Saturday, April 23, 2011

gluten free pizza

A few years back I was trying to find out why I was so sick all the time.  Around the same time we went out of town.  As I was lying in bed at the hotel I was seriously contemplating whether I should take myself to the emergency room.  I stuck it out because that's what moms do.  We're pretty strong creatures.  Then, when I got home I took some blood tests and the doctor told me I had mono.  Over the course of a few months my naturopath worked with me to figure it all out.  In passing, she said, "I hope it isn't gluten."  As it turned out,  I was gluten intolerant and my immune system was so weak from the damage gluten was doing, I was picking up every disease that came along. So, I was finally on the path to wellness but I also began the gluten-free journey.  It was definitely bittersweet. 

  No more eating out at restaurants with happy ignorance.  As a matter of fact, eating away from home has been quite the challenge.  Even restaurants that say they have gluten free items on their menu have to be completely scrutinized.  It's all about hidden ingredients and cross contamination in the kitchen. And then there's just people that are totally unaware.  I used to go to this burrito joint and I was explaining to the line guy that I couldn't eat wheat.  He immediately brought out the package of flour tortillas and said totally straight faced, "No, these are made with flour."
  So, just to make everyone feel better, I had no idea what gluten was 4 years ago.
 What have I learned over the past few years?  There are so many things I can eat.  It's not a death sentence.  However, I've also learned that I will never taste the chewy pizza dough made from wheat again.  I will never eat the bread that I grew up on.  It was hard to say goodbye to gluten.  I still feel a little sad watching people make homemade bread made from wheat or other glutenous grains.

But...but, there are so many people these days becoming aware of gluten-intolerance and Celiac disease.  There are so many products coming on the market geared towards us folks that can't eat gluten.  I made pizza the other day that was so good that if someone asked me to choose between it and the glutenous version, hands down I would choose the gluten-free version.  It's made with simple ingredients (tapioca starch and flour, spices).  Add to that eggs, milk and Parmesan and you have a beautiful dough that you can actually knead out.  To feel the dough and roll it out was heaven.  The taste of the dough is perfect.  There's no xanthum gum aftertaste.  It's chewy and crunchy, just like regular dough made from wheat. 

I may try to figure out the recipe on my own sometime but I'll be making this pizza a lot from now on.  I just wanted to pass this on to people that might be interested (thrilled maybe) in trying something really good.  

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