I haven’t posted for awhile. That is due to many reasons, but the main one being the lack of inspiration and motivation. My brain was in such a fog the entire month of July. To be honest with you, I hardly remember it and yet it feels like it was the longest month of my life. It’s funny how our brain works sometimes. But that is over. I am once again motivated to cook, write and take tasty-looking pictures.
The reason I started this blog in the first place was so that, for the first time in my life, I would have a hobby. Part of my anti-anxiety therapy was to find something that brought me pleasure, but did not stress me out: an activity I have complete control over. If I am having a “down day” (or month) I don’t feel I have disappointed anyone.
This all being said, I am thrilled a few people are visiting my blog! Although this is more of a therapeutic experiment than anything else, it is nice that people are visiting. So, a big thanks to the people who have tried my recipes and have revisited my site!
Now, on to the recipe of the day! This is pizza at its best, my friends. I have been obsessing over gluten-free pizza recipes for a couple months trying to find one that I like. I found a few, but they lacked the flavor I was looking for. I wanted a dense crust packed with flavor! I have a thick crust recipe I enjoy (another recipe for another time), however, I was looking for a thin crust when creating this recipe.
So, I thought to myself, what are my favorite flours? Personally, I love the taste of millet and quinoa. They are earthy and very filling. I decided, “What the heck! Let’s try it out!” I really enjoyed the result… and so did my little sister!
Gluten-free Quinoa Thin-Crust Pizza
Makes 2 personal crusts
2 1/2 cups quinoa flour
1 cup millet flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup of warm water
1 1/2 tbsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup brown rice flour, for dusting
In a bowl, put yeast, warm water and sugar together. Let sit until yeast expands and creates foam. Approximately 5-10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix quinoa flour, xanthan gum, millet flour and salt. Whisk until well combined.
Add olive oil and yeast mixture in with dry ingredients. Begin to mix ingredients together with hands until it forms dough. I put a bit of olive oil or water on my hands to prevent sticking. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water.
Dust a clean countertop with rice flour and begin to knead the dough. Knead for about 5 minutes.
Turn on the oven to 350°F. Let dough stand for about 20 minutes.
Once the oven is preheated, roll the dough into a thin crust. I made two 9-inch pizzas. Allow to bake for about 7 minutes and then add toppings and bake for another 10-12 minutes longer.
Life can be frustrating sometimes. Lately I’ve found things have not been going my way. Even though I feel like I’m working so hard, it’s as if I’m running in circles, forever finding myself back where I started. My goals are unclear and I don’t know where the next page in my story is leading.
I’m someone who likes certainty. I don’t mind obstacles, as long as I have a clear goal I’m striving to achieve. However, life is not always so black and white, is it? It’s full of these peaks and valleys that make up the whole colourful picture, but the picture seems to come in a box like a puzzle.
It can be so frustrating. I just want to take out all this energy. But how?..
How about by kneading some dough? I have Celiac Disease, so I very rarely find a bread recipe that is either not too sticky or not too dry to knead. I never get to put all my energy into making a beautiful loaf of bread. Until now!
This lead me to search the internet for a bread that I could knead. It is such a great stress reliever! (If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re going to have to.)
I stumbled across this lovely recipe. I didn’t have all the ingredients, but with some reworking I was able to make tasty, hearty, delicious gluten-free/vegan bread. And oh mama, is it ever satisfying! I tried it first toasted and topped off with bruschetta, but it would also make great sandwich bread. Absolute heaven.
My mom came over and watched me make this bread and taught me how to knead properly. She said it brought back memories of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, where she watched her mother bake bread.
I think a big part of my passion comes from seeing how much fulfillment cooking has brought my mother. I asked her why they always cut an X in the top of the bread, and she said her mother would tell her it was a cross. It was a way to bless the bread and be thankful for what you have. I thought that was incredibly beautiful.
Now on to the bread!
Gluten-Free Artisan Teff Loaf
Adapted from the wonderful blogger Alta Mantsch.
Check out the original recipe at: http://www.tastyeatsathome.com/2013/05/honey-teff-bread/
In a medium bowl, mix warm water, yeast and molasses. Whisk together and let stand for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix all flours and salt together making sure they are well combined. *Only use 1/2 cup of white rice flour. The other 1/4 cup is used later while kneading the dough.
If you do not have pre-ground chia seeds, put chia seeds in a blender and grind into a flour-like consistency.
Pour chia seeds, psyllium husks and oil into the yeast mixture. Whisk until thick.
Pour liquid into the flour mixture. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, begin to combine mixture. Once thick, start to fold the dough by hand. Dust a clean countertop with part of the the remaining white rice flour and knead. Now add herbs and sesame seeds. Continue to knead dough, adding more rice flour as needed until the dough is no longer sticky.
Put the dough back into large bowl and cover with a damp towel for at least 30 minutes. For best results, allow to stand for an hour and a half. I allowed mine to stand overnight to see if results vary and there was almost no difference.
Set oven to 400ºF. Preheat a castiron pan or pizza stone in the oven.
Take dough and cut slits in the top. Sprinkle sesame seeds, course salt and/or olive oil. Carefully remove the stone or pan from heat and sprinkle a bit of flour on it. Place dough in the centre of stone.
Allow to bake for 40-45 minutes. (Mine took 43 minutes.)
Let cool on cooling rack for at least 10 minutes. You made amazing gluten-free bread! Worth every minute of effort!
I am currently going though a transitional period in my life. My work and living situation have changed and I feel overwhelmed by it all. I had been doing so well with not having many dissociative spells, but lately my symptoms have resurfaced and it’s discouraging.
These past two years I have been going from doctor to doctor. Now, for the first time in over a year, I find myself without a doctor to confide in. It has always been a struggle to find a doctor who will treat me due to my strange symptoms.
I have Dissociative Identity Disorder and sometimes the symptoms can be scary. The last couple of days I have experienced memory loss, fainting spells and disappearing spans of time that only seem like minutes, but are actually hours. I wish I could say that there’s a magic formula that makes my symptoms go away, but unfortunately, it is never that easy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps, but finding things I get a lot of enjoyment out of helps as well.
This is why lately I have been cooking and baking up a storm, trying to discover fun, new, allergy-friendly, plant-based recipes! This was one of my successes. I love soft cookies! There’s something about a pot of my favourite tea and a plate of warm cookies that always makes me feel better. That was the inspiration for these lovely, moist creations.
This is such a versatile cookie recipe and I use it as a base for all my favourites. Use any combination of dried fruit and seeds you like! I had to add a little chocolate.. I couldn’t resist.
One Bowl Granola Cookies
These are my new favourite cookies! Make them and try to share a couple! **A quick note on oat flour, just place rolled oats in your food processor or blender and grind into flour.**
2. In a medium-large bowl, make the flax egg by whisking 3 tbsp of water and flax meal together. Set aside for five minutes.
3. Once flax meal has an egg-like consistency, whisk in the coconut oil, sunflower butter and sugar until well combined. Whisk in the oat flour, baking powder and baking soda one by one to avoid lumps. (There's nothing worse than taking a bite of a cookie and tasting baking soda!) Get your whole arm into it! The consistency should be quite thick.
4. Add your seeds, berries and chocolate chips. Fold them in using a spatula. Try not to add any milk. If you find your mixture is dry, add a teaspoon of coconut oil or sunflower butter. Using milk will give you a crunchy and flat cookie.
5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll your cookie dough into balls. This recipe should make 12-14 balls. Don't make them too big or they won’t bake.
6. Bake for 12-14 minutes and then remove from the oven. They will still be very soft. Don’t touch them, just allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes. This is just enough time to make yourself a pot of tea! Enjoy!