We Made Pizza For Every Buzzwordy Dietary Restriction

By Luisa Valencia

1200px-Pizza_with_tomatoes

Cooking can be a challenge sometimes, but cooking with dietary restrictions can be even harder. But don’t worry too much because: Pizza.

Who doesn’t love pizza? No one, because pizza is too delicious not to eat. However, if you have dietary restrictions, you might think that pizza is of out your life forever.

Don’t despair! There are vegan and gluten free options that you can try. You can make so many kinds of pizza. There even are a lot of alternatives to the traditional pizza. Here they are.

CLASSIC PIZZA

Most people are familiar with cheese or pepperoni pizza, but if you want to try something new, try making pizza with chicken and mushrooms.

Ingredients:

>1 envelope of active dry yeast

>Warm water

>3 cups of all purpose flour

>1/4 teaspoon of salt

>2 tablespoon of shortening

The first thing you want to do is heat up your water, but don’t let it become too hot. When the temperature is right dissolve the yeast and let it rest for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and shortening. Add the yeast and mix. When the dough has absorbed all the liquid you can start kneading. Place it on a flat surfaced covered in flour and knead for 8 min.

The texture of the dough needs to be elastic. If it’s too dry add some water, and if it’s too sticky, add some flour. Next, place the dough in a large bowl that has been covered with oil. Cover the bowl with a moist cloth and let the dough rest for at least one hour, in a warm space.

When the dough has grown twice its original size, divide it into 2 pieces and spread it onto pizza pans. Add your delicious homemade pizza sauce and any type of cheese you want. Mozzarella works best, but if you want to experiment, goat cheese is also amazing.

Since we are making chicken and mushroom pizza, the only thing you have to do is clean and cut your mushrooms and tear the already cooked chicken apart with your hands. Don’t be afraid to get your hands greasy (that’s the fun part of cooking).

Spread the pieces of chicken and mushrooms. Add salt and pepper to taste and when you are done bake your pizza for 20 minutes in 400 degrees. Make sure your crust is golden brown but not burned. Serve your pizza and enjoy the deliciousness.

By the way, if you travel to a Latin American country you might not find cheese-only pizza. Personally, I only tried it until I came to New York. In Colombia the most popular pizzas with chicken and mushroom pizza and the Hawaiian pizza, made with pineapples and ham. New Yorkers might not be convinced but these are delicious, but they are. I swear.

VEGETARIAN PIZZA

If you are vegetarian, don’t worry! You can substitute the chicken with seasoned tofu, meatless chicken or any other topping you want. Maybe you can even combine different types of mushrooms in your pizza. Shiitake, portobello, chanterelle, white, oyster, and cremini mushrooms with black pepper and black olives. The combinations are endless.

Another great tip is to sauté your veggies before putting them on your pizza dough. If you do this beforehand the flavor of the veggies you choose will be rich and will make your pizza even more delicious. If you are going to use onions, caramelize them first and they will taste amazing.

VEGAN PIZZA

If you are vegan, cheese is off limits (duh). Cheese is unfortunately an important part of most pizzas. What can you do if you want to go vegan but you love anything with cheese? How are you going to live the rest of your life without having another bite of pizza or pasta, or melted cheese fondue?

Well, I have a tip that will allow you to enjoy the delicious taste of cheese without eating actual cheese. Vegan cheese, which is mainly made with soy protein, vegetable oil, nuts and other non-dairy ingredients, is a delicious substitute for cheese. A word of caution, try not to consume over-processed vegan cheese. Instead, stick with the more natural made cheeses. Moral of the story, vegan pizza doesn’t have to be cheese-less pizza!

GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA

If you are gluten-free don’t despair, pizza is still within your reach. The only thing you can’t use is flour. Instead of your traditional pizza dough, substitute with gluten-free flour blends. You can also try cauliflower pizza crust. I know it sounds weird, especially if you don’t like cauliflower, but it’s delicious and not hard to make.

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower.

1/2 cup water

Cook the cauliflower with the water for 5 minutes. Let it cool and then drain the basin. Squeeze the excess water out. Crush the cauliflower and add salt, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which you have to try. Also, don’t use the cheap parmesan from the supermarket, get the good stuff. Add 2 ounces of fresh goat cheese, 1 egg and cayenne to taste. Mix everything and make your pizza! When you heat in the oven make sure to use parchment paper instead of foil. Add ny topping you want to this healthy and nutritious alternative and enjoy without feeling too guilty. 
See? You make and eat pizza even if you have food allergies or believe that any animal product should not be consumed. Pizza can be eaten by anyone!

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