challenge accepted: unfancified gluten-free, dairy-free pizza

There was a challenge set upon me.

Living in the land of northern New Jersey where pizza is a religion, there was definitely a hole in my life where the mighty pie once sat.

I’d see it on others’ plates, taunting me, teasing me in all its cheesy, oily goodness. A few weeks ago after a marathon day of winery-hopping on Long Island with my girlfriends, I had my wine-induced superpowers on and thought that stealing a bite of bacon pizza wouldn’t kill me. One bite turned into half a slice and then I subsequently wept myself to sleep in pain.

Then I thought… okay, let’s be a real adult and not do that again.

So last night with a little brainstorming and maybe a fraction of the wine superpowers, I created this pizza monstrosity that took all my willpower not to eat the whole thing.

The gluten-free pizza dough eluded me at first… did I really want to make my own? Buy the right flour, yeast packets–what in the world do I do with the yeast? Or do I buy the pre-made kind out of the aisle at the supermarket whose prices are only for the 1%? Yeah, no. I cruised the store to find a frozen dough that cost over $7 and it had dairy in it, so no go. Found a boxed one on the shelf, over $8 and also dairy. But then… I found this guy:

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Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust mix. It was $3.99, included the yeast packet inside, and simple instructions to follow on the back. It was really easy to put together, only had to rest for about 20 minutes. The dough was pretty sticky when I laid it out on the pizza stone but it wound up baking wonderfully!

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I’m also not about buying the fake dairy-free cheese… sorry if it’s naive, but I refuse to spend money on it. For so long, I refused to even buy GF pasta or breads, trying to eat super healthy but I realized I needed to live a little. That being said, I wanted the pizza to have mundo flavor if it wasn’t going to be covered in gooey cheese. So I figured, a little roasted red pepper sauce, sweet italian sausage, caramelized onions and a finish of horseradish sauce might do the trick. The house smelled amazing.

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The result? I definitely should’ve cooked up more toppings and added more sauce, but I’m a believer in “go big or go home” with my food. The dough was a little biscuit-like but the bottom crisped up nicely. I had to bake it longer than the package directed to cook it all the way through, but I was pretty proud of the masterpiece at hand. Is it weird I’ve been counting down the hours until I can go home and eat it?

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Italian Sausage and Caramelized Onion Gluten-Free Pizza
gluten-free, dairy-free
yields 8-10 slices

Ingredients
1 package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust mix
3/4 cup roasted red pepper sauce
1/2 lb ground sweet Italian sausage
1 large white onion
1/4 cup horseradish sauce (I used Boar’s Head brand)

Instructions
1. Prepare the pizza dough as directed on the package. While it rests for the 20 minutes as directed, continue cooking!

2. Slice the whole white onion. Heat a tsp of olive oil in a saute pan and cook the onions over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add a tsp of salt and a pinch of sugar and cook until the onions are brown but not burnt.

3. Over medium heat, brown the sausage until just cooked through. Set aside.

4. Once the crust has par-baked per the directions, layer the sauce and toppings on the crust and finish baking.

5. When the pizza comes out of the oven, drizzle with the horseradish sauce. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

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