Practicing Non-Harming Toward Yourself and the World



Gluten-Free Pizza, & How to Make Balsamic Glaze

I’ve long been interested in gluten-free cooking, but gluten-free baking almost scares me. I don’t want to have to run out and buy a bunch of crazy bean or nut flours, new starches, etc. When I move back to Asheville I’ll stock up on all of those things if I find them cheap at Amazing Savings, but for now I want to keep my gluten-free cooking simple.

When I saw this recipe for a chickpea flour based gluten-free crust from Meghan Telpner, I got excited. I love the flavor of chickpea flour, so it’s the one non-all-purpose flour I buy regularly. Although the dough seemed way too wet after mixing the ingredients, after baking it transformed into an awesomely crispy thin pizza crust. And the best part was that there is absolutely no rising time! I made the entire pizza in half an hour. As I continue to eat healthier and consume less wheat and sugar, this will undoubtedly be my go-to pizza crust.

I topped the pizza with homemade pesto (fresh basil, chives, spinach, cashews, oil, salt, garlic, and lemon), sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli, and balsamic glaze. I love balsamic glaze on pizza, and I know a lot of other people do too. I’ve been out with so many people who get super excited when a pizza place offers it. Luckily, it’s super easy to make.

Balsamic Glaze

1 cup balsamic vinegar

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. The liquid will reduce in volume and become syrupy. You’ll end up with 1/4 cup or so.

That’s it! Now you can make it at home and drizzle it over everything like I do. 🙂 It keeps for a ridiculously long time in the fridge, but I usually finish it off fairly quickly because it tastes so damn good.

Stupid Beer

I have a fun, exciting story to share. Are you ready?

My boyfriend is awesome, and as a result I like to do nice things for him. Usually, that means cooking for him. So I came up with an idea for a pizza and cupcake date. I’ve been wanting to try a beer crust pizza for a while, so I used a recipe from cute and delicious. Honestly, it didn’t taste very different, so in the future I’ll probably save the beer for drinking.

Here’s the story: I didn’t have beer, so I went to Ingles this morning to pick up some, along with the other ingredients I needed. Everything was fine until I was waiting to get on the bus afterward to head home. I had the six-pack of beer in my backpack, when I felt something wet. I took it off and opened it up, only to find that one of the cans had exploded. To make things better, when I grabbed it, I got sprayed in the face by beer. So, I threw the offending can into the bushes (I know, littering is bad) and called my boyfriend whose house was only a mile away. He gave me permission to break into his house and find a new bag. I ended up missing the bus by, oh, five minutes, and had to wait another half hour for it to come by again. But on the plus side, I got to play with this awesome gal:

I smelled like beer the entire way home. Oh well.

Back to the pizza. The beer crust wasn’t the only new thing I tried. I also made some vegan pepperoni out of beets. I was skeptical until I tried one. So delicious.

I was surprised the BF like them since he hates fennel, one of the ingredients. For some reason, that fact never crossed my mind while I was making them. I suddenly thought about it while he was eating, but when I asked him about it he said he liked it. Whew.

Now it’s off to do the dishes from last night and get started on lunch. I can’t decide whether I want carrot soup or miso soup, but I’m definitely making some garlicky kale.

Mexican Inspired Pizza

As readers of Ahimsa already know, my boyfriend and I are huge pizza lovers. We have it for dinner at least once a week.

Sometime last week, we were discussing pizza (I wonder how many other couples discuss food like we do on such a regular basis) and I mentioned that I would like to make a pizza where refried beans were the base rather than the standard tomato sauce. He seemed interested, and on Saturday night we made a Mexican inspired pizza.

We used a pre-made crust because it was 9:30 at night when we finally decided we were hungry. At that point, no one wants to wait an hour for dough to rise. For the refried bean base, we mixed half a can of fat-free refried beans with about half a cup of beer. Word to the wise: next time you cook refried beans, mix it with a cheap beer. I’d never done this before meeting my boyfriend, and it gives an extra-yummy dimension to the beans. Trust us.

Lately, I cannot eat a pizza without pineapple. So our “Mexican” toppings were pineapple, yellow corn, pico de gallo, garlic, and avocado. I’ve never baked avocado, so I was eager to see how it did in the oven. Thankfully, roasted avocado is rather good. The entire pizza was tasty, in fact. My boyfriend was worried that baking the beans would produce a crusty topping, but because it was only in the oven for about ten minutes, it wasn’t a problem.

Has anyone else ever tried a Mexican-themed pizza? What toppings did you use?

BBQ pineapple pizza

Last weekend my friend Carol came over and we had a little pizza party at my boyfriend’s house. Carol suggested BBQ pineapple pizzas, which was great because pineapple is my second favorite pizza topping (after artichoke hearts). We spread some Carolina-style BBQ sauce over the crusts (one with a little ketchup), topped it with slices of green bell pepper, onion, garlic, and some soy curls she had bought with her. We also put some Teese on top.

This pizza was my first encounter with both soy curls and Teese. The soy curls were better than I had imaged they would be – I sort of expected something bland and chewy. However, they tasted pretty good and soon I’d like to get my own bag to use for tacos and stir-fries. The Teese was pretty good too (we used Cheddar), but I honestly think I prefer FYH or Cheezly.

The next day the BF and I went hiking near Grandfather mountain, and I took the leftover pizza for lunch. These are the only two pictures we managed to take since we didn’t think of doing it the night they were made.

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