Everyone loves pizza, it’s one of those deliciously comforting foods that always makes people happy. It’s actually one of the only foods that still sometimes instills food envy in me. You know when you see someone eating a beautifully crispy slice that’s covered in juicy tomato sauce, fresh basil and mozzarella. Mmmm, it looks so good. Unfortunately, despite looking and smelling so good, the vast majority of pizza is anything but healthy and they’re never refined gluten, dairy & sugar free! So as with so many things, it’s best to make your own. I’ve experimented with so many different bases over the last few years, and this one, together with my cauliflower crust, is my favourite. It’s really really delicious and so wonderfully simple. The dough doesn’t need rolling or kneading or anything complicated, all you have to do is simply soak the quinoa overnight and then blend it with salt and dried herbs. It’s awesome.
The base comes out nice and thin too, so it’s crunchy but still doughy enough in the middle, which for me is the perfect pizza crust formula. I love mine layered with tomato puree, chopped cherry tomatoes and fresh basil and then topped with artichoke hearts, black olives and rocket (arugula). Wow it tastes so insanely good! You truly feel like you’re eating ‘normal’ pizza! Of course it’s also pretty fun to gobble up a whole pizza without having to think of the potentially negative consequences, either for your waist line or for your health, as you’re just eating a bowl of quinoa! Quinoa is so easy to digest, so energising and so healthy. It’s a complete protein, just like chicken, beef etc, so is a wonderful addition to any vegan or vegetarian diet as it contains all the essential amino acids needed for a healthy body. It also contains almost twice the amount of fibre as other grains, as well as being high in iron, magnesium and calcium. So now you can eat insanely delicious pizza and feel like a goddess, how amazing is that?!
Makes one 8 inch pizza:
- 3/4 of a cup of quinoa (soaked for about eight hours)
- 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs, I used herbs de provence and oregano
- a sprinkling of chilli flakes
For toppings I used:
- 2 tablespoons of organic tomato puree
- a dozen cherry tomatoes
- a handful of artichokes
- a handful of pitted black olives
- a handful of rocket (arugula)
Soak the quinoa overnight or for about eight hours in water . The best way to do this is put the quinoa in a larger bowl and cover it in water, make sure that it’s covered by a few cm’s. Then leave this to one side.
Once you’re ready to make the pizza, pre-heat the oven to 190C. Then drain any water left in the quinoa bowl, before putting the quinoa into a food processor with the apple cider vinegar, herb, chilli flakes and salt. Blend for a few minutes until a smooth dough forms, it should look a bit like pancake mix.
Line the bottom of a pizza dish or cake pan with olive oil and pour the mix in, then bake for about 15- 20 minutes, until the base is firm – it cooks really pretty quickly though.
Remove and add your topping, either place it back in the oven for a few minutes to warm them or enjoy your toppings raw! I like my tomatoes and tomato puree heated and the rest of my ingredients raw. Delicious!