Since going gluten free, and having ZERO baking skills, one of the things I have missed horribly is pizza. P i z z a. Oi… just thinking about it makes me sigh. I was never a huge pizza eater, but you know how it is, every once in a while you just get a craving for a crust that is the perfect combination of crusty and dough, loads of good gooey cheese and a topping that makes you swoon.
So you can imagine my glee when I discovered that I could get gluten free pizza dough mix and then, of course, have Jon make it for me! ( you have no idea just how bad at baking I am… its like a curse)
Living in a small mountain town has changed how we do most of our shopping. My pantry is now something that gets stocked really really well, because going to the grocery store becomes an actual trip off the mountain to be planned. We have grocery stores here, but buying in bulk is more economical as is shopping off the hill. Its also been interesting for this Southern California beach girl to have to stock up for an actual winter where there is enough snow to prevent me from driving out of the yard on some days! When I discovered that I could get certain packaged staples delivered through Amazon, we began getting certain things this way. While looking for Bob’s Red Mill Buckwheat cereal on Amazon, I found their Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix and promptly ordered a box. Life has been sweet ever since!
So two nights ago, Jon and I met for a date in the kitchen and while he rolled out the pizza crust I prepared a salad and dressing for us. Now, here’s the deal, and I’ve warned you about this before so bare with me: I have no amounts to give you for what I made. I just threw all this together based on taste and intuitive impulse, which is one of the things I love so much about cooking, and why I’m challenged in the baking department. Cooking is an art, baking is a science. And well… I’m an artist.
*Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix ~ Each bag yields you 2 medium sized crusts and the dough can be saved in a plastic bag for another day.
*4 cloves minced garlic
*sliced bell pepper
I didn’t want red sauce on this pizza so I minced up garlic and mixed it up with about 2 tblsp of extra virgin olive oil and spread it on the naked crush. I then sprinkled dried oregano, dried basil and cracked pepper over that, layered on a hefty amount of mozzarella, laid out my slices of bell pepper and then sprinkled a bit more oregano on top. We slid it into the oven and waited. What came out was absolute heaven!
*1 head of curly Kale chopped
*1 head of Romaine lettuce
*1/2 red onion sliced into half circles
*1 can of organic black beans, washed
*1 bunch of cilantro finely chopped
*5 fresh buffala mozzarella medallions cut into large strips
*3 left over provolone cheese slices cut into small squares
I love salads and I tend to grab whatever is calling to me or whatever needs to be eaten from the refrigerator and throw it all together. Lately I’m really into including beans in my salad as well as cheese. There is something vital about having a salad with hard core substance you know? And for this one, the Kale gave it great texture, and the cheese and beans made this salad almost a meal in itself. These days I make a huge amount of salad and just keep the rest for later. It serves me well when I’ve been on a mad creative streak and haven’t made the time to plan a meals for the day. Its a great back up that keeps me going and gives me something beautiful to eat.
*extra virgin olive oil
Once I learned the golden ratio for dressing (one part acid to 3 parts fat) I’ve been a mad dressing making machine! Its the easiest thing ever, and I have found that experimenting with homemade dressings is so much fun, I haven’t bought bottled dressing in a while. For the last month I’ve been obsessed with apple cider vinegar, but as we had run out, I used the sherry vinegar instead, and I have to tell you, its my new favorite! So honestly, I just eye my measurements. And I’m also finding that although the golden rule is one part acid to 3 parts fat or oil, depending on taste, I may add more acid to the mix and thats ok. I pour in the ingredients and then whisk it all together until the mixture becomes a creamy cup of goodness that I pour over my salad.
Jon had purchased some ready made pizza crusts for himself that are wheat based and he made a pizza for himself that was lovely as well.
Cooking together is something we don’t do often, but when we do, it always feels like a date for me. There is something sexy fun about cooking side by side with your man. And it makes sitting down to dinner together all the more special I think. We so enjoyed this meal, and even though it wasn’t some super gourmet creation, it was the kind of satisfying that had us both moaning and “ooing” with pleasure.