Ode to Spring Sunshine Pasta

This time of year, my favorite farmer’s market find is spring onions.  These young onions are shaped similar to scallions and have a sweet, mild flavor that adds just a tad of sharpness.  Every spring I make some variation of a spring onion pasta dish and it is always an instant favorite. My husband and I usually eat this pasta dish throughout the spring until the weather gets hot, and these yummy onions are no longer available.  This year, I used the onions in my back yard, leeks, and some sweet frozen peas to make a Sunshine Burger variation of our favorite pasta.  The Garden Herb Sunshine Burger makes this dish a true ode to spring by adding a fresh herb flavor that reminds me of the tender herbs sprouting up in planter boxes everywhere.  By toasting the Sunshine Burger crumbles, the burger takes on a more bread crumb like consistency and adds a nice texture to the dish.  In addition to being delicious, this meal comes together quickly (even faster if you do the chopping the night before), which will give you some time to be outside during beautiful spring days!

Spring Sunshine Pasta 04172014 2

This recipe serves 4.

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
3 leeks, trimmed, rinsed, and chopped into half-moons
3 spring onions (about 1 bunch), trimmed, rinsed, and chopped into half-moons
½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 cup frozen peas
¼ tsp garlic powder, plus more to taste
¼ tsp red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
8 oz Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti, cooked and rinsed per package instructions
1 package Garden Herb Sunshine Burger, defrosted per package instructions
Chopped cashews for garnish

Over medium heat, cook the garlic in the olive oil until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the leeks, onion, and ½ tsp of salt to the pan and sauté until the onions and leeks become soft (about 5 minutes). When the onions and leeks are the desired texture, add the frozen peas to the pan with all of the remaining seasonings.  Continue cooking the mixture until the peas are completely cooked through and warm.  Turn the heat to low and add the cooked pasta to the pan.  Toss the pasta with the onion, leek, and pea mixture until well combined. Add additional salt and seasoning to taste, as desired.  Remove from the heat and set the pasta aside.

In a separate pan, dry sauté the crumbled Sunshine Burger until the crumbles become slightly toasted and crispy.

Top each portioned plate of pasta with the toasted crumbles and cashews, and enjoy!

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Spicy Sunshine Butternut Squash Soup

The weather is getting progressively better, but there is still a hint of chill in the air.  One of my favorite recipes over the long cold winter was a creamy, spicy butternut squash soup. The soup itself is simple, delicious, and comforting; but when eaten on its own, is not very filling.  When combined with the Chipotle Loco Sunshine Burger and broccoli sprouts, it is a healthy, warm (spicy!), and filling meal.  During the cold winter, I ate this meal or some version of it at least once a week. Enjoy this meal during these last chilly early days of spring.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sunshine 03182014

This Recipe serves 4

1  large butternut squash or 2 small/medium squashes
1-2 cups water
2 Tbs olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
½ tsp salt, and 1 pinch
2 Tbs curry powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
Loco Chipotle Sunshine Burger ( 1/4-1/2 patty per bowl of soup), cooked per package instructions
1 cup of broccoli sprouts, divided 4 ways

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds.  Put the squash(es) face down in an oven safe baking dish.  You may need to use two dishes depending on the size of the squashes and the dish. Put 1 cup of water in each baking dish, and bake until a fork slides easily through the squash.  Once finished, remove from oven and let cool until easy to handle.

While the squash is cooling, cook the diced onion with a pinch of salt in the olive oil over medium heat.  When the onions begin to become translucent, add the apples.  Continue cooking until the apples and onions are soft.

When easy to handle, scoop the butternut squash flesh from the peel.  Add the squash flesh into the pot with the onions and apples.  Add the curry, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Combine the apple, onion, and squash with the spices.  Add 4 cups of broth and stir well, smashing any remaining larger squash pieces.  Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-20 minutes, stirring intermittently.  With an immersion blender, blend the soup until a smooth consistency forms. Set aside.   Crumble up the Sunshine Burger in a frying pan, and toast until the crumbles are slightly crispy.  Dish up each bowl of soup, add the toasted Sunshine Burger crumbles on top of each bowl, and finish with broccoli sprouts.

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Recap of Veg Fest 2014 in Seattle

A week or so ago, I had the awesome privilege of attending VegFest with the Sunshine Burger team in Seattle, Washington.  The weekend was an amazing success: not only did Sunshine Burger introduce delicious vegan burgers to thousands (the team gave away about 5000 samples!!!) in the Pacific Northwest, I was also able to sample most of the fare from other vendors and get familiar with some new (to me) and exciting vegetarian and vegan products.  For those of you that missed the event, here are some of my favorite finds from the day:

Full Tilt Ice Cream:  Full Tilt is a Seattle-based company that makes delicious vegan ice cream flavors.  It is hands down the best vegan ice cream that I have ever tasted.  At Veg Fest, the friendly folks from Full Tilt were sampling the Vegan Almond Bliss and the Vegan Orange Chocolate Chip flavors. After looking at their website, I saw that they also make Vegan Fudge Brownie, Vegan Mayan Chocolate, and Vegan Mango Chili flavors.  Next time I take a trip up to Seattle I am going to stop into one of their shops, or buy a pint at any one of the stores that sell their yummy ice cream!

Veg Fest Full Tilt 2 04092014

Simple Squares: I am always looking for healthy snacks to eat at my desk, or keep in my purse when I am on the go.  Simple squares, like their name implies, have simple ingredients including savory herbs!  I tried the rosemary flavor, and I really liked the unique taste!

Veg Fest simple squares 04092014

Millies Savory Teas: I was so intrigued by the concept of savory tea, so I took home a sample of the Spicy Tortilla Savory Tea and tried it when I felt snacky in between meals. The tea itself was a delicious, flavorful broth that made me feel full and warm.  I am buying more of this online so I can keep a stash at home when I get the mid-meal munchies!

Veg Fest Millies Savory Tea 1 04092014

My Chi Delights: I took home a sample pack of the Green Tea Almond & Sesame Treats and snacked on them during the week. The actual snacks are sesame and almond based, and cut into small squares for easy snacking.  I was really surprised how quickly I became addicted to these little squares – they were crunchy, had great sesame flavor, and were just a touch sweet.

Veg Fest My Chi Delights 04092014

Punk Rawk Labs Nut Milk Cheeses: By far one of the most surprising and interesting finds from the festival.  These nut milk cheeses are fermented and have a taste and consistency similar to soft gourmet cheeses found at the cheese counter.  Next time I have guests over I am going to pick up a couple of varieties for a nut milk cheese plate!

Other interesting finds at VegFest include:Gorge Delight’s Just Fruit Bars, Stone Wall’s Jerquee, Lisanatti “cheeses“, Tessemaes sauces,  Soyatoo Soy Whip,  Harbor Creek Farms‘ Northwest Mushroom Strudel , Sea Snax, and Earth Balance snacks


I received free samples from the vendors reviewed and named above at the VegFest event, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

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Creamy Sunshine Pasta Bake With Asparagus

Spring is finally here!  As a home cook, I am always absolutely giddy when spring arrives.  Let’s face it, for most of the country, January and February are not the easiest months for finding fresh seasonal produce. But with March came the first influx of fresh, exciting produce at my local market.  For me, there is no other vegetable that is more quintessentially spring than asparagus.  For this recipe, I wanted to use the asparagus in a dish that was warm and hearty because it is still cool (and sometimes darn right cold) outside during the evening.  I took inspiration from the sauce that I used with the Wild Mushroom Lasagna, and created a creamy, warm pasta bake that is loaded with vegetables and topped with toasted Shiitake Mushroom Sunshine Burgers.

Creamy Sunshine Pasta Bake 03182014

This recipe serves 4.


8 oz whole wheat rotini, cooked per package instructions, and strained
1 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 leek, washed and chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, stems trimmed, diced
Juice from 1 lemon
Creamy cashew sauce
1 package of Shiitake Mushroom Sunshine Burger, cooked or defrosted per package instructions

*For the sauce:
1 yukon gold potato, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cups broth
½ tsp salt, plus additional to taste
2 cups cashews
1 Tbs of Dijon mustard
garlic powder
Fresh basil (if available)

* Sauce inspired by Robin Robertson’s Mac and Chard from 1000 Vegan Recipes

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat 2 Tbs of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add onions and salt and stir until the onions are translucent.  Add the diced potatoes and give a good stir.  Add 1 cup of vegetable broth and let simmer until the liquid is half reduced, and then add a second cup of broth. Cover and simmer with periodic stir breaks until the potatoes are tender.  When the potatoes are tender, remove pan from heat and set aside.  In a blender, blend cashews into a fine powder.  Add the potato and broth mixture, and Dijon mustard to the blender cup. Pulse and blend the mixture until a smooth sauce forms. Remove the blender cup from the motor and scrape the sides or add additional broth, if needed, to get the sauce blended.  Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste and set aside.

In a cast iron Dutch oven heat olive oil and garlic on medium heat until the garlic is fragrant. Continue to cook the leek and asparagus mixture until the asparagus is bright green, but still has a little bit of crunch. Add the lemon juice and stir for a few moments before removing the Dutch oven from the heat.  Add the pasta and creamy cashew sauce to the pan and stir until everything is evenly combined.  Crumble the Sunshine Burger on top of the mixture and place the entire Dutch oven into to the pre-heated oven with the lid off.  Cook in the oven for 13-15 minutes, just until the top begins to turn golden brown, and the Sunshine Burger is slightly toasted.  Let cool for 15 minutes, then serve, garnish with fresh basil, and enjoy!


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Contest and Sunshine Falafel Wrap with Creamy Cashew Tahini Sauce

Every now and then I like a good falafel wrap for lunch.  When I get this craving, I will usually go out to one my favorite food carts and grab one for a fast, healthy meal.  Last weekend I was tooling around in my kitchen, and realized that I could easily make an authentic, vegan, falafel wrap with Falafel Sunshine Burgers!  This recipe combines crisp and fresh cucumber tomato salad, hearty Falafel Sunshine Burgers, and creamy cashew lemon-Tahini sauce, for a well-balanced crowd-pleasing meal.  One thing I like about this recipe is that you can make the cashew-tahini sauce the night before.  The rest of the meal can come together very quickly and with relatively little mess, for a healthy and fast-weeknight meal.

With this blog post brings another opportunity for one lucky reader to win a coupon for a free box of Sunshine Burgers.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post about what you like about this recipe.  Best comment wins!  The winner will be selected on Wednesday at 10pm ET.  Contest is open to residents of the United States.  Good Luck!

03022014 Sunshine Falafel Wrap

This recipe serves 3:


3 whole wheat tortillas, divided
1 package Falafel Sunshine Burgers, cooked per package instructions
6 Tbs King Harvest Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, divided
1/3 cucumber tomato salad mixture
Drizzle of cashew lemon-tahini sauce

Cucumber tomato salad:
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1Tbs olive oil
1Tbs soy sauce
½ tsp harissa paste
Juice from ½ a lemon
1 avocado, chopped
1 big pinch of salt
1 clove of garlic, diced
½ bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

Cashew lemon-tahini sauce:
1 cup cashews, soaked
½ tsp salt
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbs tahini paste
½ cup water
2 cloves of garlic, minced

To start the cashew lemon-tahini sauce, put all of the ingredients in a blender cup and pulse until smooth.  Once finished, the consistency will be smooth with just a slight amount of cashew texture.  If you are having trouble blending to the proper consistency, turn the blender off, scrape the sides of the blender cup, and add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse again. For the salad, place all of the salad ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and toss until well combined.  Adjust seasoning as necessary.  To assemble the wrap: spread 2 tablespoons of hummus on a whole wheat tortilla.  Crumble 1 Sunshine Burger on top of the hummus.  With a slotted spoon, scoop about 1/3 of the salad mixture on top of the tortilla, then top with a drizzle of the cashew lemon-tahini sauce. Wrap the tortilla over the ingredients and enjoy!


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Sunshine Creamy Avocado Spaghetti Squash

Lately I have been obsessed with avocados.  Perhaps I am homesick for California, or maybe I just love their creamy taste, but we have been going through almost 5 avocados a week.  This week, I created an awesome creamy sauce from these lovely fruits and paired it with spaghetti squash, Sunshine Burger, ripe tomatoes, and cilantro.  The results were an amazingly filling, nutrient packed dinner that is a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike!

Creamy Avocado Spaghetti Squash 03022014

This recipe serves 4


1 large or 2 small spaghetti squashes
1-2 cups water
Creamy avocado sauce
1 package Chipotle Loco or Barbecue Sunshine Burgers, cooked per package instructions and crumbled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed

Creamy Avocado Sauce:
3 ripe avocados, pureed
3 Tbs Pacific unsweetened organic almond milk
½-1 tsp garlic powder (1 tsp makes a very garlicky sauce)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp cumin

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice spaghetti squash(s) in half, remove and discard seeds.  Put 1 cup of water in a rimmed baking dish.  If you are using 2 squashes, you may have to use 2 pans (and therefore 1 cup of water in each pan).  Place the spaghetti squash face down in the pan and bake until a fork slides easily through the top of the squash (approximately 30-45 mins). Remove from the oven and let cool until easy to handle. When cool, scrape the  spaghetti squash “noodles” from the squash with a fork into a large bowl.

When the squash is cooking, prep the creamy avocado sauce by pureeing ripe avocados in a blender, or with an immersion blender. Once the avocado reaches a smooth consistency, transfer into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add in the almond milk, one tablespoon at a time, and stir until completely combined. Add all seasoning and stir again, until well combined.

Pour the avocado sauce on top of the spaghetti squash.  Top with black beans, Sunshine Burger crumbles, tomato, cilantro, and serve.  If you would like an extra spicy kick, top each serving with your favorite spicy salsa.

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Sunshine Soba Noodle Stir Fry and Contest!

This recipe is extra special! Not only is it loaded with vegetables and delicious flavor, but it is also the first recipe that we are posting with a contest on the Sunny Seed Up Blog! First the Recipe:  This meal is packed with vegetables and umami flavor.  The soy sauce, soba noodles, garlic, and ginger really bring out the shiitake mushroom flavor of the Sunshine Burger in this meal. With six different types veggies, this meal is also packed with nutrition.  Feel free to add or substitute your own favorite vegetables or whatever is seasonal or your CSA box when spring and summer come around.  Now for the contest:  leave a comment on this blog post telling us your favorite thing about this recipe AND post a picture on Instagram of the recipe once you have made it at home. Make sure to use #SunshineBurger in the Instagram post.   One lucky winner will win coupon for a free package of Sunshine Burgers and will be selected next Saturday, 3/8 at noon PST. Contest is limited to residents of the United States.

Sunshine Soba Noodle Stir Fry 2262014

This recipe serves 5

For the stir fry:
2 Tbs sesame oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs ginger, minced
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
1 can of baby corn (in water), drained
1 can sliced water chestnuts (in water), drained
1 oz bag of sprouts
1 package Hakubaku organic buckwheat soba noodles, cooked per package instructions ( I salted my cooking water)
1 package Shiitake Mushroom Sunshine Burgers, cooked or defrosted per package instructions
garlic powder

For the Sauce:
6 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce
1 ½ Tbs Hanna’s Buckwheat Honey

For Slurry:
1 scant Tbs Bob’s Redmill cornstarch
4 Tbs water

For the Garnish:
Dry roasted peanuts

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside.

Add one half of the garlic and all of the ginger into a wok with the sesame oil.  Heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the carrot, celery, broccoli a pinch of salt and ½ of the sauce. Cook, stirring frequently until the broccoli is bright green and slightly tender.  Add the corn, water chestnuts, and cook stirring frequently for 1 minute.  Add the cooked noodles, sprouts, remaining sauce, and remaining garlic.  Continue stirring until all of the sauce, noodles, and vegetables are well combined.  I used a wooden spoon and tongs to really toss and turn the noodles. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small mixing bowl to form a slurry. Add the slurry to the noodle mixture.  Continue to stir and scrape until the slurry is completely combined with the noodles.  Turn off the heat and add the Sunshine Burger crumbles, stir again until Sunshine Burger is well combined.  Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste, then serve.  Garnish with cilantro, peanuts and Siracha.


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Loco Chipotle Saute and Spicy Broccoli Raabe

I like to eat something green with every meal. In our house we go through a ton of kale, broccoli, and spinach – and we love it all. That being said, every now and then I like to include a little green power into my meal that is different than what we typically eat. Broccoli raab is off-putting to some people because of its bitter flavor.  However, that bitterness is a great counter-balance to spicy flavors which makes it a perfect match for the Loco Chipotle Sunshine Burger.  In this meal the broccoli raab and Sunshine Burger are combined with floral lemon zest, crunchy toasted almonds, and garlic to create a well-balanced, delicious, and very healthy meal.

Broccoli Raabe and Loco Chipolte Saute 02092014

This recipe serves 2

½ cup sliced almonds
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
1 bunch of broccoli raabe, bottom ends of stems removed, washed, and chopped
1 tsp salt
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 package Loco Chipotle Sunshine Burgers, cooked per package instructions and crumbled.
lemon wedges for garnish

Place almonds in a frying pan over high heat and toast until almonds are fragrant and slightly brown.  Take care not to burn the almonds, as this step should only take a minute or so. Remove almonds from the heat, stir once, and set aside. Heat the olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest in a frying pan over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the broccoli raab to the pan and add the salt and crushed red pepper flakes.  Raise the heat to high and stir continuously until the raab is tender, but still bright green in color. Most (but not all) of the water released by the raab during the cooking process should be evaporated from the pan before moving to the next step.  Once the raabe is ready, turn the heat off and add in the Sunshine Burger crumbles. Continue stirring until the raabe and burger crumbles are well incorporated.  Add about ½ of the toasted almonds to the pan and give the mixture a good stir, then transfer to a serving platter or plates and top with the remaining toasted almonds.


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The Best Sunshine Burger Sandwich

For me, there is nothing better than the perfect sandwich. There is a taste and textural equation to the perfect sandwich; which means finding the balance between soft and crunchy toppings, dry and wet ingredients, and acid and creamy flavors.  It is just so satisfying to eat your food with your hands, and take bite after bite of a well-balanced medley of texture and taste.  This sandwich combines the *Garden Herb Sunshine Burger with all the good things in your life: avocado, hummus, caramelized onions, and whole-seed Dijon mustard.  This perfect sandwich is rounded out into a full meal with some crispy baked sweet potato fries and a fermented pickled cucumber. This is a great meal for a casual lunch, or for a fast week night meal.

2 Sunshine Burger Sandwich 02092014

This recipe serves: 3

For the sandwich:

6 slices of Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread, toasted
½ avocado, divided 3 ways
1 cup broccoli sprouts, divided 3 ways
3 Tbs King Harvest Sun-dried Tomato Hummus , divided
3 tsp whole-grain Dijon mustard, divided
1 package Garden Herb Sunshine Burgers, cooked per package instructions
Caramelized onions
Optional: 3 Moon Brine Pickle or Bubbies Pickle for garnish
Ketchup for garnish

For the caramelized onions:

½ yellow onion, sliced into half-moon slices
1 tsp grapeseed oil
1 pinch of salt
water, as needed

For the sweet potato fries:
2 organic small sweet potatoes or 1 large sweet potato, skins retained, cut into steak fry shaped slices
1 tsp corn starch
2 Tbs grapeseed oil
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 425.
Rinse the sweet potato fries in a colander under cold water. Strain the sweet potato slices and pour on top of a clean dish towel.  Dry the sweet potatoes as best as possible with the towel and then transfer to a large mixing bowl. In the mixing bowl add the corn starch to the sweet potatoes and mix with your hands until the corn starch is well combined.  Add the oil, salt, and garlic and combine again until the oil and seasonings are completely covering each fry, and the corn starch is no longer showing. Place fries on a large baking sheet (you may need to use 2), make sure there is space between each fry so that they are not overlapping or touching when they bake. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the fries and place back into the oven. Continue baking until fries are deep golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Heat the grapeseed oil and the onion slices over medium-high heat in a frying pan and add a pinch of salt. Let cook, stirring frequently until brown bits begin to form on the pan. Add water, a tablespoon at a time and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Continue this pattern of stirring, adding water, and scraping until the onions are soft and a deep gold color.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Spread half of the bread slices with 1 tsp of mustard, and the other half with 1 Tbs hummus. Place the avocado on the mustard side of the bread slices.  Place the Sunshine Burgers on the hummus side of the bread slices. Place the caramelized onions equally on each Sunshine Burger, and then top with equal amounts of sprouts. Place the avocado topped slices of bread on the Sunshine Burger topped slices. Serve each sandwich on a plate with sweet potato fries and a pickle.

*If you are looking to make a meal for one or two people, try using the Quarter Pound Original Sunshine Burger and reducing the other ingredient ratios to the appropriate amount.

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Sunshine Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables.  In addition to being an extremely versatile ingredient, it is also extremely good for you.  I always like to find ways to sneak this vegetable into my meals.  Lately I have been seeing a lot of recipes around the web for cauliflower pizza crust, so I decided to create my own vegan version on the fly one night. What I came up with is not your typical eat with your hands pizza.  It’s has a more fragile consistency, thus making it more of a fork and knife type of pizza. But, if you are looking for a healthy, nutrition-packed vehicle for all of your pizza toppings, this is a great option.  For this recipe, I used Shiitake Sunshine Burger crumbled on top of the pizza with all my favorite pizza toppings: Pomi marinara sauce, artichokes, spinach, and olives.  However, feel free to get creative with your own toppings, and your variety of Sunshine Burger – the sky is the limit!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza 02022014

This recipe serves two:

For the Pizza Crust:
1 head cauliflower
2 cups of water
½ tsp salt, plus 1 pinch for the cooking water
1 can *pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder

For the Pizza Toppings:

6-7 Tbs Pomi Marinara sauce
¾ cup chopped black olives
1 cup spinach, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 Shiitake Mushroom Sunshine Burger Patty, cooked or defrosted per package instructions.

Pre-heat the oven to 420**

Grate 1 head of cauliflower with a box grater. Place the finely grated cauliflower pieces into a pot and add approximately 2 cups of water, (enough so that the cauliflower is about halfway covered in the pan) and a big pinch of salt.  Heat the cauliflower with the lid on high heat until the water in the pan comes to a rolling boil, let boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Strain the cauliflower in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.   Carefully transfer the cooked cauliflower pieces into a nut milk bag and squeeze out any excess water from the cauliflower.  Place the remaining cauliflower into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a blender or a food processor add the pinto beans and olive oil and pulse until a smooth paste forms.  You may need to stop the blender and remove the beans from the side of the blender cup with a spatula several times, but eventually a paste with the desired consistency with form.  If not, add some additional olive oil.  Transfer the bean paste to the bowl with the cauliflower and add the nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, and garlic.  Combine all the ingredients together with your hands and work into a ball.  Transfer the ball to a parchment lined baking sheet.  On the parchment sheet, push the ball down and carefully work it into a disk shape.  Put the pizza disc into the oven for 45 minutes watching carefully to make sure that the edges don’t burn.  Remove from the oven when the crust is a deep golden color and firm to the touch.  Add sauce, toppings, and crumbled Sunshine Burger and place the pizza back in the oven for another 15 minutes until the spinach is wilted and the crumbles are lightly browned.

*Originally, I thought white beans would be a great addition to this recipe, but half way through making this recipe I found that I only had pinto beans in my cupboard.  Alas, the pinto beans worked perfectly, but if you happen to have white beans on hand, I am sure those would work splendidly, as well!

** My brand of parchment paper is recommended for temps up to 420 degrees F, check your specific brand of parchment paper to make sure that it is safe to use at the temperature that is called for in this recipe.

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