Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Friday Night pizza - starch, carbs & gluten free

For many of us Friday night is take out night. The equivalent in our house is pizza (Trader Joe's frozen) and salad. A quick easy meal that requires no effort. 

So roll around to Friday, Alice on no starch diet, agghhh NO PIZZA! I sat and watched a delighted husband get the whole pizza to himself as I chomped my way through salad again. Don't get me wrong I'm a big salad fan, but 24/7 it does get a little repetitive (despite my salad repertoire increasing 10 fold since being on this diet).

Imagine my delight when I found out I can have my pizza and eat it! There are many recipes out there for 'pizza' with either a spinach, carrot or cauliflower base. Brilliant! I've done the spinach version and few times and it is really great, satisfying and filling.

Spinach crust pizza

1 1/2 cups of frozen spinach thawed
1 cup of grated cheese (I use cheddar as always have to hand. You could get fancy & opt for something a bit more 'Italian')
1 egg
Salt & pepper
grate of nutmeg

 Couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes (could use tinned)
crushed clove of garlic
Sprig of fresh herbs (I use oregano)
salt & pepper
sprinkle of sugar

Mozzarella - 2 balls
Your choice of toppings - I go for onion & olives

Apologies the ingredients list is not very accurate. I vary quantities every time, depending on how many glasses of wine I've had (it is Friday night after all).

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Thaw the spinach on a plate.  Using your hands spend some time squeezing out as much water as you can.  Transfer the spinach pulp to a bowl. Stir in the egg, cheese and seasoning.  Then press onto a lined baking tray (or pizza tray if you have one) and bake for 10/15 mins until it browns at the edges.  Don't worry too much about the shape, as you can see from mine its a free form pizza. Aim to get the thickness right, similar to a regular thin crust pizza.

Whilst the base is cooking make up the tomato sauce. In a little olive oil fry the garlic for a moment then add the tomatoes, herbs, S & P and a sprinkle of sugar.  Over a medium heat allow the tomatoes to mush down a little and lose some of their liquid.  This will only take about 5 minutes.

After the base was done I transferred it to a pizza stone for the final cook. I'm not sure its strictly necessary, I thought it might help to keep it crisp.  Add the tomato sauce, your choice of toppings and finally the mozzarella.  Return to the oven or put under the grill until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

It helps to cut into slices, rather than wedges as it is a little floppy. Boy, its good though!  This size was enough for me. Wish I'd got one cooking now...

Roll on Friday night.