primal pizza

Another Pizza Experiment

We’ve made a zucchini pizza crust before, you can check it out here if interested. It can be a little time-consuming and messy but if you have the time, it is outstanding. I would have never imagined a vegetable could stand in for pizza crust.

If the zucchini crust is so great, why am I trying something else you say? Well, for the fun of it. I saw this recipe recently and I just wanted to give it a try to see how it compared.

To make the pizza crust you need the following:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 and start with the dry ingredients. Mix the coconut flour, baking soda and powder, garlic and onion powders, and your salt and pepper.

Then add your eggs and coconut milk.

The mixture will look a bit like pancake batter but don’t panic. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes; it will thicken up.

Then pour the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Try to spread it out evenly.

Then bake. The original recipe says 20-22 minutes. I think I let mine go for about 25. Here’s how it looked:

It smelled great too. Now, comes the tricky part. You need to flip it. I’ve got an oversized cutting board that works great for this (and for the zucchini crust because you have to do the same with that one.) Lay the board over the top of the tray. Holding with a pot holder from under the tray, flip them over so the crust is now on the cutting board. Take off the tray. Peel off the parchment. Then slide, pick up, use spatulas, whatever works for you to get the crust back onto the tray. Be careful so you don’t tear or break the crust. Since I was home alone during this experiment I can’t show you the flip trick but here’s the end result:

Now, make your pizza! My toppings of choice were:

Here is where I diverged a lot from the original recipe. I have a totally different combination of toppings…

…and I did not broil it. I didn’t trust that the cheese would not melt too fast or burn before the meats underneath could warm up. I read up on the baking of traditional pizzas on other sites and decided to continue to bake it at the same temperature, checking every five minutes. In the end I baked it for about 12 minutes at 425. This may have greatly changed the composition of how the crust bakes, I’m not sure. The end product looked beautiful and smelled wonderful.

But the crust was not crunchy or crispy like a thin pizza crust should be. It was cooked through, and tasted wonderful, but it lacked that crunch I like with my pizza. I’m not sure if broiling it would have accomplished that, or if perhaps the tomato sauce soaked into the crust and kept it soft. The sauce did sort of act like a barrier between the toppings and the crust; the toppings slipped right off some pieces while I was cutting them. I noticed that Juli did not use sauce on her pizza, rather she brushed hers with olive oil. So perhaps the sauce was my mistake. I’m just not sure.

I know I might be making this sound somewhat unappealing and I don’t mean to give that impression. I just want to be completely fair about how it turned out. Despite all these things, it did taste amazing and did totally fulfill my craving for pizza. It warmed up great as leftovers and I ate the whole thing myself for lunches and dinners last week. I hope to try it again sometime to see if I can get the crust to be more crispy and to my liking. If I figure it out, I’ll post an update. 🙂

Ideas are like pizza dough, made to be tossed around.
~ Anna Quindlen

Nature and Pizza

I’ve got so many things I could share from the past few days that it’s hard to pick a focus for this post. I’ve settled on two things, an update on our new Vibram shoes and a new recipe we tried last night.

Yesterday we went for a nature walk/hike. We have been wearing our new shoes for short intervals this past week as we get accustomed to them. Yesterday was the longest time we’ve worn them and definitely the most terrain we’ve experienced in them so far. They really are quite an experience. It feels like you are walking barefoot but with a little barrier to protect against sharp edges. It’s a lot easier to walk on uneven ground and you really feel the ground under your feet. It feels very natural.

If you’d like to know more about Vibram and why we are so excited about these shoes, read their “Five Reasons To Wear.”

After our walk, we hit the grocery store to buy a few essentials we needed for the new recipe we wanted to try. It’s going to sound funky, but let me tell you it was A-mazing! We made a Primal Pizza using “The Perfect Primal Pizza Crust.”

First things first, we had to buy a food processor. It’s become glaringly apparent that a lot of the new recipes we hope to try required a food processor. We’ve always avoided this additional kitchen appliance but decided it was time to get over our issues about storage space and ease of cleaning. As most of you with food processors already know, the ease and speed at which it handled the shredding of our ingredients was well worth the little bit of cleanup afterwards.

On to the pizza. There are two parts to this. First, making the crust and then adding toppings to complete the pizza. For the crust, you need 1 pound of eggplant (shredded), 1/2 cup almond flour, one egg white, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Yes, I said eggplant. This was the first time either of us has eaten eggplant. It was yummy. (We also added a tbsp of red pepper flakes to give it that little kick we like to see in our foods.)

For our toppings, we used tomato sauce, cheese (mozzarella and sharp cheddar), peperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage, olives, and pineapple.

First we had to shred our eggplant. Then mix with the remaining crust ingredients.

Next, you use your hands to pat the mixture down into a crust shape about 1/4 inch think. (I do not advise using a silicone baking mat. The author of the recipe recommended parchment paper and we ended up switching to that partway through cooking because the silicone was too thick.)

After 15 minutes of baking at 450 degrees, you take the crust out and flip it, then return to the oven for another 5  minutes. We ended of flipping a third time due to our baking mat debacle and baking for closer to 30 minutes total.

Now it was time for toppings!

We baked for about 15 minutes at 350 and viola!

We cut it into fourths. We were worried that two pieces each might not be enough to fill us up, considering how much traditional pizza a person can pack away. Surprisingly, I could tell before I finished my first piece that it was plenty and that the two pieces were a perfect serving size. I cannot describe how wonderful it tasted. We were both beginning to worry just before it was finished baking that all the time and effort was going to yield something strange and inedible. We couldn’t have been more wrong. I didn’t miss the presence of traditional crust whatsoever. We could eat this weekly and we probably will!