Wheat-free Pizza


26 Jan Wheat-free Pizza


Last week’s vegetarian chili inspired me to try more food substitutes. I’ll be looking at a few alternative but delicious fakes over the next few days. I’ve been leery about “healthy” substitutes ever since someone served me dairy-free, sugarless chocolate mousse. I’d have been okay if it had been taste-free as well, but the combination of tofu, honey and carob was more a threat than a treat. For those unclear on my stance against carob, rest assured I will never offer you a phony alternative to chocolate.

Or coffee.

Having had success with oil-free carrot cake and vegetarian chili, I realize that you can get away with most (not all) substitutions providing you change only one ingredient. When you swap out three major ingredients in a dish that calls for five or six, you tip the scales in favour of kitchen disaster, not triumph. And of course, some items, like crème brûlée, can’t survive a healthy makeover. Nor should they.

But food sensitivities, allergies and personal ethics are also reasons to veer from the standard. So, I thought I’d ride the wave of curiosity while it lasts. First item up: flourless pizza.

The crust is made with almond flour (which is just finely ground almonds) instead of the standard risen dough. It doesn’t puff up like a yeast-based crust. You can’t pick it up with your fingers or make a pie big enough to serve eight hungry sports fans. But this ingenious swap out delivers an herb-filled crust ideal for wafer-thin individual pizzas. All you need is your favourite toppings and a knife and fork.

I used Dana McCauley’s pizza sauce and real Parmesan cheese as a base. While Andrew topped his with black olives and pepperoni, I made a vegetarian version with red onions, sauteed mushrooms, zucchini and red peppers. You can use any pizza topping that takes your fancy.

We gobbled ours last night when it was too dark for decent photos, so I had to make another pizza for this shoot. See, the thin crust?


Hmm. Not enough contrast. How’s this?


Ugh. Camera strap snuck in on the left. Trying again…


Oh, the crust fell apart a bit. Ignore the crumb on the right. This bite is perfect.


There. That wasn’t so bad now, was it?


Oh, seems I might have gotten a little carried away.


I’ll give you the recipe in a minute but before I do, tell me: What substitutes do you love or loathe?

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  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 10:27h, 26 January Reply

    Interesting experiment! I bet you’re learning a lot by making these substitutions and changes.

    How did you like my pizza sauce? I hope it was to your taste!

  • cheryl
    Posted at 13:53h, 26 January Reply

    Do NOT try rice flour tortillas. When my son was off wheat that’s all he could have his sandwiches on, and they were a disaster. But an almond meal pie crust sounds yummy. I mean, tomato sauce, cheese, veggies — you could put them on wet sand and they’d still taste good. (But I’d definitely prefer almond meal.)

    Your captions made me laugh.

  • Ashley Cavell
    Posted at 13:55h, 26 January Reply

    This pizza looks REALLY tasty. I love all of the sauteed veggies on it. I’d be interested to know what the texture was like.

    I LOVE substituting apple sauce or pureed pumpkin for oil when I’m baking. I’m still amazed at how well that works out.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 15:11h, 26 January Reply

    Dana, if I didn’t like your pizza sauce, I wouldn’t have mentioned it :-) It was yummy.

    Cheryl, good to know about rice flour tortillas. My sister tried quinoa pasta once and it was a disaster. Glad you had a laugh. Some days the camera love me. Some days it doesn’t.

    Ashley, the texture was a bit like a shortbread, only it was savory. I expected to taste the almond but with the herbs, sauce and toppings, it was just a good base.

    Thanks also for the tip about pureed pumpkin. I knew the apple sauce trick, but pumpkin? That sounds amazing!

  • Elra
    Posted at 18:02h, 26 January Reply

    Wow, this pizza look so gorgeous and colorful. So inviting, hmmm tempting too.

  • Alisa the Frugal Foodie
    Posted at 20:07h, 26 January Reply

    Oh my yes, that mousse does sound like a flavor disaster. Personal opinion .. though I like the occasional baked tofu in an Asian dish, it can be almost a crime in most desserts! I love honey and carob too, but that altogether just sounds wrong.

    On the other hand, that pizza looks divine! Sans parmesan for me, but delicious nonetheless. I must put some cheeseless pizza on the menu!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 22:23h, 27 January Reply

    Elra, if you try it, I’d love to hear how it turned out.

    Alisa, I’m with you on the tofu front. No in desserts. Yes in some Asian dishes.

    There’s some Parmesan in the crust, which might help it hold together. I haven’t tried it without cheese, so I’d be very interested in hearing how it turns out without any dairy.

  • R-
    Posted at 03:32h, 30 January Reply

    Wow, the almond meal crust sounds interesting. I will have to try it.

    I tried a recipe (Suzanne Somers)that used 1 8oz pkg of cream cheese, 2 eggs and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste for a pizza crust. Oven at 350. Butter a 9×13″ baking dish. Cream eggs and cream cheese, then add Parmesan cheese. Pour into prepared dish, bake for 17 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes. Then add toppings. While not low on the calorie side, it was tasty.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 09:56h, 31 January Reply

    R – this crust is tasty. Of all the substitutions I tried this week, this was my hands down favourite. Thanks for sharing Suzanne Somers’ version. The almond-based crust isn’t low-cal either. If you try the almond version I’d love to know which you like better.

  • About the book
    Posted at 12:41h, 02 February Reply

    I look forward to trying this recipe. I had a vegan pizza with peanut butter instead of cheese in the sauce and it was really delicious! Even though it doesn’t sound like it would be!!

  • Jaeny
    Posted at 07:41h, 03 June Reply

    Yum yum, wheat free pizza! Have you tried the rice flour version, instead of the almond flour? it will turn out just as good! And the toppings you put on are veganly delicious :)

  • 3 Ingenious Subs for Pizza Crust | Care2 Healthy Living
    Posted at 19:04h, 28 June Reply

    […] gluten-free substitutions, almond flour is perfect for just about anything, including pizza crust. Add a little egg, parmesan, and spices, and you’ve got yourself a crispy pizza crust that is lower in carbs […]

  • 3 Ingenious Substitutes for Pizza Crust | Magazine On Health
    Posted at 21:31h, 28 June Reply

    […] gluten-free substitutions, almond flour is perfect for just about anything, including pizza crust. Add a little egg, parmesan, and spices, and you’ve got yourself a crispy pizza crust that is lower in carbs and […]

  • 3 Ingenious Substitutes for Pizza Crust | Health
    Posted at 22:23h, 28 June Reply

    […] gluten-free substitutions, almond flour is perfect for just about anything, including pizza crust. Add a little egg, parmesan, and spices, and you’ve got yourself a crispy pizza crust that is lower in carbs and […]

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