Friday, May 22, 2015

DOLE-licious Quinoa Pizza Crust Recipe {Gluten-Free}

Thank you to WhimsicalSushi for creating this custom illustrated recipe for me. 
For inquiries, email

Everyone in my family loves pizza! We regularly have pizza nights at home, with the toppings all lined up so everyone can just make their own pizza by liberally piling on whatever they wish. The kids love it, and consider it a treat. And I also love it because it makes dinner prep easier for me.

DOLE-licious GIVEAWAY at the end of this post!!!

 If you're a long time reader, then you must have seen that when we do pizza nights I try to serve up an assortment of toppings, from gourmet to the simple. But I've noticed through the years that my kids always request for their tried and tested combo of ham, bacon and pineapples. My kids all love Hawaiian pizza because the combination of flavors from the tomato sauce, the salty ham and bacon, and the sweet pineapples is just a winner!

Why the need for Gluten-Free?

There are more and more people who are discovering that they are intolerant to wheat and gluten. My two girls are intolerant to wheat. It triggers an eczema / skin asthma attack, so bad that sometimes it leaves my little one scratching at night that her sheets are stained with blood in the morning. If you have kids who suffer from eczema, then you surely know the heartbreak and frustration that I am feeling.

When I got the results from my Food Intolerance Test, it showed that I was intolerant to wheat, as well. That's the reason for my feeling bloated all the time. Plus my headaches were becoming more frequent.

That's when I began researching on how to use alternative flours. At first I was a skeptic because most gluten-free baked goods ask for a variety of flours. I am not a fan of having too many kinds of flour in the pantry because I know each recipe only needs a small amount of each kind of flour and most are quite expensive. Nakakahinayang if I just end up throwing them away because I couldn't use them all up.

I also know that most of them taste yuck! Let's be honest, we all heard how gluten-free food taste like, right? Dirt dry. Boringly bland. In other words, nothing we would eat if we didn't have to. Certainly nothing worthy to post in a blog about.

So I researched a lot about gluten-free recipes just so my girls and I can still enjoy our pasta, bread, cookies and pizza, but now made gluten-free! I read about a pizza crust using cauliflower, but that sounded like too much work. I found another one that said substitute with all-purpose gluten-free flour mix, xanthan gum and psyllium husk... teka lang, ano daw? xanthan what? psyllium what? Di bale na lang!

So the past few months I started experimenting. I researched online, baked, tweaked the recipe. Repeat. And then I came upon a gluten-free pizza crust recipe using only 4 ingredients. Boom!

And this one doesn't taste like it is gluten free... which means it is not yuck! Promise!

Enter the Quinoa Pizza Crust

Why you should give this a try:
1. The dough only requires 4 ingredients (quinoa, salt, water and olive oil)
2. It is very simple to make.
3. Unlike some alternative pizza crusts, this one closely resembles "the original" in taste and texture.\

The dough requires only 4 ingredients (quinoa, salt, water and olive oil) and is amazingly simple to make. It does involve a little planning ahead because the quinoa needs to soak overnight; but other than that, it’s as easy as making pancakes.

When I plan to make it for dinner, I simply just soak the quinoa first thing when I wake up in the morning to make it ready for dinner time prep. Or if I want to make it for lunch, then I just soak the quinoa after I've eaten dinner and just leave it on the kitchen counter overnight.

I used a mixture of red and white quinoa because that's what I have on hand. But you can also use just white quinoa, and the end product will have a "whiter" appearance, which will resemble "regular" pizza even more.

After soaking for about 8-12 hours, the uncooked and soaked quinoa is blended in a high-speed blender with salt, water and olive oil until smooth. The resulting mixture resembles a very thick pancake batter that bakes into a chewy, golden crust that tastes just like pizza crust made from wheat flour.

DOLE-licious Hawaiian Quinoa Pizza Recipe
illustrated recipe done by whimsicalsushi

Makes: One 10 x 15 pizza crust.
recipe loosely adapted from here

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup water, add a tablespoonful at a time if dough is too think.
2-1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Soak uncooked quinoa with enough water to cover for 8-12 hours. Rinse quinoa
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the baking pan with heavily oiled foil. This step is important because the quinoa crust can be difficult to remove when you don't oil and line the pan.
3. Add water and salt and process in a high-speed blender until the mixture resembles a thick pancake batter.
4. Pour the batter into a baking pan covered with heavily oiled foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
5. Take out from oven and put desired pizza toppings. See below for a list of toppings for Hawaiian Pizza. But feel free to put anything you want. I've tried this using a pesto base instead of tomato, and piled it with mushrooms and cheese.
6. Put back into the oven and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Phenomenal Tips:
* Optional: For a more flavorful crust, seasonings can be added. I've tried adding 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp homemade celery salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp finely grated Parmesan / or nutritional yeast ( cheese alternative if you want to make it dairy-free / vegan)

* I cannot stress enough that you have to oil the pan - heavily! After baking, I take the pizza with foil and slice the entire pizza on a wooden board. Then we peel off the foil as we get our individual slices. I find that to be the easiest way.


1 cup (8 oz.) Dole Sweet Italian Garlic and Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce
3/4 cup (2 oz.) sliced bacon, cooked
3/4 cup ham, cooked
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can (8 oz.) DOLE Pineapple Tidbits, drained

1. Spoon Dole Sweet Italian Garlic and Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce over crust. It is optional, but I noticed that when I simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, the flavors intensify. But if you are in a hurry, you can skip that.
2. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. 
3. Top with ham, bacon and Dole Pineapple Tidbits.
4. Bake at 425ºF., 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

Such a simple recipe for a gluten-free pizza... that closely resembles the "original" in taste and texture.
The quinoa crust is stable enough to hold all the toppings, too!

DOLE-licious Hawaiian Pizza Recipe

Since not everyone in my family has to go gluten-free, we also made two pizzas made from a "regular" store-bought crust.

You can still use the recipe I shared above, but just start with the steps for the Dole Hawaiian Pizza Toppings.

The toppings are lined up on the dining table and everyone gets a free hand on how they want their pizza to be. I usually just use our favorite store bought pizza dough, Village Gourmet's pizza base for extra convenience. Often enough, I also use tortilla as pizza base when my family want their pizza ultra thin and crispy. See my previous post on how to use tortilla for pizza and call it tarte flambee.

DOLE-licious Blog Giveaway!
I want to share the DOLE love with you, me dear readers. So I will be giving away 4 baskets to 4 winners!
4 winners will win a DOLE-licious gift basket containing: 
1 can (822g) Pineapple Tidbits
1 can (822g) Pineapple Chunks
1 pack (1 kg) Tomato Sauce
1 pack (1kg) Sweet Style Butter & Cream Spaghetti Sauce
2 cans (240ml) Pineapple Juice
2 cans (822g) Tropical Fruit Cocktail
1 Pot Holder
1 Microfiber Kitchen Towel

Easy to join:

1. Like DolePh and The Phenomenal Mama on Facebook and Instagram
2. Post a photo on Facebook and/or Instagram (you must do at least one to qualify). It can be a photo of a dish you made at home, or a photo showing you are having fun in the kitchen. It can be solo with food or with others. Set to Public so I can see your post.
Just follow the easy steps in rafflecopter to make sure your entires are counted:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Raffle period is from May 23 - June 5, 2015 midnight.
Posting on both Facebook and Instagram earns you more entries. It can be the same photo on FB and IG.
Four (4) winners will be drawn via Rafflecopter one week after the contest ends, and will be notified via email.
Winners should reply to email within one week from notification date. If no reply, another winner will be drawn.
DOLE Philippines will ship the gift basket to each winner.
Open to all The Phenomenal Mama readers with a valid Metro Manila delivery address.