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Olives for Dinner

Olives for Dinner
Mon, 14 Feb 2022 14:42:08 +0000

Quinoa Pizza Crust

This gluten-free pizza crust is no knead, super simple to make, uses only four ingredients and tastes amazing. It's thin and crispy, but sturdy enough to hold your favorite toppings.

First off, blending up uncooked but soaked quinoa into a batter to use as a pizza crust isn't my idea. It's something I stumbled across over at the Cafe Johnsonia blog when I saw Lindsey's gorgeous pizza pop up in my Pinterest feed. However, I tested this several times and did end up making a few tweaks with the timing and adding in a little tapioca flour for some softness. I have nothing against a traditional pizza dough or a focaccia pizza, but now having the option of something equally delicious without all of the refined carbs, heaviness that follows or extensive prep is kinda nice.

Before you soak your quinoa, rinse it well.

One or two times in between the 12-18 hour soak time, rinse it again. Before blitzing up your batter, rinse it a final time. This will help to reduce the bitter saponin coating which impacts the taste and could be hard on your belly if you are sensitive to it.

Blend the soaked and rinsed quinoa.

I used my Nutribullet for this. Blend until completely smooth.

The texture and flavor

This protein-forward crust is crispy around the edges and bottom, and has a little softness in the middle. Don't skimp on the amount of olive oil in the recipe or you're going to end up with a crust that sticks or is dried out. Also, be sure to sprinkle some flaky sea salt around the edges of the crust towards the end as described in the recipe below because it adds just the right little pop of flavor.

That quinoa aroma

The batter is made from quinoa, so it's going to smell … like quinoa. After you've blended it up and while it's baking, you'll really notice it. However, the final result is not going to taste like quinoa at all.

I just made a simple cheese pizza here, but this can be topped with whatever you like. Enjoy!

Print Quinoa Pizza Crust

4.5 from 2 reviews

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Description

An easy, gluten-free pizza crust to enjoy whether you are gluten free or just want to enjoy a pizza without that heavy feeling afterwards. This crust is thin, crispy and sturdy enough to hold your favorite toppings!

Ingredients for the crust
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a sieve then soaked in plenty of water for 1218 hours
  • 2 TB tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 TB of olive oil, to coat the pan
to make a basic cheese pizza
  • 1/3 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup vegan mozzarella shreds, chopped
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • flaky sea salt, for seasoning the outer crust
Instructions to make the crust
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet into the oven to preheat.
  3. Rinse the quinoa again, rubbing it between your fingers, then drain it and place into a NutriBullet or other similar blender. (See note below)
  4. Add in the tapioca flour, water, 1 TB of olive oil and sea salt.
  5. Blend until completely smooth.
  6. Once preheated, remove the skillet from the oven and add 2 TB of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Don't use spray oil or skimp on the amount of oil or your pizza will stick. Return it to the oven for a few more minutes.
  7. Remove the skillet and tilt if needed to ensure the bottom of the pan is evenly coated. Pour the batter into the center of the hot skillet so it covers it in an even layer. Tilt and roll just a little bit if needed to make sure it covers the bottom of the pan.
  8. Place into the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Flip with a large spatula (it will be sturdy and very easy to handle), and bake for 5 minutes more.
  10. Remove from the oven, flip again, and add the sauce, Italian seasoning and cheese onto the crust.
  11. Drizzle the outer edges of the crust with 1 TB of oil and season with the flaky sea salt. Return it to the oven.
  12. Place a pizza pan or cookie sheet over the skillet. This will allow the cheese to melt without burning your crust.
  13. Cook for 10 minutes more, or until the cheese has fully melted.
  14. Allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

I tried a Vitamix for this and it didn't really work for me, but my NutriBullet did a perfect job.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
If you made this recipe ...

Tag @olivesfordinner on Instagram and hashtag it #olivesfordinner ... thank you!

Olives for Dinner
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:34:43 +0000

Garlic and Ginger Butter Ramen Noodles

two hands holding a bowl of ramen noodles against a black background

Rich+buttery ramen noodles, with garlic, ginger, shallots and scallions! Brown sugar adds a hint of sweetness and soy sauce adds some umami. It's ramen noodles with sauce, not broth. This is a quick and easy dish that can be eaten as is, or you can add vegan chicken, tofu chunks or mushrooms and vegetables. Inspired by Bon Appetit's Ginger Scallion Ramen Noodles recipe.

ramen mise

Pull together your ingredients. Sambal and limes are optional. I love the texture of soy curls in this dish, but you can add tofu to the noodles, like these suggestions. Just double or quadruple the sauce in this recipe as needed.

Double-dredged tofu Sesame-crusted fu Crispy tofu Tofu cutlets Grilled sambal tofu

a top-down shot of ginger-garlic butter sauce in a cast iron pan on a dark background

The sauce smells so good!

a top-down shot of garlic-ginger butter ramen noodles with vegan chicken

I love the texture of soy curls here. A touch of garlic powder is just right here, and the edges get a little crispy. I could easily destroy all of these while prepping the sauce.

Print two hands holding a bowl of ramen noodles against a black background Garlic and Ginger Butter Ramen Noodles
  • Author: erinwyso
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Description

An easy weeknight dish! Serve as is or add vegan chicken, tofu cubes, mushrooms or vegetables. Inspired by Bon Appétit's Ginger Scallion Ramen Noodles.

Ingredients for the vegan chicken
  • 1 cup Butler Soy Curls
  • 1 TB no-chicken or boullion (I used Better Than Boullion brand)
  • 2 TB neutral oil, divided (vegetable, canola or grapeseed)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
for the sauce + noodles
  • 2 TB Miyoko's Cultured Vegan Butter (or any vegan butter, but Miyoko's is really good here)
  • 1 TB grated ginger
  • 3 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 TB grated garlic
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 1 TB + 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 packet of ramen noodles
to serve
  • sesame seeds
  • lime wedges
  • extra chopped scallions
  • thai chilis, sambal sliced or red pepper flakes
Instructions to prepare the vegan chicken
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water. Bring to a boil. Whisk in the boullion.
  3. Add in the soy curls, stir.
  4. Turn off the heat, place a lid over the top and allow to sit for about 10 minutes on the burner.
  5. Drain the soy curls and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. (I do this by draining in a sieve and placing another on top and squeeze really hard.)
  6. Transfer the soy curls to a medium-sized glass pyrex. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over the top, and stir to combine.
  7. Season with the garlic powder, then stir again to combine.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through the bake time.
  9. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Stir again.
  10. Allow to bake for 10-15 minutes more, stirring halfway through and keeping and eye on them. They are done when golden all over.
to prepare the sauce
  1. Preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the butter. Once it starts to sizzle, add in the ginger and saute for about 30 seconds.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add in the shallots, allowing to soften for about 3 minutes while stirring.
  3. Add in the garlic and scallions. Stir and allow to soften for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the brown sugar and soy sauce. Stir for about 30 seconds more. Remove from the heat.
to finish
  1. Boil the ramen noodles according to package directions, subtracting one minute from the cook time.
  2. Once the noodles are done, drain and return them to the pan.
  3. Transfer the sauce to the noodles and toss to coat.
  4. Add the vegan chicken and transfer to serving bowls.
  5. Serve with sesame seeds, lime wedges, chopped scallions and sambal, chili flakes or sliced thai chilis.

The vegan chicken can be made beforehand. When ready to serve, they can be crisped up in a preheated cast iron pan.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
If you made this recipe ...

Tag @olivesfordinner on Instagram and hashtag it #olivesfordinner ... thank you!

Recent books and series I've loved!

Saying as little as possible about them on purpose.

The House in the Cerulean Sea

The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune. This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. One of the many great messages it beautifully delivers: be kind to one another.

Midnight Mass. OMG. This started slow but escalated QUICKLY.

Squid Game. This was … fun? The plot and characters were so good.

Olives for Dinner
Tue, 29 Jun 2021 13:49:01 +0000

Vegan Crab Cake Sliders

Vegan Crab Cake Slider

I've made vegan crab cakes before using hearts of palm, farro and tempeh. This version is deep fried and sits perfectly on slider buns for a casual brunch or as an appetizer for get-togethers.

Vegan Crab Cake Slider

These vegan crab cakes are golden and crunchy on the outside and super rich and flakey on the inside. Old Bay helps to give it that seafood feel while the toasted buns add the perfect texture. The special sauce pulls it all together, clinging to the top and adding some brine from the capers and spice from the sriracha.

Deep-fried vegan crab cakes

Look at these beauties! These fry up to a perfect golden shade in minutes. You'll need to use the mixture right away for a crisp crab cake that holds its shape in the hot oil.

Print Vegan Crab Cake Vegan Crab Cake Sliders Print Recipe Pin Recipe Description

A vegan version of crab cakes made with hearts of palm and topped with special sauce. Deep-fried and served on a toasted slider bun.

Ingredients for the crab cakes
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1, 14 oz. can hearts of palm, halved, then smashed with the flat part of a knife, then rough chopped
  • 2 tsp Old Bay
  • 10 saltines, crushed up with your hands
for frying
  • canola, grapeseed or vegetable oil, for frying.
for the special sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha
to serve
  • toasted slider buns (use olive oil or vegan butter)
  • arugula, microgreens or butter lettuce (optional)
  • lemon wedges (optional)
Instructions to prep the crab cake mixture
  1. Combine the first 3 ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Place the chopped hearts of palm into a separate bowl. Season with the Old Bay.
  3. Gently fold in the crushed saltines.
  4. Add the sauce to the crab cake mixture and gently fold again until combined.
  5. Form the mixture into 4 crab cakes and set aside.
to fry the crab cakes
  1. Place several inches of oil into a medium-sized dutch oven or cast iron pot.
  2. Heat the oil to about 375. It should take about 7 minutes over medium high heat.
  3. You can test the oil's readiness by inserting a chopstick into the oil so it touches the bottom of the pot. If bubbles form around the chopstick immediately, you are ready to fry.
  4. Place one of the crab cakes onto a skimmer and lower gently into the oil. You can add another if you like, but keep the fry number to 1 or 2 for each batch.
  5. Using the skimmer, gently roll the crab cakes around and allow to fry for 2-3 minutes, or until deeply golden.
  6. Using the skimmer, transfer the crab cakes to a baking sheet with a cookie rack over the top to drain while you fry the rest.
to toast your slider buns
  1. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add in enough vegan butter or olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. Working in batches, add in the slider buns and allow to toast, gently pressing them down with your hand or a spatula to ensure even contact.
to serve
  1. Smear a tablespoon of the special sauce to the bun, and add the crab cake.
  2. Serve with greens and lemon wedges if you'd like.

The mixture needs to be used right away—do not chill.

If you made this recipe ...

Tag @olivesfordinner on Instagram and hashtag it #olivesfordinner ... thank you!

Hands holding a tray of crab cake sliders

You can add microgreens, arugula or butter lettuce for a pop of green and lemon wedges to serve if you'd like!

vegan crab cakes and beer

Olives for Dinner
Sat, 13 Feb 2021 13:16:54 +0000

Pasta with a Garlic, Butter and White Wine Sauce

It's very cold here in Boston right now.  We're surrounded by mounds of snow, with more coming next week. If that gives you a frowny face, may I suggest making this plate of carby goodness to help warm you up?

This pasta dish is easy to make, uses mostly pantry ingredients and hits the spot on these very cold February days in New England! I used Bucatini pasta here, but I think any kind of pasta will do. Oil-cured olives add the perfect amount of saltiness and umami to this dish, while fresh parsley gives it a little pop of color and freshness.

If you want to add more to this dish, here are a few suggestions!

chickpeas or roasted cherry tomatoes

shiitake bacon

vegan scallops

vegan shrimp

vegan lox 

caramelized shallots

easy focaccia

Print pasta twisted on a fork Pasta with a Garlic, Butter and White Wine Sauce

5 from 4 reviews

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Description

A simple pasta dish, tossed in a sauce made with garlic, vegan butter, shallots and white wine. Toss in vegan chick'n, halved fresh cherry tomatoes or mushrooms to taste! Finish with a squeeze of lemon or some fresh grated vegan parm.

Ingredients for the sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 68 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup reserved pasta water
to finish
  • 2 servings pasta (I used 200 g Bucatini pasta)
  • a few TB olive oil and a generous amount of salt, to season the pasta water
  • 12 oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped
  • a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • crusty bread, warmed in the oven or toaster, with extra vegan butter to slater it with
Instructions to prepare the sauce
  1. In a wide and shallow dutch oven or skillet, melt the vegan butter over medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat the medium low.
  2. Add the shallots and stir to combine with the vegan butter. Allow to soften until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and olive oil, stir to combine, and allow to soften for about 5 minutes.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high, and allow to bubble for 1-2 minutes, making sure your garlic does not turn brown or burn.
  5. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, then let the wine cook down for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic powder to the pan, and reduce the heat to low.
to finish
  1. Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions, making sure to season your water with olive oil and salt. Turn the heat off.
  2. Using tongs, transfer the pasta straight to the pan with the sauce, increase the heat to medium-low, and toss to coat.
  3. Add in about 1/3 cup of the pasta water, just enough to loosen everything up and make it glossy.
  4. Add in the parsley and olives and stir to combine.
  5. Remove from the heat, and distribute the pasta into two bowls.
  6. Serve immediately with the warmed bread.
If you made this recipe ...

Tag @olivesfordinner on Instagram and hashtag it #olivesfordinner ... thank you!

pasta twisted onto a fork

Olives for Dinner
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 14:51:30 +0000

Viral Tortilla Wrap Hack!

Viral Wrap Hack

Instagram/TikTok is flooded with this genius wrap hack. I'm not sure who started it.

It's so simple: if your tortilla was a clock, start at the center and slice down to 6 o'clock. Put stuff in the four quadrants. Flip the bottom left-hand flap up, then fold two more times clockwise. Whatever you put into your wrap, this method holds everything inside. Eat as is, or give it a quick sear in an oiled cast iron pan, air fryer or waffle iron/panini press. If you slice it with a sharp knife, everything stays put.

Pizza Wrap Hack

This version is packed with vegan sausage and cheese, red onion, mushrooms and black olives, then seared in a hot cast iron skillet. Ungh so easy, so good.

Viral Wrap Hack

More wrap hack ideas! Breakfast Wraps
  • JUST Egg/VeganEgg, vegan cheddar, onions, mushrooms
  • Carrot lox wrap: carrot lox, vegan cream cheese, red onion, dill and capers
  • Vegan sausage patty, vegan egg, sliced vegan cheddar
  • Peanut Butter, bananas, chocolate
  • Taco wrap: seasoned vegan crumbles or tvp, shredded vegan cheese, tomato
  • Buffalo wrap: chickpeas, cauliflower, Gardein or soy curls. Add celery, avocado, vegan mozz and serve with vegan ranch or garlic dressing
  • Fancy wrap: Apple, vegan cheese and onion (see full toppings list here)
  • Jackfruit wrap: spicy jackfruit, cabbage and jalapeno
  • Quick wrap: Tofurkey or Field Roast slices, vegan cheese slices, vegan mayo
  • Vegan grilled cheese: vegan cheddar, shiitake bacon, tomato
  • Falafel wrap: falafel, red onion, olives, hummus and tahini sauce
  • Southwest wrap: black beans, vegan shreds, enchilada sauce, onion, vegan sour cream
  • Mac and cheese wrap: vegan mac and cheese, buffalo or bbq sauce
  • Korean wrap: use any of these components or these
  • Tempeh reuben wrap
Print Viral Wrap Hack Viral Tortilla Wrap Hack! Print Recipe Pin Recipe Description

Viral tortilla wrap hack! This version is stuffed with vegan sausage and cheese, sautéed red onion, pizza sauce, mushrooms and oil-cured olives.

  • 4 vegan sausages, finely diced (Beyond Meat or Field Roast Italian both work)
  • 10 oz. brown mushrooms, sliced or minced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped oil-cured olives (kalamata or black works too)
  • 4 handfuls of shredded white vegan cheese (chopped)
  • 4 tortillas
  • oil, for sautéing
  1. Preheat a large cast iron pan over medium heat. Add some oil, then the vegan sausages and allow to cook through. Scrape the vegan sausages into a bowl.
  2. Add the mushrooms to the pan with a little more oil if needed. Allow to soften. Scrape into another bowl.
  3. Add the onions to the pan, with a little more oil if needed. Allow to soften. Scrape into another bowl.
Cut a slit from the center of the tortilla to 6 o'clock. Place the sauce, onions and olives between the 6 and 9 o'clock quadrant. Place the other ingredients as desired onto the tortilla. Fold it up and sear it in an oiled+hot pan. A lid helps to melt the vegan cheese.

Viral Wrap Hack how-to

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
If you made this recipe ...

Tag @olivesfordinner on Instagram and hashtag it #olivesfordinner ... thank you!

Viral Wrap Hack

Olives for Dinner
Tue, 19 Jan 2021 23:21:18 +0000

Vegan Mapo Tofu (Braised Tofu in a Spicy+Savory Sauce)

vegan mapo tofu

This is inspired and adapted from Omnivore's Cookbook Mapo Tofu recipe. It's so easy, so delicious and loaded with spice and umami funk.

In the Beforetimes, I would usually go to H-Mart in Cambridge to grab things like Doubanjiang and Sichuan peppercorns, which are essential to this dish. While there, I would either visit a friend or explore some part of downtown and find some vegan place to eat at. I really miss doing that. To get these two things for this recipe, I just ordered them from amazon, from my home, in my daytime sweatpants. : (

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Traditional Mapo Tofu uses ground beef or pork in the sauce, but I used minced fresh shiitakes here. You could probably also use crumbled tempeh (steam first).

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Print vegan mapo tofu Vegan Mapo Tofu (Braised Tofu in Spicy + Savory Sauce)

5 from 1 reviews

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Ingredients for the marinade
  • 2 tsp dry sherry
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp finely minced ginger
  • 2 tsp grated garlic (grated on a microplane grater)
  • 2 scallions, chopped (separate white and green parts, use white parts here and reserve green parts for serving)
  • 4 tsp finely minced shallots
for the rest
  • 2 TB vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 cup minced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 TB Doubanjiang
  • 1/4 cup hot vegetable broth
  • 15 oz. block tofu, diced into 1X1-inch cubes (I used Kettle-style firm)
  • 2 tsp chili oil
  • 1 cup hot vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch, whisked with 1 TB water in a small bowl
to serve
  • the reserved green parts of the chopped scallions
  • more chili oil, if desired
  • rice (optional)
Instructions to make the marinade
  1. Combine the sherry, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, scallions and shallots in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, warm the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the peppercorns. When they turn brown and crispy, strain them through a fine mesh sieve, catching the oil in a small bowl. Scrape the oil back into the skillet and reserve the peppercorns.
  3. Reduce the skillet heat to medium. Add the shiitakes and allow to cook down for several minutes. Add the Doubanjiang and stir to combine.
  4. Add the 1/4 hot cup broth to deglaze and loosen the mixture.
  5. Add in the bowl of marinade. Stir to combine.
  6. Gently place the tofu on top of the shiitakes in the skillet.
  7. Whisk the chili oil, and vegetable broth together in a small measuring cup. Pour over the top and allow to come to a simmer. Don't stir or touch the tofu or it will break up. As it braises, it will firm up and then you can stir it.
  8. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. The sauce will reduce and the tofu will absorb the marinade and develop a nice texture.
  9. Add in the sugar and gently stir with a rubber spatula.
  10. Add the cornstarch slurry to the skillet. Gently stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat.
  11. Ground the reserved peppercorns in a coffee grinder.
  12. Divide the tofu into two bowls. Top with the reserved green onions, more chili oil and the ground peppercorns, to taste.
  13. Serve as is or with rice.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
If you made this recipe ...

Tag @olivesfordinner on Instagram and hashtag it #olivesfordinner ... thank you!

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Braised tofu is amazing: pillowy soft and a perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture. I'll be making and shoving this into my face often!

Vegan Mapo Tofu

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