Wednesday, 2 August 2017

What We Ate Wednesday--Umami Pizza and Greekish Salad

Hello Lovelies! This week (and next week!) will feature some of the best umami recipes out there.

Umami? You-mommy? What are you talking about, Spidergrrl?

Umami (in case you don’t know) is a Japanese word describing one of the five basic tastes along with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness. It is described as a “meaty or brothy” taste. It is definitely a savoury taste. It is the thing that makes a dish have that extra *wow* factor. It is found in foods that are high in glutamates. This is why  MSG (monosodium glutamate) is often added to food to give it that umami factor.

People think that you can only get that wow factor from aged meats or cheeses, but there are lots of vegan ways to get that yum factor.

Foods that naturally high in glutamates are
·        Caramelised food (like onions)
·        Fermented foods (balsamic vinegar, soy sauce or tamari, miso, wine, beer, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc)
·        Marmite or vegemite
·        Nutritional yeast flakes
·        Sea vegetables like kombu, kelp and nori (good news for sushi lovers)
·        Mushrooms (especially porcini and shitake) and tomatoes
·        Smoked spices or condiments like Liquid Smoke and smoked paprika
·        Dried foods that concentrate flavour (like sun dried tomatoes or olives in brine)

This dish was FULL of umami.

Caramelised onion hummus
Balsamic vinegar
Nutritional yeast flakes
Mushrooms and tomatoes
Sun dried tomatoes

Now, I make my own pizza crust (it is super easy to do and you can freeze it) but you can do what you like. Buy a premade pizza crust to make this easy or make your own. I don’t care. Just do it.

Umami pizza and Greekish Salad
Make your Greekish salad first to let it be marinating and increasing its yum factor.

Greekish Salad
*normally* Greek Salad has feta cheese to give it that salty, umami taste. There are lots of recipes on line for making tofu feta but I wanted to use a similar marinade, but with button mushrooms.
Mushroom feta
4 button mushrooms, diced small
2 TB lemon juice
2 TB apple cider vinegar
1.5 TB nutritional yeast flakes
¼ tsp marmite
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp (smoked) sea salt
1 tsp oregano
Marinate together in a small dish. Then make the rest.

The Rest
Half a cucumber, diced
8 small on-the-vine tomatoes, chopped
1 TB sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup olives
1 tsp olive oil
1 TB red wine vinegar

Right before you eat, pour the mushrooms and their marinade over The Rest and stir to combine. If you have any caramelised red onions that don't fit on the pizza, throw them in the salad. 

While that’s marinating, make the pizza.

Cook the crust as the directions tell you to. Mine is cooked for 5 minutes then add the toppings, then cook 12 more minutes.

The Toppings
Caramelised onion hummus
Oil packed sun dried tomatoes
Red onion cooked down in balsamic vinegar until caramelised

This was *AMAZING*. And the next day (see next week!) I used up the rest of these umami ingredients in an amazing pasta recipe with my favourite garlic alfredo. Double yum!!

When food is this good, you don’t need to eat animals! Now that you know you can get that umami flavour without animal cruelty, then go vegan and eat with compassion. 


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