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Posts tagged ‘organic CSA’

GRAIN FREE PIZZA! (Yes, Really! Purple Pesto Too!)

I am so excited about this, you have no idea.  I have officially (perhaps accidentally) made the world’s most delicious pizza, and it’s not on the list of forbidden foods.

Also, that is an exaggeration. Nothing beats Me-n-Eds pizza. I miss it so much. This may be the world’s most delicious grain free pizza, however.

I will still claim this is a victory, and victory is sweet.

I have tried a few grain free pizza crust recipes and was not terribly impressed. Then I found one made from tapioca flour and it was decent. Then I ran low on tapioca flour and substituted half of the needed amount of tapioca with arrowroot and OMG it was perfection.

When made with tapioca flour, it had a certain pie crust quality to it. It was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but the arrowroot allowed it to be a bit more cracker-y, which I really, really liked. I will be saving the original recipe, however, to make the pie crust topping for my favorite  chicken pot pie soup. I thought I was going to have to go without it this winter…there is hope once more. 😉 I love beautiful accidents. For the original recipe, go HERE.

Back to the pizza.

I made a very simple but delicious pizza using some delicious CSA items the other night. Cracker crust, purple pesto (recipe to follow), sliced chicken breast tossed with some of the pesto, mozzarella cheese and bell peppers.

I started with the pesto. I really might cry when my CSA stops offering the purple basil. It’s so incredibly flavorful and yet more mild that its italian counterpart.  I’m obsessed. To make the pesto, I gathered the following:

purplepesto1

4 cups purple basil leaves (this was two bundles for me)

1/2 cup raw almonds (cashew would work beautifully too, but they are on our “forbidden” list right now)

2 tsp crushed garlic

1/2 tsp real salt (any salt you have will work, this is just the one I have been using.)

at least 6 TBSP cold pressed olive oil

In a food processor or blender, pulse the almonds until they are fine and almost powdery. Then add the basil, and pulse until combined.  Add garlic and salt and continue to pulse or blend until all is combined. Drizzle in olive oil until pesto is at the desired consistency. I like mine to have enough oil to be spreadable. I probably used about 1/3 cup of olive oil in mine. Keep in mind, from here on out, and I never professed to be a food photographer.

purple pesto done

I will admit to you that it’s not a very pretty color. It sort of looks like potting soil. The taste is so worth it though, trust me. I also love to use almonds or cashews in pesto because pine nuts are so darn expensive. Also, this pesto does not call for parmesan cheese, so its vegan approved. 🙂

Set the pesto aside and get to work on the pizza crust now. 🙂

For the crust, you will need:

1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch

1/2 cup arrowroot

1/3 cup raw shredded parm cheese (I love TJ’s)

4 TBSP of refined coconut oil or other high-heat oil such as high-oleic sunflower

1 TBSP water

1 organic egg

Combine all ingredients. It will be sticky and kind of gummy.

Prepare 2 pieces of parchment paper the same size as your pizza pan ( you can trim the edges later)

BRUSH BOTH PIECES OF PARCHMENT WITH OLIVE OIL. IF YOU DO NOT DO THIS, YOU WILL END UP WITH A STICKY MESS.

Scrape the batter/ dough onto the first piece of parchment (on the greased side.) Now lay the other piece, greased side down, onto the dough. With a rolling pin, roll the crust out into a circle.

Peel the top piece of parchment off and discard. Put the crust, parchment and all, onto your pizza pan.

Carefully, with the back of a spoon, spread your purple peso over the entire thing. You will use about 1 cup. Reserve the rest for later.

purple pesto spread

Now, top with cheese.

purple pesto cheese

If you would like meat on your pizza, sautee some thinly sliced (about 1/4 in thick strips) chicken breast in a bit of butter or refined coconut oil. (I used 2 chicken breasts) Season with salt, garlic, and then about 1/2 cup of your pesto. Once cooked, add to the top of your pizza, along with whatever other goodies you want. I added some bell peppers from my CSA box. 

purple pesto chickenpeppers

Trim excess parchment off of the edges and Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400*.

purple pesto pizza slice

 

ENJOY!

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Staying Hydrated…With FLAIR

because that’s how I do things. Last week, you may remember me mentioning that I ordered primarily herbs in my CSA box. I put them to use in some pretty amazing ways.

Lemon balm pesto, purple basil pesto (OMG THE BEST EVER. I am working on a pizza recipe post) and I managed to stick some in a few delicious beverages. So grateful for such an amazing source of organic produce!

I know I already told you about mint tea, so here are a couple ideas for making infused waters. Haven’t tried infused waters yet? Take a look here. Mind you, this is only a guideline, but the idea is:

infusedwaters

Pick a berry (or other sweet fruit), pick a citrus, add an herb and/or something “extra” such as cucumbers (not in my cup!)  and add your favorite water. Not only are you drinking your H2O, but you are managing to get some extra vitamins and antioxidants into your system as well. Here are two that I came up with after being inspired by the lovely stuff in my box. Lemon and Lavender Water:

lemonlavendar

One sliced lemon and 2 TBSP of lavender buds (about 6 sprigs of lavender for me), added to about 2 cups of hot water, steeped for 20 minutes, then filled with water and refrigerated until cold. I really loved the subtle sweetness of this. My husband said “It tastes like bath water…in a good way.” I’m not sure what that means, but it was too funny to keep to myself. I am sure it threw him off because I use so many lavender products. It has a very nice herbal and slightly floral thing going for it. Refreshing and elegant, I thought. Strawberries would have be delightful in this, I’m sure.

Purple basil, blueberry, lemon:

basilblueberrylemon

In a half gallon container, I added 1/2 of a sliced lemon, 1/2 cup blueberries and a handful of purple basil leaves. I then added about 2 cups of hot water, and let everything steep for about 20 minutes. I then filled it with cold water and capped it up for the fridge.

This has been my favorite so far! It was bold and different in every good way possible. I love, love loved this one. I was inspired by a cocktail my brother made for me once. Fresh squeezed lemonaid, muddled blueberries and a sprig of basil…oh, and vodka. Definitely a more exciting way to enjoy these flavors, but certainly not as health conscious as my concoction. 🙂

Italian or Thai basil would be just as delicious I am sure!

I’m working on a few other combinations and will pass them on if they pass inspection. 😉

In the meantime, try out some fun combinations of your own. You deserve water as fabulous as you are. 🙂

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