So the weekend seemed to disappear in the blink of an eye and my gluten free challenge is over! Now I have to be honest and say that following a totally GF diet became a whole lot harder over the weekend, as my meals prepared and eaten at home became less frequent and spur of the moment decisions came into play! Weekends for me are a time for rest and relaxation and catching up with friends, making planning ahead and being pre-prepared for meal times MUCH more difficult!
On Saturday after my nutrition seminar I made a made a mad dash for my local farmers markets in west end to scavange for some super cheap fruit and veggies for the week to come! As it was getting late in the day most stalls were packing up or trying to sell off their left over produce at ridiculously cheap prices but as I was walking out I stumbled across a wonderful spanish food stall where people were STILL lining up to get their hands on whatever tastey morsels were left! Being the inquisitive type, I joined the queue just to see what all the fuss was about! And in managing to score some of the last few items left I instantly understood why there were still so many people milling around! In keeping with my GF challenge I chose a spanish rice salad that was wonderfully simple yet ridiculously good! Made from spanish rice, loads of parsely, lemon, mustard and perhaps some paprika or something of the sort it made the perfect lunch after a busy Saturday morning!
Dinner that night was very spur of the moment, as after going to the footy at Suncorp, we all headed for the nearest cosy bar for a glass of red and a few tastey nibbles! Starting with some baby figs wrapped in proscuitto followed by a big share plate of slow cooked lamb shoulder, I could have died and gone straight to heaven then and there!
On my last day of my challenge, which just so happened to be Sunday..the day of “rest and relaxation” Mark and I decided to go all out and try making a traditionally very gluten laiden meal… yep you guessed it..PIZZA! Though we would normally make the dough using normal baking flour, I have included a very simple GF dough recipe that proved to be alllmost just as tastey! I discovered this fantastic method of making pizza in watching my food idol..Jamie Oliver in one of his 30minute meals episodes last year and Mark and I have been making them this way ever since!
What you need… (makes 2 pizzas)
For the dough…
2.5 cups gluten free pizza and pastry flour
7g sachet dried yeast
1 cup water
good drizzle of olive oil
sm tub of salt reduced tomato paste
2 cloves garlic crushed
100g GF proscuitto
150g pumpkin (cut into thin slices)
6 button mushrooms
1/2 tub cherry tomatoes
fresh basil leaves
What to do…..
For the dough, add all your ingredients to a mix master and whizz for a minute or 2 until the mixture as formed a firm ball. If the ball of dough is springy to the touch set aside until ready to roll out. For the toppings, add your garlic to the tomato paste and mix to combine. Then grab your pumpkin and steam in the microwave for 1 minute. Cut your cherry toms in half and your mushies into thin slices. Turn your oven on to moderate 180degrees fan forced.
When you’re ready to roll out the dough, sprinkle the table top with a layer of GF flour and begin to roll the dough out until you have a nice THIN base. Then grab your rolled out dough and place it in a large fry pan. Smother your pizza base with a layer of tomato paste and place the fry pan over a medium heat. Leave the base there, checking that the bottom isn’t burning for about 3- 4 minutes or so, or until the base is slightly browned the edges are starting to go a little crispy. Once it is cooked pull the pan off the heat and begin adding all your toppings…how you want to do this is ENTIRELY up to you! Once you’ve created your masterpiece, place the pan into the oven and leave it to cook for about 4 mins, or until the cheese has melted and browned slightly and the pizza dough looks cooked through.
And your done! A slightly healthier take on everyone’s favourite Sunday guilty pleasure! yummm!