If I were stranded on an island with the option to live on ONE food for the rest of my life…pizza would be my choice hands-down. Not only can you cover all the food groups in one slice, there are options for every course from breakfast, lunch and dinner to a sweet dessert. With essentially unlimited combinations and flavor profiles, pizza is a versatile dish that I can eat cold, warm, room temp or straight from the oven :)
Cold pizza for breakfast? Yep, I could eat that everyday. No judging please!
The debate continues between pizza purists (my Italian friends) and myself on what constitutes a real pizza “pie”. While a traditionalist wants one or two toppings on a pizza, a good crust and a flavorful base, I say pile on the toppings, switch up the sauce and experiment with alternative crusts…you know, to make it interesting :) Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good simplistic pizza with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella but I do not deny my affinity for the alternative flavor combos!
Yet when I have a “homemade pizza extravaganza” for a get together or girls’ night, we get the best of both worlds– we made the gluten free pizza dough together and then chose our toppings for our individual pizzas. Win-Win situation. It’s such a blast that I think I should make pizza night to be a bi-monthly or monthly occurence!
For the dough, we settled on Bob’s Red Mill whole grain crust mix and loved it! This was the first time I’d made this mix and was very satisfied with the results — Great texture and taste, plus it made enough for two 12-inch pizzas. Feel free to use your favorite pizza crust recipe here but this mix is a flavorful option that even has an egg-free instructions if needed.
For my pizza, I opted for a veggie-filled white pizza with chicken. Caramelized onions with sauteed mushrooms and broccoli with grilled chicken and a cauliflower-alfredo pizza base. I’ve been eying various versions of a dairy-free Alfredo sauce and decided to make my own version by combining Leanne’s rockin’ recipe at Healthful Pursuit and Melissa’s Paleo-Alfredo recipe over at Cupcakes OMG! This sauce can be used with pasta, rice bowls, drizzled over veggies/meat or as a base and topping for pizza…yum!
Lightened up Chicken N’ Veggie Alfredo Pizza (Dairy-Free)
Gluten-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Dairy-free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, Soy-free
Makes 1 12-inch pizza (8 slices)
1 recipe of prepared pizza dough or crust of choice (I used Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Mix and used 1/2 dough)
1 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided (or butter or ghee but is not dairy-free)
1/3 of an onion, sliced into thin rings
a couple shakes of dried parsley, oregano and garlic powder (can use 1-2 fresh garlic cloves, and fresh herbs if desired)
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 small cooked chicken breast, diced (I grilled one 4 oz breast that was seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil) – omit for vegetarian
3/4 cup creamy Dairy-free “Alfredo Sauce” plus more for serving/drizzling (recipe below)
1/2- 1 cup Dairy-free shredded cheese – mozzarella or cheddar (I Daiya cheddar shreds since that’s what I had on hand but if you aren’t dairy-free feel free to use regular cheese)
sea salt and pepper
1. Prepare dough pizza crust according to directions on package (or for your favorite or homemade crust). If using Bob Red Mills crust, have oven set to 425F.
2. Meanwhile heat 1 tsp oil/butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute 5 minutes until soft. Add seasonings, garlic, mushrooms and broccoli and saute for another 2-3 minutes until mostly cooked through (will cook a bit more in oven). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Once crust has “pre-baked”, spread the Cauliflower Alfredo sauce over the crust leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch edge around the outside. Brush the remaining 1/2 tsp of olive oil over the edges of the crust.
4. Top pizza with sauteed veggie and diced chicken and evenly sprinkle with shredded cheese.
5. Bake pizza for another 13-16 minutes or until crust is cooked through and cheese is melted. Slice, drizzle with additional Alfredo sauce and enjoy!
If you are using a prepared pizza crust, skip the first step or bake according to your crust directions.
For vegetarian, omit the chicken and increase the mushrooms and broccoli to 1 cup each.
If using Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust and want a vegan egg-free option, view package for flax egg directions.
1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/3 cup white or yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil (can use Earth Balance or butter as well but stick with EB/oil for dairy-free & vegan)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup veggie broth (or chicken broth if not vegetarian, could probably use dairy-free milk if desired)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup coconut milk (from can)
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2-3 tsp lemon juice
sea salt (helps bring out the flavor since cheese isn’t used)
freshly ground black pepper to taste (I used about 3/4 tsp but I like pepper)
1. In a large pot, steam cauliflower until tender and can easily be pierced with a fork. (I used a steamer basket and cooked the cauliflower for about 5-6 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium low heat in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add onion and saute for a few minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Stir in broth and heat through.
4. Add cooked cauliflower, onion/garlic/broth mixture, and remaining ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more coconut milk if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Serve over ANYTHING!!!!
Sometimes a girl just needs some bread. While I eat grain-free dishes at times and I love my veggies, nuts and protein, I certainly can’t resist a good slice of bread. Whether it’s dense and chewy or light and airy, I will take bread in any form. Of course, finding it and/or making it gluten-free can be a more laborious task.
What if I told you that you could make this bread in 20 minutes from start to finish…without using an oven? Literally. I had no excuses, I just HAD to!
It’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day again and this month I was assigned to JJ’s beautiful blog, 84th & 3rd. JJ has a captivating writing style, and when paired with inventive, healthy recipes and drool-worthy photos, I was sold on both her and her food. I have bookmarked a slew of recipes, but I was immediately drawn to her tag labeled “Crazy Creations”. I am all about experimenting with something different, and the first recipe that caught my eye was her Purple Carrot Anniversary Pie. I was set on making this dish but couldn’t locate purple carrots anywhere…while I could have used orange carrots, I thought the purple ones added to the novelty and opted to add this to my “must make list” for a later date.
I then spotted her Quinoa Buckwheat Skillet Bread, and I happened to be in the mood for bread to accompany my lentil stew I was making for dinner. Perfect timing…and it was delicious! Soft and light in the middle with a slightly firmer “crust” on the outside, this bread is versatile, super tasty…and did I mention EASY? I thoroughly enjoyed the earthy taste of the buckwheat and quinoa, and I topped a slice off with melted ghee right out of the oven…yep, food heaven.
I opted for the dairy-free version with the almond milk and lemon juice instead of yogurt. I didn’t want to “mess with” the original recipe too much but I look forward to adding in different spices, herbs and possibly other goodies…I’m thinking about a cheese and jalapeños variation! Thank you JJ for this gem of a recipe!
Quick Quinoa-Buckwheat Skillet Bread (recipe from 84th and 3rd)
Gluten-free, Nut-free, Refined Sugar-free, Dairy free, Soy-Free, Vegetarian friendly
- 1/3 cup quinoa flour
- 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp lemon juice OR 1/3 cup natural yoghurt (use non-dairy options for dairy-free)
- 1 egg, whisked
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda, sifted
- coconut oil, olive oil, butter or ghee for cooking (coconut oil is my fav!)
1. Use a fork to whisk all ingredients except baking soda. Let batter rest for 5 minutes while you preheat a small [20 cm / 8 in] skillet over medium to medium-low heat (I used medium-low because mine cooked more quickly).
2. Mix sifted baking soda into batter – it should start to bubble. Grease pre-heated pan with a bit of oil/butter, pour in all batter and shake pan slightly.
3. Cook 6-7 minutes. Run spatula around edge, flip carefully, cook 5-6 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool.
Ideas for serving: Slather with butter/Earth Balance or your favorite nut butters and/or jam or jelly. Cut into fingers for an antipasto or cheese platter. Cut in quarters, split like a roll and fill with sandwich fillings – or really any other sandwich ingredient you could imagine.
If there is any left store in fridge until needed. It also toasts really well.
- Fancy it up: flavour with herbs like oregano and thyme to make it more savory or spices like cinnamon and cloves to sweeten it up.
- The vegan attempt: JJ tried this without an egg and it just doesn’t work the same way – proceed at your own risk…
- Make it bigger: Could you? Definitely, just keep the flours/water/yoghurt at a 1:1:1:1 ratio. You can go up to 1/2 cup of each for one egg although I’d increase the baking soda to a slightly heaped tsp. Then just multiply from there as you wish – BUT remember you still have to flip it… so try it out as is in a small skillet before you go too crazy.
Where the last two months have gone, I couldn’t tell you…I blinked and it was 2014! That being said, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all in one to you lovely readers!
What better way to jumpstart this new year than with cookies? Easy, peasy one-bowl cookies that are good for you. They aren’t your traditional buttery cookies with a crisp edge and a gooey middle. Nope, these are light two or three-bite goodies that can triple as a light snack, healthy portable breakfast or a sweet ending to a meal when your sweet tooth hits. I’d say they are a mix between banana bread, baked oatmeal and a granola bar all in one?
These delicious oaty bites were lightly adapted from Nicole’s Trail Mix Cookies over at Colie’s Kitchen. I was thrilled to be assigned her blog this month for the first Secret Recipe Club reveal of the new year! As Nicole phrases it, her site “isn’t necessary a recipe blog, but a blog based on the views from my side of the world, or my side of the table so to speak.” I have a few more recipes I can’t wait to try, such as her Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins, Shrimp Etouffee, and Serendipity’s Frozen Hot Chocolate…yum!
I didn’t alter much; I used gluten-free oats, added a bit of flaxseed meal to the dough and decreased the milk by 1 tablespoon. I upped the “add-ins” and used a combo of both fruit and nuts for added texture and flavor. I’ll be making these again and experimenting with different combinations…these were SO easy and delicious!
Chewy Trail Mix Breakfast Cookies (lightly adapted from Colie’s Kitchen)
Gluten-free, Egg-free, Vegan, Nut-free Option, Oil-free, Soy-free, Fruit-Sweetened
1/3 cup juice sweetened dried cranberries (or other dried fruit – cherries, raisins, apricots, dates)
2. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper, silpat mat or lightly grease.
2. Scoop out dough into two tablespoon cookie scoops.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing, otherwise they might fall apart.
Number of Servings: 20 cookies
I sure hope you aren’t tired of pumpkin yet! I have a delectable baked dish that can triple as breakfast, a quick snack or a healthy dessert…now that’s a win in my book.
It’s Secret Recipe Club time again this month, and I was assigned Laura’s darling blog, A Healthy Jalapeño. Not only does Laura have a laundry list of recipes I want to try, she seems like “my type of people”…and the way she describes herself as “having no special talents, but I am passionately curious” is one fantastic statement. I searched through multiple recipes that I debated on trying this month, but finally settled on Baked Oatmeal with Pumpkin and Bananas. Not only is this a dish that’s appropriate for pumpkin and holiday season, I was enticed by the layered look and the combination of flavors. Prior to making this dish, I hadn’t combined pumpkin and bananas but I loved it!
Since I can’t leave well enough alone, I made a few changes based on preference and what I had on hand: I swapped out quick oats for quinoa flakes, used maple syrup instead of brown sugar and added maple extract to quinoa mixture. I wound up adding milk to the flakes as well because the mixture appeared to be a little dry for the middle and wanted to ensure it would cook. I also threw in 1/3 cup of pepitas in addition to walnuts (in lieu of pecans) for a little color and to play up the pumpkin flare.
I served this both warm and cold and thought it was delicious! If you don’t like it cold though, I blame it on my cold-pizza and refrigerated leftover fetish :) For a healthy dessert option, I drizzled my “yogurt glaze” over a slice to amp up the protein and to give it a more dessert-like feel.
Baked Quinoa with Pumpkin and Bananas (adapted from A Healthy Jalapeño)
Gluten-free, Oil-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free Option, Vegetarian, Refined Sugar-free
4 medium ripe bananas, (the riper the better) sliced into 1/2″ pieces*
1 (15 oz) can organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie)
1 tbsp honey
2 Tbsp maple syrup (or 2-3 tbsp coconut sugar, sucanat, or brown sugar)
1 cup uncooked quinoa flakes (or gluten free quick oats)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans) – omit for nut-free and substitute more pepitas if desired
1/3 cup pepitas
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened Almond milk, divided (or any milk you desire)
1 egg, whisked
1/4 – 1/2 tsp maple extract (optional)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Garnish and serving ideas (optional)
a drizzle of maple syrup or honey
sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg
extra pepitas, walnuts or pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 9 x 9″ ceramic baking dish with cooking spray or coconut oil (my favorite) or line with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of the ceramic dish. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon, honey and cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes, until the bananas get soft (I didn’t cook them until mushy though).
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the quinoa flakes (or oats), pepitas, 1 cup of milk, half of nuts, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and salt; stir together.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, maple extract, maple syrup/sweetener, remaining 1/2 cup of milk, egg, and vanilla extract.
5. Remove the bananas from the oven, then spread the quinoa mixture over the bananas. Next, pour the pumpkin mixture over the quinoa, spreading to make sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the the top.
6. Bake for about 32-38 minutes (mine baked for 38), or until the top is golden brown and the pumpkin and quinoa has set. Garnish with nuts/seeds/yogurt if desired and serve!
*If you aren’t a fan of bananas, try swapping out apples for a different taste.