Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Night Pizza - Wheat/Grain Free

This evening we had pizza for dinner.  I made my Almond-Flax-Parmesan Herb Pizza Crust.  The crust recipe I used makes a pizza about 10 inches in diameter and is usually enough to serve 2 people (depending on your toppings) or one VERY hungry person.  I've never been able to eat the entire pizza -- I cut it into 4 pieces and eat either 1 or 2, depending on how hungry I am.  If you are making this pizza for more than 2 people, I would suggest doubling it and using a larger cookie sheet to make it on. For our pizza this evening, I used sun-dried tomato pesto instead of pizza sauce and added diced fresh mozzarella cheese (instead of shredded mozzarella).

While the crust was baking, I pre-cooked the toppings. I browned some ground beef and seasoned it well with sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper with a pinch of Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to make sort of a "faux Italian sausage".  I added some diced Vidalia onion to the beef as it browned and then set it aside.  Using the same skillet, I sauteed some fresh sliced mushrooms and moved them aside and then did a quick saute of fresh baby spinach (and drained and pressed the liquid out very well).  When the crust was done baking, I spread a thin layer of sun-dried tomato pesto on the crust, topped it with diced fresh mozzarella, the browned beef and onion, sauteed spinach and mushrooms and popped it back in the oven to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese was melty.  I broiled it for a few minutes at the end and then topped it with some diced fresh cherry tomatoes after pulling it out of the oven to add a fresh tomato flavor that I love.  It was both delicious and filling loaded with all the beef and veggies piled on top.  I snapped a few photos for you to see below as well as my recipe for the pizza crust. Add your favorite toppings to make it your own -- just make sure to pre-cook any fresh veggies or meats you might use to ensure they don't make your pizza crust soggy when you cook it. No need to pre-cook olives, pepperoni, etc., just the meats and veggies that release liquid as they cook.  P.S. -- I ordered a new sweetener to test -- NuNaturals Lo Han (monk fruit extract) -- check out the picture below.  I'll let you know how it turns out when I try it.  Enjoy!

My Lo Han (not Lindsey) came today -- still waiting for the powdered version. Look forward to trying them out!

Almond-Flax-Parmesan Herb Pizza Crust
Makes 1 10-inch round pizza (approximately 2 servings)


Dry Ingredients:
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup golden flax seed meal (organic golden flax is milder in taste than brown)
2/3 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder 
Dash cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste (decrease salt if using saltier cheeses and toppings)
Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
4 - 5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Wet Ingredients:
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute such as Egg Beaters)
1 tablespoon olive oil (a little more, if desired)
1 to 2 tablespoons water (start with 1 tablespoon of water and add the second, if necessary)

Toppings (Optional):  

Pizza sauce, pesto sauce, etc.
Cheese: shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced or diced fresh mozzarella, etc.
**Pre-cooked vegetables of choice: onions, green peppers, mushrooms, spinach, etc. 
**Pre-cooked meat of choice: sausage, ground beef topping, etc.
Other: artichokes, olives, pepperoni, etc.

**Tip: Fresh vegetable and meat toppings should be pre-cooked and drained to prevent crust from becoming soggy


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients together; add wet ingredients and mix well. Let the dough sit for approximately 5 minutes to thicken. 

Spread dough on a lightly oiled large pizza pan or cookie sheet lined with greased parchment paper (you can also use Reynolds non-stick foil, lightly brushed with olive oil).  Using a lightly oiled rubber spatula, press the dough out to desired shape and thickness (I usually make it about 1/4" thick -- *see note below).  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through (check crust after 15 minutes and remove from oven when it looks and feels done).  Spread with a thin layer of sauce, cheese and desired toppings (fresh vegetable and meat toppings should be pre-cooked to prevent soggy crust); place back into the oven to bake an additional 5-10 minutes to melt cheese.  If desired, run under the broiler for a few minutes to lightly brown the toppings and make the cheese bubbly (be careful not to burn it).

*Note:  For a crust that is flat, smooth and even in thickness, lightly spray a 2nd sheet of parchment paper with olive oil spray and place it on top (oiled side down) of the ball of pizza dough that is centered in the middle of your prepared pizza pan or baking sheet.  Using either your hands or the flat edge of an object (I use a big container of black pepper) press the dough smooth by swiping it the direction you want the pizza crust to go.  When it is the desired thickness and shape, carefully peel off the top layer of parchment paper...and "Voila"...perfectly flat, smooth, thin pizza crust! If you don't have parchment paper, pressing the dough out with a lightly oiled rubber spatula works just fine, too.


Cynthia Schelzig said...

mmm yummy....could I do a post on my blog about all your tasty recipes here with link of course....those cookies below look great but I am not doing any baking right now ,,,WA
Y toooooooooooo hot here in Europe.
Have a good weekend...

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cynthia! Yes, that would be fine to do. I would love to see your blog, too -- when you get a moment, could you send me the link? Hopefully you aren't getting all the rain we're getting this summer in addition to the heat! Have a wonderful weekend! :-)

Cynthia Schelzig said...

Rain,,,,I WISH we would get some chance right now,,just heat, heat and more heat. You can see my blog by clicking on my blue name in this comment.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cynthia! I just took a peek at your is GORGEOUS!!! I want to take more time to look through it more thoroughly. You are extremely talented (as I'm sure you know). What part of Germany are you in? Many, many years ago, I dated a man that was born is Bavaria -- I believe he went to school in Wiesbaden before eventually moving to the States. Your photos are amazing! :-)

CyberSis said...


I finally made your Almond/Flax pizza! I don't know why it took me so long. The dough was very "spreadable" and nice to work with and baked up beautifully.

Tonight I used simple "pizzaria" toppings ... mozz, Parm-Reggiano, mushrooms, and pepperoni (Applegate nitrite-free.) I used Eden Organic pizza sauce. It was the only one at the little store I went to that had no objectionable ingredients ... it was quite tasty, too. (Wanted to sprinkle it with fresh basil before serving, but I haven't seen it in the stores for quite a while.)

Oh, did the pizza ever look beautiful after a couple of minutes under the broiler! And it tasted even better. Your crust is amazing! I made the larger version so we'll be enjoying the left-overs tomorrow. Yum! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! So glad you enjoyed it! Did you use parchment paper to spread it or a spatula? I used the spatula a lot the first several times I made it and then someone suggested parchment -- I tried it and have been using that ever since. I get my parchment at Costco in a big roll -- the nice thing about it being in a big roll is that it isn't as "curly" as parchment wrapped on a smaller roll. Glad you liked it though! I like mine thin and crispy. Glad you enjoyed it -- and leftovers are awesome, aren't they! :-)

CyberSis said...


I like "thin and crispy," too. I had my box of parchment ready but I didn't need it. I started out using a spatula but it wasn't long before I was pushing the dough around with my fingers ... it was so "spreadable." Perhaps it was a bit thinner than it was supposed to be (I used "extra large" eggs) but it was very easy to spread and shape (I spread it out on a rectangular baking sheet.) I ended up baking it an additional 5 minutes. It was perfect! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! I'm so glad you enjoyed the crust -- I bet it did make it easier to spread with the extra large eggs -- I've noticed that eggs labeled as "large" don't seem so large to me any more...almost like they are what I would have considered "medium" years ago. Glad you enjoyed it! :-)