Who says you can't have pizza when you're grain free? Whether you're avoiding grains for health reasons or weight-loss purposes, this thrifty meal is an indulgence for the taste buds and not the waistline or the budget! Just make sure you budget your time, as this simple crust takes a few hours to bake.
This recipe was a spur-of-the moment attempt at fulfilling a desire for pizza on Valentine's Day. All things considered, this grain-free crust got the job done and it was pretty darn good. Even our guest devoured every bite and enjoyed it! In the end, the recipe made 2 crusts, so it stretched quite a bit, making it a thrifty home-made alternative to fancy schmanzy pizza schmizzas!
Sunflower Seed Pizza
2 onions ($0.50 at Costco)
1.5 cups sunflower seeds(sprouted is best) (about $0.75 through Azure Standard)
0.5 cups flax seeds (optional) (about $0.21 through Azure Standard)
1/3 cup olive oil (about $0.60)
2 cloves garlic ($0.10)
1 tsp herbamere or 1/2 tsp sea salt (or more to taste) ( $0.05)
Total: $2.10 for 2 crusts.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop onions coarsely enough to fit into food processor. Add sunflower seeds, oil, garlic, and herbamere. Process until pasty. Beware, you might shed a few tears during this process!
When the mixture is think enough to hold together, it is ready. If it happens to be too watery, you can add more sunflower seeds or optional flax seeds.
Prepare a pizza stone by lining it with parchment paper. Pour the sunflower-onion "dough" onto the parchment-lined stone and use a spatula to spread the mixture as thin as you can without "breaking" the dough.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden on the edges. Reduce heat to 200 degrees and slowly cook for 2-3 hours so that the middle will be fully crispy. Since this is a yeast-free dough, it won't rise, so it tastes best if it's rather cracker-like.
When the dough is done (middle is not mushy), remove and top with your favorite thrifty pizza toppings.
Basic Thrifty and Easy Pizza Sauce:
1 can tomato paste ($0.50 at Winco)
1/4 cup chicken or beef broth ($0.15 if homemade)
1-2 cloves garlic ($0.10)
1 tsp oregano ($0.15)
salt to taste ($0.05)
Whisk tomato paste with chicken broth in a small saucepan until a sauce forms. Add more stock if needed, but it works best with less. You don't want it too watery. Add the oregano, garlic, and salt to taste. Spread on sunflower seed pizza crust.
Variation: Hidden Veggie Pizza Sauce:
Use the recipe above, but use the puree of 1 steamed zucchini or summer squash to thin the tomato paste, adding broth 1 TBS at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add the garlic, oregano, and salt, and any other herbs you have available.
Total: $0.95 for a nourishing, simple pizza sauce.
So far we're at $3.15. Depending upon your pizza budget, you can choose how to spend the rest of your hard-earned, (grain-free) dough:
Thrifty Topping Ideas:
Homemade "30 Minute Mozzarella" (I've not done this, but hope to try soon!) will give you artisan quality (if all goes well!) mozzarella for the cost of a gallon of pasteurized milk, a few pennies' worth of citric acid, and a small amount of liquid rennet. Estimated cost: $3.00
Leftover meat and stir-fried veggies can be creatively strewn upon your pizza to reincarnate last night's dish into an exotic pizza. Thai chicken curry pizza, anyone? Estimated cost: $0.00 (leftovers don't count!!)
A simple "herb and cheese" pizza will taste delicious; just be creative with the dry herbs you have on hand, of if you're blessed to grow an herb garden, then harvest them fresh! Estimated cost: ($1.25 for store-bought cheese and a few herbs)
A thrifty and healthy way to get the effect of pepperoni without all the fat, additives, and calories is to use a link of gluten-free, hormone-nitrate-antibiotic-free artisan sausage (we love US Wellness meats; it's a tad spendy, but remember, you're using 1 link for the whole pizza!) and slice the sausage very thinly to make "pepperoni". If you are a Costco Member, Aidell's sausages can be found for a little less than $1 a sausage (beware, these are free of everything I don't like except for those dreaded nitrates). Estimated cost: ($1.80, high end, $1.00, low end)
Any way you slice it (sorry, it's just too perfect of a pun), 2 homemade, gluten and grain-free pizzas (light on calories as well!) can be yours for under $5.00 per pizza. Just a careful budgeting of time to ensure that your crust is crisp, and you can easily throw this together in no time.
This post has been part of the $5 Dinner Challenge!
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