Friday, August 30, 2013

Pizza Night -- YAY!!!

Today was an extremely humid day here, a drastic change from the breezy weather we've enjoyed the last few days.  I stayed busy indoors getting caught up on a number of things around the house. I actually took the day off today, but ended up working all day on other projects...so I didn't feel like spending a lot of time cooking this evening. I decided to keep it simple and pull out the pizza crust I froze a couple of weeks ago. I intentionally froze it to see how well it would reheat. I frequently get asked whether the crust freezes well, but had never actually tried to before. I'd like to report that it freezes excellently, which is good news for those that like to get a head start on meal prepping or those that just want to be able to make a few crusts ahead of time to pull out later and use as a "convenience food".  I had wrapped it in Saran Wrap since I wasn't planning to freeze it for very long. It froze beautifully and had no ice crystals on it at all. I decided to treat it like a "frozen pizza" and simply top the frozen crust with Rao's pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, cooked fresh mushrooms, onions and then pop it in the oven to bake. I baked it for about 10-15 minutes on 350 degrees F and then ran it under the broiler a bit. After it came out of the oven, I topped it with some diced cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. It turned out great and I will definitely make an extra crust or two next time to freeze so I can pull it out and make a quick dinner in quicker than "fast food speed".  I snapped a few photos below as well as the recipe. Enjoy!




BOOM!

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


Directions:
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.

Don't Forget to Enter the Swerve Giveaway!

The kind folks at Swerve recently contacted me and have allowed me to offer Gourmet Girl Cooks' followers a chance to win an exciting "Celebration to Summer's End Giveaway"!  One lucky follower will win a:  Weber 22.5” Silver One-Touch, Kettle Grill AND a Three-Pack of Swerve (see below). As most of you that follow me already know, I have been using Swerve for almost a year now and it is my favorite "zero calorie" natural sweetener to bake with. It tastes great and measures cup-for-cup just like sugar, which makes it super easy to substitute in recipes...no calculations involved! It contains no artificial ingredients and comes in both granular and confectioners (powdered) versions. With the upcoming Labor Day weekend ahead, I will be posting some delicious "end of summer" recipes using Swerve...so stay tuned!  Ready, set....GO!  Begin entering now!

P.S.-- if you are already a Swerve lover like I am, and your supply is getting low...Swerve is currently running a special through Tuesday, September 3rd, for $9.99 each (for a 16-oz bag) or you can grab 6 packs of Swerve for $49.98 ($8.33/each + free shipping). You can click here to grab this special ---> Swerve


HOW TO ENTER:
The winning contestant will be chosen at random (must be a U.S. resident).  To enter a chance to win, all you need to do is: Leave a comment here on my blog and include the words "Swerve BBQ Contest" (1 entry per person per day).  Contest ends Friday, September 6, 2013 at Midnight EDT.  The winner will have 24 hours after being announced to contact Gourmet Girl Cooks (by email at GourmetGirlCooksBlog @ gmail.com) with their shipping address. If no response is received in 24 hours, a new winner will be selected.

*The product provided in this giveaway is contributed by and will be sent directly to the winner by Swerve.

23 comments:

Susan said...

Your pizzas always look fabulous! "Swerve BBQ Contest"

Chris said...

Absolutely love this pizza recipe.......we don't miss regular at all!
Still hope to be a lucky winner too of the Swerve BBQ Contest!
Have a great holiday!
Chris

Anonymous said...

Your pizza looks fantastic! SWERVE BBQ CONTEST

Katie D. said...

ooops forgot to put my name on the last one.....Your pizza looks fantastic! SWERVE BBQ CONTEST

Abao said...

"Swerve BBQ Contest"

Wahoo! Great pizza crust recipe. And great prize.

Jackie A. said...

Pizza looks great! We had zucchini"pasta" with meatballs tonight. Maybe pizza tomorrow. Swerve BBQ contest, YES

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

Love the freezing idea! Great to have a pizza crust in reserve for a busy day!

Swerve BBQ Contest

Elizabeth Klub said...

Swerve BBQ contest & I know you want me to win because you like me.
Your friend, Elizabeth Klub

Debbie Lou said...

Love the pizza idea and freezing it would be a big time saver. Thanks for the Swerve BBQ Contest!

Courtney Williams said...

Love this! Hoping to win the Swerve BBQ Contest.

Michelle said...

Hello,
I made your stuffed meatballs and combined them with another recipe, is it possible to link back to your site from my instagram? I wanted to put a picture of the meatballs on it and link to your site.
Michelle

Anonymous said...

Love your blog but don't like the idea of this Swerve which is a highly refined sweetening agent made from erythritol. This can cause tummy aches and headaches and many trips to the loo in some people. I am trying to eat clean and this is a highly processed product. I prefer to use natural sweetners such as maple and raw honey.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous! Thanks for your kind comments about my blog. I have used Swerve for almost 1 year now and have never had any stomach issues or headaches from it. I know that xylitol, malitol and sorbitol are known to cause stomach issues in some folks...but erythritol is supposed to be much better than those. Although I know everyone is different, and if it bothers you, then you shouldn't use it. Even though maple syrup and raw honey are natural sweeteners, unfortunately, they too, cause blood sugar issues in some folks as well as elevation in triglycerides (my problem is triglycerides). I am even careful with my fruit consumption due to the fructose content because that too can elevate triglycerides and uric acid in some folks (like me). In many recipes, you can just sub out the erythritol if you'd prefer and use your favorite sweetener. Thanks for your comment! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Michelle! Hope you liked the meatballs -- I'm thinking you did if you want to post them on instagram. Unfortunately, I don't know if you can or how to link back to my site from instragram...but if you find a way to do so, then yes, you can post a photo and a link to my site. Thanks! :-)

Luana said...

Another gorgeous pizza, Lisa!
Swerve BBQ Contest

MemoryKeeper said...

I can't believe only 14 comments so far, I had expect hundreds :)

I would like to enter the Swerve BBQ Contest by posting this comment.

Woo Hoo!

Patricia said...

That is just cruel......LOL - that is a good idea about freezing a crust!
Swerve BBQ contest.
I think you should win the BBQ for posting all the great recipes! :) I know, I know....being a great cook and winning the BBQ just wouldn't be fair!!!
XOXOXOXO

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, to everyone that entered today -- good luck to all of you. Thanks for all the kind (and funny) comments, too. (P.S. - Memorykeeper--there are also contest entries on the day before's post, too)
Good luck to all...tomorrow's recipe will involve a "frozen treat"... :-)

Meghan Varner said...

That looks so good!! "Swerve BBQ Contest"

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Meghan! Good luck! :-)

carol said...

This crust is really good. Swerve BBQ Contest

Christine Macneil said...

looks Yummy! Here's my entry for the "Swerve BBQ Contest"

selena said...

gonna try this pizza tonight...looks so good! and swerve bbq contest! :)