Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rainbow Pizza - GF & Dairy Free

HIwandergirl
GF Beet Pizza

The gluten free, dairy free pizza has been an ever-evolving taste experiment.  It started with frozen pizza that I added toppings too. But I'm going to drop a little truth bomb here...I'm not a fan of vegan cheese. It seems utterly pointless to create an alternative that is just okay and has very little nutritional value. I mean if I'm pretending this is cheese, I will also have to pretend I'm enjoying it.

hiwandergirl
What I picked in my garden. 

I'm also not crazy about tomato sauce. As a child, I used to remove the toppings, scrape off the sauce then add the toppings back on. When I was older and found options like pesto or olive oil and garlic, it was definitely a turning point in my life.

I'm harvesting a lot of veggies in my garden right now. The rainbow of colors is highly beneficial to the body.
RED, PURPLE & BLUE: antioxidant anthocyanin, heart health, anti-aging
YELLOW & ORANGE: Vitamin A & C, detoxifier, beta carotene, helps the immune system, promotes healthy skin
GREEN: Iron, Lutein, folate, build healthy cells, promotes healthy liver

hiwandergirl
My veggie harvest!

In my quest for better, I moved on to gluten free crusts which were hit or miss. Unfortunately, the crusts tend to cost almost as much as a pizza. Just when I was about to experiment with making my own...Trader Joes started carrying a 2/pack of buckwheat crusts for $3.79. They are definitely gluten free but I can't say with certainty they are vegan as they do contain xanthan gum. Some xanthan gum is vegan and some is not, it all depends on the manufacturing process. If you have food allergies, be aware of the xanthan gum.

A thin crust that tastes great and even occasionally gets little air pockets of crusty yumminess. They are a little delicate between the thawed stage and the placing in the oven stage. As long as you keep it flat, you are golden. Little tip...I dress my pizza on a cutting board then delicately slide it from the cutting board to the oven rack. I remove the pizza the same way. Alternately, if you own a pizza stone, you can skip the transfer altogether.

The instructions on the crust call for a light brushing of olive oil. The first time I made it, I was out of olive oil. I choose to use an artichoke antipasto (from Trader Joes) that had olive oil in it. It was one of those OMG, this could change my life happy accidents. I would compare it to the story of the person making raisin cookies, ran out of raisins and so they chopped up a bar of chocolate instead.

hiwandergirl
Chopping okra with my Japanese blade.  

Spread the pesto to your heart' desire. I like a lot...financial restraints sometimes make me thin it out so I can make one jar stretch to 3 pizzas instead of two. It's $2.39 a jar. I priced making my own from scratch and couldn't get the cost that low unless I grew my own artichokes. =)

hiwandergirl
Artichoke Antipasto & Sliced Fresh Garlic

Next, add thinly sliced garlic cloves. Push them into the sauce. I like a lot of garlic.

Now we add the colorful fresh veggie layers. These have been dependent on what I'm harvesting in the garden. I will be posting various concoctions of flavor combinations.

hiwandergirl
Beet Greens & Stems

I have two kinds of okra right now. I check the plants every day. I normally have a few average size ones and one giant 8-12 inch one that I wonder how I possibly missed the day before.  
Lately, since I have beets in season I've been tearing up beet greens. I use the leaf and the stems. The leaf is similar to spinach in taste and consistency and the stems are similar to celery. Plus the red veins are gorgeous and add a vitamin powerhouse of vitamin K, A and C. 

hiwandergirl
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Next Add the kale...I usually tear up a couple kinds of Kale. Russian or Red is my favorite.  
Push the greens into the sauce.
Pour a little olive oil on the greens so they stay soft, otherwise, they will burn and come out crispy.

Next, add:
sliced zucchini or yellow squash or both
sliced beets

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Ready for the Oven!

A little more olive oil and you are ready for the oven. I put mine right on the rack.
8-14 minutes on 400 degrees.

hiwandergirl

I watch it and pull it out when the crust has started to harden but it's not overall browning. A little edge browning is what you want. I pick up the edge to check. I would experiment with what consistency you like better. If it cooks too long when you try it cut it, it breaks apart. It still tastes good but I like mine a little softer and not like a thick cracker.
Between 8-14 minutes is the average cook time.

hiwandergirl


Ingredients and a sampling of their health benefits:

Buckwheat Crust   (Buckwheat: ancient grain, protein, antioxidants, 12 amino acids, fiber)
Artichoke Antipasto  (Artichoke-highest antioxidant of all vegetables, dietary fiber, Vitamin C)
Red Okra                (Vitamin A, folate)
Okra                        (Vitamin A, folate, calcium, fiber, facilitates the propagation of probiotics)
Russian Kale           (anti-inflammatory, Omega-3 fatty acid, more calcium than milk)
Beet Greens            (Vitamin K, A & C, calcium, folate, antioxidants)
Beet Stems              (amino acids, antioxidants, fiber)
Yellow Crock Neck Squash  (carotenoids, beta carotene)
Detroit Dark Beets (blood purifier, energy boosting, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, detoxifier)
Golden Beets           (vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium)
Virgin Olive Oil      (anti-inflammatory, vitamin E, phytonutrients)
Sea Salt & Pepper  (S-82 essential trace nutrients, P-antibacterial, manganese, improves digestion,



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