Spicy Perogy Pizza (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

pizza

Potatoes on pizza? All you need, really. This is a recipe that I am very excited about! When I was a teenager, my mother cleaned the local Boston Pizza and worked out a deal that meant a lot of free pizza for us and our friends. A long time has passed since I was swimming in that pizza, but one particular creation has always stuck with me – the spicy perogy pizza. Enter the challenge: a soft, pillowy gluten free crust. Anyone who’s ordered the local pizza joint’s gluten free crust knows that it is thin and hard (and often burnt). Worry no more, I have the vegan solution you’ve been waiting for along with a zippy potato topping to get everyone talking.

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If you want to skip the homemade dough, go right ahead. Just try the topping. On the plus side, I’m working really hard to convert this pizza dough into a possible gluten free baguette, so that’s something to look forward to!

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Pan Pizza Crust (Heroically adapted from this very not-vegan recipe)

3 tablespoon ground flax
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon isolate soy protein (gives flax more stability)
2 tablespoon agave nectar
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup canola oil (any neutral oil)
2 cups tapioca starch
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Canola oil, for greasing

In a food processor, blender or stand mixer combine the ground flax with the water and whip for about 5 minutes. A gel should form quickly but keep whipping. Sprinkle the isolated soy protein over the flax mixture and whip until fully mixed in. I”ve included a picture, so you have a visual idea of what the flax should up up like. Transfer to a large bowl, if necessary.

 

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In a small bowl, combine the agave nectar, warm water and oil. Add that to the whipped flax and mix to combine. Next add the dry ingredients and beat the hell out of it. You really want to work air into the dough and because there is no gluten, you have no risk of overworking the strands. Go for it. The dough is going to end up being what should like a very thick cake batter. Grease an 11 inch pizza pan (really, any size you have – it’ll just be thinner or thicker, you know?) and spread the dough out to your desired shape using your hands. It will help to wet them a little because the dough is sticky.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise (rest, really) for about 45 minutes in a warm place.

Spicy Potatoes

4 cups thinly slice potatoes, skins on
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin


potatoes

In a large skillet over medium high heat, combine all ingredients, except canola oil. Bring the potatoes to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and let them simmer until the water has been absorbed and the potatoes are soft, but not falling apart.

Assembly

1/2 cup non-dairy sour cream, plus more for serving
Pinch cayenne pepper
Prepared potatoes
Prepared pizza crust
1/4 cup vegan cheddar shreds
1/4 cup vegan mozzarella shreds
1 bunch green onion, sliced thinly

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spread the sour cream out on the pizza crust, as you would tomato sauce. Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne. Spread cooked potatoes out even over the crust. Top with vegan cheeses. Bake for 35 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. Turn the oven off, crack the door and let sit in the oven for 5 minutes before pulling out. Place a dollop of sour cream in the middle of the pizza and cover with green onions and serve hot.

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Comments: Vegans, there is no substitute for whipped egg whites that is readily available and that can be cooked. I’m working on it, I’m working around it and I am sad about it.

Reluctant

All my adult life I’ve battled chronic stomach pain, headaches, lethargy (there hasn’t been a day since I was 16 when I wasn’t exhausted and my PTSD/imsomnia didn’t kick in until I was 21 so…) and the general hum of something not being quite right but not wrong enough for a doctor to do anything about it. Things improved by leaps and bounds when I went vegan, but the hum kept on going.

A few weeks ago, I had a really terrible reaction to seitan (which is basically entirely gluten). I could hardly move for several days. I consider myself reasonable and have zero interest in fad diets or health crazes. Veganism is and will always be about limiting harm where I can. The problem is, this particular reaction could not be ignored. I planned a 3 week elimination diet, complete with a terrible attitude about the whole thing because I DON’T WANT TO BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.

The elimination diet didn’t last as long as I’d planned because holy moly this is a hard adjustment, but since reintroducing gluten back into my diet I’ve been reallllllllllly bloody sick, so here we are. Doctors give me major anxiety and have never helped me with anything at all in the past. I’ll eventually pursue an official diagnosis, of course but I can’t ignore what’s happened the past few weeks because I don’t want to feel horrible all the time just to avoid being ‘one of them’. I’m aware that most people only feel better when they eliminate gluten because they have to make a shift towards whole foods, but that has never, ever been an issue for me. Produce is my life.

It’s entirely more stressful because my fiance has a myriad of allergies that we’re still figuring out. I’ll definitely whine about some of this stuff in the future, but right now I’m trying to have a positive attitude.

I’m a major foodie and cooking is my true love and authentic talent, so I’m determined to become the best of all the gluten free kingdom but please be kind to me and understand this is the last thing I ever wanted and I’m doing this to finally shake the malaise that has been with me for the past 13 years. I’ve overhauled every. single. aspect of my life in the past year and half (some intentional; some thrust upon me with no consent; perhaps more on that later) and it’s lead me to a really great place, so let’s add this to the column of things to be excited about!!

The goal here is to blog my adventures in my gluten free and vegan life with a hearty mix of recipes, product reviews and for the all important seasoning: personal posts. There will be no sugar free or oil free posts because there is an absolute overabundance of those that already exist and the transition to a gluten free life is already stressful enough thankyouverymuch.