Category Archives: pizza

Avoid the NY-NY Pizza

Yeah. Well. We tried to go out for dinner, thought it might be fun to try a new place because I had heard that they have gluten free pizza. /not exactly in my neighborhood, but we were over on that side of town anyway.

We don’t get to eat out much because it’s just to hard, but we went.

The experience went from weird, to yucky, to just plain gross.

In the plus column:

  • They serve GF pizza – medium size with choice of topping for $9.99
  • They serve Coke products (thank you)
  • The waiter explained that the GF pizza is cooked seperately and takes longer and that they use separate utensils for everything.
  • The sauce was delicious.

———-

that’s were the good news stops.

  • The waiter then, still tried to sell us on the idea of ordering  some pizza sticks while we waited, and cookies for dessert. Dude. really? You don’t get the GF thing at all then. Red flag.
  • The toppings were in the smallest possible amounts, 4 slices of pepperoni on a pizza? really? Oh, come on!  There are more toppings on the pizzas I get from the frozen section at the supermarket. Skimpy toppings? gee thanks.
  • Why spend the extra effort to cook it separately and then serve on the regular pizza pans? hello.
  • There was a hair in one of the pizzas. Goodbye appetite. Gross.
  • The chicken on the “chicken-mushroom” pizza looked like slices of chicken jerky we give the dog… and the meat smelled old, and was just gross. We picked that off.
  • The crust was less than okay, sort of doughy- tasted kind of chalky. The outside edge was okay, but the middle was still raw. Ew.
  • The menus were g-r-o-s-s / covered in sticky food bits and god only knows. It’s a plastic cover, wipe it down.
  • The floors were gross. Who sweeps up in this place? ew.

Really, super random and as it turns out not gluten free, gluten free meal.

They tried. They failed.

Bottom line is we won’t go back.

 

 

Go to DisneyWorld – TWGF

TWGF  ..Traveling While Gluten Free .. not my most favorite thing to do, like not at all. I don’t like to have to plan all the groceries,  haul all the groceries and every snack we might need, and every utensil and every- everything. Can I do it? Yes, and I am good at it, all the planning and sorting and packing and snacking. I just would like to go back to the old days when I didn’t have to. ::: sigh ::: oh well.

So— anyway—- we ended up at Disney World for three days kind of  at the last minute, and kind of with not a lot of planning (and prepacking and whatnot). I could have, should have, and just decided to pack light and force myself to think outside the box when I got there. (not for the faint of heart- but it worked out fine this time)

Things that made the trip work:

  • Whole Foods at exit 74, I-4 towards Orlando
  • Kitchenette in the hotel room- fridge, microwave
  • BABYCAKES- NYC located now in “Downtown Disney” – um, yes please! a dedicated gluten free bakery? hello yes.
  • iPhone app for iBooks, that was a reader for several pdf files containing the list of Disney quick service restaurants that have GF items so that I could refer to them while we were walking around the parks.
  • Disney quick service restaurants that have GF items…. OMG… if you do this.. ask for the manager, tell them you have an allergy (boy, do they take this seriously) to GLUTEN and they bring out this giant notebook that has every ingredient listed in the things that particular restaurant offers (they aren’t all the same) – the manager will order the food by calling the kitchen and they make your meal SEPARATELY ….. and…. then the manager and chef bring you your meal, not the servers. It was amazing. It did take longer to get the meal.. typically 10-15 minutes longer than the standard foods they had.  So, if you do this, try to eat meals in “off hours”, say lunch at 2 instead of noon. The crowds have disappeared and the food arrived much faster.
  • Take snacks in your bag, for when you are sort of snackish, but don’t want a whole meal. I have to say though, that I was really impressed with the amount of fresh fruit offerings on the snack stands throughout the parks. I took some prepackaged snacks, and a bottle of water with me, worked out fine.

EAT AT PIZZA PLANET!!!!! (from the movie TOY STORY!!!)  located at Disney Hollywood Studios- they have the Amy’s rice crust, and will make it plain or with pepperoni, or with veggies on top.

EAT AT COSMIC RAY’S!!!!! – in Tomorrowland – omg, we ate here twice. Super delicious GF buns for the hamburgers. Terrific!

EAT AT THE HARBOR HOUSE!!! – in Liberty Square, tucked away around the corner on the way to Fantasyland.  The chicken tenders were AMAZING and the fries were great!

 

Why should pizza need to be flat?

Really? flat? does it have to be flat. No, no it doesn’t. Habits are hard to break.

Pizza rolled up like a cinnamon bun is pretty tasty actually.

Here’s what I did.

Doubled this recipe HERE for “Wonder dough”  and rolled it out into a large rectangle.

Covered the center of the dough with spaghetti sauce and sliced up some of the meatballs down the center as well.

Then added 1 Cup of grated mozzerella cheese on either side of the sauce and sliced up two cheese sticks that happened to jump into my hands as I was leaving the fridge. That happens sometimes.

So anyway, rolled up the dough. Sliced the log into 12 or so slices and put them into an oiled 9×13 pan. Let it rise for 10 minutes and merrily baked the whole shebang in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Yummy. I may heat some additional sauce to pour over the top for those who need it to be a little more saucy.  Yeah, I might need to go do that.

Sprinkle a little grated parmesan over the top for extra flair. So special.

Pizza buns for supper.

Pizza

Looks normal. Tastes normal. I don’t know… it must be a pizza.  Seems so easy, but let me tell you about  the years without pizza. Eating other safe food while the rest of the family had pizza for dinner… yeehaw. Grateful for my health, yes, but so sad to not be able to enjoy “normal” family menus.

I am changing that. They now eat GF. They probably don’t even know that.. it’s just food. But to me, it’s SAFE food. Big difference.

I still have to assemble it… but it’s pretty close to not even having to cook. Don’t get me wrong… I love to cook, but sometimes there  just needs to be a quick solution. There is no take-out option for gluten free food. Sad but true. Last month I was treated to some gluten free pizza at a real pizza restaurant. Nice try pizza guys, but I would rather eat this. This is cheaper, and tastier. Awesome.

No real prep- just quick layer and bake.

Pizza

  • Udi’s frozen pizza crust
  • Classico sauce- from a jar
  • grated cheese
  • Hormel pepperoni
  • sliced roma tomato

Baked at 375 until done, probably 10-12 minutes

This just in…

Pizza. Real Pizza? really? annnnnnnnd desert? wow.

For a long time I made my own “dough” for pizza, but it was super sticky and gummy and didn’t bake all that well. Hard to deal with and so we just didn’t have pizza very often. We missed pizza.

Then we purchased a rice and potato crust that was wonderful as a pizza base, but that company went out of business. Drat. Back to the recipe files. Let’s just say that the sticky-gummy-bleck that didn’t really work was a problem as the only solution I had at the time, and I was overjoyed to find yet another company that sold frozen pizza crusts already to make into dinner. And then, they went out of business.  (I am sensing a trend here)

Which, of course, leads me back to the recipe file. EXCEPT THIS TIME I messed with the flour blend ratio. VIOLA! we actually had edible pizza at home. 

This recipe made so much dough, however, that I made 1/2 of it into the pizza dinner (that everyone actually ate)…. and the other 1/2 I made into cinnamon rolls. 

It was great in both recipes. Go figure.

While the pizza is baking, make the rolls – sprinkle with golden raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon – and let them rise so that they go into the oven just as the pizza is finished, that way the oven is all ready to go.

===Baked the pizza for 10 min, then added toppings and baked another 15 min at 400.

===Baked the cinnamon rolls for at least 25 minutes, maybe more at 400 degrees – your mileage may vary. Also drizzled them with powdered sugar glaze for yummy decorative purposes.

Dough Recipe

  • 5 3/4 C gluten free flour blend**
  • 1 T xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C oil
  • 1 T vinegar
  • I replace all eggs with flax meal and water, the recipe calls for 5 egg whites….which I replaced and it works out just fine.
  • proof the yeast: 1 C warm water + 1 1/2 T yeast + 1 1/4 T sugar
add additional water if needed
**GF FLOUR BLEND that actually worked!
2 C brown rice flour
2 C tapioca starch
1/2 C coconut flour
1 1/4 C potato starch

Real Bread? Shut up.

I have tried every possible recipe for “bread” and “hamburger buns” and “pizza crust” in the gluten free world of recipes, and they are usually just okay, or have egg in them or whatever. I do have several standby recipes and rely on them to serve as “bread” or “crust”, but I am really glad I kept looking for an option.

This one worked. Finally. finally. finally. It looks like and, it tastes like bread. I will play with this one again soon.

It was billed as “Hamburger Rolls” – we made “Naan” instead as an addition to our Indian Curry dinner.

mmmmmm. Naan.  Gluten free, EGG-free, corn-free *and* Dairy-Free, and it’s still yummy. Ha!

=====

Mix:

  • 1 C white rice flour
  • 1 1/2 C brown rice flour
  • 1/2 C potato starch
  • 1 T xanthan gum
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

and

  • 1 egg (which was replaced with hot water and golden flax meal)
  • 1 T safflower oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 C Hemp milk

The trick of this recipe , I think, is to whirl all of this in a Kitchen-aid mixer for 5 minutes. It forces air in to the dough. Simply amazing. It’s sticky. No, it’s super, super sticky. We spooned it, and glopped it out on parchment paper, and tried to sort of shape it into something recognizable (good luck), and let rise for 45 minutes, covered with plastic wrap. Take the plastic wrap off (really), then bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until the smooshed blobs of goo on paper tend to resemble “buns” or “naan” or whatever you were going for when you started. We opted for “naan”. It was delicious.

I also added a few lite sprays of oil on top near the end of cooking and browned them slightly more under the  broiler until they looked toasty.   The leftovers will be turned into pizza crusts. mmmmmm. Can’t wait.

Sausage and Cheese Rollups

The concept of sausage and cheese and onions “IN”  a bun  haunts me.  I once went to a restaurant where all they served was “stufffed sandwiches” and salads. It was great.  Super delicious, but then I wasn’t worried about gluten or cross contamination either.

Fast forward to me not having any fun food, or  party food to eat due to extreme allergies.. and we end up with a level of quirky, creative desperation.  Here’s today’s edition of quirky lunch. Wow! they were good.

Roly-Poly Lunch Rolls

  • Brown  sausage with chopped onion.
  • Make one recipe of the wonder dough.     Roll it out into a rectangle. Use a little potato starch to keep it from sticking  to everything too much. I rolled mine out on parchment paper sprinkled with potato starch.
  • Spread the cooled sausage and onion mixture.rolypolyrolls-002
  • Sprinkle it with shredded mozzerella cheese. Add a sprinkle of parmesan if you  feel like it.
  • Roll up the dough, carefully including the filling.

Make 1 –  2  inch slices and place them, cut side up (like cinnamon rolls) in a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.rolypolyrolls-005

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes. Let them cool. Serve with a big green salad.

One is missing, because I ate it before I remembered the camera. LOL. It was realllllllly good. rolypolyrolls-006

Other filling ideas:

  • Boar’s head pepperoni, with pasta sauce + shredded cheese = rolled up pizza fun
  • Cubed ham and shredded cheese.
  • Cubed SPAM and shredded cheese
  • shredded chicken and cheese

Baby Pizzas

No, they aren’t for babies…but  they are little itty-bitty pizzas. And wow are they yummy. You should go make some. Now. You won’t regret it.tiny-pizzass

Here’s what you need:

  • mini cupcake tins
  • part of  a batch of “wonder dough”
  • roasted garlic salsa (from Trader Joes)
  • grated mozzerella cheese
  • optional: sliced fresh tomatoes, or grilled veggies.

Take about a tablespoon  of the dough and press it really flat, into and up the sides of each of the mini-muffin tin spaces. This is tedious, but worth it.

Bake the pizza shells for 8 minutes at 400. Scoop a little bit of the roasted garlic salsa into each cup, probably 1/2 teaspoon if you are counting. Then pile on a bunch of grated cheese. It’s probably a tablespoon more or less for the pans I use.

Bake another 10 minutes or until bubbly and starting to brown.   
Let them cool slightly in the pan, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

Add fresh tomatoes or other toppings just before serving. These are good warm, or cooled off. Easily kept in the refrigerator for mini-pizza emergencies for a couple of days. Also just plain awesome as an appetizer that you can take to a party. I love tiny food. It makes me happy. And GF .. and nobody cares, because it’s pizza. LOL

One Stop shopping -Pizza Perfect-

Okay.. the “wonder dough” (see previous recipe) has now been morphed into the best deep dish pizza crust … EVER!. That includes any version of any wheat (**:::shudder:::**)  recipe I have ever tried.  Faster too. This dough is really one stop shopping. I used to have a diffferent recipe for pizza crust, cinnamon rolls, breadsticks and pretzels… voila! it’s now all in one. Love it.

Seriously. Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s the perfect food. It’s all bread-like covered in cheese and/or various toppings.. … mmmmmm. Except this “bread” has no wheat. .. yay! I used potato starch, brown rice flour and sorghum flour for this pizza crust. Which may be a little different than the “wonder dough” original ratios.. but not that different. Just use 1/2 C potato starch and 1/4 C Brown rice flour and 1/4 C sorghum flour for the same delicious experience.

The oven heats up while you mix the dough. (Multi-tasking gets dinner done that much faster)

Pat it into shape with a little extra potato starch to keep it from sticking to your fingers…. ..and…*poof* … it’s dinner. Really fast too.

You can bake it in one pan, or shape it in to pizza circles and bake them separately on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake the dough for about 10 minutes to set it. Then top with sauce and lots of cheese.  Return to oven to finish baking. This took about another 15-20 minutes for the trial run. I was waiting for the cheese to brown a little on the top.

Next time I will TRY to remember to mix in some basil and oregano to the dough before I shape and bake it. Yummy.

The trial pizza was topped with:

  • Full Circle Brand Organic Pasta sauce (it’s GF)
  • a pile of mozzerella cheese (probably about 2 cups if you are counting) .

Mozzerella cheese is about the only cheese we can tolerate. Everything else has wierd stuff in it, like annato (eww) or rennet (double yuck and eww) .. so we go for the vegetarian version of  “cheese enzymes” when shopping for cheese. Your mileage may vary.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I went out to lunch with 5 friends yesterday. Really, really fun. We ordered a BBQ chicken flatbread as an appetizer. Mine is better. And gluten-free.

The flatbread that we ordered was tasteless, the toppings pretty skimpy, and although it looked exoctic… and it was also exoctically priced…it was just “okay”.

Here’s my version.

  • Rice/potato pizza crust,
  • Bull’s Eye BBQ sauce,
  • organic refried beans,
  • sauteed-carmelized white onion and 3 cloves of garlic,
  • BBQ chicken pieces,
  • cilantro is nice if you have it.(sprinkle it around on top)
  • Cheese is optional. If I HAVE TO have cheese, I just sprinkle a little bit of shredded mozzerella around on top before I bake it. Cheese is over rated.

BBQ Chicken: bake chunks of skinless-boneless chicken at 425 for 35 minutes covered in a glass pan. Drain any liquid that remains, and toss chicken pieces with Bull’s Eye Original BBQ sauce until well coated. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered, or until glazed.

Pizza crust: I have several “from scratch” bread recipes that work, but I  almost always use the ‘Nature’s Highlights’ frozen pizza crust I find in the freezer section at Whole Foods. Let it thaw out, brush it with a little oil and bake it for 5 minutes, then top it with BBQ sauce, refried beans, sauteed-carmelized onions/garlic, baked BBQ chicken, some cilantro and a little sprinkle of mozzerella if you want cheese.

Bake 8 minutes and slice and serve. Just like the lunch flatbread at the expensive lunch place, but better!