Friday, January 13, 2012

Lavash with Mushrooms, Tomato and Arugula

While it is never a good idea to go to the grocery store when you are tired and hungry, sometimes good things can happen in such a situation.

After a long week at work and a weekend trip ahead, I was looking forward to a lazy Friday night at home with minimal cooking.  Our local market has a decent selection of to go stuff, as well as a number of vegan friendly frozen foods, so I figured it would be easy to find something quick.

Well, I don't know if the selection was off tonight or I was just feeling feisty after a long week of commuting and metro red line woe, but I wasn't feeling anything.  I found myself wandering around the aisles, checking ingredients and muttering to myself.  At one point, I stood in front of the decently large selection of frozen pizzas and said (hopefully to myself, though it might have been out loud) "Why are none of you vegan?"

At which point it dawned on me - make your own damn vegan pizza!  I realize that this isn't exactly a huge triumph of modern thought, but it was better than me staring dumbly at the freezer case wondering "But, where is the me food for the eatings?"

Ah, but where to begin?  We had already explored the premade pizza crusts on sale at the market, and they were off limits to me allergywise because they included soy ingredients.  Although I'm more than capable, I had no desire to make my own pizza dough.

The answer?  Lavash!  If you're not familiar with it, lavash is a soft, chewy flat bread.  It's more substantial than a pita, and thus makes a nice base for a flatbread or pizza.  The ones I bought tonight were whole wheat and made at a Beltsville company called Middle East Bakery, Inc.  The lavash was vegan and, more importantly for me, didn't contain soy.

To prepare the lavash, I used our pizza crisper, which helps the bottom cook as evenly as the top.  Then, I topped the lavash with red onion, mushrooms, garlic, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella daiya and arugula, but feel free to mix and match the toppings!  Broccoli, kale, peppers and/or eggplant might all be fun toppings to try.

Re-energized by this super easy and satisfying dinner, I actually wrote a recipe out for you:

 Lavash with Mushrooms, Tomato and Arugula
 Serves One (easily doubled or tripled)

One slice of whole wheat lavash
1/3 of a red onion, sliced into crescents (cut rings, then cut rings in half)
3 button mushrooms, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil (feel free to use more or less, but keep in mind that more adds some nice moistness to the crust) plus more for brushing & drizzling
3-4 large cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup Daiya mozzarella cheese (add more to make it "cheesier," - feel free to use soy cheese or regular cheese if you're a lacto-ovo vegetarian)
1 cup of arugula
Sea salt
Black pepper
Italian seasoning blend

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place lavash on a pizza crisper and set aside.

While oven is warming, saute onions and mushrooms in olive oil on high heat.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Cook for five minutes, until mushrooms soften and onions become translucent.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, one to two minutes.  Season to taste with Italian Seasoning. 

Spread the mushroom and onion mixture on the lavash, leaving a "crust" around the sides.  Layer on sliced tomatoes and sprinkle Daiya on top.

Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and top with arugula.  Drizzle arugula with olive oil and return to oven for 3-4 minutes, until arugula is slightly wilted.

Serve and enjoy!

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