Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Challenge #4: DF CF Cheezy Pine Nut Pizza Recipe

December 19th, 2008 yum Posted in Cooking for Karina, Dairy Free, Garlic-free, Italian, JM friendly, Mushrooms, Nuts, Pizza, Soy Free, Sweet Potato, Tomato-free, Vegan, portobello mushrooms, soy-free challenges, walnut 7 Comments »


Thin gluten-free crust with pine nut “cheese”, roasted sweet potatoes, fresh basil, roasted mushrooms and roasted red pepper, prior to baking.

One big challenge to the dairy-free, soy-free lifestyle is that of a cheesy pizza. Sure, you can make a tomato sauce and just skip the cheese, but it doesn’t have that rich mouth feel or decadence. I’ve played with a variety of solutions to this problem. There are a number of lactose free or dairy free cheeses on the market, including almond, rice, and soy cheeses that are also gluten-free. However, finding a commercial w”cheese” that is truly 100% dairy-free as well as soy-free can be another story. Besides, if you’ve ever tried these cheese “substitutes” you know that they taste almost nothing like real cheese, and often don’t seem to add anything good to a recipe besides the idea of cheese. Luckily vegan cookbooks such as The Uncheese Cookbook have more creative alternatives using a variety of “real” foods as the base for their un-cheese recipes. Some of these recipes use soy (frequently) or gluten (less frequently), but there are many options that do work for a gluten,dairy, and soy-free diet.

However, interestingly one of the most successful soy and dairy-free cheese substitutes I found was not in a vegan cookbook, exactly, but on a related raw foods cookbook. Raw foodists might find it sacrilege, but I used it in a baked lasagna to wonderful effect. This recipe for soy and dairy-free lasagna has been one of the most popular recipes at the Book of Yum because it answers a real need in the food-sensitive community for TASTY cheese substitutes. This recipe came to mind when Mother was visiting us this week. She can eat gluten, but is allergic to soy and dairy, so she doesn’t often have the chance to have “cheesy” dishes. She is also allergic to garlic and avoids tomatoes due to RA. When I decided to make a dairy-free pizza, I thought immediately that I should try using the yummy pine nut sauce on it as the “cheese” base. I was also inspired by the season to roast sweet potato cubes and mushrooms for toppings. I decided to simplify the pine nut recipe a bit and found it was just as good, if not better than the original. It was a big hit with my allergy-sensitive Mom, and the DH and I enjoyed it as well. The combination of pine nut sauce, fresh basil, and roasted vegetables was absolutely addicting. Because I had extra pizza crusts I decided to also make a dairy-free walnut pesto and top it with roasted vegetables as well. Yum! And nobody missed the cheese (or soy) at all.

Looking for a gluten-free pizza crust recipe?
Here’s a fun thin-crust recipe- it doesn’t rise much but makes enough for 6 pizzas that you can enjoy over a week’s time.
And, here’s my personal favorite crust- Carol Fenster’s classic gluten-free Pizza recipe with allergen-free pizza topping recipes

Dairy-Free Soy-Free Pine Nut Cheesy Pizza
Ingredients
1 gluten-free pizza crust

Pine Nut “Cheese” (new version)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. brown rice vinegar
1/4 tsp or less salt
1/8 cup water or more

1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed
handful fresh basil leaves, julienned
4 baby portabella mushrooms (between crimini and portabella)
1 red pepper for roasting
olive oil
salt, pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Soak 1/2 cup pine nuts in enough water to cover for an hour. Then drain, rinse, and blend in food processor with dash of salt, vinegar and water until you have a creamy consistency. Put in small container and reserve, refrigerating.

Prepare toppings:
Toss sweet potato cubes with dash of olive oil, salt and pepper if you like. Place on baking sheet. Remove stems from mushrooms and rub with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper if you like. Place whole red pepper on baking sheet or on oven rack along with rest of your veggies. Roast for 15 minutes and check your mushrooms. If they seem done, remove mushrooms from oven, dribbling juices over them and letting rest. If not, check mushrooms again in another 5 minutes. After they have rested, you can slice them. Roast sweet potatoes until they are fork tender but not mushy. Roast red pepper (turning occasionally) until sides are all slightly charred. When you take red pepper out of oven, place in freezer safe ziploc bag, seal, and let steam for 10 minutes on counter before removing. Rub off skin with paper or cloth towel, cut in half and de-seed. Slice and/or cut into bite sized pieces and reserve.

To assemble your pizza, top with even coating of your pine nut “cheese”. If you have some, you could rub the crust first with a bit of blended sundried tomato and olive oil to give the crust a more attractive golden color that will stand out from the pine nut “cheese”. (I didn’t do that this time, Mom is also sensitive to tomatoes). Sprinkle with julienned basil, roasted sweet potato, mushroom slices and red pepper pieces. Bake following pizza crust instructions. The thin-crust pizza recipe I used requires a short bake time (12 min or less) and so is ideal. For a long baking recipe, you might bake the crust halfway before topping the pizza.

Notes
My dairy-free, soy-free Mom loved this pizza, and loved the pine nut sauce.
Walnut Dairy Free Pesto Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
sprinkle salt
1/8 cup roasted fresh onions
1/4 cup olive oil
Directions
Combine ingredients in blender or food processor, drizzling in olive oil as you blend it. Taste and season with more salt or other spices if desired. Enjoy!
Notes
I used this pesto on a gluten-free pizza crust topped with roasted sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes, roasted red pepper, roasted onion, and even half roasted chard. Yum yum yum!
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Menu of the Week and Gluten-Free Menu Swap: Sesame Peanut Almond Vegetarian Brown Rice Noodle Salad Recipe

December 8th, 2008 yum Posted in Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday, Menu, Menu Plan Monday, Nuts, Peanut, Rice Noodles, Salad, Salad Dressing 8 Comments »

Here’s Ra in the background as the DH poses with this week’s one-dish hearty thai brown rice noodle salad. This week the Gluten-Free Menu Swap is Hosted by Asparagus Thin with a theme of bitter flavors. I will have to give this some thought… stay tuned to see how her theme inspires me. I also always enjoy posting my menus with Org Junkie. Don’t forget that Cheryl is temporarily housing the Gluten Free Menu Swap at her blog GF Goodness.
Monday Dinner: Chinese
Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry

Monday Lunch: Indian
Aloo Jeera and Basmati Rice

Tuesday: Vegan
Vegan Pot Pie

Wednesday: Italian
Chebe Thin Crust Pizza

Thursday-Sunday
Mother visiting, TBD

This week we have a hearty, one-dish noodle salad packed with protein and nutrition. I made a Sesame Peanut Almond Vegetarian Brown Rice Noodle Salad for dinner that the DH and I just loved based on a gluten recipe from the Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook. Delish!

3 Nut Butter Brown Rice Mild Thai Noodle Salad Recipe
Ingredients
3/4 package of Brown rice gluten-free pasta (trader joe’s or tinkyada)
1 pound firm tofu, pressed and cut into strips
1/2 tbsp peanut oil or more
salt, thai type seasonings of choice (optional)
3/4 cup thinly sliced tops of green onions (add white bulb for bite)
1 cup frozen peas
beet green tops OR spinach, to taste
several carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1/4 to 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Sesame Three Nut Dressing
2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. wheat free low sodium tamari like san-j
3 tbsp. brown rice vinegar
1/8 cup all-natural almond butter
1/8 cup all-natural peanut butter
2 tbsp. tahini sesame butter
1 tbsp. honey or agave nectar
1/3 cup boiling water
pinch of smoked paprika
*for spicier, you can add cloves of fresh garlic and/or chili garlic sauce to taste)

Directions
Start pasta boiling and prep tofu and vegetables. Add beet green tops as well as your frozen peas to boiling pasta when there is just two minutes or so left until pasta is al dente. (Follow directions on pasta package). When pasta is done to your liking, strain and rinse pasta and peas and beet tops in cold water.

Meanwhile, saute tofu in oil in nonstick pan, browning on both sides. you can preseason tofu and/or just add salt to each side before browning. If you prefer more heat you can dip them in chili garlic sauce before adding to pan. When brown remove from pan and reserve.

Combine all ingredients for sesame three-nut dressing in a blender.

Throw your pasta in a large bowl with minced fresh cilantro, green onion tops, and 1 tbsp. sesame oil. Fold ingredients together and sprinkle with sesame seeds if you like. Add any extra veggies (carrots) and tofu strips. Pour blended dressing over pasta and mix thoroughly. You can add additional smoked paprika, pepper, or srirachi hot sauce to individual portions to taste. Enjoy!

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