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Peter Reinhart’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Pizza Crust

May 28, 2013


Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. Perhaps you were blessed with prettier weather than we were in Minnesota? It pretty much drizzled all weekend and stayed in the 60s. Since my dad, step-mom and little sisters were visiting from Idaho, I was hoping to have a little bit better weather. But we made the best of the weather and gave them a great taste of Minneapolis. It was also so much fun showing them our house for the first time! We managed a full long weekend with six people in our house and it wasn’t all that bad. I would call that a success.

I’ll have photos of our weekend to share in a couple of days, but in the meantime let’s talk about pizza. A couple weeks ago, someone at work prepared this pizza recipe and immediately I knew I had to have the recipe. The recipe, created by master baker Peter Reinhart, was unlike any pizza recipe I’ve ever had before. It was made with almond flour, egg whites and was completely gluten-free. Crazy, right? How almond meal and egg whites could come together to make a pizza crust is beyond me, but after tasting it and then making my own batch, I’m totally a believer.

If you have friends who are gluten-free or looking to cut back on carbohydrates, this would be a great dish to share. It’s fun to make because it’s so unique and takes much less time than traditional dough. Additionally, Joe and I both found that it makes great leftovers because the almond meal keeps the dough from drying out. This dough doesn’t taste like wheat-based dough but it its own thing all together. Very delicious, slightly nutty with a little crunch. It’s incredibly delicious, hearty and a great change of pace for pizza lovers like us.


Peter Reinhart’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Pizza Crust
Dough (adapted slightly)
*3 cups almond meal
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
*4 egg whites
*1 cup chicken broth
*3/4 cup grated mozzarella, fontina or Monterey Jack cheese
*Marinara sauce and shredded cheese

*Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat, such as a Silpat. Set aside. You can also use parchment paper brushed with olive oil.
*In bowl, whisk together the almond meal, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. In a second bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until they develop stiff peaks.
*Add the broth to the dry ingredients and stir until it makes a smooth batter. Fold in the egg whites and the cheese.
*Pour mixture onto prepared pan with the nonstick baking mat. Spread into an even layer, using wet fingers if necessary to prevent sticking. Top lightly with marinara sauce and shredded cheese.
*Bake 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the crust is puffed through and baked and filling is bubbly. Cool 10 minutes. Cut into squares to serve.

Happy Cooking!


Recipes for the Final Four

April 5, 2013

Picture 1

Good morning and happy Friday, friends! I can’t believe that another week has already come and gone. Joe and I find ourselves asking “where did the time go?” at least once a week these days. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we’ve been enjoying our jobs so dang much. There are times throughout the week that I stop and just soak up the thankfulness I feel about my new gig and where God has placed us. But that’s a story for another day.

As part of my job as a food editor at General Mills, I’ve been working with various Pillsbury products developing recipes. Since there are some big college basketball games coming up this weekend, I visited our local Minneapolis NBC station, KARE 11, to share some recipes from the Pillsbury Kitchens that are prefect for game day. I promise, they really are super tasty recipes!

If you want to view the video of yesterday’s segment, you can do so HERE. Links to the recipes can also be found on the same page, including:

*Bourbon-Bacon Chex Mix
*Chipotle Chicken Pizza
*Crescent Jalapeno Poppers
*Salsa Guacamole

Picture 2

Happy cooking!

Salmon Salad Pizza

January 15, 2012

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? Joe and I had friends over on Saturday night to watch the Broncos game and eat chili. And as an added surprise, my mom joined us for the weekend. And although the Broncos lost, it helped to have company (and ice cream) around to keep us from feeling the pain of the loss too much.

And since my mom was around this weekend, we took advantage of having her snap a photo of us that wasn’t taken with my computer. All ready to head to church…

Almost every week, Joey and I have homemade pizza for a weekday meal. Typically, our pizzas are of the standard variety – pepperoni and green peppers for Joe and mozzarella and basil for me. But on Friday night we dressed things up (a lot) and made a pizza you can’t order from a standard take-out joint.

Inspired by our favorite dinner, salads topped with salmon and feta cheese, Salmon Salad Pizza was born. And boy is it mouthwatering. I cringed a bit at the idea of crumbling half a pound of wild Alaskan salmon atop a pizza, but the fact is it’s a really economical way to feed high-quality salmon to a group of people. Instead of needing a pound or more, you can give everyone big salmon flavor for much less.

I was a tad bit skeptical about serving this pizza to Joe. Since he’s pretty traditional when it comes to pizza, I wasn’t sure if he would jump on board with this unique pie. Turns out, he was just as excited about it as I was. Between the two of us, we came pretty close to finishing up this pizza, with just a couple slices leftover for the weekend.

Salmon Salad Pizza
*1/2 lb. filet wild Alaskan salmon
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*3/4 cup baby spinach leaves, stems removed
*Whole wheat pizza dough for one 12-inch pizza (locals – Gateway Market has the best pre-made dough in Des Moines)
*1/3 cup pesto
*1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
*1/2 of a medium tomato, thinly sliced
*1/2 tsp. dried oregano

*Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a pizza pan or dust cornmeal on a baking stone and preheat the stone in the oven. Set aside.
*In a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat oil. Cook salmon, about 4 minutes per side. Salmon will not be completely cooked through, which is okay. This will prevent the salmon from being dry once it is cooked on the pizza. Flake salmon into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
*With the heat still on, cook spinach for 1 to 2 minutes in the remaining oil in the pan. Spinach should be slightly wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
*Press pizza dough into a 12-inch circle and transfer to baking sheet. Spread dough with the pesto sauce and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Layer tomato slices atop the feta, followed by the flaked salmon. Top with the spinach and sprinkle with the dried oregano.
*Bake pizza for 15 to 18 minutes, or until cheese is melted and dough is golden brown and crisp around the edges. Remove from oven and cut into pieces. Makes 8 slices

Happy Cooking!

Greek Salad Pizza

September 24, 2010

J and I approach food in two completely different ways. It’s almost comical sometimes; the food editor who muses about all things culinary and savors every morsel and the former football player who has spent the last eight years of his life eating for fuel, wolfing down thousands of calories without much of a second thought about the actual taste of his food.

I’m working on him, going to places off his beaten path, encouraging him to slow down and taste what it is he’s eating. But truth be told, sometimes I need a lesson in slowing down and savoring each bite, too; because at the end of a long day, sometimes cooking a meal seems like the world’s most daunting task and a bowl of cereal never looked so good.

This Greek Salad Pizza is here to tell you, and me, that a dinner worth savoring isn’t out of reach. Trust me, I found myself with a bag of pitas and the fixings for Greek salad last week and ate this meal three days in a row. And while pita bread pizzas are hardly anything new or revolutionary, this dish was a fresh reminder of how deliciously easy a ten minute meal can be.

Greek Salad Pizza
(Printable Recipe)

*2 small whole pita bread rounds
*4 Tbsp. hummus
*4 Tbsp. roasted tomato pesto or other jarred pesto
*1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
*4 to 6 pepperoncini peppers, thinly sliced
*1/4 cup thinly sliced black olives
*2 cups romaine lettuce, thinly sliced or chopped
*2 to 4 Tbsp. Greek style salad dressing

*Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil; set aside.
*Spread 2 tablespoons hummus on each of the pita breads, followed by 2 tablespoons of the pesto. Top each with a 1/4 cup feta cheese. Evenly divide the pepperoncini peppers and black olives between the two pitas.
*Place in the oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until the pita is crispy and the toppings are heated through.
*Toss the romaine in the Greek style salad dressing. Top each pita with some of the lettuce mixture, or serve along side the pitas.

Happy Cooking!


Veggie-Lovers Pesto Pizza

May 14, 2010

Looking back at my childhood and thinking about the food my mom put on the table each night continually blows me away. Not because the food required complicated cooking methods or multiple-step preparation, but because it was real. Biscuits didn’t come from a can, but from a mixingbowl, beef stew not in a can but from the magical process of stewing beef, potatoes, and carrots. And pizza could be found in the oven in imperfect shapes and layered with homemade goodness. Maybe it’s selective memory, only proving food made from scratch is the most memorable kind.

I tend to get a little fired up about the topic of cooking, namely the importance of home cooking and teaching people to cook. Which is why I love food blogging and this little space on the internet where I can cook, share, and hopefully encourage others to get in the kitchen, too.

Since I’m taking a little trip home this weekend, eating and cleaning out my fridge was a priority. I knew immediately it was a pizza-loaded-with-ingredients kind of night. So while I let the dough rise, I got to digging through my fridge and chopping up whatever I found. Which so happened to be….

*Shitake Mushrooms
Knowing that every fridge, and person, is different, I would encourage you to take the toppings I used as a guide, rather than a rule. If you happen to hate mushrooms, substitute ground beef. Swap out the asparagus for zucchini or yellow squash, and the arugula for spinach. 
But if you do decide to follow this recipe exactly, I promise you will not be disappointed. The pesto serves as your flavor-enhancing secret weapon and loading it up with veggies makes it more filling and a bit easier to stop after a slice or two. Topping the baked pizza with fresh greens tossed in a simple vinaigrette is my favorite finishing touch; it seems only natural to eat salad on top of your pizza, since pizza with salad is already a classic. 

Veggie-Lovers Pesto Pizza
(Printable Recipe) 
*1 cup hot water
*1 (1/4-oz.) package active dry yeast
*1 tsp. sugar
*1 tsp. table salt
*2 1/4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 Tbsp. olive oil
*1/3 cup pesto
*1 1/2 cups shredded Manchego cheese (mozzarella can be substituted)
*1 shallot, thinly sliced or 1/2 a medium red onion, thinly sliced
*1/3 cup olives, chopped
*1/2 of a bunch of asparagus, chopped (about 1 cup)
*1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
*2 cups arugula or spinach
*1 Tbsp. olive oil
*1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
*1/2 tsp. kosher salt

*Preheat oven to 400*F.
*In large mixing bowl, combine the hot water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir until all ingredients are disolved, about 30 seconds. Allow mixture to rest 5 minutes.
*Stir in 1 cup of the flour and mix until well combined. Stir in the second cup of flour. Knead the final 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour in with your hands, until dough is still soft, but not sticky. Form into a ball and place in a clean bowl. Drizzle the dough with the 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Cover with a towel and place the bowl in a warm place. (I like to crack the door of the oven for this and let the dough rise on the stove top where the warm draft can reach it) Allow dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

*Once dough has risen, transfer the dough to a baking sheet and press into a rectangle, about 12×8-inches in size.
*Spread the pesto on top of the dough, followed by the cheese. Top with the shallot, olives, asparagus, and mushrooms.
*Bake for 15-20 minutes, until bottom of crust is golden brown and the toppings are lightly browned and bubbly.
*White pizza is baking, toss together the arugula or spinach, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt.
*Top baked pizza with the fresh arugula mixture. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!