Sausage & Rapini Pizza (Gluten & Dairy Free, Paleo)

Sausage & Rapini Pizza (Gluten & Dairy Free, Paleo)

DID YOU KNOW? Cassava flour is a good choice for those with gluten intolerance symptoms and sensitive digestive systems or disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Cassava flour is derived from cassava root (also known as yuca or manioc), a starchy, high-carbohydrate tuber – similar to yam, taro, plantains and potato.

Starchy tubers tend to be safer for people with gut issues since they contain more soluble fiber and less insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber can be soothing for the gut, whereas consuming large amounts of insoluble fiber when your gut is inflamed can aggravate IBS symptoms.

Once a month (OK fine, every two weeks ?) the BF and I experiment with different pizza toppings for this cassava flour pizza crust. You can find the original pizza crust recipe created by Otto’s Naturals, here.

We’ve nailed down another great recipe which was inspired by my little Jen days. I could always count on a sausage & rapini pizza from Caruso’s Pizza when I would visit my dad on the weekends. This pizza put all others to shame! Looking back, I’m truly grateful my dad was hopeless in the kitchen or else I wouldn’t have got my weekly dose of this pizza ?

So, if you’re looking for a gut friendly pizza with a whole lot of Italian love, this is the one for you!

Love this recipe?! Then you’ve got to try this Classic Margherita Pizza and Mediterranean Tuna Pizza.

gluten free sausage and rapini pizza

Sausage & Rapini Pizza

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-4)
½ cup warm water (roughly 105-110 F)
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 cup cassava flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
5 tbsp arrowroot flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
1 egg
¼ cup avocado oil

TOPPINGS: 
1/2 cup plum tomatoes, drained and crushed
20 whole mushrooms, sautéed
1 bunch rapini, boiled & sautéed
1 cured Italian sausage, sliced
Sea salt to taste (mix into tomatoes)

INSTRUCTIONS: 

1. Prepare yeast mix: In a small bowl, add warm water and honey. Mix to dissolve. Sprinkle yeast in. Mix to dissolve. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to activate. It will get foamy on top.

2. Mix dry: Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl to combine.

3. Mix wet: Lightly whisk eggs and olive oil together in a small bowl.

4. Mix together and form a dough ball: Add egg mixture and activated yeast to the dry ingredients and form a dough ball. Transfer ball to an oiled bowl, cover with dish towel and set aside in a warm place (70-80 F is ideal) to rise for 1 hour. It will not double in size, but it will rise a little.

5. Prep toppings while dough rises: Remove stems from rapini, boil until tender and drain. Grab two stove-top pans and saute 1 sliced garlic clove in 2 tbsp avocado oil, in each pan. Add rapini to one pan and mushrooms to the other. Season each with sea salt and coat in oil and garlic. After a few minutes remove rapini and set aside. Add some red or white wine (other liquids work too) to the mushrooms and cover for a few minutes. Remove when liquid evaporates and mushrooms are cooked. Set aside.

6. Once dough has risen, preheat oven to 550 F. Preheat pizza stone, baking sheet or metal pan.

7. Roll and shape dough: Place the dough on parchment paper. Place a piece of parchment paper over the dough (if necessary) and shape dough with your hands by pushing down (on top of parchment, so it doesn’t stick) and roll with rolling pin. Flatten your pizza about 1/8-1/4 inch thin. Roll the crust thick or thin (to your liking) by shaping with your fingers and rolling the edges. Use extra cassava flour if dough is sticking. NOTE: Split the dough in half before rolling it out to make two smaller pizzas. 

8. Add toppings: Add tomatoes, rapini, mushrooms and sausage onto the dough. Lift the whole piece of parchment paper with pizza on top and transfer to the preheated baking sheet.

9. Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes until dough is firm and slightly golden, pulling out halfway and removing parchment paper. For a crispier golden crust, allow a few more minutes. Allow more time if cooking at lower temperature.

Sausage & Rapini Pizza with Cassava Flour Crust

“Spaghetti” alla Vodka (Low-Carb, Gluten & Dairy Free)

“Spaghetti” alla Vodka (Low-Carb, Gluten & Dairy Free)

Penne alla vodka is a pasta dish traditionally made with penne pasta, vodka, heavy cream, crushed tomatoes, onions, and bacon or pancetta.

This dish became very popular in Italy and in the US around the 1980s, but the origin of the Penne alla Vodka recipe has been disputed between Italy and the United States: both claim the creation of this recipe.

According to The Ultimate Pasta Cookbook, penne alla vodka was invented in the 70s at Dante, a restaurant in Bologna, Italy.

The Williams Sonoma Essentials of Italian cookbook states that it was invented in the 1980s by a Roman chef for a vodka company that wanted to popularize its product in Italy.

To support the creation of this dish in the United States, we have two tales: Luigi Franzese, the Italian American chef of Orsini Restaurant in New York and James Doty, a graduate of Columbia University.

As you can see, it’s not clear whether or not Penne alla Vodka is an authentic Italian recipe. BUT based on the ingredients, the technique, and the mark it left on Italian cuisine, the answer should be yes!

Since this dish is liked by many (including me), I decided to put a gluten & dairy free spin on it so those with dietary restrictions can enjoy these amazing flavours of Italy (or the US ?‍♀️).

This recipe is also great for those following a low-carb, keto or paleo diet.

If you love this recipe then you’ve got to try:

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“Spaghetti” alla Vodka

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1 large spaghetti squash
200 g pastured bacon or pancetta
1/2 cup vodka
1 shallot or small onion
12 oz tomato passata
7 oz full fat coconut milk , canned
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the spaghetti squash:

1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds with spoon.

2. Bake at 400 for 30-40 min (first 10-min bake with flesh down, then turn so skin is down for remaining time). Fork should pierce skin easily when squash is cooked. Note: Cooking time varies depending on the size of the squash. Check regularly to avoid overcooking the squash. You want the noodles to be ‘al dente’.

3. Use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash.

Time your spaghetti squash so that it’s done cooking around the same time as your sauce, so your noodles don’t cool.

For the vodka sauce:

1. Finely slice the shallot or onion and place in large frying pan with olive oil. Saute for 2-minutes over medium heat.

2. Slice bacon into small chunks and add it to the pan. Cook over low heat until the bacon becomes slightly crispy.

3. Raise the heat to medium-high and pour in vodka. Let the alcohol evaporate. This may take a few minutes.

4. When alcohol is completely evaporated, add tomato passata. Season with salt, stir and cook for 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat without a lid, stirring occasionally.

5. When the sauce is cooked, add the coconut milk and cook until you get a fairly thick and creamy vodka sauce. Turn off the heat and let it rest.

6. You can add spaghetti squash strands into the pan with vodka sauce and coat OR place spaghetti squash strands into a bowl and top with vodka sauce.

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Mediterranean Tuna Salad (Low-Carb, Keto, Paleo)

Mediterranean Tuna Salad (Low-Carb, Keto, Paleo)

DID YOU KNOW? Tuna fish is right up there with other healthy types of fish, such as salmon, when it comes to nutrition — it packs a good amount of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Tuna’s high protein content makes it an excellent addition to a weight loss diet since it can help reduce your appetite, prevent cravings and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

In addition, protein makes up the foundation of your hair, skin, nails and muscles; is crucial for the synthesis of certain enzymes and hormones; and is used for the growth and repair of tissues. So, including more tuna fish in your diet can help provide your body with the protein that you need.

Lastly, tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (a.k.a. fish oil), which may be able to alleviate inflammation and reduce the risk of disease. Fish oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties, and multiple studies have shown that it could be therapeutic for autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

NOTE: Stick to wild types of tuna that are caught using the Pacific troll or pole and line methods. Also, avoid Atlantic bluefin tuna, which may have a negative impact on both the environment and your health because it is over-fished and often farm-raised.

Looking for more canned tuna recipes? Check out my Raspberry Tuna Salad, Tuna & Sauerkraut Wrap, and Mediterranean Tuna Pizza

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

INGREDIENTS: (serves 1)
1 can wild skipjack tuna, drained
3-4 cups mixed greens
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. In a bowl or container, add greens, tuna, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper.

2. If you’re eating right away, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and toss. If you’re taking it to go in a container, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar then shake container right before you eat to coat ingredients.

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