmer for about 10 minutes. You can use fresh basil or oregano, just use more than the amount stated for dried and chop it up. I found the sauce to be a bit watery and so I tried to boil off some of the water, you may want to reduce the amount of liquid to your preference. Also, the original recipe says you can mix the ingredients together without cooking if you let sit for several hours. Cooking yields faster results and allows the flavours to blend more quickly.

Pizza dough time! Mix 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 package or 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast, 1 tablespoon white sugar in a bowl. Then mix in the 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil and 1 cup of warm water. This is enough dough to make 1 stromboli.

Now to put it all together. Roll your dough out on the counter until it’s approximately 18 inches by 12 inches (give or take, I didn’t measure. just make it a rectangle, and make sure its length doesn’t exceed the length of your pan). Spread half the pizza sauce in a line in the middle of the dough, running lengthwise. Then add the roasted vegetables, and top the vegetables with the remaining sauce. Finally sprinkle the cheese over the saucy vegetables. Fold up the bottom edges, then the sides so the sides overlap in the  middle. Press together; use water if necessary to make the dough stick. Transfer to a greased pan. If you care about looks, seam side down probably looks nicer, but it really doesn’t matter for taste.

Next brush the top of the Stromboli with garlicy olive oil (take 2 teaspoons of olive oil and add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. OR if you prefer the fresh stuff, mince 2 cloves garlic and mix with the oil. Then cook in a small pan for a few minutes, to infuse the olive oil with the garlicy flavour.)

You now have an assembled Stromboli! Preheat your oven to 450 F and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and the dough forms a crust and crunches when you press it with a finger. It won’t get very dark, so touch is a better way to tell than sight. Slice and serve while hot. Makes great leftovers, reheated or cold. Delicious!

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Sweet Cinnamon Swirl Bread

My time in Peru is almost up. Well, I still have a month, but a month isn’t very long. The kids have a 2 week break starting next week, so it will be the last time Victoria, my co-teacher, has class with the students. I still have 2 weeks with them after the break, but because Victoria is leaving, we decided to bake them all cookies. And for our Professor? What better than a sweet loaf of bread! I had this recipe in my bookmarks tab for a while, and it seemed perfect.

Our first attempt failed because I had forgotten to check for yeast, meaning we couldn’t make it (which is a very important bread ingredient I suppose). Yesterday however we had all the ingredients gathered, and set upon baking the loaf. It turned out pretty well I think, but it’s hard to tell when you can’t cut a piece off to try.

cinnamon bread (3)First combine the warm milk and yeast, letting it set for 10 minutes until a faint froth appears. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and cinnamon.

cinnamon bread (4)In another separate bowl, add the butter, sour cream, honey, and granulated sugar. We didn’t have a mixer so we just mushed it together with a fork. Then add the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla.

cinnamon bread (6)Beat in the yeast/milk mixture. Yay soupy batter!

cinnamon bread (7)Time to add the flour. First add half the flour and mix well, then add the rest of the flour.

cinnamon bread (8)It should form a nice dough. I had to add some extra flour to make it kneadable. Knead it for a bit until elastic. Then let it rise until doubled or roughly 2 hours.

cinnamon bread (10)Then, in another separate bowl because baking is all about dirtying as many dishes as possible, add the sugar, raisins, and spices for the filling.

cinnamon bread (14)After the dough has risen, roll it out into a rectangle. The short side of the rectangle should be the same width as your bread pan. Then take the melted butter and spread it over the dough.

cinnamon bread (17)  Sprinkle the sugar/spices/raisins over the bread, covering it completely. Deliciousness! This will be the cinnamon swirl.      

cinnamon bread (20)Roll the dough up into a nice log. Put the dough seam side down into the bread pan. I forgot to put it seam side down, and it won’t ruin anything, but probably would look nicer with the seam down. Let rise again for 2 hours/until doubled. Mix together an egg and some milk for the egg wash and coat the top of the bread. I didn’t use all of mine, it makes a bit much. Then bake it at 350 F for 30-35 minutes.

cinnamon bread (23)The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped and looks deep bronze. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. Then eat it! Will taste best fresh or toasted with a bit of butter. Mmmmmm good! 🙂 It makes a great gift for a teacher, or other friend, who doesn’t like cinnamon bread?

Cinnamon Swirl Bread.

Original recipe- http://ruhlman.com/2012/12/cinnamon-bread-recipe/

Ingredients:

Bread:

3/4 cup warm milk
1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature (we didn’t have sour cream, used vanilla yogurt. Worked fine)
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup raisins

Egg Wash

1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk

In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup warm milk and 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast. Let rest for 10 minutes until a faint froth appears on the surface of the milk.

In a medium bowl, combine the 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Set aside.

Add 5 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt), 3 tablespoons honey, and 1/4 cup  sugar together. Mix until creamy, then beat in the 2 eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Add yeast/milk mixture.

Add half of the flour mixture, beat until combined, then add the rest. Knead the dough until elastic, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky (I needed to add at least 1/4 cup to make it workable.)

Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl, covering with a piece of plastic wrap. Let set somewhere warm and allow to rise until the dough doubles in size, roughly 2 hours.

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the filling (3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup raisins).

Flour a surface and roll out the risen dough into a rectangle roughly 9 inches by 20 inches (the 9 inch side should match the length of your loaf pan). Take the 3 T of melted butter and spread it over the dough. Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture and raisins on top. Roll the dough up into a log and place the log, seam side down, into a well greased bread pan. Cover again with a towel and let rise for 2 more hours/ until doubled inside.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, mix the egg and 1 tablespoon milk for the egg wash. Coat the top of the loaf with the wash before placing in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes; the bread is done when the top is a deep bronze colour and it sounds hollow when rapped gently.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn the loaf out to cool completely. Once cool, you can wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for about a week. Or eat it all right away, it probably tastes better warm.

Delicious Chocolate Banana Brownies with Caramel Sauce

Well, still in Peru, and Victoria and I decided to make brownies. While we were baking, I got the amazing idea to add bananas and top with caramel sauce. It was delicious, best decision ever. Well, except for the sauce… we to make a caramel sauce, but as you’ll see in the pictures, it didn’t quite work out. I think I over cooked it; it became all grainy and hard. The recipe (found here http://thelevelheadedchef.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/caramel-sauce-without-heavy-cream/) said to just boil sugar with milk and butter, but I think next time I’d rather do the kind of sauce where you cook the sugar separately to make the caramel first, and then add the cream and butter.  But anywho. Super delicious and fudgey brownies.

This recipe adapted from http://www.annies-eats.com/2009/08/05/chewy-fudgy-triple-chocolate-brownies/

banana brownies (31)First off, melt the chocolate in a double boiler with some butter. We took a large pot, simmered some water, and then set a smaller pot inside. You can also just melt it on low heat on the stove, or even the microwave if you microwave on low and stir often.

banana brownies (22)Banana time! Mask the banana up well. We had fairly yellow bananas, so it’s not too mushy. You can totally use old bananas, like you would for banana bread.

banana brownies (30)Then mix the banana with the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt.

banana brownies (1)Add the chocolate and stir until incorporated. Then stir in the flour until well combined. Pour it into a pan and bake for 35-40 min at 350 F.

banana brownies (11)Mmmm yummy brownies! They look tasty! But wait, there’s more!

Below is my failed attempt at caramel sauce. Take this as an example of what not to do.

banana brownies (3)For this recipe, you put 1/4 c milk, 4 T butter, and 1/2 cup sugar in a pot. Then boil it vigorously for 3-4 minutes.

banana brownies (9)Look it’s boiling!

banana brownies (14)This is where it started to get weird. I thought it didn’t look dark enough, so I kept boiling it. Then it got kind of watery, and too thick.

banana brownies (15)Aaaaand when it cooled this happened. Caramel chunks. Not burned, but definitely now what was supposed to happen.

banana brownies (20)We still decided to try to use the caramel sauce anyway, so we heated it back up and added some milk. It just got hard again on top of the brownie, but didn’t taste entirely bad. maybe could have made caramel chips to put inside the brownie? Not sure. Below is a different caramel recipe that I would recommend using; I’ve used it before for a Banana Cream Pie and it worked splendidly. Or you can try this recipe that I botched. Maybe you will fare better.

Ingredients:

  • 11 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour

Caramel sauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 inch baking pan and set aside.

Using a double boiler, or a smaller pan set in a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, mashed bananas, and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and spread evenly with a spatula. bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick in the centre comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs on it (everyone loves  gooey brownie!). Should be about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for a bit.

Sauce:

While the brownies are cooking, time to prepare the caramel sauce! First stir the sugar, corn syrup, and water together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil without stirring, and cook, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down the sides with a wet pastry brush until sugar is deep amber in colour, 6-8 minutes. Remove caramel from heat, whisk in heavy cream, butter, and salt (it’ll bubble, that’s normal). Let cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in vanilla. Let it cool. This can be made a bit ahead of time and reheated to put on the brownies.

Voila! Hopefully your caramel sauce turns out better than mine! You’ll never make brownies without bananas again.

Other variations to try:

Peanut butter swirl brownies: After the batter is all prepared and ready to go in the pan, take some peanut butter and place a few globs on top of the batter. Then take a butter knife and swirl the peanut butter through the brownies.

Chunky brownies: Add a cup of your favourite candy chips, whether butterscotch, chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, whatever. Be creative. You can throw some nuts in too if you desire.

Super Easy Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Hello All! It’s been a while since I published anything, seeing as I’m in Peru. I have been baking a bit though, with some… interesting substitutions. You see, in the small town of Urubamba, sometimes you can’t quite find everything you’re looking for. Which led to me using a brick of hot cocoa chocolate in place of baking chocolate, which I was using as a substitute for cocoa powder in a red velvet cake. It ended up being not bad, I put in less sugar and butter because there was some in the hot cocoa chocolate, and everything worked out ok. But that’s the kind of thing that ends up happening when I bake here.

To the recipe of the day. Zucchini Chocolate Chip muffins. My friend had sent me the recipe, and the ingredients are pretty simple, so I thought I’d give it a go. Turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself, although the gas oven doesn’t quite cook evenly. Still, none of them were burned badly! The original recipe can be found here.

Like I said, pretty simple. Add all the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Mix them together, fold in the chocolate chips and zucchini, bake, and voila! Muffins. Make sure you grease the pan well if you don’t use cupcake liners.

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Grated zucchini! The secret to a delicious muffin 🙂

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This is the chocolate that I chopped up as chips, a local brand owned by nestle. There were peanuts in, which I mostly picked out but I’m afraid some remained. It was about half as expensive as the Hershey bar, though, so definitely worth it.

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For the lemon juice I used some juice from these tiny limones they have here. I’m not sure if they’re really limes or lemons, or a combination, but they do the trick. Tiny but powerful!

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Finished batter in the pan! Mmmm so tasty! I can never resist trying the pre-cooked batter.

 

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The finished product! Mmm Mmm good 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (or mix some brown in. Doesn’t really matter)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips (or just chop up some chocolate you happen to have on hand. A candy bar. Whatever.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I don’t really like nuts and they’re expensive. totally optional)

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Mix egg, oil, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in another bowl; stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips, and walnuts. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.Voila! And they’re done. Yay muffins!

Optional: You can also make a yummy streusel topping to make them even tastier. Just combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/8 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 t cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a fork until the butter is in tiny pieces, then after you put the batter in the cupcake pans sprinkle a bit of streusel on top. Yum!