my amazingly awesome actually good for me nutrient dense gluten free pizza
That title is a mouthful as was my most excellent dinner tonight.
Good pizza starts with the crust. When one is on a gluten free diet, this is a huge challenge at best. I am just not fond of any gluten free pizza crust I have ever tasted. A few years ago, Mark Bittman of the New York Times wrote about socca, a flatbread typically made with chickpea flour. I made his recipe as is and it was delicious. Not only am I gluten free, I generally avoid flours of all kinds, preferring to eat fresher, more whole foods. Enter the idea of making pizza crust from quinoa. This would take care of the whole food issue and definitely ups the protein values. The important step that Mr. Bittman does not include in his instructions is to soak the grain or flour. This step is important for removing the phytates . Phytic acid is an “antinutrient” which binds up the minerals in the grain and prevents the body from using them. Soaking does mean some planning and premeditation. Use pure water and cover the quinoa and let it sit overnight. When ready to use simply drain. Easy but as I said, takes some thinking ahead.
Quinoa Pizza Crust
makes 2 thin 8 inch crusts
1 1/2c. quinoa, soaked overnight and drained
1/2 – 3/4 c. pure water
1 tsp. celtic sea salt
1/4c. olive oil
(of course you are using organic ingredients!)
Preheat oven t0 450º F. Place the quinoa, water, and salt in a blender and blend until creamy. The consistency will be thick ( like pancake batter). Start with 1/2c. water and see if you need more. Divide the olive oil and cover the bottom of 2 8 in. cake pans. Place the pans in the oven until they are shimmering hot ( not smoking).Remove from the oven. At this point, you can add some minced garlic and/or herbs if you would like. Divide the quinoa mixture evenly. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the crusts over and return to bake another 10 minutes. They should be brown and crispy.
At this point, let your imagination take over. Top with classic pizza ingredients or try something new. I have recently renewed my love of pesto but as you can imagine not your typical pesto. This one is made of arugula, parsley, walnuts, olive oil, hemp oil, and garlic. Delicious! Pesto is a nutrient dense food that assists the liver in detoxifying the body and helps lower blood fats. So, on went a hearty layer of pesto. I topped this with some caramelized onions and sauteed red chard, mixed with some pine nuts. Lots of vegetables, that deep red color that is good for us. The “icing on the cake” is a few dollops of kefir cheese. I strained some goat’s milk kefir to get the liquid whey for some fermenting that I am doing this week. What is left is a thick sour cream like substance that is delicious! AND it contains lots of good bacteria/probiotics.
Every part of this pizza is actually full of nutrition and while it does not look like pizzeria pizza, it was so good and gave me pleasure that a slice of that pizzeria pizza would not. I am satiated from the good fats, my belly is full from the big pile of chard, and I am happy with having made a good choice for dinner.
So, step out of the box. haha, literally. Don’t get take out, make your own good for you pizza.
Thanks to my friend and nutrition mentor, Craig Lane of Health Alkemy, for the inspiration!