I have nothing against a good ol’ fashioned pizza crust. In fact, I rarely turn down a slice of margherita. But I hate that pizza has to be reserved as a “splurge”— a weekend indulgence I don’t feel great about afterwards.
My new found solution to these pizza crust woes: a protein- and fiber-packed quinoa crust. Not only is it a great gluten-free option, but it also makes for a more nutritious slice. After all, we’ve used quinoa in both sweet and savory tarts, and it’s the base for one of my favorite breakfast quiches. It only seemed fair to pair it with pizza!
Unlike some alternative pizza crusts, this one truly resembles the original. After soaking, quinoa combines with water in the food processor to create a pancake-like batter that bakes into a golden, chewy crust. The quinoa needs to soak overnight, so set it out this evening and enjoy pizza night tomorrow.
Quinoa Pizza Crust
Makes: One 9-inch pizza crust
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup water, plus more for soaking quinoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Step 1: Place the quinoa in a small bowl and cover it with water. Let the quinoa soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and thoroughly rinse the quinoa (this will prevent any bitterness in the crust). Place the quinoa, 1/4 cup water, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until a smooth batter is formed, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the food processor as necessary.
Step 2: Line an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper (it may help to spray the pan with cooking spray first, so that the parchment sticks), and then spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth with a rubber spatula.
Step 3: Bake the crust for 15 minutes at 425°F. Remove the parchment paper from under the crust.
Step 4: Flip the crust over and return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, or until golden and the edges are crispy.
Step 5: Remove from the oven and add sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice. I topped mine with 1/4 cup low-sodium pizza sauce, 2 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, and a handful of fresh basil leaves. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melty.
Step 6: Cut the pizza into four wedges, and enjoy!
Serving Size: 2 wedges (nutrition information is for crust only). CALORIES 236; FAT 3.87g (sat 0.45g, mono 1.03g, poly 2.1g); PROTEIN 9g; CARB 41.46g; FIBER 4.47g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 3.18mg; SODIUM 475.41mg; CALC 199.51mg
Brought to you by Brian Devine