By Alicia Carango, Beyond Celiac Web and Social Media Manager
I have been trying a lot of new things in the kitchen lately. I’m adding new foods to my diet (hello, kabocha squash!) and trying to put healthier spins on my usual favorites. So, when I had new Venice Bakery gluten-free and vegan pizza crusts to try, I did two things: A “healthier” pizza with spinach, arugula, tomato and fresh mozzarella on a flat bread crust and a traditional pepperoni pizza on a five inch pizza crust.
My boyfriend just finished his contract with the army and is a very willing guinea pig to try just about any new dish I come up with. After eating MREs for four years, he’s pretty much up for anything. He was skeptical about the pizza crusts, but actually ended up enjoying them way more than he expected.
My favorite of the two was the flatbreads. I didn’t really know what I should do with them seasoning wise. They come pre-seasoned, so I decided to just leave it be and make it as-is. I added my toppings and tossed it in the oven for 8-10 minutes. I checked about halfway through, and the spinach wasn’t wilting at all. I gave it a little spritz of non-stick cooking spray just to wet it. It did the trick. As it turns out, I didn’t need to add my own seasoning at all. It came our perfectly flavored.
Jim’s favorite was the pizza rounds. I liked them too. They were chewier than I expected them to be, which was a good thing. Since they’re vegan and gluten-free, I was expecting them to be a little stiff. They didn’t crumble under the weight of the sauce, cheese and pepperoni, but they weren’t hard either.
Next time I make these for dinner, I would bake them right on the rack. I didn’t want to risk getting melted cheese all over the bottom of my oven, so I put them on tin foil. They probably would have been a little firmer and crispier had I followed the directions…. Jennifer North, our Vice President, told me that parchment paper would have been a better choice if I didn’t want to put it right on the rack – a tip for those of you who, like me, overload pizzas with cheese and end up with a burned up mess in the bottom of your oven.
Overall, I give these pizzas two thumbs up. They were incredibly easy to cook. All in all, my dinner took about 20 minutes to prep and cook. You really can’t beat that!
Head to www.VeniceBakery.com to check out their other products.