We’re just about done with our kitchen renovation, wooh-hoo (happy dance)! Only the stone countertop and sink are left to be mounted, and they’re going in tomorrow! I can’t wait to live (and cook and eat) normally once again. After weeks of take-outs and turmoil, I’d be glad to have my kitchen back.
In spite of this renovation, I was able to start my SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and/or Paleo Diet, and had managed to lose 8 pounds in 2 weeks! I ate lean meats, lots of fresh veggies and fruits, and reduced my dairy intake; I cut out grains, gluten, legumes, lactose, and refined sugars.
Then came the craving for pizza – I had to something about it. I managed to whip out this gluten- and grain-free pizza atop cardboard boxes laid on our bare cabinets. I ran 10 steps to our bathroom sink to wash my hands or clean utensils then ran back and then some more. It got ridiculously frustrating to do anything properly! But even if I took double the time to finish this pizza, it was quite worth the effort.
So, I have good news and bad news for you. Which one would you like to hear first?
Here’s the bad news first. I am not going to lie to you: this GF pizza does not even come close to the real thing. I mean, pizza is one of the best things in life – irreplaceable. There’s nothing like it, and a gluten- and grain-free version is just not the same. But since I made a commitment to cut out evil wheat and grains (for now), I suppose sacrifices are inevitable. This is one of them.
But the good news is: it’s edible, it’s healthy, and it has such interesting flavours minus the blood-sugar spike! Would you believe that the crust is made from shredded eggplant (rich in antioxidant phytochemicals), flaxseed meal (rich in fibre and omega’s), and almond meal (rich in nutrients)?! While it will never replace the real thing, with great toppings, it can be transformed!
I topped this pizza with typical market vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and tomato. You can also opt to add smoked bacon to it, for you Paleos out there.
Without further ado…
|Market Mediterranean Pizza||
- 250 grams (about 2) peeled, shredded, and drained Italian eggplant*(See Note)
- 48 grams (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) ground flaxseed
- 28 grams (4 tablespoons) blanched almond flour
- 1 jumbo egg
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cold-pressed olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- green zucchini, sliced thinly
- yellow zucchini, sliced thinly
- baby eggplant, sliced thinly
- graffiti eggplant, sliced thinly
- yellow or orange hothouse tomatoes, sliced thinly
- olive oil for brushing
- micro greens for garnish
- balsamic vinegar for drizzling
- Coarsely shred peeled Italian eggplants with a hand grater or food processor with shredder attachment. Let sit for 5 minutes. In handfuls or using a cheesecloth, wrap the shredded eggplant and squeeze out excess liquid.
- In a large bowl, mix well the shredded eggplant, ground flaxseed, almond flour, egg, oil, salt, and pepper until it forms a wet ball. Turn dough out on a piece of parchment paper.
- Press mixture into a 9″ x 11″ rectangle, about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. If needed, use a baking tray of the specified size as a guide.
- Transfer the shaped dough, still on the parchment paper, to a cookie sheet with open sides. Open-sided cookie sheets will make it easier to slide the pizza in and out.
- Meanwhile, slice the vegetables into thin coins and set aside. You will probably only need half of each vegetable. Set aside. If you prefer, wrap sliced vegetables in plastic wrap to prevent any discolouration.
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
- Place sheet on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top the crust with another parchment paper, then using another tray, flip over. Peel off top parchment.
- Top the crust with the sliced vegetable coins, alternating them. Brush or spray with olive oil. Season with sea salt.
- Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Garnish with micro greens and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
*The final amount of peeled, shredded, and drained eggplant must be 250 grams in total. Make sure to drain liquid first before weighing. To drain, wrap eggplant in cheesecloth, let sit for 5 minutes, then squeeze all the liquid out.