Friday, January 29, 2010
Hi, my name is Jessica, and I've been off pizza for two and a half years. Grudgingly. Bitterly. Even with the occassional pout. You see, all sorts of restaurants and maufactuerers want to provide a Gluten Free pizza. They know the electrifying hold these sweet little triangles have on us. They know some of us will do anything to sink our teeth into that ooey, gooey - slightly crispy - landscape of yum. But do they ever think to themselves, these white-aproned chefs, that we GF folks might need a Gluten Free, DAIRY FREE version of their tasty little pie? No, I'm saddened to say, rarely. And so, I've gone without, watching others pile into cheesy rounds of delight - GF or not. Until now. And hell, am I making up for it.
Sure, I've tried the whole 'cheeseless' pizza thing. If you get a tasty crust going and layer it with an inch or more of sauce and mound on at least 5 toppings - it's not so bad. Except there's no cheese. And really...without cheese, aren't you just eating a meal on top of bread? After several attempts at various abominations of the cheese substitute variety I really just gave up. Dirty old gym shorts, blocks of clay, an empty bank account - it just wasn't worth it. I refuse to pay 8 dollars for something that tastes like a child's art project. So I convinced myself that cheese was really only there as a vehicle for the toppings, making their perch upon the crust possible - totally erroneous to my meal.
And then Daiya cheese entered my life.
Hands down, round the world, taking-over-my-life the best food product. Ever. It tastes like cheese, melts like cheese, might as well be cheese, minus the alien-birth sideshow which would usually occur after the ingestion of "real" cheese. I'll leave my full review for a later date, but it must be said that today's meal inspiration (for it can hardly be called a recipe) is an ode to Daiya cheese and the beauty it has brought back into my life (aka: PizzaMyLove).
Gluten Free Dairy Free Pizza
Or GF Pizza with dairy filled topping, your choice.
Ener-G Rice Pizza Shells. They are non-frozen and I thought the flavor and consistency were a tad nicer than Nature's Way. However, here's the clincher: Nature's Highlights are $5.99 for 2 and I can find them at Whole Foods while Ener-G is about $14 for 2 and the only store I've found them (except Amazon) is far away. Plus, Nature's Highlights is made of brown rice and potato. Period. Almost everyone can eat that. Almost. I've also had luck with the Whole Foods 365 Mix, softer and lighter. But again, mixing.
Tip: The best way to cook the Nature's Highlight crust (if you don't want to put it directly on the oven rack) is to let it thaw while the oven preheats and follow the directions - put the pizza on a cookie cooling rack and then put the rack on a cookie baking sheet. This allows the heat and air to get under the crust.
If you feel like making your own GF crust, check out these awesome recipes from some lovely GF pros:
Zucchini Crust Pizza Flatbread - Book of Yum
Pizza Crust - Gluten Free Goddess (via Lydia)
Kid Friendly Pizza Crust - Ginger Lemon Girl
Topping Inspiration - get crazy!
Daiya Cheese! Non dairy, absolutely awesome. This can only be bought in bulk, for now, so many Whole Foods stores will buy it and divy it up into plastic containers. If your store doesn't have it - request it!
Your Favorite Tomato Sauce
Fresh Tomato Slices
Ground Beef of Buffalo
Sweet Vidalia Onion
...anything else your little heart desires. Leave your favorite toppings in the comments!
Gluten Free College Guide to Pizza
If you are not interested in using an oven I definitely suggest Amy's GF Dairy Free Frozen Pizzas which I've listed in my Top 10 Ready Made Snacks for College Students list. You can pop these in the microwave and - if you feel so motivated - add on your own favorite toppings like Perdue Shortcuts for protein, extra cheese or frozen veggies.
If you want to add veggies or you feel like you want to tackle the oven simply get whatever vegetables you want from the freezer section. While your crust is pre-heating run handfulls of your frozen vegetables under warm water until they are no longer frosty. Spread on pizza, heat and enjoy. Easy peasy.