Pizza is like the “Tale of Two Cities” in a food-lover’s world – it can be the best of times, and the worst of times. It’s the best of times when you get the perfect crispy crust with all the right toppings. But pizza is definitely the worst of times when you watch everyone else eating their perfect crusts and you’re stuck in the corner eating some gummy, gluten-free crust. If you’ve had times like that, I’ll let you in on a little secret; today’s recipe for Gluten-free Pizza with Herb-infused Quinoa is so good even the gluten-eaters would like it.
Pizza is definitely high on the list of my favorite meals. That’s why becoming a vegan was so dang hard for me. At least at the beginning.
But then I discovered delicious vegan mozzarella, so my world was set right again.
And then one day another discovery made it’s way to my life. I have a gluten intolerance.
That’s when the “worst of times” pizza fears came crashing down again. How good could a gluten-free, vegan pizza be?
Pretty darn good!
Especially when you add some herb-infused quinoa to the mix. Herbs you say? That’s right. I like to add the same herbs to quinoa that are added to a traditional sausage. That way I get a delicious sausage taste…without any involvement from cute, little pigs. And no cholesterol to boot!
My pizza-loving adventures have taken me through different times of my life, but I will have to say…this is definitely the best of them!
Like I keep trying to tell you…it’s the best of times!
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 1/2 cup Gluten-free All Purpose Baking Mix
- 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried, ground basil
- Pizza Sauce
- Herb-Infused Quinoa (see recipe below)
- Your favorite veggie toppings, like mushrooms, red onions, and fresh basil
- Your favorite vegan Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- Combine slightly warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl and let stand for a few minutes to allow the yeast to proof.
- Add the olive oil and ground flax seed to the proofed yeast mixture and stir.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl add the flour, xanthan gum, corn starch, salt, and dried basil. Stir until well-combined.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and stir until well-combined. Mold the dough into a ball and spray with a light coating of vegetable cooking spray.
- Cover the pizza dough, set in a warm (but not hot) place and let it rise for 15 – 20 minutes (or longer if you need the time).
- When you’re ready to cook the pizza, begin by heating your oven to 400F. Prepare your pizza pan by giving it a light spray of vegetable oil, or by coating it with a light dusting of cornmeal.
- Place the ball of pizza dough in the middle of your pizza pan. Next, tear off a piece of plastic wrap large enough to cover the width of your pizza pan. Lightly spray one side of the plastic wrap with vegetable cooking spray. Place the sprayed side down, over the pizza dough. It will help you roll out the dough without using extra flour and without making too much of a mess.
- Get out your rolling pin and begin rolling the pizza dough sitting under the plastic wrap. As you can see, the plastic wrap creates a nice barrier and the rolling pin won’t stick, while the dough spreads out nicely. I occasionally lift the plastic wrap from the dough and turn it in whatever direction is necessary to allow the dough to spread out evenly across the pizza pan. Continue doing this until you have the pizza dough spread consistently across the pan.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake the crust for 10 minutes while you prepare the toppings. This step won’t completely bake the pizza crust, but it will give it a good start so it has a chance to to get crispy in the next step.
- Remove the partially cooked pizza crust from the oven and turn the oven up to 425F.
- Top the semi-baked pizza crust with a layer of pizza sauce.
- Next sprinkle the Herb-infused Quinoa over the top of the pizza sauce, being sure to evenly distribute it across the pizza.
- Top with your favorite sliced, raw veggies and enough Vegan Mozzarella to coat the pizza. How much you add is up to you. I like a lot, but my hubby likes it a little more sparse…so we make two pizzas!
- Place the pizza in the oven and bake until the pizza crust is cooked and the cheese has melted, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground, dried sage
- 1 teaspoon ground, dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground, dried fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground, dried turmeric
- Dash of ground sea salt
- Cook Quinoa according to directions on the package.
- After the quinoa has cooked, drain the cooking water and place it in a skillet. Turn the heat up to medium and let the quinoa cook for just a moment to remove any excess moisture from the cooking process.
- When you’re ready, add the olive oil, stirring the quinoa to ensure it all gets coated. Continue stirring for a moment and then add each spice, one at a time; stirring in between each to ensure all the quinoa is adequately coated.
- The final step is to add the ground sea salt. Set your Herbed Quinoa aside to cool while you wait to use it as a topping for your pizza!
Make sure you leave some leftovers to enjoy for days to come. This pizza crust stays crispy if you heat it up with a toaster oven, or you can even enjoy it cold for breakfast…if that’s your thing!