Today I’m going to share with you one of my absolute FAVORITE recipes! I’m so excited I could burst!
There was a time before I had completely committed to cutting out dairy and gluten when I was unsure if I would ever be able to go through with it. I did drink milk occasionally, but it was cheese that I knew I would miss the most. I had a serious love affair with any and all cheeses. I also had a major carb addiction. But by constantly thinking about how much I would miss cheese and bread, I began to crave them more–why do we want the things we know we can’t have?
While out to dinner with my husband one night I decided to order a pizza that was piled high with different cheeses. That pizza was amazing, but about an hour later, I experienced such pain that it almost brought me to tears. I was curled up in a ball on my bed and unable to stretch myself out without feeling an immense stabbing pain in my abdomen. That was it. That was enough to convince me that I had to say good-bye to dairy and gluten for good. I don’t know what hurt more at that moment, my belly or knowing what I had to do.
Flash forward a year and I absolutely know that eliminating dairy and gluten from my diet was the right decision. It took a while for me to get to the point where I could watch other people eating pizza and not feel an overwhelming desire to snatch their food and run away with it, but this Quinoa Pizza Crust definitely helped with that. I found the original recipe (which I tweaked a bit) while I was searching the web one day. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve made this pizza–or how many variations I’ve made–since that day, but I’m so happy that I stumbled across the recipe. Now, in fact, my cravings for cheese and gluten have subsided to the point that I don’t really even miss them anymore. Not to mention, I actually prefer this pizza to the traditional kind, and had I not changed my eating habits, I never would have found the Quinoa Pizza recipe!
This pizza crust is so quick and easy to make–much easier than typical yeast doughs that require hours to rise–and is extremely nutritionally dense. And as far as the toppings go, the sky’s the limit. Be as creative as you want to be. My two favorite pizzas go something like this:
Pesto Pizza Toppings:
Basil or spinach
Margarita pizza toppings:
Tomato (slices and/or sauce)
Oregano/rosemary/crushed red pepper/salt/black pepper
The pizza I made last night (pictured) had some of my homemade Vegan Pesto, beefsteak tomato slices, spinach, mushrooms, olives, thinly sliced red onions and nutritional yeast. It was so delicious that I wanted more as soon as I was done. But don’t be deceived, this little pizza is extremely filling and more than enough for one person.
Update: For additional topping options, here is a recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara and Parmesan “Cheese” (both raw and vegan)
- ¾ cup quinoa, soaked for at least 8 hours, rinsed and drained
- ¼-1/2 cup water
- 2-3 Tbs. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 clove garlic, sliced (optional)
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning (optional)
- Soak the quinoa in filtered water for at least 8 hours. *This step is crucial as the recipe won’t work with dry quinoa. Rinse and drain the quinoa.
- Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor or a high-speed blender and combine until the dough resembles pancake batter. Adjust the water as needed.
- There are 2 methods for cooking the dough. In the oven: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and coat either a cast iron skillet or an 8-inch round cake pan with the olive oil. Allow the skillet or cake pan to heat up in the oven for about 10 minutes (this is good to do while you’re preparing the dough and chopping the veggies). Remove skillet/cake pan from the oven and immediately add the quinoa “dough,” using a spatula to even it out as needed. Place the dough in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Flip the dough and bake for another 10 minutes, or until brown and crispy.
- OR, On the stove: This is the method I use when I’m pressed for time. Heat a non-stick pan with the olive oil over medium heat. Pour the dough into the pan and use a spatula to even the dough out as needed. Allow to cook for approx. 5-10 minutes or until the bottom is turning brown and crispy. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes, or until evenly cooked on both sides.
- Now comes the fun part! Add whatever toppings you want and feel free to be creative.
- I like to place the pizza in the oven under the broiler after adding the toppings just to heat everything up a bit, without really cooking the veggies (raw veggies are always better!).
- Serve and enjoy!!
*Adapted from For Life Personal Chef
**I’m honored to share that Dr. Frank Lipman has featured my recipe for Gluten-Free Quinoa Pizza in his Gluten-Free Recipe Round-Up: Best Pinterest Recipes of 2012!! Click here to check out all of the amazing recipes included in his roundup or to browse Dr. Lipman’s site and learn more about his fascinating approach to health.