By Dana Elmore of bossyfood
My invitation to write this post for you today was humbling and exciting. I felt humbled because I am a green bean in the world of blogging. I felt excited because I have this platform to share about gluten, as well as a recipe for you to try. After I tell you a bit about myself, I will explain gluten in a nutshell. Before we say goodbye, I will entice you with my gluten-free pan pizza recipe.
All my days are filled with family and food, as I am a mother of three and seasoned wife of 16 years. I used to be burdened by the responsibilities of having to feed my family. We routinely ate tacos, chili and spaghetti. Eating out was commonplace. Planning nutrient-dense meals was a foreign concept.
All that changed nearly three years ago when both my daughters were diagnosed with celiac disease. I was devastated. I had never heard of this autoimmune disease and certainly had never even seen the word gluten. There is no cure for this disease, and the only treatment is to avoid all gluten. Support for this disease is minimal where I live. I was forced to learn about food in order to feed my daughters a diet that would not continue to hurt them. I chose to not eat gluten as well. I wanted to support my girls. I knew if I felt deprived of a particular food such as pumpkin pie, I would be much more likely to find a way to make a gluten-free version for our family to enjoy.
During the first year following their diagnosis, I was mad and frustrated. I didn’t know how to cook or bake without flour. Paying for gluten-free convenience foods was killing our budget. I felt alone in my quest to protect my daughters from gluten.
What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It is in nearly all processed foods such as canned soups and salad dressings. You can find it in licorice, soy sauce, lip gloss, and even on the lickable part of an envelope! You can find out more about gluten here.
Eventually, through tons of research, I began to feel empowered. My passion for feeding my family has become a hobby. My blog is a way for me to share with others about nourishing foods, food preparation and the like. The term bossyfood came in an a-ha moment. You see, my community and friends — and yours, too — continue to buy harmful foods that boss them around. Those unhealthy foods are telling every cell in our bodies what to do. Many of us are what Dr. Tom O’Bryan, the ultimate gluten guru, calls “the walking dead”. We are a fatigued nation fighting headaches and brain fog, just to mention a few symptoms. Our ability to connect with what our bodies need and how they feel has become a challenge. I long for our communities to break their food addictions so they can start bossing their food around! My hope is that bossyfood will educate, empower and inspire all of us to cultivate a desire to nourish ourselves. Just imagine what our communities would look like if we were all making positive changes in our thinking and behaviors about food. When we are physically nourished, our minds and hearts are quick to follow. And boy, would we be a changed world or what?
Drum roll, please. I am sharing with you today my recipe for pan pizza. That’s right. Gluten-free pan pizza with a dairy-free option. Before you start, pour yourself a tasty glass of peach tea. If it’s nice out, open a window for some fresh air. Take a big breath, hold it at the top, let it out slow. Okay, now smile, because within the hour you are going to be eating pizza! I don’t know about you, but pizza is my favorite food. Ever.
GLUTEN-FREE PAN PIZZA
bowl for wet ingredients
bowl for dry ingredients
black iron skillet
standing mixer or hand mixer
¼ cup flaxmeal
½ cup brown rice flour or (¼ cup arrowroot flour +¼ cup millet flour) * (see note)
¼ cup tapioca starch
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp fine sea salt
½ cup plain whole fat Greek yogurt + ⅛ cup milk or (½ cup plain coconut yogurt for dairy-free option)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
pizza toppings of choice. I used sliced olives, pepperoni, diced green pepper, fresh basil and organic mozzarella cheese (skip the cheese for a dairy-free option)
*Note: Gluten-free ingredients can usually be found in your local health food stores or online via Amazon.
Set your oven to 450 degrees. Place your black iron skillet in the oven to get hot as the oven warms. Combine all your dry ingredients into a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, milk, egg and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Before you go any further, pull the skillet out of the oven. Careful, it’s hot! Pour the second tablespoon of olive oil into the pan. Swirl it around to get the sides. Put it back in the oven to heat up the oil for just a minute or two. Don’t let the oil smoke or it becomes toxic. While the oil is heating, combine your dry ingredients with your wet ingredients. I use my standing mixer, but you could use a hand mixer too.
Pull the skillet back out of the oven and quickly place your pizza “dough” into the hot pan. The batter is thick, so you need to spread it to the edges of the pan. I use the back of a large spoon and a spatula. Place it in the oven for 8 minutes or so. Take it out and add your toppings, but do NOT put the pizza sauce on first. If you do, it will soak into the crust. Here is the trick. For this recipe, place your pepperoni down first to create a barrier between the crust and the sauce. (If you are not using pepperoni, try to spread out your other ingredients first, then drizzle the sauce over the top before you sprinkle on the cheese.) Spread your sauce carefully over the pepperoni layer, then sprinkle on sliced olives, green pepper, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese.
Quickly get it back in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Once it is finished baking, let it sit for 5 minutes and then transfer it to a cooling rack. After a few minutes you will need to move it to a different surface to cut it. I usually double this recipe, using both my skillets, to feed my whole family. You can serve this with a salad and a smile. Enjoy, friends!