All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
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Fair warning – this recipe is definitely a work in progress but, I feel, it was successful enough to post the early results.
As is often the case with me, recipes are born of what I had handy. In this case – I had a ton of cooked quinoa. I eat way too much pizza and finding a less guilty version of it is always my goal. Why not make a pizza crust from this quinoa, I thought. Why not, indeed. I Googled recipes for it and they were all so complex, requiring 8 hour soaking of dry quinoa (that ship had sailed – as mine was cooked) or sorghum flour, tapioca flour or nutritional yeast. I was frustrated by the ingredients or the process (or both) in each case so I decided just to wing it.
But first – what is quinoa, you ask? Here is an explanation:
What is quinoa?
While quinoa is usually considered to be a whole grain, it is actually a seed, but can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley. Try a quinoa pilaf salad recipe, or serve a vegetable stir-fryover cooked quinoa instead of rice. Quinoa is my favorite whole grain for three reasons: First, it takes less time to cook than other whole grains – just 10 to 15 minutes. Second, quinoa tastes great on its own, unlike other grains such as millet. Add a bit of olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice and – yum! Finally, of all the whole grains, quinoa has the highest protein content, so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free and cholesterol-free whole grain, is kosher for Passover, and is almost always organic.
Secondly – how the frig do you pronounce it? Keen-wah.
OK – so, my finished dough had a set Jello consistency when raw – and it jiggled if you shook it. It was also VERY sticky. Most recipes described their dough as pourable – like pancake batter. That seemed odd to me so I chose to thicken my dough with potato flour. Having cooked one from this jello dough – I found the edges crisped but the center stayed sorta soft. Perhaps the pourable dough lets go of its moisture better while cooking. I will experiment & report back. Either way – this was a fairly decent success & I would not dissuade you from attempting it. One note – this definitely works as a pizza base but it is NOT bready. This pizza dough is to traditional pizza dough what a Gardenburger is to a hamburger – a decent substitute. Do not expect an old school New York slice from this dough. That said – I found it quite delicious!
Quick & Easy Quinoa Pizza Dough (Gluten Free)
2 cups quinoa – already cooked in vegetable stock
1/4 tsp each (optional) of: oregano, parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary, garlic powder
1 tsp each of salt & pepper
2 TBS olive oil
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup (or less) potato flour
Blend all ingredients (except potato flour) in a food processor until very smooth – maybe 1-2 minutes. Add the flour slowly using as much as you care to. I used the whole 1/2 cup of potato flour. I then rested the sticky dough on a sheet of wax paper greased with cooking spray & covered it with plastic wrap also greased with cooking spray. I let it rest all day – but only because I made this midday & I was using it for dinner. You could just proceed immediately.
Be sure your oven is pre-heated to 450 degrees and that the oven has reached that temperature. I greased a small pizza pan with cooking spray (greased parchment paper might help here, too) & spread 1/2 my dough on it with my palm – wetting my hand under running water after each pass. Wet hands keep the dough from sticking to you. I pressed it as thin as I could manage & baked it about 15 minutes.
I then took a larger pizza pan, topped the smaller one and, wearing oven mitts, flipped the dough from the smaller pizza pan to the larger. You could try just flipping the dough with spatulas, too. I baked the second side 10-15 minutes – until it looked sorta golden. I flipped it again & topped the pizza (in this case with: red pepper-tomato sauce and a grated cheese blend) and baked it until the cheese began to brown – maybe another 10-15 minutes.
I removed it from the oven & topped this with chopped, fresh grape tomatoes & sliced fresh basil. I ate it. I enjoyed.