Wow, I’m already 10 days past the half-way point of my 90 day challenge! That is awesome!! I’m definitely feeling stronger and am seeing more definition in my muscles. I have a lot more energy. I can also admit that even though burpees still shoot my heart rate way up and cause me to lose my breath, I can do them faster and I’m recovering quicker between sets. It definitely helps that I’m doing the ZCUT workouts on top of burpees and running because Zuzka really pushes me both in cardio and strength. I basically had to learn to recover quickly or I couldn’t make it through her workouts.
Today’s entry is primarily about FOOD. I’m continuing to find new recipes, along with surprising myself with safe finds from the grocery store. I’ve even managed to go out to eat a couple times and haven’t had a problem finding foods I can eat (as long as I go to a decent place). For example, the other night I had a tuna steak with sides of kale and broccoli, no dairy, gluten or any of the other allergens I’m avoiding. I’ve also done well ordering spinach salads with salmon or grilled chicken and sushi has been pretty safe as long as I’m careful (speaking of which, if you like sushi check out Food Babe’s article on Sushi Secrets). I just have to ask a few more questions before ordering but most places can accommodate my diet with only minimal substitutions.
The one junk food I really love is pizza. I’ve struggled to make a really delicious gluten free, dairy free pizza. Well, I think I finally found a winner and I’m excited to share it with you! First, I have to talk about Socca (or Farinata). An old friend recently posted a recipe for this grain-free chickpea unleavened bread. I tried it that night and found it was an AWESOME side-dish to my dinner:
I did have to tweak the recipe because that day my local grocer was out of garbanzo bean flour. So the picture above is NOT grain free. Here’s what I did instead:
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour (top ingredient is chickpea flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ large onion, minced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh marjoram, minced
- 1 cup lukewarm filtered water
The directions are identical to the original recipe, but I’ll post them here for convenience:
1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. Sift flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper; then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours (I tried leaving it both 30 mins and 6 hours, negligible difference). Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.
2. Stir all herbs, onion and garlic into batter. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry.
3. Set socca a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm.
It was SO FREAKING GOOD that a few days later I found actual garbanzo bean flour and, following the same recipe above I used it to make this gluten free, dairy free, grain free (Paleo friendly) pizza:
This was amazing. The one thing I’ll say is that using the garbanzo bean flour, while healthier, it definitely tasted more like falafel and less like pizza crust. Next time I may switch back to the Gluten Free Flour since I’m not outright avoiding grains (just gluten, corn and oats). However, BOTH bread recipes held up beautifully and the chickpea flour had no trouble holding the heaping pile of toppings I piled on it.
Speaking of toppings, here’s what I used:
- Sugar-free pasta sauce (I need to learn to make my own pizza sauce)
- 1.5 cups baby spinach
- Artichoke hearts
- Sundried tomatoes
- Crumbled local bacon
- Small amounts of Daiya mozzarella and pepperjack*
*A note on using Daiya “cheeses”, be very careful not to use too much. It’s a great cheese substitute because it melts well and gives a cheesy flavor, BUT if you use the same amount of Daiya that you’d use with traditional cheese you might find that it melts together and has the consistency and taste of mayonnaise. I find the mozzarella particularly has this issue, and as a result it’s not my favorite Daiya cheese.
So go wild and have some healthy pizza! I’d love to hear your variations on this recipe and other ideas!