Happy Tuesday! I know I usually post my lunchbox in the morning, but it has just been one of those days. That said, today’s post was totally worth the wait. It involves leftover pizza, which in my gluten-eating days was one of my favorite things ever. This pizza is a little, well, a lot different, but it is wonderful. First, though, let’s talk lunch and two snacks:
- Bloggy Vegan Quinoa Pizza (see below)
- Spinach leaves dressed with a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt (I forgot to pack a lemon)
- Gena’s Famous Black Bean and Red Pepper Dip with sliced zucchini for dipping
- Half a roasted sweet potato with the second half mashed with raw cacao, a teaspoon coconut butter, stevia and almond milk into a quick chocolate sauce. I got the idea from this blog (see fourth bullet).
So pizza. I have been playing around with pizza ever since going gluten-free. My goal has always been to limit the starches (i.e. the refined starches, like tapioca, arrowroot and potato starches) and I have tried a variety of recipes, ranging from Meghan’s buckwheat crust, to Ali’s raw buckwheat version, to Elana’s from her Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (both the original recipe and the veganized version with chia), to Amy’s socca pizza from her Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free coobook. I liked them all (especially the socca one, which was good as is, or with white bean flour instead of chickpea flour), but they were always obviously a substitute. I tried more grain-free pizza crust concepts: Naomi’s and Carrie’s were both great, but I did not love the high number of eggs required in either recipe. That said, Carrie’s was actually the closest to a pizza crust in terms of chew and texture.
And then I read the Quinoa Pizza Heaven post by Iris, where she told us about Charity’s recipe. It got me wondering where I could make just one pie instead of the two in the recipe, and use my cast-iron skillet. Before I had a chance to try it, Alta did, and confirmed it was, indeed, possible.
I made this pizza once, and I got obsessed.I tweaked and tasted and tweaked again. The crust is doughy and crispy at the same time, which was the main feature I missed about pizza. It is devoid of starches and completely vegan. So I tweaked cooking times for my 10 inch cast iron pan, merged both Ali’s and Elana’s pizza sauce methods (Elana’s is in her Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook and made this several times.
This pizza was obviously subject to much bloggy inspiration. I debated not publishing the full recipe and instead tell you about all the tweaks I made, but it just got too complicated. So, here it is: Bloggy Vegan Quinoa Pizza.
Before I forget, I am submitting this recipe to:
- Seasonal Sunday, hosted by Real Sustenance. My seasonal ingredient is the spinach.
- Gluten-Free Wednesday over at the Gluten-Free Homemaker where the monthly challenge is pizza.
Bloggy Vegan Quinoa Pizza (Makes 1 10-inch pie, gluten-free and vegan) – an adaption of several bloggers’ approaches and their love for gluten-free pizza and pizza sauce
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2-3 cups water
- 1/2 tsp and 1/4 tsp salt divided
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 7oz tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 2 tsps oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 Tbsp water
- 8 drops plain stevia
- 1-2 cups basil, pureed with 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt (you can substitute prepared pesto for this)
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup vegetable toppings. I like a combination of lightly steamed broccoli, sauteed creminis (just use extra virgin olive oil and salt), and raw bell pepper slices.
- Daiya or other vegan cheese (optional)
Soak quinoa in about 2 cups water, at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse.
Preheat oven to 400F. Place 10-inch cast iron skillet in oven when it gets to 350F. Preheat pan for about 10 minutes as the oven temperature rises. Add extra-virgin olive oil to hot pan and preheat oil and pan (about 4 to 5 minutes).
While preheating pan, place drained and rinsed quinoa in blender with 1/2 cup water, salt and oregano. Blend until the consistency of thick pancake butter. Remove cast-iron skillet from oven. Pour batter in. It should sizzle. Bake crust for 20 minutes, until dark golden. While pizza is baking, mix tomato paste, garlic, herbs, stevia and water. Flip pizza over (like a large pancake) and add toppings. I like to start with the tomato sauce, followed by the basil, then the spinach, and then the additional toppings. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.
And there you have it, bloggy-inspired pizza without starch or eggs and delicious in general, particularly with this symphony of toppings.