This is a healthy gluten free Paleo gourmet pizza that you can customize for your favorite toppings. I recommend you read all of the instructions before diving into making this pizza because I have a lot of notes about alternatives you can choose based on your own health and nutritional goals. In other words, at first glance, this may seem like a complicated recipe, but it’s longer because of the options I am going to suggest for you.
Crust Challenge Accepted
When it comes to making pizza, the crust is the biggest challenge if you are going grain-free. Some recipes get a crispy crust by using tapioca flour and if you are not following GAPS, SCD or Paleo, this may be a gluten free option for you. If you are avoiding grains for health reasons, follow this recipe and you’ll get a wonderful pizza crust that, while not crispy, allows you to have the experience of pizza!
I recommend making delicious food with your friends — it’s so much more fun and everyone always learns something. Being with friends in the kitchen is a great way to learn to love cooking. Today, I had Louise L. Hay in the kitchen to contribute her great skills and intuition as we created a healthier version of the gluten-dairy-sugar filled pizzas we see so often today.
Louise taught me some tricks with getting the skins off tomatoes and had some key suggestions for spices that made everything taste even better! She also has a great serving suggestion for this pizza that you’ll see in the “Assembling the Pizza” section of this recipe.
You can shortcut this process to 1 hour if you skip making your own cheese.
- Start 48 hours in advance if you want to make your own cheese out of sunflower seeds.
- I have alternative suggestions in the cheese recipe directions, below. If you choose not to make your own cheese, you can cut the preparation time down to as little as 1 hour.
- You can also make the ingredients for the cheese, sauce and toppings — and even some baked crusts — ahead of time, freeze them and make pizza in just 20 minutes of heating in your oven at 350 degrees F. Everything here freezes well. You can make several crusts ahead of time, let them cool, put parchment paper between them and put them in a Ziplock freezer bag to store for fast meals.
*** I am organizing this recipe in terms of what you may want to start first, so that you can finish this recipe as quickly and efficiently as possible. For example, the sunflower seed cheese, while fast to prepare, takes planning to soak and ferment, so I will start with that first (along with time saving alternatives). The next longest cooking time is the toppings and after that, the sauce. The fastest is the crust. If you start first with the things that take longer to cook, you can focus on the easier items while those are cooking so that you can make this pizza much faster and easier.
8 generous slices of pizza
More and more people are avoiding dairy for a variety of reasons, particularly because it is one of the major foods that produce food allergies, cravings and mood symptoms. I have created a cheese recipe that makes a wonderful pizza topping or even a cheese pate for vegetables or gluten free crackers at parties. This cheese is also fantastic on burgers – including ground chicken burgers and lamb burgers.
If you are eating dairy, you can choose your favorite cheese option. My recommendation is to choose one of the raw organic, unpasteurized cheeses that are coming on the market. You can typically find them in the specialty cheese section in your health food store. If you can find cheese from grass fed cows or goats, that is wonderful! The key is to choose a cheese from hormone-free, antibiotic free animals. I like raw, unpasteurized dairy better than pasteurized because the milk proteins are in tact, unheated and easier to digest. These cheeses are naturally fermented, just like in the days of our ancestors.
If you are vegan, some people like vegan cheeses on the market. I’m not a fan of these cheeses because they often use soy or other unsavory ingredients. Daiya is a popular cheese and it has canola oil, “salt” instead of sea salt and “vegan natural flavors,” which I’d want to investigate to make sure those “natural” flavors aren’t MSG (an excitotoxin and cravings booster) or some other type of ingredient with adverse health consequences.
This cheese recipe is vegan, raw, Paleo, GAPS and SCD compliant, so all your bases are covered! If you are allergic to sunflower seeds, try macadamia nuts. I tend to avoid cashews because they can have mold in them.
- 1.5 cups fermented sunflower seeds (see directions below for how to do this)
- 1 TBL dried oregano
- 1 TBL dried thyme
- ¼ cup fresh basil (or 1 TBL dried basil)
- 1 TBL red miso (Miso Master organic red miso has many health benefits)
- 1 tsp Trocomare (this is an organic herbed sea salt that has some kick to it – you can use Herbamare instead or a tsp of garlic powder)
- 2 TBL green olive juice (It’s best if you can get raw organic cultured olives in a jar, like Organic Divina brand, which you can often find in a health food store or online).
- 3 pitted green olives (Raw organic pitted olives in a jar is recommended).
(Start 48 hours before you want to use this recipe)
- Soak 1.5 cups sunflower seeds by putting them in a glass bowl, filling the bowl with filtered water until it covers the sunflower seeds and putting a top on the bowl. Soak the seeds for 8 – 12 hours (or overnight). Then drain and rinse them.
- Put the seeds into your food processor with the S-blade or high speed blender and puree them.
- Open 4 – 6 probiotic capsules and put it into a bowl with 1 tsp of honey and 1 TBL warm water. Mix this up and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Now add the probiotic mixture to the sunflower seed mixture and blend up for a few minutes.
- Take this mixture and put it into a glass bowl with an airtight cover (a glass bowl with a plastic top is a great option). Allow this to sit on your countertop and ferment for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the seeds will taste a bit sour, like cheese.
- After fermenting the seeds, put them back into your food processor with the S-blade or blender and add the herbs, miso, sea salt, olive juice and olives (all remaining ingredients) and blend up. Taste and see if you want to add more sea salt or some black pepper.
- Your cheese is now ready! You can use this as a pate to eat on its own or with veggies, on top of burgers or for pizza topping!
Gourmet Pizza Topping Ingredients
- 2 large red onions (makes about 4 cups chopped)
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed
- 8 carrots, peeled (about 3 cups carrots diced)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 TBL turmeric
- 2 TBL cardamom
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 TBL Fenugreek powder
- 1 TBL fresh ground black pepper
- Optional – 1 pound organic ground chicken (if you can find organic pasture fed, that’s even better – the key is to at least choose hormone-free, antibiotic free and non-GMO feed chickens) – if you are vegan or vegetarian, leave out the chicken and the topping is still delicious!
Gourmet Pizza Topping Directions
- You can slice these vegetables by hand or use your food processor to chop them lightening fast. For the onions, use the blade that allows you to slice the onions in longer pieces. For the carrots, you can either julienne them with the julienne slicer attachment or pulse them up small with your S-blade.
- Press the garlic.
- In a braising pan or skillet with lid, add coconut oil, pressed garlic and all herbs and spices and set your stovetop burner to low. Allow the coconut oil to melt and the aromas of the spices to come out (about 2-minutes).
- Now add the onions and carrots to the skilled or braising pan and put the lid on. Simmer on low for 30-minutes to an hour. You are caramelizing the onions and carrots and concentrating the flavors. Make sure the heat is on low and you check it periodically to make sure the vegetables are not sticking. The vegetables will release their own juices, so you should not have to add more oil.
- After 30-minutes to an hour, move the vegetables to one side of the pan or if you don’t have the room in your pan, remove most of them and leave some in the pan. Add in your ground chicken and heat it up for about 5-minutes until the pieces of chicken are cooked up. It will resemble hamburger pieces that go on pizza. Add the rest of the cooked vegetables to this mixture to get it all mixed together.
- This delicious mixture can be eaten all on its own if you have extra left over once you assemble your pizza. It’s a meal in and of itself.
One of the challenges with typical pizza is the sauce. If you have gout or arthritis, or if you are avoiding night shades or acidic foods, you may want to use an alternative to tomatoes for your sauce. One option you have here is to skip the tomato sauce all together and use the sunflower seed cheese and gourmet topping. This will make a fantastic pizza.
If you want to skip the tomato sauce, you can skip this section entirely and take ½ of the gourmet topping vegetables (minus the chicken) and puree it in your food processor with the S-blade. Use that as your sauce, then assemble the rest of the pizza as noted.
- 4 large hot house tomatoes (this equals approximately 4 – 5 cups tomatoes, pureed)
- 1 TBL droed oregano
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 bay leaf
(the sauce takes about 10 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to simmer)
- Put 4 cups of water into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Put another 4 cups of cold water into a large bowl.
- Make an x cut in the bottom of each tomato (this makes it easier for the skin to come off)
- Put 4 tomatoes into the boiling water and boil until the skin starts to come off (about 1 minute)
- Once skin starts to come off, remove tomatoes from boiling water with a slotted spoon and put them into the cold water. The cold water will make it easier for you to handle the tomatoes as you peel of their skins.
- Some people recommend that you squeeze the tomatoes to remove the seeds as well. If you like a really smooth sauce or if you have diverticulitis or a related large intestine challenge, this is a good idea for you. Otherwise, you can skip that step.
- Put the tomatoes into a food processor with the S-blade or a high speed blender and puree. Alternatively, you can mash them up with a larege fork or potato masher.
- Add the pureed tomatoes back into a saucepan, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for at least 30-minutes. You can now start the crust, which is the fastest part of this recipe!
- 1 cup celery root (Also called celeriac, turnip rooted celery or knob celery. This is a root vegetable that’s in season in the fall. If you can’t find it in your local health food store, you can use 1 cup of cauliflower or turnip).
- 6 eggs (if you are vegan, you can use 6 TBL ground flax seed mixed with about 1 cup of warm water – mix and allow to form a gel before adding it into the rest of the ingredients)
- 6 TBL coconut flour
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 TBL dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp organic raw honey
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
(the crust takes about 10 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to bake)
- When you are making a grain-free crust, it will not be crispy like some thin crust pizzas. The crust is not as flexible as using a gluten flour or gluten free flour. The good news is that this crust is relatively flexible, you will just want to eat your pizza with a fork, especially if you like to load on the toppings.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (if you are using a La Cloche – see below — and want a crispier crust, you could preheat the oven to 390 degrees and put the La Cloche in for 5 minutes to preheat it, then bake on 390 degrees with the top on. Remove the top for the last 5 minutes of baking and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees).
- Grease the pan with coconut oil. My suggestion is to make 2 small crusts instead of one big one. Each pizza would be 4 good-sized slices. Some people will want 2 slices, so this gives you plenty if you have 4 – 6 people. I like to use a La Cloche, which is like a clay dutch oven. These are typically used to make sourdough breads. If you have one of these or a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven for 5-minutes, then carefully spread your pizza crust mixture onto the hot stone. If you are using a stainless steel pan, you can line it with greased parchment paper and bake your pizza crust on that. This can help get a crispier crust.
- Cut the skin off the celery root and chop it up into large chunks. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and add the chopped celery root. Boil until the celery root is soft, then drain the water and puree the celery root (mash it with a large fork or potato masher or put it in your food processor with the S-blade). 1 medium sized celery root should make a cup of mashed celery root or more. Take 1 cup for this recipe and enjoy any remaining celery root as a non-starchy mashed potato substitute (When I make celery root mashed potatoes, I like to add some coconut oil and your favorite green spices, like rosemary, dill and basil)!
- Combine all ingredients with your 1 cup of mashed celery root and whisk it up. You can also use an electric mixer – fast and simple!
- You will have a somewhat liquidy mixture with some substance for the dough (kind of like watery mashed potatoes or guacamole) and you should be able to pour it out onto your pan of choice. The dough will not be the kind you have to put into a ball and roll out with a rolling pin.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 – 25 minutes. The crust should be firm and bouncy to the touch with a little give and slightly browned, but not too brown. If you cook it too long, it will get all brown and not taste as good.
Assembling Your Pizza
- Now that you have all of your pizza ingredients ready, it’s time to assemble! Put your baked pizza crust on a serving platter.
- Add the amount of sauce you like. I don’t like to overwhelm the pizza with a lot of sauce, particularly when using a no-grain crust that doesn’t hold a lot of toppings as well. Start with about ¼ cup sauce per pizza (if you made the crust recipe into 2 crusts as noted in the instructions).
- Next add the cheese – if you are using the homemade sunflower seed cheese, scoop it out and gently press the amount of cheese you want onto the sauced crust.
- Next add the vegetable and ground chicken topping – as much as you like, but keep in mind that you don’t want to overwhelm the crust.
- Serve with forks and knives. This crust makes a wonderful base, but does not have the strength to hold a lot of toppings, as the gluten and grain doughs have.
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