As soon as my youngest son gets off the bus, he is starving, so every afternoon I make him a hearty snack. It’s actually gotten a bit out of hand and I can blame no one but myself. I started out with simpler snacks, but somehow snack time has evolved into a major event each day. Some of my son’s favorite after school snacks include Buffalo Chicken Dip, Skinny Spinach Dip and Hot Chili Cheese Dip. Of course, there are days when I’m feeling a bit lazy and just lay out a plate with cheese, crackers and grapes.
A few weeks ago, I spotted some cute mini pizzas in a copy of Prevention magazine. What caught my eye was that the pizza dough was gluten-free and grain-free. Although I don’t bake grain-free purposefully, I am completely open to trying recipes that are grain-free. I love the idea of personal size pizzas, and had been thinking of making a smiley face pizza for my son for a while.
Pizzas are often given a bad rap because of all the unhealthy toppings that sometimes end up on them. However, pizzas can also be the perfect vehicle to get kids to eat more vegetables – that’s right, why not make snack time fun and nutritious?
I made a batch of gluten-free, grain-free pizza dough and pre-baked the crusts. Although this crust does not taste like regular pizza crust, it holds together well and my son loved it. It’s a heartier type of crust. Of course, the toppings make all the difference.
The first individual pizza I made was a happy face – curly hair made with broccoli florets, eyes made with Columbus Italian dry salame (humanely raised, uncured, antibiotic-free, nitrate and nitrite-free, gluten-free) and olives, and a nose and mouth cut from a red bell pepper.
The second personal pizza I made was Mediterranean style – feta cheese, Kalamata olives, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a little Greek seasoning.
Kids use their eyes and nose to decide whether or not they’re going to eat something. Let’s just say, there was no complaining at all about the vegetables on these pizzas – he happily ate the Happy Face pizza and a few more slices of the Greek pizza. In my book, that’s about 1.5 servings of vegetables at snack time – not bad ;).
I stashed the rest of the pre-baked pizza crusts in my freezer so I could pull them out to make a quick and healthy snack for my son during the week. I’ve been making these over the past week with all the bits and pieces of vegetables in my refrigerator. Of course, you can use whatever your child’s favorite vegetables are.
Today, Food Network and a group of bloggers is featuring Pizza for this week’s Comfort Food Feast event. Please stop by and see what everyone made:
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Grain-Free Mini Pizza Faces
Feed Me Phoebe: Deep-Dish Polenta Pizza With Onions and Pesto
Cooking With Elise: Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza
Haute Apple Pie: Honey, Gouda and Goat Cheese Pizza
What’s Gaby Cooking: Loaded Veggie and Prosciutto Pizza
Sweet Life Bake: Mexican Pizza – Tlayuda con Chorizo y Frijoles
Devour: Unexpected but Delicious Pizza Toppings
Virtually Homemade: Mashed Potato Bacon Pizza
The Cultural Dish: Pizza Pizza Pizza! Three Delicious Variations
Thursday Night Dinner: Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Pizza Focaccia
FN Dish: As Quick as Delivery Pizza Recipes
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup chickpea flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ cup marinara sauce
- lightly steamed broccoli florets
- chopped tomatoes
- thinly sliced uncured salami
- sliced bell pepper
- onion slivers
- minced garlic
- shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese or Feta cheese
- Place water and yeast in a small bowl, mix well, and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Place almond flour, chickpea flour, flaxseed meal and salt in a mixing bowl and mix together. Add oil and yeast mixture and mix until blended. Add more almond flour, chickpea flour or flaxseed meal as needed to make a soft ball of dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Divide dough into 6 round pieces. Sprinkle some flour (almond, chickpea or flaxseed meal) inside a large ziploc bag. Place one of the dough pieces inside the bag and pat on each side with flour. Use a rolling pin on the outside of the bag to roll the dough into a 4" diameter circle.
- Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Use crust immediately or freeze for later.
- Spread a little marinara sauce on top of baked pizza crust. Top with your favorite toppings, using a nice variety of vegetables.
- Bake about 10 minutes, until toppings are warmed through.
This post has been linked up to Beyond The Peel’s Keep It Real Thursdays.