Veg Cooking Session: Artisan Pizzas and Vegan Lasagna
Initially, I had just asked to meet Alessa so I could talk to her more about her vegetarian beginnings and her business Pipino. The meeting kept getting pushed back (because I extended my stay in Baguio), but somehow, I became even more delighted with what our supposed interview turned out to be!
[Alessa in her kitchen and her vegan-friendly ingredients]
Alessa also invited Kara to join us as she’s trying to go vegan too. (Well, I’m just trying to go lacto ovo vegetarian, really. But if I wind up vegan somehow, then VEGAN POWERS TO ME!!) So anyway, seeing as Alessa owns her own frikkin’ restaurant and Kara’s blog basically revolves around recipes, I was intimidated by the thought of having to contribute my own recipe to the session, since right now I basically do simple pastas, salads, and vegetarian homecooking for the lazy. Luckily, Alessa volunteered her recipes for that day. Yay! Pressure-free!
Being the teacher that she is, Alessa handwrote the recipes on pcs. of 1/4 pad paper:
My tasks were to the knead the pizza dough, prepare the tofu ricotta and chop mushrooms. Kneading the dough and and preparing the tofu ricotta was just like playing with my food because I was literally hands on (no pictures to prove it though). I also chopped the mushroooooooms! I love mushrooms but generally lack chef skills in chopping, but I think I did an okay job. :P
Being a vegetarian noob, I learned a lot of “exotic” vegan ingredients, and Alessa and Kara were patient enough with me to answer all my questions. :P
These may all seem like very strange things to you right now, as they did when I first encountered them, but I’ll try to give you guys a Vegetarian Food for Dummies post on chia seeds, nutritional yeast, liquid aminos and TVP (textured vegetable protein) in my next entry.
Since I’m a noob, and haven’t SUPER geeked out on all their origins and benefits YET, it’ll be super digestible descriptions for you guys, I promise. :D
Here’s a picture of the TVP, which we used as our vegan meat stuffing.
We also prided ourselves in creating most artisan-ish pizzas (Read: rustic, or a glorified term for very irregularly shaped pizzas. Bakit ba, pagkain pa rin yan. Sa Cibo ba bilog? Pang-Cibo to!)
The finished product:
And the super winner vegan lasagna:
And finally, me with my fellow happy kitchen messer-uppers, Alessa & Kara:
Don’t you think it looks like we could start our own cooking show? Though at this point, my relevant skill would be maybe hosting the show and asking all the questions on behalf of the vegetarian lingo illiterate. Haha.
I do hope I can hang out with the girls again soon! *hint hint* :D
P.S. You guys will be getting even more familiar with Alessa and Pipino in an upcoming post. Come back for that! :)