Polenta Pizza with Mozzarella, Ricotta, Peaches, and Balsamic-Honey Reduction

Fridays are for pizza!

One of the fun things about living with someone who has celiac disease is figuring out how to make some normally gluten-filled recipes gluten-free instead. This is definitely a process – not all of my experiments have gone well (apparently, you can’t just directly sub gluten-free all purpose flour for regular flour all the time). One ingredient that has been a blessing for us is polenta – and I think I’m finally mastering the use of it!

Polenta is a gluten-free grain also referred to as corn grits or cornmeal. It can be used in variety of dishes as a starch by adding water and cooking it. You can cook it the microwave very easily.  It makes a great stand in for regular pizza crust.

Setting aside the fact that you will likely need to eat your pizza with a fork, polenta has a great texture and stands up well for pizza. We have a Williams-Sonoma cookbook that has a bunch of awesome recipes, including one for polenta pizza. I’ve used the recipe before and gotten better results each time I’ve made it.

This week, I came across a summer pizza recipe from Cooking Classy that I really wanted to try. Featuring peaches, it’s different, lighter, and summer-ready. I made a few modifications – mainly exchanging the regular pizza crust for the gluten-free polenta one, but I also used green onions for a little extra kick in place of garlic, and only used two cheeses. We often modify recipes based on what we can afford and what we have on hand.

Step one was putting together the crust, which can find the Williams Sonoma recipe for here. I added grated Parmesan while cooking it for a little extra flavor. You can also experiment and add in fresh herbs.

polenta pizza crust Continue reading

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Chicken Feta Orzo Salad

When you’re a broke college student, pasta is a God-send. You can make it a thousand ways, make it healthy (or as caloric as you want), put whatever you feel like in it, and it always seems to make enough to eat off of for at least three days. When I was working on my graduate degree and living with my sister, we probably should have just bought stock in Barilla.

When looking for something new to try, I came across a pasta salad using orzo pasta on Pinterest. I tweaked the recipe to add veggies we liked, and it went over so well we had it at least once a month from there out. The awesome thing about this recipe, besides being super easy and guaranteeing you leftovers, is that you can change out the veggies and pasta for whatever you prefer. Take the chicken out, and it’s now vegetarian. Don’t like tomatoes? Toss ’em out, and add something like red pepper. We have made a version before that includes olives. Prefer something over orzo? Try that! In the rest of this post, the example I use I actually used gluten-free rotini instead of orzo (if you’ve ever managed to find gluten free orzo, please tell me where!) since the diners included my boyfriend. Continue reading