Category Archives: pizza

Gluten Free Ciabatta Pizza

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Once again, I failed to plan for lunch and found myself famished while working. Improvising proved to be a good thing again when I created these little beauties. I grabbed a package of Schar’s Ciabatta rolls and sliced them into three thin slices. They are thick enough and make the perfect crust for an impromptu pizza. I just used two rolls and got six little pizzas, enough to share.

Gluten Free Ciabatta Pizza

2 Schar Ciabatta Rolls
3 TBS olive oil
Pinch of garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, basil
6 TBS marinara sauce
3 TBS grated Parmesan
6 TBS shredded Mozzarella

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix olive oil with spices in a small bowl
3. Distribute olive oil mixture evenly over bread slices
4. Bake rolls for about 5-9 minutes
5. Layer 1 TBS marinara, 1/2 TBS Parmesan and 1 TBS mozzarella on each slice
6. Broil on low for about 3 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Enjoy, and try to keep everyone from stealing these. I’m thinking about trying these for my next book club since they are so easy and so good. Maybe a bit of spinach next time?

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Filed under cheese, cooking, crust, dinner, gluten free, marinara, mozzarella, pizza, Pizza Crust, quick meal, vegetarian

I found the best GF pizza!

The good news is I finally found the best GF pizza out there and I didn’t have to make it. The bad news is that it’s in New York City and they don’t deliver this far. Last week in NY with my daughter, I ate my way through the gluten-free plates of the city and boy, are there a lot of them. If we lived in the city, my friends, we would be complaining a lot less about the quality, price, and taste of the gluten-free offerings out there. Seriously.

Yes, that’s gluten free. And yes, it was amazing!

Ok, that’s fine you say, but what about the pizza? I discovered Keste Pizza and Vino while searching the Internet for GF food. It’s a small place, so small you could miss it and walk right past it if you weren’t paying attention like we did. But it’s worth the walk, and worth the search, trust me. Mondays and Tuesdays are GF days for pizza, although they serve it all week. Mondays and Tuesdays, I was told, are exclusively GF to lessen the cross contamination. Sounded good to me, and since we happened to arrive in the city on a Tuesday, that was music to my ears. It was also egg-free, which made my daughter very happy.

The tiny storefront for Keste Pizza & Vino

The restaurant is tucked into a sweet part of Greenwich Village and conveniently right across the street from a gelato store. There are just a few tables, and I found out later that it can get crowded with a long wait, but we got there early and got lucky. The staff is wonderful, attentive and very friendly. We were seated and had menus and wine right away. Our friends had salads, which they said were very good. I was saving space for pizza.

We ordered a basic Margherita pizza to get the full, NY pizza experience and we were not disappointed. It was a full pizza size, not like the usual GF pizza which is so much smaller than regular pizzas (why is that anyway?) And at just $15 I was quite surprised, expecting NY to have a much higher starting price. After taking the first bite of the pizza, my daughter looked at me and said, “We’re gonna’ need another one.” She was right. I ordered two more…one for the table and one for the next day. The four of us devoured the pizzas much too quickly, but we had no control. The crust was chewy inside and crunchy on the outside, the sauce was slightly sweet the way it should be, and the mozzarella was fresh and melty. I’m still dreaming of it at night.

The cute store across the street, which I loved.

We opted out of the flourless chocolate cake to hit the market and gelato stand across the street. Now, I wish I’d had the cake, but I knew I couldn’t eat that much and I would have had no control. The saying, “Well, we’re only here for a short time,” seemed to give us carte blanche to eat anything we wanted, and as much as we wanted. I’m paying the price now, but it was worth it!

I highly recommend Keste Pizza & Vino and I know I’ll be back again and again, every time I have a chance to go to NY. I like to imagine I’m one of those super wealthy people who can order whatever they want and have it delivered, even if it’s cheesecake from Boston or bagels from New Jersey. I would order this, no question.

The pizza is just as good the next day, cold. We packed it in our bags and headed out to Central Park for a day in the sun. Perfect food to munch on in the city, don’t you think?

Stay tuned for the Mac & Cheese adventure in the East Village!

Perfection on a plate!

Cold pizza in Central Park. Just like the good old days, yum!

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Filed under cheese, crust, dinner, dough, mozzarella, pizza, Pizza Crust, restaurants, review, rice flour, Takeout Gluten-free Pizza, vegetarian, wine

My GF Pizza Obsession Continues at Detours Tavern

(NOTE: Detour Tavern is now closed…)

White pizza with kale, broccoli and mushrooms…YUM!

OK, once again we are back on pizza. I know, I know, you’re sick of me harping on the GF pizza quest. It’s my obsession to find something that comes close to real pizza, as you know. But trust me on this, it’s working. Last night, I got closer than I’ve gotten in a long time.

A dear friend invited me to dinner and said, “I saw gluten free on the menu, so let’s go.” Of course, that made me nervous, who knows what’s there and how they make it, right? But I always figure I can have a salad, and I’m touched that she thought of me and I love that she wanted to go with me.

Cut to a few nights later as we sit in Detours Tavern in Scottsdale. Not too much ambiance, more of a sports bar feel,  but not bad and it is clean. It used to be a Chinese restaurant that was anything but clean. So nice to see that gone at least. I checked the menu and noticed a few things I could order, but then noticed they had pizzas and a little note saying they had gluten-free pizza. Hmmm, after checking with the server, who assured me that they put the gf pizzas on a separate pan to bake and use separate utensils, I ordered a white pizza with kale, mushrooms and broccoli. One word-Wow! Thin, crispy, light, chewy, amazing. And it’s huge, not the usual tiny GF pizza that costs a fortune and isn’t worth the money. This did cost about $12, but it was totally worth it.

Of course, that meant I had to grill the poor guy for all the particulars. He said they get it from Sysco and he thought it was made in AZ somewhere. The owner wasn’t there and he said he’d call me with the information. Of course, I couldn’t wait for that so I checked on my phone and found out that Sysco has three GF pizza crusts available- Schar, Ener-G, and Pane Riso/Kingsmill. It didn’t look like the Schar crusts, which I’ve seen before. But all the options have no eggs or gluten, which makes them work for EF/GF Daughter. Yay.

Quinoa salad over raw kale

My friend chose the quinoa salad over kale. It’s filled with black beans, corn and more. Yummy! There was a light vinaigrette over the salad and mixed in with the kale, which was raw on the bottom. The quinoa flavor wasn’t masked by the dressing, which is sometimes the case with most restaurants. I’m getting this next time, if I can resist not eating another pizza.

And one thing this restaurant does is serve big entrees. We shared both and were stuffed when we were done. You could easily have shared with another person, but I’m sure glad nobody else was there.

I highly recommend this place for a relaxed, casual dining experience. There aren’t a ton of GF items on the menu, but what they have looks and tastes wonderful. They have a full bar and flat screens all over, so I’m guessing on game night it’s The Place To Be. My friend said their sweet potato fries were wonderful, but unfortunately they are fried in contaminated oil with breaded food. Only bummer of the night.

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Filed under allergies, black beans, broccoli, cheese, gluten free, kale, pizza, Pizza Crust, quinoa, restaurants, salad, Takeout Gluten-free Pizza, vegetarian

Summer Gluten-free Eggplant Pizzas

In the mood for something comforting, but not in the mood for a filling pizza or pasta? I was in the same frame of mind today when I spotted the beautiful eggplants in the market. My daughter was quick to point out that a little sauce and cheese would make a great “pizza” without all the fuss. Love that kid! A quick grill of the eggplant and dinner is served!

Gluten-free Eggplant Pizza

2 med. eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick round slices
1/2 cup marinara sauce (I use Trader Joe’s organic)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (or whatever cheese you like)
4-5 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp dried parsley
salt/pepper/garlic powder

1. Grill sliced eggplant with a bit of olive oil and salt until softening and grill marks show, but be careful not to let it get too soft. It’s going in the oven for a few minutes, so don’t overcook.

2. Place the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet. Top with a 1-2 teaspoons of marinara sauce and a bit of shredded cheese.

3. Sprinkle salt/pepper, basil, parsley and garlic powder.

4. Place pan under low broil until cheese is melted. Watch closely, you only need a few minutes.

Voila! These are tasty and so yummy. I don’t miss the crust at all. If you want to do the entire meal on the grill, just layer the slices on a sheet pan, put it back on the grill and close the door for a few moments to melt the cheese. That quick and no need to fire up the grill in the summer.

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Filed under cheese, eggplant, girlling, gluten free, marinara, pizza, vegetarian

The Pizza Quest Continues

Naked Pizza in my car, oh yeah!

Still on my quest for the best GF pizza, Daughter and I took a long trek out to the northwest of Phoenix to try Naked Pizza. They boast a gluten-free crust and all precautions for cross contamination including changing gloves, separate area and separate toppings for GF pizzas. Watch this video on their page (right side of the page) if you’re interested.

But, bottom line, how did it taste? If any of you remember Pizza Hut’s thin crust pizza (from pre-GF days), this comes closest to that. The texture is chewy and thin, like a thick cracker, but better. It is beautifully lacking in that gluten-free funny taste that so many GF items seem to have. It’s crispy, chewy, and light, making it much too easy to eat an entire ½ of a pizza in one sitting. (What? Shhhhh)
Unfortunately, there are no tables in these pizza joints. There are a few around town, all of which are too far from me for a quick bite. Without inside seating, that means you have to find somewhere to eat it. Now if you live close by, that’s not a problem. Take it home and enjoy it in front of the big game. But if you’re traveling about 30 minutes on the freeway to try it, (I know, crazy huh?) that leaves a dilemma. We ended up finding a pleasant spot and sitting in the car and eating it. That was actually quite fun, I might even eat another pizza in my car (shhh).
Although pizzas come in multiple sizes, GF pizzas are only one size (12″). They start at $9.99 and toppings are additional. One pizza with ½ pineapple and ½ mushrooms, a bottle of water, and a soda came to about $17 (including tax). Sounds about right for a GF pizza these days. Much less than making it yourself or even a frozen pizza, but a fresh pizza comes at a cost. And, we’ll never have a $5 Dominoes special anymore will we? But then again, would you really want that?
I’m giving this one two thumbs up as far as crust goes. But I suppose it’s better for us that it’s so far away. Any closer and I’d be spending a lot more on pizza.

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Filed under dinner, gluten free, Naked Pizza, pizza, Takeout Gluten-free Pizza, vegetarian

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Experiment #4

Pizza Crust No. 4 is a Winner

If you’ve been following the blog, you already know that I’m on a quest to find the easiest, tastiest pizza crust to make at home. Yes, I know I can buy a frozen one quite easily, but aside from the astronomical costs of these things (I took out a home equity loan for a GF pizza party), I think the flavors are just not right. Either they taste like cardboard or they are overly seasoned to cover up the bean-flour taste. There has to be something out there, right?

So, continuing the quest with #4, I decided to find out if a simple, quick crust can be made. This time I had no recipe (yes, I threw away the bag already) and just went with it. I had one cup of Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust mix in a bag from a previous attempt that was just begging to be used. (I know I used this mix in a previous test, but it was mixed with another flour and I wanted to try it on its own.) The rest was improv, and wow, it’s in the top 2. This crust is light and crispy around the edges, slightly chewy toward the middle and has a mild taste. Daughter said it tasted better than numbers 1 and 3 and I have to agree. I think this one is my favorite for two reasons: It is the easiest by far and it has the most basic pizza crust flavor. I can see adding all kinds of toppings and it would work with all of them. You could even bake it with cheese first, then top it off with whatever you like. This made a large 10-inch round pizza with eight nice-sized pieces. It could feed two to three hungry people easily. This makes it the most cost effective also since there are at least three-four cups of mix in each bag.

Quick, Easy Pizza Crust
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt/oregano/basil/pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Add all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until blended well. Use a fork, it will get very thick. Knead it a little with your hands to smooth it out a bit.
3. Turn out onto a greased cookie sheet and spread it out with your fingers.
4. Cover the dough with wax paper and roll out to a pizza-crust thickness (about 1/4 inch). Don’t forget to create a bit of a crust edge with your fingers.
5. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Cover with marinara, cheese, etc. and put back in the oven for 10 minutes.

The big difference in this recipe is that I did not use the yeast packet that came with the mix and instead added the baking powder. I have used yeast in two of the four crusts and aside from the fact that neither one has risen much, I’m not sure it adds much to the mix and I don’t like the flavor. The recipe also calls for water but I had a little bit of milk left and decided to give it a go. That was also a good choice. Daughter asked me to make this one again for dinner so I’m checking this one off as a keeper.

Next time, I’ll do this one with added Parmesan in the crust for flavor and a bit more saltiness.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Bob's Red Mill, cheese, dinner, gluten free, pizza, vegetarian

Pizza Perfection Quest #3

 Pizza, oh yeah!

I knew I would have three teenagers in the house yesterday, so I decided to give pizza crust #3 a try. I am determined to find a crust that Wows everyone. And if you have to have a quest in life, this one isn’t so bad.

For this experiment, I used Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix and Chebe’s Pizza Crust. I decided to mix them because I know Chebe has a chewy texture, but I’m not that keen on the flavor. I know Bob’s Red Mill makes a mix for most everything, but I wanted a more chewy crust. For that reason, I used the Bob’s Red Mill mix, but substituted one cup of the mix for one cup of Chebe’s mix. Everything else was the same (yeast, eggs, oil, salt, garlic powder) as the back of the Bob’s package.

The crust was less sticky than the previous mix, although still not a dough you can roll out. Mostly, just used a spatula and olive oil to spread it around.

Bake first for about 10 minutes to firm it up, then top with marinara and mozzarella and bake another 10 minutes.

Results? I thought the flavor was good, but I didn’t get much of a fluffy dough texture from this one. It was thinner than the second crust and had a nice flavor, but a little too much of the Chebe flavor came through for my taste. The two teens who had the previous pizza liked this one, but not as much as Crust #2 (same reasons). Of course, they did each have 3 pieces, so it wasn’t too shabby. The teen who hadn’t tried any of them so far loved it and ate even more.

So far the votes are in:
Crust #2 is the best so far (King Arthur)
Crust #3 runs a close second (Bob’s and Chebe)
Crust #1 follows up behind as the “Not bad, but I’ve had better” pizza. (Bisquick)

Don’t worry though, there are still a few more to go, and we are determined to try them all just for you! Got a suggestion or recipe? Let me know and we might give that one a try too!

If you try any of these, please let me know how it works out for you. Let me know here, or on the FB page.

Enjoy!

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Filed under baking, Bob's Red Mill, Chebe Pizza Crust, gluten free, pizza, vegan