In my family, pizza is serious business! Whether we’re making pizza at home like the Best Ever Gluten-free Pizza Crust or going out to our favourite pizzeria in Toronto like Libretto or Defina Wood Fired, we don’t mess around – only the best will do! Dominos or 2-4-1 Pizza (does that even exist anymore?) are outta the question. I don’t mean to sound snooty, but I told you pizza was a serious matter in the McJordan family!
The reason I made this recipe to share with you guys was that my colleague Amanda was chowing on a quinoa pizza crust at lunch last week, and it got me thinking… I’ve made the Best Ever Gluten-free Pizza Crust at least 100 times and I really want to find a totally plant-based pizza crust to share with you guys that’s also egg- and dairy-free. I came across this recipe from Tasty and adapted it by changing up a few ingredients and making it vegan. I love the fact that the base is made of quinoa because it’s a total superfood!
QUINOA IS A NUTRIENT-DENSE SUPERFOOD SEED Complete protein. One of the few plant-based foods that’s a complete protein, quinoa is satiating and nourishing. Phytonutrient-rich. More than 20 different phenolic phytonutrients, which provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to the body, have been identified in quinoa. Gluten-free AND grain-free. Although it’s often grouped into the same family as wheat, oats, barley, rye, rice and millet, quinoa is a non-grass food and it’s a seed, not a grain.
This recipe makes a super easy sheet pan pizza – meaning you simply spread the batter onto a baking sheet, bake and go!
Since I broke my pizza stone last year I’ve only been doing large rectangular pizzas on a baking sheet. (Note to self: I do need to get a new pizza stone. Especially since the spelt flour pizza crust from my first cookbook Joyous Health is absolutely amazing and it’s best made on a pizza stone.
As mentioned, the ingredients are super-duper simple. Once you’ve soaked the quinoa for eight hours (this step is KEY, DO NOT skip it and do not skip rinsing it either), you blend all the ingredients together in a food processor. You will have a very sore belly if you don’t prepare the quinoa properly because of the saponins.
What are saponins?
They’re phytochemicals, naturally present in foods like quinoa, that have a very bitter taste. They have an important purpose for the plants that contain them to act as a natural protection from pests. However, the bitter taste they produce is quite irritating to the digestive system. They’re significantly reduced by soaking and rinsing. When you soak the quinoa, the suds produced are evidence of saponins. Some brands of quinoa will be labelled “pre-rinsed”, so you don’t have to worry about soaking and rinsing.
Then you slather the batter onto a baking sheet.
And if you have a little helper on standby, this part is just as fun as the pizza toppings!
This pizza is pick-up-and-eat style, meaning, no fork and knife necessary (unless that’s your preference). It’s crunchy and fulfilling!
As you’ll soon see in the recipe instructions, you bake the crust first and then add your favourite toppings.
I divided this pizza into thirds, since Walker, Vienna and I like different toppings. I tried some of everyone’s but I think my portion was the best 😉
Any guesses on which section belonged to who? Comment below! 🙂
Section 1: soft goat cheese, zucchini, grape tomatoes, red onion (garnished with basil).
Section 2: goat cheddar and nitrate-free pepperoni.
Section 3: burrata cheese, grape tomatoes (garnished with basil).
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Ingredients 2 ½ cups quinoa, uncooked 1 cup water 1 tbsp baking powder 2 tbsp garlic powder 2 tbsp dried Italian herbs 1 tsp sea salt 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Instructions Place the quinoa in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover the quinoa and let sit overnight or at least 8 hours. After 8 hours, drain the water and rinse the quinoa thoroughly with a wire mesh strainer, or pour it into a nutbag to rinse. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the quinoa, 1 cup of water, the baking powder, garlic powder, Italian herbs, salt, and nutritional yeast to a food processor. Blend until a smooth batter forms. Pour the batter onto the baking sheet, using a spatula to spread evenly across the sheet. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Flip the crust, removing the parchment paper, and bake for 10 minutes more, or until golden brown. Top the crust with your favourite toppings (see notes) and then put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve!
PLEASE NOTE: I’ve put this recipe in the “vegan” section of my blog because the pizza crust is vegan, but it is up to you what you serve it with. Serves 4. I divided the toppings for this pizza into three sections and spread tomato sauce as the base under the toppings: Section 1: soft goat cheese, sliced zucchini, thinly sliced red onion, grape tomatoes halved. Section 2: grated goat cheddar, nitrate-free pepperoni Section 3: grape tomatoes halved, burrata cheese and fresh basil (added after baking)
The toppings were magical!
This pizza didn’t last long. Walker and I tried each section, but Vienna stuck to her own.
You may notice I didn’t use any cow dairy on my third of the pizza. I tend to avoid cow dairy products because they don’t agree with me, but goat or sheep milk products are just fine. (Oops, I kinda gave it away!).
More pizza photos, just because it was so yummy and so good looking!
We enjoyed this with the Juicy and Crunchy Kale salad – that’s our favourite salad to make. Vienna picks out all her favourite ingredients and Walker and I fill at least half our plate with salad and the other half with pizza.
I hope you try out this pizza! If you don’t avoid eggs and/or you’re not vegan, my Best Ever Gluten-free Pizza Crust has been a go-to for years.
I’m excited to see your pizza creations! Be sure to tag me on social @joyoushealth
ps. If you have leftover quinoa and you’re looking for more quinoa recipes, then this Flourless Chocolate Cake is a must! Perhaps not with this pizza – that would be quinoa overload – but put it in your back pocket for the next time you need a decadent yet healthy chocolate cake recipe, you won’t be disappointed!
This content was originally published here.