Quinoa Pizza Crust
Pizza. No matter where I go, no matter who I talk to, when it comes to healthy living people always seem to ask about pizza. Pizza, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. As long as you are aware of how often you eat it, how much you eat, and what you put on it, it can very much be part of a healthy diet. And yes, there’s still room for a slice from your favorite pizza joint once in awhile.
There are some pretty easy ways to make your pizza a Positively Healthy option. Most start with what you put on top of your pizza, but today let’s start at the bottom, the crust. Whether you’re trying to go gluten-free, or just looking for alternatives to processed flour, here’s a tasty pizza crust recipe that will get you started. It uses one of my favorite whole grains, quinoa.
I had seen a couple of similar recipes to this at different times. This one is adapted from a recipe I originally found over on A Sweet Life, and while it’s super easy to make it does take a bit of planning, not something you will be able to put together at the last minute.
It all starts with the quinoa, but instead of cooking it, you soak it. For at least four hours, but preferably about 8 hours. If you plan for it, you can just start the soaking in the morning before leaving for work, then it is ready for dinner that night. To prep, you blend up the quinoa with some seasonings and water until it’s about the consistency of a thicker pancake batter, bake up the crust, top it, bake it some more, and bada-bing, you’ve got pizza.
Here’s how my crust looked after I took it from the oven, but before I flipped it to bake the other side. For this particular pizza I went very basic with my toppings; a touch of olive oil, some chopped chicken I had left over from a previous meal, some diced red onion and a bit of fresh, chopped basil, then I topped it all with a bit of Gorgonzola cheese. Using a really flavorful cheese like that means you can get by with a lot less of it.
This recipe makes a filling meal for one, or add a nice salad on the side and it will easily feed two. I’m not going to get into a lot about toppings at this time, but try to keep an overall healthy mind-set when deciding how to top this crust. And feel free to change up the seasonings in the crust itself to suit your tastes or to go along with your planned toppings.
There is no yeast or gluten or anything, so this crust does not rise at all. It was nicely done on the outside, with an inside that was a sort of chewy that was kind of similar to the doughy texture of a deep dish pie. It is a pretty dense crust, so it holds up well to lots of toppings. I have yet to experiment with using about half the amount of “batter” next time and see if I can get a nice, thin, crispy crust. If you’re feeding a family, just double the recipe and use a 12″ or so pan like the original recipe calls for.
In the mean time, if you try this out, let me know how you topped yours and how it turned out by leaving a comment below.