Friday, June 5, 2015

So Retro, so Cheap!

I went retro and made French bread pizza!!
I feel like French bread pizza was the it thing sometime in the nineties. It's funny how different foods go in and out of style, like clothing and hairstyles. I don't really follow trends myself, truth be told I kind of loathe trends, so I never really got into the french bread pizza, or the English muffin pizza etc. I impulsively bought a loaf of Ciabatta bread over the weekend, planning to use it for dunking of soup that I ended up not making. I was getting stressed because I didn't want to waste it, so French bread pizza saved the day! I also had about one fourth of a block of tofu that needed to be used, so I soaked some cashews, and made a very loose interpretation of  Cashew Ricotta from the amazing Veganomicon. By loose interpretation I mean it had cashews and tofu in it. Ha! I had some olive spread in my fridge, (chopped olives and olive oil) so I slathered some of that on the bread, spread some Cashew cheese on top, then topped it with some cooked white beans, onion, and some chopped dino kale. It crisped up deliciously after about ten or fifteen minutes in a 350 degree oven. I love adding raw kale to pizzas. It turns into delicious little kale chips on top of the pie, or in this case bread! I'm having fun kind of clearing my pantry and fridge, and making dishes out of random items!
It's also good practice or living in Seattle, where my food budget will be a lot tighter. Seattle is where I learned a million and one things to do with the humble lentil! I swear I could write a whole cookbook devoted to lentils. It is possible to make great dishes out of odds and ends, and inexpensive ingredients. You can do so many things with a bag of beans, a carrot, some celery, onion and garlic.
I've also learned that having one pricier thing in your fridge or pantry can help cheer up a plain meal. I made simple lentil Quesadillas last night, but a small amount o Chao tomato cayenne slices really made these otherwise run of the mill Quesadillas seem much fancier, like I treated myself. Having a handful of raw cashews in your freezer to add some creamy richness to a sauce or soup is also something I rely on. It takes a very small amount of cashews to add a lot of richness.
What is your favorite clear out the fridge/pantry dish?

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