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)
1/4 cup golden flax seed meal (organic golden flax is milder in taste than brown)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Dash cayenne pepper, 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
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.