Pizza Party

By Brenna O’Dea

Started from the bottom

Grains: Gluten free grains work just as well (if not better!) than their wheat-based buddies. We’ve got two great options for your bloat-free base. Try out a tortilla and pile it high with your favorite toppings. As I.G. herself would say (Ina Garten if you are insane and don’t know who I’m obviously talking about) how easy is that!? No kneading necessary, and hardly any clean up. Simply spread your sauce, sprinkle your cheese, and ask the little ones what kind of pizza they want tonight (hopefully some kind that involves veggies). The only tricky part is finding a tortilla that isn’t loaded with white flours and sugars, but Food For Life makes my personal faves, SPROUTED tortillas. They have classic corn, brown rice, and black rice varieties. Now, if you and the family are feeling a bit more bold and want to take on an all day pizza project, try out this quinoa crust recipe for a protein packed pie. Don’t panic over 6-8 hour prep time! Set aside your quinoa to soak in the morning and by dinner time, you’ll be ready to blend, bake and bite into that baby.

Roots: Whenever you have the chance to add extra veggies to your plate, TAKE IT. I’m not even talking about your pizza toppings yet. I’m talking about turning the crust itself into the veggie packed part of the meal. Now hear me out on this one, beet crust. I know, I know, I thought it sounded crazy too. How can you turn such a delicate vegetable into the base for all your other toppings? Well it turns out that root veggies, including my personal fave, BEETS, hold up well in place of pizza dough. Try out this recipe where beets are the star of the show, or use some root relatives like sweet potato, parsnips, and carrots that will also work wonders for your next pizza party with gluten free guests.

Love on top

Greens: For the nights when you CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP EATING ALL THE PIZZA…at least go green with it. Because hey, if there’s kale on your pizza, it might as well be a superfood smoothie. More the merrier is the motto here. Don’t stop at that layer of spinach pesto…toss some fresh leaves right on top…add some arugula while you’re at it…are those leftover roasted brussel sprouts I spy in the fridge? LOAD IT UP BABY. If you’re little ones are turned off and timid about that giant green circle staring them down, just remind them…IT’S PIZZA. Let them know that it’s the same food they love, and while it may not look like stuff you get at Chuck E. Cheese (at least I hope it doesn’t…), it might be even more delicious (and a hell of a lot more nutritious). ask them to try a bite, and if they really can’t stand the extra spinach, they can take some right off the top (but hopefully leave a lil’ on)! And for the more adventurous eaters around your table, this green goddess goodness is a KNOCKOUT. Asparagus, broccoli, kale, oh my! You will definitely need little hands to help toss on all those toppings, and maybe after making it themselves, they’ll be more inclined to devour those delightful greens.

Golds: It’s squash city up in here. You heard me, SQUASH. Sounds strange when discussing pizza? Well don’t squash it till ya try it (yup, I went there). One of the best things about pizza is that you can enjoy it all year round and never really get sick of it. Grill it up out on the patio in the summer sun while sippin’ on sangria, or curl up by the fire with your favorite ooey gooey cheesy goodness and a glass of eggnog (okay, maybe that’s a bit of a dairy overload). Anyway you want it, pizza’s the way you need it…and the same goes for squash! Pattypan in the summer and butternut in the winter (plus, like, a MILLION more varieties listed HERE and explained HERE). This butternut squash pizza is almost to beautiful to eat…almost. Not to mention it’s VEGAN and piled high with broccolini. There’s also maple syrup in the sauce so that’s awesome. Of course, squash is sweet on its own, and the creamy texture is usually pretty appealing to petite palates…even the picky ones.

(Image by flickr member Rose Grey Photography licensed under Creative Commons)

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