I had such high hopes for this recipe, but it ended up being quite disappointing. So many people online had raved about this dish, as well as the sauce, but for me, it wasn’t that great and was way too garlicky.

The Pizza Bowl is another dish from Isa Does It, and it combines her Steamy Beany Sausages, brown rice, kale, and various toppings smothered in a roasted red pepper sauce. I made some adjustments to suit what I had in my kitchen: quinoa for brown rice, escarole for kale, and some cured olives and basil for the toppings. I halved the recipe but only used 1 garlic clove instead of the 4 she recommends for sauteing the greens.

The Steamy Beany Sausages just came out okay. They did snap into shape really well and came together very quickly, but I was a bit disappointed with their flavor and texture. The flavor was okay, but not great, and the texture was rather tough. I’m not sure whether that’s because I didn’t knead it as much, or if it was supposed to be that way. To be fair, I’ve rarely had success with making my own seitan, with the exception of the Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon. I think that since I need faux sausages so rarely, I’m probably just better off buying them when they’re on sale.

The roasted red pepper sauce was also not what I expected. While it did bring the great roasted red pepper taste, it was also very garlicky and much runnier than I expected. I substituted ketchup for the tomato paste since I didn’t want to open a new can, but I’m not sure how much that affected the flavor (though it might be why my bowl didn’t taste as “pizza-y”). When combined with the other ingredients for the pizza bowl, the garlic flavor just took over the entire dish. I usually love garlic, but this was too much for me – maybe the raw garlic was just too strong? Since I didn’t halve the sauce recipe, I still had some leftover after finishing the sausages and greens. I ended up having it with some pasta, and it was much better, but I don’t think I would go out of my way to make it as a pasta sauce.

I really like the idea of bowls for dinner, but I don’t think this will be one I’d add to my rotation.

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