Quick and Easy Pizza Night

By Rachel Sircy

Well, truthfully, I wasn’t planning to write about this, but after I tried Mama Mary’s gluten free pizza crust, I thought I had better share my experience. My husband had been asking about home-made pizza recently – I make a pretty mean chicken pizza – but the thing is, I really don’t like to make gluten free pizza crusts. Somehow, the mixes always give you something weird. I really dislike the Bob’s Redmill pizza crust mix. It’s like dry, crusty bread. My favorite, as far as pizza crust mixes go, has always been Namaste, but even that wasn’t ever a normal pizza crust. It was white with greenish flecks of Italian seasoning in it. It was also the consistency of cake batter with the weirdly elastic properties of marshmallow cream. It was weird, but at least it was a kind of weirdness I could handle. Actually, I haven’t even made the Namaste pizza crust in so long, that I don’t know if the formula is even the same anymore.

So, when my husband asked for pizza, I really just wanted to hand him $5 and point him in the direction of the nearest Little Cesar’s, but then I remembered something. Walking down one of the aisles of the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Cayce, I remembered seeing little personal-sized pre-packaged pizza crusts that were labeled “gluten free”. I figured they couldn’t be as bad as Bob’s Redmill, and their small size also solved another one of gluten free pizza’s big problems: leftovers.

My husband loves cold pizza – I’m not such a huge fan, even in my gluten-eating days, I disliked the way that the refrigerator turned all of that luscious, gooey cheese into something like cold leather – but cold, leftover gluten free pizza is pretty nearly inedible. Not only does the cheese turn to leather, but the something that happens to most gluten free pizza crusts that causes them to become so hard that – should you be desperate enough to try to eat a piece – you have to gnaw on the slice like a wild animal trying to peel the last bit of meat off of a carcass. And, in my opinion, reheating a gluten free slice of pizza doesn’t make matters much better. The microwave may melt the cheese, but it doesn’t do much for that awful crust. I have always hated making an entire huge pizza and pretty much having to throw out the leftovers. Yes, some of you may be thinking that you have a perfect (albeit really time-consuming) recipe for gluten free pizza crust that tastes good the next day, but here’s the thing: I’m lazy. Especially when it comes to baking. I kind of hate it. I used to love to bake before I discovered that I have celiac disease, but that love died in the first few months of going gluten free and I’ve never been able to revive it. If you want to see me at my absolute worst, ask me to make a gluten free pizza crust. Or worse yet, a gluten free pie crust. In the case of the pie crust, you might have to pick me up off of the kitchen floor because I will have fallen over, weeping.

Long story short, I decided to give these little pizza crusts a try. And it turns out that they’re pretty good. I mean, they’re not the best pizza crusts I’ve ever had, but I personally think they beat Bob’s Redmill by a mile. (Sorry to beat up on you, Bob. You’ve given us a lot of great products, but your pizza is the pits.) So, I am making a recommendation: if you, like me, are lazy and want a quick and easy pizza without leftovers, try these Mama Mary’s pizza crusts. I didn’t take a picture of the crusts in the package, because I wasn’t planning to write about them, but I took a picture of the back of the package:

Pic 1

And here’s the finished product:

Again, I found these pizza crusts in the gluten free section of the Neighborhood Market in Cayce. They’re not refrigerated, they right there on the shelf next to the gluten free snack bars and whatnot. I feel fairly certain, however, that almost any Walmart would carry them. Walmart is pretty good at having the same products in every store. Happy Eating!

 

 

 

Pizza: My Favorite Veggie!

By Mary Pat Baldauf

I’m always on the lookout for good, healthy, easy meals, and I recently found a winner at my local Kroger store: CAULIPOWER, a ready-to-cook, cauliflower-crust frozen pizza.

Caulipowered

CAULIPOWER pizzas are made with real cauliflower, are nutrient-rich and gluten-free. While they taste like conventional recipes – my sister compares them to our mom’s homemade pizzas — they have less sodium, calories and sugar, and are higher in vitamins than most conventional and gluten-free frozen pizzas.

CAULIPOWER is the brainchild of Gail Becker who made the jump from a globally recognized corporate career at Edelman to the world of entrepreneurship. After both her sons were diagnosed with Celiac disease, she was frustrated by the poor nutritional value of today’s gluten-free options and wanted to create one product that could go beyond just ‘gluten-free’ to be craveable and delicious to anyone.

“I was really taken with the idea of bringing a concept that was born on the internet to life,” said Gail Becker, founder and CEO of CAULIPOWER. “I knew there was a large segment of the population that want to eat healthier, but may not have the time or resources to make those foods from scratch. My vision for CAULIPOWER is to advocate for accessible nutrition, that’s easy and even a bit unexpected.”

caulipower

Creating a vegetable-forward meal in under 15 minutes, CAULIPOWER pizzas are available in three guilt-free varieties:

  • Three-Cheese Pizza – a delicious mix of mozzarella, white cheddar and parmesan atop a signature sauce made from a traditional blend of spices, extra virgin olive oil and garlic
  • Veggie Pizza – features ripe red, yellow and green peppers atop a thick bed of mozzarella cheese and savory signature sauce
  • Margherita Pizza – honors the classic recipe with freshly diced vine-ripened tomatoes, abundant mozzarella cheese, and signature sauce made from a traditional blend of spices, extra virgin olive oil and garlic
  • And with there is a plain crust option, too, which is a blank canvas awaiting culinary artistry.

I found CAULIPOWER by glorious accident at Kroger on Forest Drive, and I’m hooked. They also sell at select Whole Foods and on Amazon.com, as well as other grocers throughout the country. To learn more about CAULIPOWER and where to buy it, visit CAULIPOWER.net or follow them on Facebook.

Pizza Date

By: Brady Evans

I had a pizza date planned with a friend for this past Saturday evening.  I did everything I could to plan for it: made sure my husband had a decent dinner to eat on his own, went on a long run, salivated.

And then she canceled.  All of the sudden I had to cook dinner, but I couldn’t get pizza out of my mind since that’s what I’d been looking forward to all day.

I certainly wouldn’t have been able to order this pizza at the Pizza Hut I was scheduled to attend, so I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed dinner as much as I enjoyed this pizza.

And thank goodness for Smartphones.  I ran into the grocery store on the way home from my cancelled dinner with no inspiration.  I saw asparagus was on sale, instantly remembered seeing this recent blog update on Confections of a Foodie Bride, and had dinner planned.  I checked the ingredients in my Google Reader and dinner was set.

The truth is that this pizza was really high maintenance for me to make since my favorite vegetable peeler was MIA (???) and my batch of asparagus was particularly tender and thin, making it hard to shred.  I persevered, though, and would do the chore two times over to have this pizza again.  It was fantastic.  The sun-dried tomatoes, a last minute impulse decision, made it just fantastic.  My husband, who had requested pork tenderloin for dinner (naturally, I turned that down), didn’t even miss meat on this pizza.  Moreover, he’s not one to like gourmet pizzas, but he adored this meal, perhaps even more than I did.  Yes, we ‘fought’ over leftovers.

Shaved Asparagus Pizza with Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese (inspired by Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Ingredients

  • 1 batch pizza dough
  • 8 ounces asparagus, woody ends snapped off
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 -3 oil packed sundried tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place your pizza stone in the oven 1 notch higher than midway in your oven.
  2. Zest and juice lemon, placing zest and lemon into a large bowl. Add olive oil. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus into thin slices and place in the bowl with the lemon juice. Toss to combine.
  4. Roll prepared pizza dough out to a 12-14″ round.
  5. Using tongs, lift dressed asparagus out of bowl and pile onto pizza dough.
  6. Dot entire pizza with dollops of goat cheese.
  7. Sprinkle pie with sundried tomatoes.
  8. Bake in your very hot oven for 10 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is bubbling.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 3