Pizza Night!

I recently posted a grain-free pizza crust recipe as well as a meaty tomato sauce recipe, and I combined them to make an amazing pizza! I didn't even miss the flour-based crust because my squash crust highlighted the toppings to well! Here's what I put on my pizza and how I made it:

After making the crust, I topped the pizza with about 1 cup of the meat sauce, which happened to be cold from the refrigerator. I then topped the sauce with thin slices from about a 6-inch piece of Pederson's nitrite-free kielbasa sausage to simulate pepperoni. They are a good pepperoni substitute because they are so peppery and spicy. I also diced about 1/4 of a red bell pepper, and drained 1 small can of black olives. After topping the crust with the sauce, meat, and vegetables, I placed the whole thing in the oven heated to 350 degrees (a lower temperature than the crust was baked in) for 8 minutes. The time is based on my mom's tried-and-true homemade pizza recipe. A lot of times the cheese is placed directly on the sauce, then the toppings, but we found the veggies didn't cook in time before the cheese became melted, and we didn't enjoy biting into the semi-raw veggies. The 8 min gives the pizza a head-start! Then I used the remainder of my block of Organic Creamery mozzarella cheese to top the pizza, placed the pizza about 8 inches from the broiler and broiled the pizza until the cheese was golden brown and bubbly.

While there are many ways to top a pizza, this is the way I chose that particular night! This recipe is a real treat, considering I hadn't had real pizza since last fall. Speaking of which, I helped with a new student orientation this year, and we had pizza for lunch (read: that's no "real pizza" for nearly an entire year!). I indulged in 2 pieces because I didn't think I could fast from lunch or escape and gobble down something else while staying on track with the students. I knew I would get a wheat belly, but this was probably one of the worst wheat bellies ever! And, I got a hive on my stomach that was super itchy. This is why treating myself with wheat is not a treat; it makes me feel bad. I try to be strict with my diet, but even for me life happens and grains can slip back in. The most important thing I find is to not beat myself up and to remember that the day is not completely blown because of one slip. I try not to wait until the next day to get back on track; rather I do it as soon as possible. I don't like to get into the mentality like "I cheated once, oh well, guess the whole day is shot!" then fall face-first into a gallon of ice cream! I also don't like to think of it as a re-start because healthy eating is a lifestyle or journey. Re-starts can be such a downer, but if you think of your way of eating as a meandering path, than a few deviations or bumps in the road are normal, and you can accept them much more easily.

Thankfully, there are many healthy grain-free recipes to help get over modern food cravings, such as this pizza recipe here. I can also recommend the pizza recipe from The Food Lovers Make it Paleo cookbook, which has an eggplant-based crust. I made this the first time this February and it was fantastic! I love the cracker-like crust.

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