Cooking With Steve: “Northern Pizza”

In my book series, there is pizza. Sure the worlds around the star Avenoth are fictional, but pizza exists there. In fact, in two forms: Northern and Eastern.

Eastern pizza is like the pizza we’re used to, with a bit of a Korean/Mediterranean flair. Thin crust, lots of stuff.

But Northern Pizza, the original pizza, is different – its thick bread baked with mashed beans, greens, and spices. A one-stop lunch that originated in large bakeries and working-class restaurants.

So I decided to try and create it. Here’s the recipe – so far


  • One whole wheat pita or thick, large slice of German Farm Bread or similar thick, dark bread.
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Hummus (or mash up garbanzo beans, 1 tbsp crushed garlic, 2 tbsp lemon juice).
  • 1 cup highly shredded greens like spinach or highly chopped broccoli. Add some onion if you want.


  • Mix greens and hummus.
  • Spread evenly on bread.
  • Bake until toasted and top is slightly browned.
  • Serve.

I’ve made this a few times and really enjoy it. I’ve got to perfect it a bit, but as a kind of “open face hummus burrito” it’s good. Doubtlessly I’ll experiment more – and maybe tweak my backstories a bit.

Cooking With Steve: Root Vegetable Mash

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Gonna take a break from posting my healthy recipes and post this for Thanksgiving – this is sort of “Mashed potatoes plus,” putting together lots of root vegetables.

The parsnips add a great flavor, and I suggest swapping in other root vegetables like rutabagas, and maybe kick it up with garlic.

It’s fast, simple, different, and a way to impress people!

  • 2 medium potatoes, diced (peeling optional)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled, diced.
  • About 4-6 cups of water

To prepare:

  1. Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to boil. Cover loosely and keep at a good boil until everything softens.
  2. Place vegetables in dish and reserve about a cup or more of the water.  Mash vegetables, adding water as needed to get a creamy consistency.
  3. Serve with butter, spread, or salt and pepper.

Steven Savage

Vegan Nachos/Burrito Bowl

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Time for another recipe from Steve to help you eat healthy, fast, efficiently – so you can get back to your creative works! This is a Nacho or Burrito bowl recipe depending on what you want – one mix served in two forms!

Makes 2 servings.

First, the basic mix!

  • 1 14.5 oz cans black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 14.5 oz can tomatoes, drained (or about 2-3 good-sized diced tomatoes).
  • Optional: About 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices.
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp crushed garlic (or about 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Take all of these ingredients, mix them, and microwave them until hot, stirring it.  You can also dry-saute it without oil for a better taste.

Now how to serve them?  You can do the following:

NACHOS: Just drop the mix on a pile of nachos and serve!   Serve with a salad for a complete meal!

BURRITO BOWL: Make two bowls, and in each place 1 cup or so cooked rice,  mixed with 1 to 1/2 cups shredded spinach or cabbage.  Ladle the mix over the rice/spinach mixture and serve.  It’s a complete meal!

This meal is a great, fast, tasty one I’ve grown very fond of.  I originally invented the burrito bowl, and the nachos came as a later experiment – but now they’re popular in my household.

Oh, and keep in mind you can freeze the mixture for later . . .

Steven Savage