Monday, August 25, 2014

The HappyCow Road Trip Stops in Portland

Everybody knows about HappyCow, right? But did you know they've just come out with a cookbook filled with fabulous recipes from restaurants featured and reviewed on the website? It's true! And you're invited along on the HappyCow Road Trip, where each stop takes you to a different blogger's kitchen to sample something wonderful from the book. Check out the Road Trip on their Facebook page.

Today we're at my place in Portland, Oregon, where I'm making Crostini Italiano from Veggie Grill in Hollywood, CA. We're so lucky to have our very own Veggie Grill here in Portland, just a short walk from our apartment. I'm very familiar with their food and can personally recommend everything I've tried on the menu - which is just about everything.

"My" Veggie Grill doesn't offer the Crostini Italiano, so I was pretty tickled to have the opportunity to sample the recipe at home. It was fast and easy to make - even in my little studio kitchen. Rick and I liked it so much we made it twice. I'll share my variation below!

From Veggie Grill in Hollywood, CA

Crostini Italiano
Serves 4–6

1 package Field Roast Italian Sausage*
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon crushed garlic
3 tablespoons chopped chives
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground pepper
1 French bread baguette, sliced
1 4-ounce jar of olive tapenade
1 8-ounce container Tofutti cream cheese, at room temperature

* Vegan, available at Whole Foods.

Remove casing from Field Roast Sausage. In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sausage and brown evenly on all sides, for approximately 5 minutes. Remove the sausage from skillet, pat it dry with a paper towel, and let it cool for 5 minutes. Chop it coarsely.

In separate bowl, combine crushed garlic and chives with the salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Slice the baguette in ½ "-thick rounds. Brown in toaster oven at 375 degrees (or under the broiler) for approximately 2 minutes.

To assemble: Take a toasted baguette round, top with 1 teaspoon of olive tapenade, 1 teaspoon of coarsely chopped sausage, and 1 dollop of vegan cream cheese. Repeat with the remaining slices of 
bread. Serve and enjoy.

Follow the same instructions as above for the Field Roast Sausage. Skip the garlic and chives if you want to, and mix in a little fresh or dried oregano or basil.
Lightly oil both sides of the bread slices, and gently toast one side in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
Flip the bread slices and spread each with Tofutti Cream Cheese.
Instead of the tapenade, add a layer of cranberry sauce.
Top with the sausage and garnish with another dollop of cream cheese and a sprinkle of herbs.
We loved the combination of sweet-and-sausagy!

This cookbook is a keeper. Get yours by following the link below, and I'll get paid a little bit. Or get it anywhere you like. Just get it! Thanks HappyCow for this terrific addition to any vegan kitchen. And here's an idea for your next cookbook - how about recipes from all your favorite bloggers? Oh, I know just what to make... :o)