At least Dean Martin wasn't trying to be profound when he sang about love being like getting a shiner from a pizza. Although "pizza pie" was redundant, pizza being Italian for pie. But that's what we called it back in the day.
It was a rare treat to go the pizza parlor to watch those amazing guys throwing the dough high in the air. I always waited for them to drop it, but they never did. For me, that was the whole point of the excursion. That, and the Nesselrode pie that we got for dessert. Nesselrode, an airy concoction of puréed chestnuts, cream, gelatin,and candied fruits, with a topping of shaved chocolate, seems to have gone the way of rotary phones and vinyl records. No, actually, vinyl is in again, so maybe someone will make Nesselrode hip, too.
But, back to the subject: Who doesn't love pizza?
Well, me, actually. Before I went Paleo, I could actually take it or leave it, mostly leave it. Henry, on the other hand, adores it, so every couple of weeks we used to get a take-out pie from his favorite pizzeria. After I ate it, I always felt like crap, but didn't connect it with the wheat or the cheese...I just thought it was the grease.
But, of course, after it became a forbidden food on my new diet, I craved it like crazy.
And, thanks to some Paleo geniuses, I can eat it.
Making your own pizza crust is easy, especially in a food processor, but if you'd rather not, Julian Bakery (www.julianbakery.com) makes a pretty good Paleo pizza crust mix (and their pancake mix is even better).
So with an easier-than- pie pizza crust (homemade, see below, or from a mix) a batch of already prepared Paleo Mozzarella (see recipe, below) and some roasted veggies or leftover roast chicken and pesto, making pizza is almost as easy as take-out, with the added bonus that you don't feel like crap afterwards. And even Henry admits it isn't bad...but he's from New Jersey and says he hasn't had a REAL Italian pizza since we moved to Maine.
Makes one large or two small crusts
2 or more cups almond flour
1 1/2 cups tapioca flour or arrowroot powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Place pizza stone or cookie sheet in oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients in food processor.
3. Add water and olive oil to dry ingredients and process until dough forms a ball.
4. Put dough on large piece of parchment paper and cover with second piece of parchment paper.
5. Roll dough to desired thickness (you want it to be more of a flatbread pizza than a Sicilian pie). Then remove top sheet of parchment paper, prick crust all over with a fork and carefully transfer dough to pizza stone or cookie sheet in the oven (o.k. to leave it on bottom sheet of parchment paper).
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until dough starts to turn color and crisp up.
7. Remove from oven, add toppings and put back in oven for about 8 minutes, or until cheese melts (if you are using cheese).
8. Remove from oven, slice and serve.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
(Reprinted with permission from Jane's Healthy Kitchen, www.janeshealthykitchen.com)
2 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup canned organic coconut milk (thick)
1 cup coconut butter, softened (put jar in warm water)
2 TBS nutritional (not baking) yeast (available at natural food stores)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) powder (available at natural food stores and pharmacies)
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1. Put lemon juice, coconut milk, coconut butter, nutritional yeast, salt and Vitamin C powder in food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Add melted coconut oil and blend until smooth.
3. Pour into freezer-safe container and freeze for one hour.
4. Remove from freezer and allow to soften for about 5 minutes, then slice or grate as much as you need. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining cheese.
Roasted Vegetable Pizza
1 recipe pizza crust, see above
Paleo mozzarella, see recipe, above
Assorted vegetables like beets, parsnips, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, carrots, etc.
Salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Slice vegetables, arrange on baking sheet(s), salt to taste, and drizzle with olive oil.
3. Roast until vegetable soften and brown slightly (watch carefully as they will be ready at different times--beets take the longest)
4. Follow recipe for pizza crust, topping with vegetables and cheese.
Chicken and Pesto Pizza
1 recipe pizza crust, see above
Paleo mozzarella, see recipe, above
Leftover roast chicken, cut or torn into pieces
Your favorite pesto recipe ( I like mint, basil and walnuts)
1. Follow recipe for pizza crust, above, topping with pesto, then chicken and cheese.
Grilled Mushroom and Onion Pissaladière
Since it's grilling season, I've included this grilled version of a favorite French recipe. Grilling pizza dough is super easy, and takes half the time than baking in the oven. Note that the toppings are put on after the crust is completely cooked.
3 TBS olive oil
12 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 TBS fresh thyme
Pitted Greek or Niçoise olives
Chopped parsley for garnish
1/2 recipe Paleo pizza dough (see recipe, above), but do not bake dough
Olive oil for oiling grill
1. Heat olive oil and sauté onions until soft; add mushrooms and thyme and continue to sauté until mushrooms are done, being careful not to burn the onions.
2. Heat grill, brush with olive oil, and place rolled out pizza dough on grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes, then flip over for another 3 or 4 minutes until dough is crisp.
3. Spread cooked onion/mushroom mixture on crust, scatter olives on top, then garnish with chopped parsley. Slice and serve.
(Almost) Everything Pizza
2 TBS grapeseed or coconut oil
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup water
1 tsp dried or 1 TBS Fresh thyme
1 bunch rainbow chard, stems removed and chopped, leaves sliced in strips
12 oz white mushrooms
4 slices bacon, chopped
4 eggs (optional)
1 TBS ghee (optional)
1 recipe pizza dough, see above
1 recipe Paleo mozzarella ( there will be cheese left over, so freeze the rest for your next pizza night)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Sauté onions in oil until soft.Add thyme and water, cover, and cook over a low flame 20 minutes to caramelize. Add chard stems and cook over, uncovered, until softened. Add sliced mushrooms, cook until soft, then add sliced chard leaves. Cook briefly, until leaves wilt. Set aside.
2. Cook bacon until crisp, then remove to paper towel to drain.
3. Make pizza crust, then add vegetables and cheese and continue baking according to crust recipe (do not add bacon)
4. If using eggs, fry in ghee
5. When pizza is done, scatter bacon on top and top the whole thing with fried eggs. Salt and pepper to taste, cut and serve.