Make magic and shake ya booty!
I had a lot of people reach out in regards to my recent IGTV post of the pizza bread dish I made (if you haven’t watched it, go to my Instagram handle now: amandajzehr). It is all plant based, as 100% of my recipes and dishes are, but I did originally make my own pesto, whereas in this blog post, I’ve used a pre made plant based pesto. My pesto was a little on the bland side, so I am still working on tweaking the recipe before I share it.
To make this dish, it requires more than just your food ingredients. As in most, if not all of my food blog posts, I urge my readers to throw on some good music…something that will loosen you up, make you move your body…and if you imbibe, a nice cocktail or glass of wine/beer or what have you. If you don’t drink, and sometimes I like to steer clear of alcohol for periods of time, I’d recommend pouring a tall glass of sparkling Pellegrino or mineral water with a citrus wedge of your choosing. Sound a little too posh for your style? Try LaCroix flavored water in a can then….just something that tastes like a little bit of luxury on your tongue while you get your hands dirty and swivel your hips.
For music recommendations, it doesn’t have to be dance music. If metal, hip hop, country or classical resonate with your soul, turn that shit up and be good with that. For me, no matter how much slower-yogi ballads or chill mellow dramatic indie music I listen to on a regular basis, in my kitchen I always return to my source…deep house. When I’m creating something in my kitchen, I need some deep and soulful beats in the background to keep my energy up and to supplement the experience of cooking. I honestly don’t think I could cook without music. If I did, I wouldn’t trust the dish to come out as expected. Have you ever read ‘Like Water for Chocolate’? Yeah, if I cry or am angry while cooking, I take a step back and walk it out….no way I want my dinner guests experiencing that! I mean think about it, the energy you put into the world or into the universe others pick up on. Same thing goes with food. The vibes you have and experience while cooking, you are transferring that into your ingredients. You put those vibes in the food!! Be careful the next time you are in the kitchen and your child or spouse or roommate says or does something that offends you….step away from the cutting board and pour a glass of red or breathe for a few moments and then return to it…don’t allow that bad juju get into your amazing dishes.
If you aren’t sure what sort of music to listen to, I recommend listening to Cevin Fisher’s Import Tracks Radio podcast. Or maybe throwing on some Subandrio or Sunshine Jones. These are great soulful music producers that usually have tracks with amazingly seductive basslines and vocals that bewitch your ears. You won’t be able to control yourself, I can almost guarantee it.
After finding your tunes, and finding your beverage of choice, get the following prepped up and ready to mix (this recipe serves 4):
2–3 cups of spinach, chopped
- Remove the stems if they are long
2–3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ medium-sized onion, chopped or diced
2 small jars of marinated artichoke hearts, diced or cubed
- I used the 365 brand from Whole Foods, but really any will work. You can even use canned or cook raw artichoke and use them if you don’t want the excess oil.
1 cup of pitted green olives, finely chopped
1–2 cups of portabella mushrooms, diced
2 Tofurky Italian Sausages, sliced in rounds
- You can really use any plant based protein here, but these are my favorite by far and work sooo well with the dish!!
½ cup of olive oil (aka the goodness that slides through your body)
- I sometimes mix in a little bit of the marinade from the jar of artichokes for more flavor
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp. of Italian seasonings
- You can buy these pre made or mix in marjoram, thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano and a little black pepper
½ cup of Follow Your Heart grated Parmesan
- If you have a favorite brand, go for it, but I love Follow Your Heart!
1 -2 cups mix of Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan and Shredded Mozzarella cheese
2–3 Roma or grape tomatoes, sliced in rounds
2 heaping spoonfuls of vegan marinara
- I used a brand called Isola’s All Natural Fresh Basil Pasta Sauce, but Rao’s is also a great all natural brand!
2 spoonfuls of pesto*
- *For this blog post, I’ll be safe and not give out my pesto recipe just yet, so use this brand: Seggiano Fresh Basil Pesto — This shit is phenomenal and extremely savory! Mmmmm
4 slices of Pane Turano Italian Bread
- This bread is vegan!! Probably accidentally vegan, but still. It’s really great for this recipe too! (Whole Foods sells it as a loaf already sliced for about 5 bucks, but it’s sold at ALDI also)
1 tbsp. of Earth Balance Butter (optional for buttering bread)
Directions on how to make this into magic on your taste buds:
First, slice up your tomatoes and your sausage and set them aside.
Mince your garlic cloves and set aside in a small bowl or plate. Chop or dice half of a yellow or white onion and add to a medium to large mixing bowl.
Take the spinach leaves and feel them….sift through them and remove any long stems. Gather the leaves on your cutting board and coarsely chop them. Add them in with the onion.
Cut up the artichoke hearts finely, and remove any harder or fibrous parts. **Save some of the marinade in the jar if you remember to! This can be added in to the mixing bowl for more flavor. Add the hearts to the bowl along with a little bit of the marinade.
Cut up the mushrooms and olives, adding them to the mix.
Add the salt, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, grated parm, and olive oil to the mixing bowl and do these three things in order:
- Take a sip of your refreshingly cool beverage, feeling the condensation drip down between your fingertips. Hold the fluid in your mouth for a moment and close your eyes…listen to the beat of your music and begin moving your hips, swiveling them from side to side…then swallow…tilt your head back and let the liquid cool off your insides as you begin to work up that heat with your body. Are you getting uncomfortable? Haha. Good…
2. Grab a fork or mixing spoon and begin mixing the ingredients in your bowl, all the while still moving to your music. Turn the bowl while you mix everything together…making sure the small little pieces of garlic and seasonings melt with the olive oil and coat every veggie nicely. Everything coming together in one big beautiful mix of magical goodness.
3. When the mixture looks gorgeous and shiny, set down your fork or spoon, and wipe off your hands. Turn the music up a little more, take another sip of your beverage and go to a spot in the center of your kitchen or living room, bedroom or wherever you have more room to move freely. And take a full minute to DANCE. Close your eyes, extend your arms out, tilt your head back and move…let the music take over the control of your body. Just for a full minute. Who cares who is watching!? This is going to make your food taste better and make the experience be more fulfilling. Oh yeah, move that booty!!
Ok ok…Come back down to reality and pre heat your oven to 300 degrees. Set your mixture aside and take out the bread slices (however many you need, as this recipe calls for 4 but you can make more or less depending on your company or how much you want to eat). Coat them with about ½ tbsp. of plant based butter. This will melt into the bread keeping it somewhat soft as it bakes in the oven.
Next, grab a small bowl and mix in the 2 spoonfuls of marinara and 2 spoonfuls of pesto. Spread this over your buttered bread, leaving some space around the edges. Add the sliced tomatoes and sliced sausages to your liking. Again, move and dance around while you do this. Keep that energy flowing and that juju working!! Next, use some tongs to add your amazing veggie mix to your pizza bread. Add as much as you like, and be generous! Top off with the shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese mix.
Once oven is ready, add the bread and set your timer for 15–20 minutes. The vegan cheese will still kind of look like it’s not fully melted, but keep checking throughout the 20 minutes and remove when the edges of the bread are crispy and the cheese looks like it’s settled into the veggie mix nicely.
While you are waiting for your oven to work its magic, continue dancing around your space, inviting your guests to join you. Or just grab your drink and move around the house like it’s no one’s business. Keep it flowin’…keep on movin’. This is important. You think I’m crazy or an idiot, well you will see what happens…🔮
After the 20 minutes are up, or when your bread edges are crispy, remove them from the oven and serve immediately. With the lower oven temp, this will keep the bread from burning, but give everything else a chance to cook thoroughly. And give you time to schmooze and work up an appetite.
Enjoy the food with others or solo. Either way, you’ve worked your magic and good energy into the food, so it is surely bound to be an amazing experience.
*For those with heartburn issues, add a little bit of Sugar in the Raw to the marinara mixture. This will decrease the amount of acid in the sauce.
Take care my loves. Eat well, be happy and keep your music goin’.