I’m amazed at how much has changed in this past three months; and most significantly, the largest change is registered in my diet and how I cook in the kitchen.
When I first kicked off this year, I declared (albeit apprehensively) to the blogging world that I was going to try going grain-free (particularly wheat-free), more for health benefits than to fit into my already-snug-and-getting-snugger jeans.
Then I bought the book Wheat Belly and read it three times.
After reading it, I was shocked at the fact that wheat, an ingredient so commonly used in almost all foods in the Western world, was the culprit for so many bad effects – that bulging wheat belly; addictive behavior; extremities in blood sugar levels; insulin resistance which ultimately leads to diabetes, and various autoimmune diseases like Celiac Disease.
I’ve resolved to choose to eat wheat-free whenever I’m given an option, and this is an important turning point for me.
While it hasn’t been the easiest journey (imagine that wheat is found is so many foods – muffins, cakes, biscuits, bread, pasta, pizza, croissants, hot dogs and many, many, more), I know and already feel that this is a change for the better.
So I celebrate this decision to go wheat-free.
And if you’re thinking about how being wheat-free will limit my choice of foods, and that my diet will be a boring one, I’m so happy to tell you that you’re wrong!
While there will be things you cannot eat, such as wheat pasta, or bread made with gluten, there is a whole new range of beautiful, delicious recipes that stretch your imagination and creativity.
Don’t believe me?
What about sweet snacks and desserts, you ask?
Whether you’re convinced that going wheat-free is a great move for your health, or whether you’re uncertain about how much you have to give up when changing the way you eat, I urge you to celebrate with me.
Join me for a slice of this amazingly good grain-free pizza.
One with a thin, crispy crust made of tapioca and coconut flour, slathered with tomato sauce, and then generously topped with caramelized onions and shredded chicken, then sprinkled with freshly grated mozzarella cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
Are you drooling yet?
Eat this pizza with your hands, and break off the crispy crust, and you’ll be so busy devouring it that you won’t even have time to ask if it’s wheat-free.
GRAIN-FREE CARAMELIZED ONION & CHICKEN PIZZA (Serves 4)
Adapted from: Paleo Spirit
For the pizza dough:
1) 1 ½ cup tapioca flour (or more if dough is too sticky + more for rolling dough)
2) 1/3 cup + 2-3 tablespoons of coconut flour, separated
3) 1 teaspoon salt
4) ½ cup olive oil
5) ½ cup warm water
6) 1 large egg, whisked
For the topping:
7) 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
8) 1 large onion, sliced thinly
9) ½ cup – ¾ cup tomato sauce
10) ½ cup of freshly grated mozzarella cheese
11) ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
1) Begin by cooking the chicken breast in boiling water for about 15 minutes (until chicken is fully cooked). Shred the cooked chicken breast.
2) Slice the onion and sauté it over medium-low heat in a little olive oil until golden brown and caramelized, then toss in the shredded chicken breast and stir well for another 5 minutes. Remove from fire and reserve.
3) Pre-heat oven to 450 deg Fahrenheit (230 deg cel)
4) Meanwhile, prepare the pizza dough but combing the tapioca flour, salt, 1/3 cup coconut flour in a medium-sized bowl
5) Pour in oil and warm water and stir well (mixture will be slightly dry)
6) Add in the whisked egg and continue mixing until well combined (mixture will be quite liquid and sticky)
7) Add in 2 – 3 tablespoons of coconut flour (one tablespoon each time) until the mixture is a soft but somewhat sticky dough
8) Coat your hands with tapioca flour, then using your hands, turn the dough out onto a tapioca-flour sprinkled flat surface and gently knead it until it forms a ball that does not stick to your hands.
9) Place the ball of pizza dough onto a sheet of parchment paper, and use a tapioca-floured rolling pin to slowly roll the dough out into a thin circle – the thinner the crispier your crust will be. (You may require sprinkling a few more tablespoons of tapioca flour at this point, to ensure dough is not overly sticky. However, make sure not to overwork the dough or add too much tapioca flour – it may cause your dough to be too dense.)
10) Place the circle of pizza dough (on the parchment paper) on top of a pizza pan or round baking sheet, and bake for at least 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy
11) Once crispy, remove pizza crust from oven and spread tomato sauce over, top generously with the caramelized onions and shredded chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese
12) Return pizza to the oven to heat up for 5 minutes and for cheese to melt
13) Once cheese is melted, sprinkle fresh parsley on top of the pizza, cut and serve.
P.S. If you’re wondering why I’m trying to eliminate wheat from my life, I strongly recommend Wheat Belly – a book that will empower you and make you determined to get rid of wheat and it’s terrible health effects!