Friday, September 20, 2013

Pizza at the Beach...Our "Farewell to Vacation" Dinner

Well, vacation time has essentially come to a close now...we leave in the morning. This has been a long awaited and much needed break from the "real world". For the record, my vacation has been awesome...even without consuming any wheat or grains and I didn't feel like I missed out on anything. We have eaten well and enjoyed all the other activities one does when on a beach vacation...many long walks on the beach, swimming in the ocean and pool and long walks in the evenings under the palm trees. As a matter of fact, we just returned from our last one hour walk this evening after dinner. We even had dinner out one night. To celebrate the fact that it's Friday and the wrap up of the culmination of our vacation...I decided that pizza was the best way to end our week here (topped with sauce, fresh mozzarella, shredded Parmesan, Italian chicken sausage, red bell pepper, mushrooms, onions and spinach...phew - I snapped the layers as I built the mega-pizza)! I snapped a few photos of our "pizza al fresco" from one of the rooftop decks in the beautiful house we stayed at. Enjoy!

It's a Wonderful Life...

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.



CyberSis said...


Welcome back, although for us readers it's like you never left with recipes coming each day. :-)

What a wonderful vacation you had. Among other things, the salty air is very rejuvenating, they say. But as lovely as a time away can be, it's always nice to get back to home-sweet-home.

Looks like the WB products worked well for convenience while you were away from your own kitchen. (I don't think I've *ever* cooked on vacation!) I really enjoyed all your recipes, conversation, and beautiful photos.

unter der laterne said...

Welcome home GG!I can not believe that you cooked on your last evening, you are a trouper!
Have a good weekend - unpacking, no doubt!
Bis bald, Barbara.

Anonymous said...

Hi GG, welcome home and thanks so much for sharing your wonderful vacation with all of us too. I enjoyed your pictures and stories and recipes of course. This pizza looks divine and I so love that you shared step by step pictures. I am making the very same pizza tonight for our dinner. The weather here in Texas has finally cooled down, I actually have my screen doors open for the first time in ages and the fresh air is wonderful. Wishing you safe travels home and a blessed weekend. Maria

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! Thanks...yes, it was great being away...but it is really nice being home again. We got back late afternoon -- had to drive through some awful storms once we got back into GA. After being home for an hour...guess where I headed to? COSTCO! LOL I was having withdrawals since it had been almost 2 weeks! I kept it simple while cooking on vacation...and it wasn't bad at all...glad you enjoyed my updates! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara! is great to be back home. We are mostly unpacked and I have already run to Costco, too, if you can believe that! It has been a long day -- but I enjoyed having leftover pizza from last night for my dinner this I didn't cook tonight! Hope you are having a good weekend! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Maria! Thanks...glad you enjoyed the step-by-step pictures. I actually had the leftover pizza tonight that we brought home in our cooler. It was nice just pulling it out to eat. nice to have the screen doors open to let in fresh air. Hopefully we will be able to do that here in the near future. We made it back was a little scary during the last hour or two -- we went through some very bad storms and found it amazing that so many people continue to drive 75+ mph in such bad weather conditions. You could barely see the car in front of you the rain was coming down so hard and fast -- it caused hydroplaning and lots of water being thrown up at the windshield. We saw so many bad accidents and cars that had gone off the road into embankments -- we felt extremely thankful to have made it back without incident. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks! :-)

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog & it's great!
I have a question about your Pizza crust recipe.
What can I use in place of Egg, as I am allergic? If you
have any ideas let me know-thanks!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous -- have you ever made the "flax egg" substitute before? You mix 1 tablespoon flax meal with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 5 minutes and then use in place of the egg. Hope that helps! :-)

Aphid said...

After enjoying reading/dreaming about your recipes, I fixed the almond-flax-parmesan herb pizza crust and am wondering if there is a typo for the "2/3 teaspoon baking powder" -- I don't think I've ever seen 1/3 tsp. measures. I'm putting in a scant 3/4 tsp. (1/2 +1/4), but don't know the science behind whether any of this makes a difference (1/2 vs 2/3 vs 3/4 vs 1 tsp.). How did you arrive at your measure and was this a typo?
Thanks!! Your recipes and blog are inspiring!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Aphid -- Thanks. Glad you enjoy my blog. Actually, it is not a typo -- believe it or not, I have a set of measuring spoons that includes a 1/3 teaspoon spoon! I have about 5 or 6 sets of measuring spoons (don't ask why)...and one of them includes a 1/3 teaspoon! 2/3 tsp or 3/4 tsp is essentially the same. I don't think there would be a big difference if you went a little up or a little down. I probably wouldn't put 1 teaspoon in because there isn't that much flour/flax, etc. In case you are curious, here is the set I have that includes a 1/3 teaspoon: :-)

Kathleen H. said...

I have tried several low carb pizza recipes and this is my favorite! It has become my "go to" recipe for pizza night. Thank you for this and all your wonderful recipes! My husband and I have enjoyed every recipe that we've tried on your site. Please keep up the good work!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much Kathleen! I'm so happy you like this pizza recipe. I love being able to enjoy pizza night and still remain grain free. So happy you've enjoyed the recipes you've tried. Thanks for letting me know! :-)