Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pizza Potatoes!

Have you ever had one of those nights were you had a large amount of a single ingredient left, and you knew you needed to use them up, but couldn't go to the store to buy anything to supplement it, so you just wing it and make do? Then, out of the laboratory that is your kitchen, you make something awesome and wonder why you didn't think it up before? Well, a few nights back was one of those nights.

My hippie friends had stopped through Missouri on their way to Pennsylvania (...though I'm kind of freaking out now because they're Rennies staying at a campground in the midst of Hurricane Irene and I'm praying they're okay!) a couple weeks ago. I had already been to the grocery store a few days prior and I didn't have the cash to make a second trip to buy additional groceries for anything too crazy. I also had a prolific amount of potatoes, thanks to the abundance of the garden. As I was pondering about what I could make, it donned on me: I got pizza sauce, some pizza-esque canned pantry goods, and some produce. Eventually, I got to the idea that I could make a chunky pizza sauce and use it to dress some regular ol' baked potatoes.

And did it work??


Well, let's just say I've already made my "pizza potatoes" a few times! My boyfriend is crazy about them ("why hasn't anyone thought of this before??"), my friends scarfed them down, and I really like them too because I can make up a batch using whatever ingredients I might have on hand! As long as I have the basics (potatoes, pizza sauce, and at least an onion) I'm good to go! The beauty of the recipe is that you're not really limitied by ingredients and you can customize them based on what you like. Any veggies, or even vegan "meats" like Gimmie Lean or TVP or soy crumbles, could be tossed on your potato.

The recipe below is for my "standard" potato (these are the things that go in it every time). It will make about 8 fully-topped potatoes if you use average-medium-sized potatoes. If you need to stretch the sauce to fill up more potatoes you can add an additional (8 oz) can of tomato sauce. I've done this as well and it's worked like a charm!

Pizza Potatoes:
8 medium baking potatoes (I used homegrown Yukon Golds, which are a favorite)

1 (16-oz-ish) jar pizza sauce
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 gloves of garlic, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
4-6 white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp. Tone's spicy pizza seasoning (optional)

1 small jar artichoke hearts (or 1/2 a can), drained and chopped
1 small can black olives

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Wash and scrub potatoes. Cut the center with a knife or poke holes all over it and bake in the oven for about 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, as the potatoes are almost finished baking, saute the zucchini, onion, garlic, and mushrooms in a skillet sprayed with nonstick on medium-high until they are softened and golden, about 5-6 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened some.

3. Add the pizza sauce and 1/3 cup water and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are completely done.

4. Once the potatoes have finished baking, open them up and place them on a baking sheet lined with some parchment paper (or foil or nonstick). Evenly distribute the sauce between each potato. Top with chopped artichokes and olives. Place the potatoes back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes or until everything is heated through.

Then enjoy! You could even serve this up like it's pizza night, with a nice green salad and a shaking of vegan Parmesan, if you so desire!

I think by making my pizza potatoes I have pretty much made my way through the bushel of potatoes in my kitchen! I still have some left, but I'm probably going to toss those in the lentil soup I'm going to make on Monday. Unfortunately, both school and my full-time work schedule starts on Monday. I hope I'll be able to keep posting somewhat regularly, since I do enjoy blogging. I aim to post every Thurdsay, since that's my day off an when I'll have my most free time (cooking and blogging!). I also got a digital camera (in case you noticed a slight difference in the photography starting with my Angel Biscuit post). I'm still learning, but hopefully my photos will provide a much-needed boost to my blog!

But hey, it's my last semester, so come January I'll have quite a bit more free time!


Anonymous said...

This is actually a meal in itself! No need for anything else. This is great, and I definitely be WILL making some.

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

Lol, yeah. That's what I do. Just chow down on them all by themselves. :)Hope you like them!

Aimee said...

This is too funny, this is what I had for leftovers today, I started to make it and then I googled to see if someone else had made this before and I came across your blog. It's a great idea, I didn't have all your ingredients my pizza had goat cheese sauce and bell pepper but this taste really good, so I am trying your recipe next :)

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

I hope you like it!

Potatoes are always a winner with me, lol. :)