Pizza....Can It Really Be Made Healthy(er)? (Gluten-free, Dairy-free option)
Yes! It can!
I refuse to think otherwise!
Before I transitioned to a whole-food, clean-eating lifestyle, I was addicted to "bread", anything made out of "dough", be it Hungarian kifli, zsemle, cookies and cakes, pastry, strudel, puff pastry, donuts....anything. When I say addicted, I do not mean I was eating it all the time, but when I craved something, it would be one of these on the list. It was my weakness. And pizza crust, the crispy, almost-burnt kind...
One would not think of this as addiction. I was never overweight, I never had an eating disorder. I just always preferred and wanted the bread. But do not be fooled.
And it is only after years of having been mostly weaned off bread that I realize how addicted I was to it.
Today, I am on a mainly grain-free, dairy free diet....When I say mainly, it is because I am not strict with it. I would say 80% of the time I am, the rest of the time I eat some form of GLUTEN-FREE grains (the occasional rice or corn chips, maybe a slice of bread once a month). And it works great for me!
But when a special occasion comes around the corner and I do "enjoy" a slice of regular cake, I immediately feel the rush of carbohydrates from the processed flour, and it floods my brain, bringing on this unstoppable sensation of craving that starts playing in my brain on repeat: "one more slice, one more slice".
It is almost surreal. But so powerful to observe and realize. Scary in a way.
The one way that I do enjoy "bread" once a month is by eating home-prepared pizza. I have found at my local health food store a gluten-free millet lavash that I use as the crust. This lavash has 8 ingredients that I recognize, no fillers and preservatives, all clean. It still is processed carbohydrates, but in the cleanest form...and the goal here is not perfection.
It is so easy to prepare on busy weeknights! I jazz it up to make it as nutritious and filling as possible, too! Here is how I make it:
Gluten-free lavash or soft tortilla (watch for few ingredients, no fillers and preservatives, etc)
Extra virgin olive oil
Spices and/or fresh herbs: oregano, basil, garlic, sea salt
Organic tomato paste (1 ingredient!!!) OR pesto (dairy free or regular)
Toppings of choice: protein and vegetables to increase nutritional value!
Optional: organic cheese or dairy-free alternative or simply omit cheese
1) Preheat oven to 400F
2) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place gluten-free lavash/soft tortillas on paper
3) Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and garlic
4) Sprinkle with oregano and basil (fresh or dried)
5) Spread 1-3 tablespoons of organic tomato paste on top (or pesto, yum!)
6) Add your toppings: I used sliced red onions, chopped up leftover veggie burger, prosciutto slices, organic deli meat leftover, cooked black beans and fresh chopped spinach.
Other great options are grass-fed cooked ground meat, chicken, turkey, any vegetable, capers...
7) Optional: add cheese. I omitted this time for a dairy-free version
8) sprinkle with oregano, basil, garlic and sea salt
9) Place in oven for 5-10 minutes, until crispy
10) Serve with a side salad and enjoy!
Stay happy and healthy,