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So Many Pizzas In So Little Time

Making pizza was always fun, but now it’s fast and easy too. Yes, we can now make so many pizzas in so little time…

We Bought An Inn!

I’ve been really busy lately. For those of you who don’t know already, Steve and I bought an inn. Yup, we pulled the trigger and we bought The Harvest Inn on the North Fork of Long Island. We own a bed & breakfast! It has been a whirlwind of activity. We renovated everything from head to toe and we haven’t stopped moving. We’ve been here about 3 months and we officially opened our doors to guests about six weeks ago.

Being such a city person, this is a huge change for me. Huge. I mean ginormous. Everything about this new life is the polar opposite of my old Manhattan life. I’m someone who embraces change and I’ve embraced this new country life. I love planning and cooking breakfast for everyone. I love meeting our amazing guests. I love living in the middle of beautiful vineyards and farms. But, there are some things I do miss about the city. And some of my new life is challenging.

I miss many of NYC’s conveniences. And a lot of the food. And, of course, my friends — although having them here at the inn is really something special.

And, I miss pizza. I mean, I’m used to New York City pizza. And there’s really nothing like than anywhere else. Yes, we’ve found a few good pizza spots here, but it’s not quite the same.

So, what’s a pizza lover to do…?

 

We Got A Pizza Oven

Enter… my new favorite toy. My Ooni pizza oven. Ooni was kind enough to gift me a pizza oven when we opened the inn. This thing is amazing. I mean it’s magical. Really. I have the multi-fuel version of their oven, so we’ve been making pizzas using wood and charcoal as fuel. The taste is incredible. You know that wood burning, coal-fired taste? We have that. And, I can cook a pizza in under two minutes. I feel like Jeannie on I dream of Jeannie. I blink and it’s done.

We’ve made lots of experimental pizzas. We started with simple pizza Margarita. Oh, and by the way, yes, I am still dairy-free, so I make mine with vegan cheeses. And sometimes with gluten-free crust. And they are just as awesome as the traditional pies we are making.

I know I sound like a commercial for Ooni, but this pizza oven really does live up to all of the hype.

Keep scrolling for some of my favorite pizza ideas and for some insight on how we learned to make these incredible pies…

so many pizzas in so little timeThe first thing we did was ready ourselves to hook up the gas extension for this oven. Honestly, I love the ease of a gas grill so I assumed I’d want to use the gas extension hookup here as well. We’ve made many pizzas and we have yet to hook up the gas, so I was wrong. We’ve been using a combination of wood and charcoal. I thought this would be difficult, but it’s not, and there’s something about using this kind of fuel that makes Steve  happy, so that’s what we use. I think the crust probably tastes better this way too, although, I can’t speak from experience having not tried the gas yet.

so many pizzas in so little time

Here’s Steve feeding the fire. It makes him happy. And it makes for great pizza.

so many pizzas in so little time

This is Corey. He is our pizza guru. He has his own pizza oven and has been dying to try out the Ooni. He gave me his special pizza dough recipe — which really is incredible and he taught me how to stretch the dough. I can’t even tell you how bad I was at this. But now, I can do it! Sometimes Corey makes 30 pizzas when he is entertaining — that’s how fast this type of pizza oven is!

My goal is to be able to make 10 breakfast pizzas for our inn guests. I would need to do this pretty quickly to serve everyone close to the same time, so I am trying to get up to speed. Because really, what’s better than a pizza with eggs and prosciutto on top?

so many pizzas in so little time

So now it’s time to talk about my favorite things to do with pizza.

I mean now that we can make so many pizzas in so little time, we’ve got to make lots of different kinds… it only makes sense!

I love making my crusts out of unique ingredients. I especially love making grain-free pizza. Yes, I am a cauliflower pizza crust fan…

broccoli pizza crust

And this Broccoli Pizza Crust is one of my favorites.

 

Pizza Crust Can Be Made Out Of Anything

I have made pizza crusts out of vegetables and flours. Nothing is off the table.

These are the things I have either used for the base of my crusts, or things I am planning to try…

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet potatoes
  • White potatoes
  • Beets
  • Gluten-free flour
  • Rice Flour
  • Quinoa Flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Polenta

Oftentimes, all you have to do is shred or puree the veggie, mix in some eggs and/or flour of some type and heavily season it up. Flatten it out and you are done.

 

It’s All About The Toppings

I top my pizzas with whatever makes me happy in the moment and whatever is in my fridge or pantry. Some of my favorite toppings are:

  • Potatoes and rosemary
  • Basil, tomato, and garlic
  • Anchovies
  • Olives
  • Mixed peppers
  • Kimchi
  • Eggplant
  • Vegan cheeses
  • Pesto and asparagus
  • Arugula and prosciutto
  • Eggs and bacon
  • Sausage. Any sausage.
  • Zucchini blossoms

paleo pizza margherita

Pizza is such a happy food for me and I think this is true for a lot of people. Because you can make a crust out of anything and add toppings to suit your mood and dietary restrictions, there’s no reason anyone has to live without pizza.

Please reach out and tell me your pizza experiences, your favorite crusts, and what toppings make you happy.

 

 

Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Tart

raw chocolate pomegranate tart

I was going to a friend’s house for dinner the other night and I wanted to bring a dessert. If you know me, you know that while I can cook just about anything, I am not a great baker. And that’s saying it very kindly… I’ve been known to burn slice and bake cookies. So, when I tell you that this raw chocolate pomegranate tart is the best dessert I ever made, that’s another way for saying this recipe is idiot-proof.

One of the reasons — and I can’t stress how important this reason is — that I was able to achieve such perfection with this dessert is because the original recipe is just genius. All of that genius-credit goes to Joscelyn at Wife Mama Foodie. I just love when I can take an existing recipe and have it come out perfect the first time, so a big thanks to you Jos!

Some people are fruity-dessert people. And some people are nutty-dessert people. I am a chocolate-dessert person. And if it’s a flourless, dense, rich, creamy, velvety chocolate dessert like this one… I’m all in.

The only downside to this tart is that because it’s healthy, I’m easily able to rationalize why I can and should eat WAY too much. I think it took me a maximum of 15 seconds to scarf down a good size slice… ugh.

Back to my friend’s dinner party — I brought this dessert. And it looked beautiful. Everyone expects whatever I bring to be delicious, so I was a little nervous because this was not something I could taste before I brought it there. Can I just say that this raw chocolate pomegranate tart is unbelievable! The chocolate filling is so creamy and fudgy and the pomegranate seeds are mixed into the filling AND they are shining pretty on top… it’s the perfect taste and texture, and it’s just so pretty!

I will be making this dessert for Thanksgiving too! Which is actually kind of laughable since my brother-in-law owns a bakery and always brings a ton of desserts… but, I rationalize that I can bring this because a) it’s a healthy option and b) he’s not a chocolate-dessert guy, so someone’s gotta bring it…

Anyway, if I haven’t convinced you to make this dessert yet, just trust me… please

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a dessert recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, if you are more of a fruity-dessert person, you should try my recipe for Paleo Blueberry Cobbler.

raw chocolate pomegranate tartraw chocolate pomegranate tart

Here are some of the ingredients that make this raw chocolate pomegranate tart a healthy dessert:

Raw cacao is a superfood. It is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals. Not only is it packed with health benefits, but it actually has properties that help the body absorb nutrients better and it’s filled with antioxidants. Cacao can actually be translated as “food of the gods”… Raw cacao can help lower blood pressure, promote healthy heart function, improve digestion, and may even help increase the libido.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. The filling of this tart is made with coconut oil.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

Walnuts are actually a Chinese herb (He Tao Ren). They are used for some knee and back pain, some chronic coughs and for chronic constipation. These nuts are also good for infertility and sexual dysfunctions, and they have been used to help people with kidney stones.

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence.

Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body (think inflammatory bowel syndrome or heart disease). It also contains zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It’s much lower on the glycemic scale than traditional sugar. Whenever possible, use a darker (grade B) syrup because the nutritional composition is better than that of lighter syrups.

raw chocolate pomegranate tart

If you make this Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Tart recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Tart
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, chocolate, paleo, simple, tart
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Wife Mama Foodie
Serves: 8
 
This is the creamiest, richest, most decadent simple chocolate dessert around. And it's raw. And it's idiot-proof. And everyone loves it! Oh, and it's healthy!
Ingredients
  • For crust:
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • pinch of sea salt
  • For filling:
  • 1-1/2 cups raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup plus 2-Tbs pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
  • For topping: an additional ¼ to ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
Instructions
  1. Make crust:
  2. Place dates, walnuts and salt in a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth and sticky.
  3. Press the mixture into a tart pan with a removable bottom. (I used a 9-in. round pan.)
  4. Place the crust in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
  5. Make filling:
  6. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
  7. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth it out.
  8. Sprinkle the top with pomegranate seeds.
  9. Place the tart in the refrigerator to set, and keep it there until you are ready to serve it.
  10. Slice and enjoy!

raw chocolate pomegranate tart

 

Paleo Pizza Margherita

Pizza is almost always the answer… and this paleo pizza margherita is a healthy and delicious answer!

paleo pizza margherita

Yes, I eat pizza! In fact, I LOVE pizza! I always have loved pizza and I probably always will love pizza. I remember in college (many moons ago…) ordering pizza with EBA (everything but anchovies) and actually sitting there and eating an entire pie by myself. This used to surprise people because I was a skinny 5-foot tall girl who looked like I ate like a bird. But nothing could have been farther from the truth.

Fast forward to today. I’m well into my 50s and I try not to eat dairy or grains. But there is no way I’m giving up my pizza. So I have experimented with soooooooo many vegan cheeses, substitutes for cheeses, grain-free pizza crusts, vegetable pizza crusts… you name it and I’ve tried it. And, believe it or not, I have been having some truly awesome pizzas! Even with my dietary restrictions, pizza is still one of my favorite foods.

This pizza is dairy-free and grain-free. I know, if I told that to people before they took a bite, I would have to deal with that face. You know the one — that pinched look by the mouth and that roll of the eyes; that they-know-they-are-going-to-hate-it-but-will-try-to-be-a-good-sport-look.

So, I made this awesome pizza, put it on a plate and set it on the table in front of people who where watching TV in my living room. I came back in a few minutes and it was gone. Smiles all around. You’ve got to try this paleo pizza margherita — it’s delicious, healthy, crispy, gooey, and everything a pizza should be. And don’t be afraid to customize it anyway you like.

Try my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine for another great grain-free Italian treat!

paleo pizza margheritapaleo pizza margherita

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this pizza:

The crust I used is made from coconut flour. In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. This crust is pre-made from Cappello’s and it really does have the texture and taste of traditional pizza crust (see the recipe below for where to buy it).

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. I actually placed a bowl of fresh sliced hot peppers next to the pizza when I served it so my guests could top their pizza with them if they liked spice. I also sprinkled a generous amount of dried hot red pepper flakes on mine. The main component of hot peppers is capsicum. Capsicum actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

paleo pizza margherita

Paleo Vegan Pizza Margherita
Author: 
Recipe type: pizza, grain-free, dairy-free
Cuisine: Italian, comfort food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This grain-free, dairy-free pizza will make everyone happy! Yes, even people who won't think they will like it, will like it... it's that good!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven as per the crust's instructions.
  2. Spread the sauce on top of your crust (don't use too much).
  3. Slice up some of the basil leaves and sprinkle the slices over the crust.
  4. Arrange the cheese and tomatoes over the crust.
  5. Bake until crispy and gooey.
  6. Remove from the oven and arrange some fresh basil leaves on top.
  7. Add fresh hot pepper slices and/or dried red pepper flakes if you like.
  8. Slice and enjoy!

paleo pizza margherita