Ah pizza. Available on just about every street corner in America, infinitely customizable and satisfying to all. Well, sort of. If you’re sensitive to gluten or dairy, pizza may be your nemesis – always beckoning with it’s siren song, then leaving you with a literal pain in the gut. Perhaps you indulge fully knowing the consequences, thinking at the time that it’s all worth it, only to regret your decision when you are still hurting long after the euphoria of that last tasty bite. Or maybe avoidance is your strategy. I’ve been guilty of both indulging and then regretting followed by complete avoidance.
I’m being a bit dramatic here, but the reality is that pizza is pretty awesome and we should all be able to have a slice now and again.
Well, my friends, I have found the solution to all of your pizza problems – a healthy slice that’s easy to make on a weeknight and will satisfy even hard-core pizza fans. Now I’ll admit this isn’t a mile high crust with oozy cheese strings pulling from every slice, BUT it’s darn tasty and that’s what counts. Pizza purists can call it flatbread if that makes you feel better.
What I love the most about this recipe is that you can make the crust, pesto and Parmesan ahead of time (and use in other recipes, too!) Then a delicious weeknight meal can come together in a flash with whatever toppings you’re in the mood for – easy peasy. Getting the family involved is great too. Everyone can be the master of their own custom pizza creation!
The base of this recipe is chickpea flour, which is just dried chickpeas ground into a fine powder. If you have a high-speed blender or a coffee grinder, you can make your own (warning: it will be loud). Otherwise you can find chickpea flour (sometimes called gram or garbanzo flour) in health food and Middle Eastern shops.
Chickpeas are a rich source of insoluble fiber that supports intestinal health. They are also an inexpensive source of protein and available year round. Part of what makes this pizza so satisfying, is the protein and fiber packed chickpea crust, also know as socca or farinata, a popular flatbread in Italy and Southern France. Perfect base for a pizza if you ask me…or if you’re feeling particularly lazy you can just eat the socca straight up. Just sayin’.
Well there you have it. Not only is this pizza easy to prep and assemble, it’s also delicious and filling too—all without any dairy or gluten in sight! So the only question is, what are you gonna top yours with?
- For the Socca
- 1 ½ cups chickpea flour
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee + more for frying
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- a few cracks of black pepper
- 1 batch of Paleo Parmesan
- 1 batch of Power Pesto
- Preferred toppings (I used bell pepper, red onion, and olives)
- Combine all the crust ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Cover and let soak for 1-8 hours.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high. Coat the pan with a little coconut oil. The trick is to get the pan nicely preheated and hot, but not so much that your oil starts smoking.
- Give the batter another good stir. Scoop about ½ cup of the batter into the pan, tilting if needed to spread. Cook until the edges begin to brown and the top begins to look dry, without disturbing – this is key to keeping it from sticking, especially the first one.
- Using a thin spatula, run it around the edges first to loosen the socca from the pan, then slide the spatula underneath and give it a flip. Cook a few minutes more, until golden on both sides.
- Repeat with the remaining batter. At this point you can let them cook and freeze or refrigerate or prepare your pizza.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slather a nice amount of pesto on each socca, sprinkle with plenty of toppings and bake for 16 minutes or until the veggies are soft.
- Remove from oven and top with Parmesan before slicing and serving.
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