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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.

 

 

Broccoli Pizza Crust

Did you know that  eating broccoli can make you feel less irritable…?

broccoli pizza crust Pizza can be a girl’s best friend. Yes, I said it. And I meant it. And no, you won’t be the first non-believer. If I had a nickel for every person who thinks I can’t make my favorite comfort foods both delicious and healthy, I’d be rich. It’s true that I try not to eat grains, and I don’t eat cheese. But, it is also awesome-ly true that I make the best healthy pizza around. So, for all of my friends out there who are working with me to get your-over-40-amazing-selves energized and healthy… this broccoli pizza crust recipe is for you.

There’s nothing sexier than a woman eating pizza. Except maybe if she’s slurping up a big bowl of spaghetti…

I mean, who doesn’t love a woman who can eat?

Eating a salad just doesn’t have the same appeal. But eating pizza with your hands… that’s a beautiful sight!

At least, that’s what I’ve been told. Then again, I have to remain open to the possibility that I’ve been told that because in my younger days I was able to eat an entire full-size pizza all by myself. I could probably still do it now, but I’ve got more sense. Or more control. Or more… something.

Anyway, this broccoli pizza crust is awesome.

I’ve made my share of grain-free pizza crusts. This one is great. It gets crisp enough so that you can hold a slice in your hands without it drooping all over the place. And it has a nice cheesy taste, but there’s no cheese. And I even like the green color. And once you top it with your awesome toppings, it’s drool-worthy.

If you love broccoli, you should also try my Chopped Broccoli Salad recipe.

broccoli pizza crust

Here are some of the healing powers of this broccoli crust pizza topped with my toppings:

Broccoli has a lot of potassium and is great for brain function; it also has magnesium and calcium to help regulate blood pressure. It’s also good to clear your body of excess heat and it actually can help your vision too. I love foods that make you feel better mentally as well as physically, and broccoli is one of those foods — it can lessen feelings of irritability.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and also contains fiber, so it’s a really good thing!

I am a big proponent of eating the whole egg. So many of the nutrients and the taste are in the yolk; I’ll never understand separating nature’s perfect food. Eggs help with many types of dryness in the body. If you have a dry cough or a frog-in-your-throat, try eating some eggs. They have also been shown to help women with various conditions during and after pregnancy. Some people consider eggs to be a superfood. They contain a large amount of vitamins A and B and are a great source of protein. Eggs sometimes get a bad rap because of cholesterol, but it’s been shown that in 70% of people, eggs do not raise cholesterol, so don’t assume they are bad for you. Buy organic eggs and you are really doing the right thing.

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.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc…. Research also shows that garlic may be a great herb to ward off cancer, and also to lower cholesterol. I know several moms who put a few drops of garlic oil into their child’s ear to get rid of an ear infection — this is one multitasking herb!

broccoli pizza crustbroccoli pizza crust

Broccoli Pizza Crust
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, whole30, vegetarian, comfort food
Cuisine: Italian, pizza
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This pizza is grain-free and dairy-free. Follow this recipe for an awesome crust, and feel free to vary the toppings to your liking... after all, a good pizza should make you smile!
Ingredients
  • For crust:
  • 20 oz fresh broccoli florets
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast (I like this kind)
  • 1 cup shredded vegan Parmesan cheese (or you can substitute regular Parmesan)
  • 4 eggs
  • Here's what I topped my crust with:
  • Fresh Basil, sliced and whole leaves
  • vegan mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • pizza sauce (here's an organic one, but it's a bit pricey, so use whatever you like)
  • fresh minced garlic
  • grape tomatoes, halved
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Spread the broccoli florets out onto a parchment-lined baking tray.
  3. Roast in the oven for 20-mins.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  5. Transfer the roasted broccoli to a food processor and pulse it 10 times or until the broccoli is finely minced.
  6. Transfer the minced broccoli to a large bowl and stir in the nutritional yeast, Parmesan, and eggs. Mush it up good with your hands so it's well-combined.
  7. Split this broccoli dough in half, and form each one into a ball.
  8. Place each ball onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and press into an 11-inch roundish circle, about ¼-inch thick.
  9. Bake 20 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and, using the parchment paper as an aid, lift the crust on the paper and then carefully flip it onto another piece of parchment paper, put it back on the sheet, and then back into the oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges are starting to crisp up a bit.
  11. Remove from oven and top with a little pizza sauce (you will only want to use about ¼ cup), minced garlic, tomatoes, and vegan cheese.
  12. Bake an additional 15 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil.
  14. Slice and serve.
  15. Enjoy!

broccoli pizza crust

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