My Candida Pizza
October 16, 2016
I'm near the end of this pesky candida cleanse (and which is peskier, the candida or the cleanse?). Two days ago I was fed up with the restrictive diet that I had been adhering to so carefully, and I devised a pizza that stayed within the limits of my food list.*
To get around the yeast prohibition, I made a pastry base rather than a pizza dough. For the flour you could use any all-purpose GF flour.** I give instructions for the crust below***, but you can make your usual pie crust instead.
Roll out the dough as thin as you can between two large sheets of parchment paper, then transfer it to one large cookie sheet. (You could also divide the dough in half & put it on two sheets. Set the cookie sheet(s) in the freezer or fridge while you prepare the topping. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
For the toppings start with tomato sauce. Warm two tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan, then add three chopped cloves of garlic and let that cook on low for about 30 seconds, at which time pour in a cup and a half of tomato sauce (mine was San Marzano sauce that I'd taken from the freezer and that thawed, covered, in the pot with the garlic. Add chopped parsley (and/or basil, rosemary, oregano), along with half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes (smoked aleppo pepper is what I used). Let the sauce simmer for five minutes, then set it aside to cool.
In the meantime steam the florets and the peeled, cut-up stem of a large head of broccoli until it is just tender.
Peel and slice a medium onion**** and chop up a few half-dried tomatoes***** if you have some.
For the cheese component, mix together a chunk of sheep's milk feta, a quarter cup of sheep's milk cream cheese, and, to thin it a bit, a quarter cup of sheep's milk yogurt.
Assembly is simple: spread the tomato sauce over the crust, sprinkle on the onion, the dried tomato, and the just-steamed broccoli, then drop spoonfuls of the cheese mixture all over the top.******
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is crisp and the cheese blobs are just beginning to brown on top.
I can guarantee that you will love this dietarily legal pizza even if you haven't been feeling deprived for a month.
*The dietary restrictions vary depending on what web site you visit. My own restrictions were: no sugar, alcohol, or dairy (except yogurt and butter--though sheep and goat milk products were allowed, which is a major concession); no gluten; no fruit; no pork; no yeasted or fermented products; no shellfish. But this rigidity lasts only a month.
**My flour was from "Pie R Squared" based in Wolfville, NS. They grind their own blend, which includes specially imported wild rice from Manitoba. Unfortunately, they produce the flour primarily to make the GF baked goods they sell locally, and the only way to get the flour is to go there or have an obliging relative in the area who will send it to you.
***The proportions given below will make a large-ish pizza--enough for two meals for two people.
2 c. GF flour
3/4 t. salt
2/3 to 1 c. butter cut into cubes
1 t. cider vinegar
You can make this dough in a food processor. Pulse the cubes of butter into the flour and salt until the butter is in uniform, rice-sized bits. In a small bowl mix the egg, vinegar, and about half a cup of ice water, then pour this through the feed tube of the processor while the machine runs. Stop and check the consistency of the dough, being sure to loosen the dough from the bottom with a spatula. If it is too dry to hold together, add a couple tablespoons more of ice water.Turn the dough onto a board and gather it together. Cut the ball of dough in half and put one half on top of the other, pressing down firmly. Do this again.You can continue from here or you can refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours. Remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you plan to work with it.
****Some people like to partially cook the onions before putting them on a pizza, but I find that after baking on the pizza for15 or 20 minutes in a hot oven the onions are just perfect.
*****Halve plum tomatoes or Romas and scoop out the innards to use elsewhere. Lay the tomatoes on a cookie sheet, cut side up, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Add some sprigs of rosemary. Bake at 250 degrees for three or four hours, depending on how dried-out you like them. They'll keep for a week refrigerated, or you can freeze them for several months. I have been known to process an entire bushel of plum tomatoes this way, but them days is long gone. This year I dried about twenty tomatoes in all. Not very enterprising.
******If you're not following any dietary restrictions--or if you are but you've decided to cheat a little--then sprinkle the top with freshly grated Parmesan (NOT the sawdust-y pre-grated kind).