I’ve been trying out a few gluten-free options for pizzas this week, changing the recipes I’ve found to suit our taste-buds, and then doing a taste-test with the family and some friends. This quinoa one is delicious and quick to prepare.
Next week I’ll post a buckwheat/almond version!
Using alternatives to wheat flour is not just about gluten-avoidance or coeliac disease. Yes, both buckwheat and quinoa are naturally gluten-free, but they are also protein foods (and protein helps repair and renew the cells in your body, plus it satiates – fills you up! – so you’re not relying on carbs to get that full feeling).
Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal, in other words it’s like a grain, but it isn’t. It is in fact a seed and, surprisingly, it’s related to beetroots and spinach. It is also related to amaranth, another pseudo-cereal.
Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wa’) has its origins in S. America, back in the days of the Incas, however it has gained in popularity over the past decade, not just because it’s delicious (I love the red quinoa!) but also because, from a nutritional perspective, it ticks lots of boxes.
Not only is it a complete protein, ie. it contains all essential amino acids, but it also acts like a carb on your plate, in that it can replace rice, potatoes and even your morning breakfast cereal.
The red quinoa has a delicious nutty flavour, and keeps its texture – the white one can easily turn mushy. However for the purposes of a pizza base, the white version is perfect.
This recipe is based on Deliciously Ella’s recipe – with some additions; I found that my regular food blender didn’t break down the quinoa to the dough consistency described in her recipe. I used my high speed Vitamix blender instead. I suggest, if your blender can’t turn it into ‘dough’, try cooking it very lightly for a few minutes after following the ‘soaking’ instructions.
Topping: I cooked an easy tomato sauce (see my recipe that I posted here some months ago), then piled on rocket, spinach, mozzarella (or feta). I added lightly steamed asparagus one time, then eggs another time. Yum!
Quinoa pizza base:
This recipe made a 20cmx22cm square pizza and fed 3 of us for brunch.
200g quinoa, well covered, and soaked overnight in water
1 heaped tsp Marigold stock powder (or dried mixed herbs)
1 tbsp finely chopped green herbs – I used coriander and dill
½ tsp cayenne, or dried chilli flakes
oil to grease the baking paper
After at least 8 hours of soaking the quinoa in water, drain it thoroughly then put it in a fast-speed blender with the rest of the ingredients. Easy! Blitz until smooth. The texture of mine, with the herbs, was like humus (green humus from the herbs! It changed to brown in the oven however…
Spread quite thinly over an oiled sheet of baking paper and cook in a 150 degree C oven (c 300F) for about 20 minutes. I carefully turned it over for another 5 minutes. Don’t overcook because even though it may cook nice and crispy, it will also turn tough.
When the base is done, add the layers and eat as is, or place back in the oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes depending upon your topping.