Barbeque Chicken & Crispy Kale Pizza (that’s GLUTEN-FREE!)

This is our favorite rendition of homemade gluten-free pizza.  The thought of making your own pizza from scratch at home might seem daunting, but trust me… this is so easy (other than waiting for the dough to rise!).  P.S. No kneading necessary!

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(makes one 14” pizza = 8 slices)

Crust:

In a small bowl, combine…

1 cup warm water

1 Tbs. yeast

1 Tbs. coconut sugar or honey

2 Tbs. olive oil

In a large bowl, combine…

1 cup brown rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill just started selling an organic version!)

1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

2 Tbs. coconut flour

1 tsp. xanthan gum

1 tsp. salt

Pizza Toppings, in order from bottom to top:

½ cup tomato puree/sauce

1 tsp. oregano

1 cup cooked, chopped chicken

1 small onion, sautéed

¼ cup barbeque sauce (We like Stubb’s Original!)

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup barbeque sauce (That’s right… MORE bbq sauce.  This is not a typo.)

4 leaves kales, chopped

Also have on hand…

Organic corn meal

Once your yeast mixture has had time to “wake up” and you notice a nice layer of foam at the top (this should take about 10 minutes), it’s time to combine all ingredients!

Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, and mix well with a spatula or spoon.  It will form a loose dough ball pretty quickly, but keep mixing (remember, since it’s gluten-free, there’s really no such thing as “over-mixing.”  In fact, you want to mix it for a while to make sure your xanthan gum gets a chance to develop it’s glutinous qualities.  I like to use the back of my spoon or spatula to kind of “smoosh” the dough onto the sides of the bowl (think of how you would smash bananas) to make sure I’m really getting all of the ingredients well-incorporated.)

Once your dough is thoroughly mixed, use a spatula to form it into somewhat of a ball in the center of your bowl.  Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and place it in a warm area of the kitchen.  (I usually place mine right next to the stove where I’m prepping my pizza toppings!)

Allow your dough to rise for 45-60 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375˚ F.  (If you have a pizza stone, now would be the time to put it in the oven so it can heat up as your oven preheats.)

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onions until softened and slightly caramelized.  Turn off the burner, and set the onions aside.

Lay a large piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan that has been turned upside-down (this allows you more space to work).  Evenly sprinkle a few tablespoons of corn meal onto the parchment paper where your pizza crust will lay.  Dump your pizza dough onto the center of the parchment paper.  Using the back of a spoon or a spatula, spread the dough evenly into a 12” circle.  *Tip: Have a bowl of cold water nearby to dip the spoon spatula into.  This will keep the spoon/spatula from sticking.

Use a fork to poke several small holes into the crust (this keeps your crust flat and ready for lots of toppings!).  Bake your crust for 12-15 minutes, until firm to the touch and slightly golden.  *If your pizza stone has been preheating in the oven, carefully slide your parchment paper and pizza crust onto the pizza stone to bake.

Remove crust from the oven, and add your toppings.

Return pizza to the oven for about 12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and begins to bubble and turn golden around the edges.

Remove your pizza from the oven (stone and all, to keep it warm!), cut into 8 slices, and enjoy!

By the way, this pizza is just as delicious without the kale!

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An open letter to fellow shoppers, from a young mom on a budget

Dear fellow shopper [who might find yourself behind the woman who is taking a little longer at check-out]:

Hello.  Good to see you here at this fine establishment.  I [kind of] apologize that I’ll be making two separate transactions, and you have yet to find out.  Maybe you would have considered a different lane.

See, I’m using some WIC benefits today to help offset some shopping costs, so I just ask one thing of you:  your patience.  Make that three:  kindness and consideration would be appreciated as well.

I didn’t know you were in such a hurry.  You didn’t seem like it from the onset of our check-out relationship.  The exchanged smiles at the start were a nice touch.  Perhaps we could have even struck up a short conversation.

But now, you suddenly seem like you’ve got a lot of important things to do elsewhere.  You’re bleeding impatience.  Don’t think I can’t see you turning away, shaking your head at other fellow patrons.  There may even be some sly remarks in there too.  Am I correct?

I’m sorry, but I’ve run into a wee little problem here.  My WIC benefits were supposed to be reloaded today, but it seems there has been an issue with that.  So sorry for the inconvenience I’ve caused you.  But we’re going to have to do some readjusting here, because I am not about to spend twelve dollars on cheese.  (P.S.  Did you also know that this sweet cashier is just learning the ropes and would appreciate your patience as well?  Maybe you would have picked up on that had you not been busy turning around to roll your eyes at Joe Shopper.  Oh, and P.P.S.  The simple fact that I’m using WIC means that there is a VERY good chance that I’ve got a sweet, little leech eagerly awaiting my return home.  So just know that you’re not the only one that is getting a little frustrated and has somewhere to be.)

To tell you the truth, I used to be a little embarrassed and would quietly utter to the cashier, “This first order is WIC.”  But I’ve gotten past that.  Way.  In fact, I am glad that I get to live simply.  I am proud to have a husband who works hard to provide for his family.  I am blessed to have a squealy little son at home.  And I am so totally happy that organizations like WIC exist to help us out, even just a tiny bit.  So I’ll carry on, unashamed at the check-out, keeping my eyes forward.  But dear shopper, you’re still in my peripheral view.  And though I’m going to brush it off (as soon as I’m done writing this letter), there may be other women and families in the check-out line who may be a little more likely to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or even tempted to shop at less-busy times so they can [try to] avoid the glances and shakes of the head and rolling of the eyes of fellow patrons… just like them.  You do remember those days, don’t you?  When you had a limited amount of time to sneak out of the house.  When you considered it a bit of a luxury to breathe some fresh [grocery store] air.  …When you really didn’t want to, but you knew you had to watch how much you were spending.  If you’ve never been there, I’m sure you might be able to try real hard to imagine.

So please be kind.  Please be patient.  Please don’t make that young mom feel stupid or guilty or ashamed.  And please keep the kind smiles coming.

Yours truly,

Your fellow [young mom, on a budget] shopper

Gluten-free Cheesy Biscuits

These chewy, cheesy, drop biscuits are delicious fresh out of the oven, but they freeze and reheat great!  Eat as a snack, or serve alongside your favorite stew, soup, or morning omelet.

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3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 cup sorghum flour (I like the texture this gives, but you can substitute w/ more all-purpose if you don’t have sorghum on hand.)

1/4 cup flax seed meal

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. sugar (I’ve used raw sugar and coconut sugar… you could also use honey.)

1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup) cold, cut into small cubes

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (white vinegar or lemon juice would also work)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (medium or sharp are best, but colby jack or monterey jack would work as well)

2 Tbs. grated parmesan

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (all-purpose flour through sugar).

Using a pastry cutter, cut the cubes of butter into your flour mixture until it is evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.

Make a well in the center of your flour/butter mixture.  Add egg, milk, and vinegar.  Using a fork or a whisk, beat together the wet ingredients.  Once they are fully combined, slowly start pulling the dry ingredients into the wet.  Mix well.

Add the cheeses and fold into the dough until fully incorporated.  (If the dough seems very dry, you can add an additional 1-2 Tablespoons of milk.)

Using a 1 1/2 Tablespoon scoop, drop mini biscuits onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1-2 inches apart.  If you don’t have a small scoop, you can just eyeball the amount and use a spoon to drop the biscuits onto your baking sheet.  They will just be a little more rustic and free-form (and equally as delicious).

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately, or cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.  (If you will not be eating all of the biscuits within a few days, I would suggest freezing them in an airtight container and reheating in a toaster oven or 350 degree oven for a few minutes.)

[Recipe makes 15-18 small biscuits]

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