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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

When you're planning to have guests for lunch or dinner, consider an appetizer that not only tastes scrumptious, but offers a mosaic of colors and flavors to please the eye as well. The three components of this dish can be prepared ahead and quickly assembled as soon as guests arrive.



4 C. (960 ml) water
1 3/4 t. salt
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 C. (240 ml) whole-grain cornmeal
  1. Combine water, salt, and oil in a 4-quart (4 liter) saucepan and bring to a full boil.
  2. Pour cornmeal into boiling water, stirring constantly with a wire whisk.
  3. Turn heat down to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 or 6 minutes. Mixture will thicken to the consistency of cooked oatmeal.
  4. Pour cooked polenta onto a lightly oiled pizza pan or a rectangular baking pan, using the back of a large spoon to spread outward. The crust should be about 3/8" (about 1 cm) thick. Set aside. At this point the crust can be wrapped in plastic film and refrigerated if serving the next day.

9 large Roma tomatoes (Italian plum tomatoes)
8 fresh basil leaves or 1/2 t. dried basil
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, whole
3/4 t. salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Whirl the sauce ingredients together in a food processor until pureed.
  2. Spread generously over crust, covering the surface completely.
  3. Refrigerate remaining sauce for future use.


1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 small zucchini squash, diced
6 or 7 button mushrooms, diced
1/4 to 1/2 small red onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Sprinkle vegetables over the tomato sauce. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Broil pizza 3" (7.5 cm) from the broiler for 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Cut pizza into wedges or squares and serve on small plates. Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer or 5 to 6 people as a lunch entree.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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