Did you know October is National Pizza Month? Or that the word “Za” is actually considered a real word meaning “short for pizza” if you are playing Scrabble (my husband came in 2nd in the country in the National Spelling Bee when he was in 7th grade and so I have learned a LOT of new words by playing Scrabble with him over the years!) Anyway, since the variations on “Za” recipes are endless, I figured I would share one of my most favorite non-traditional ones with this Gluten Free Tex-Mex Polenta Pizza recipe.
Gluten-Free Pizza Can Be Amazing!
Everyone’s always asking for more clean eating recipes these days. But, I’m amazed lately at how many emails we get requesting gluten-free recipes.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut and oats and it’s become a standby staple of the modern American diet, especially if you eat a lot of baked goods or packaged foods. Actually, unless you make a very special effort to avoid or eliminate gluten, you likely consume a lot of it in your daily diet. I personally don’t have a problem with eating gluten because my body is not sensitive to it, but I actually do make an effort not to eat the same foods over and over again. So, even if you are like me and you don’t have gluten sensitivity it absolutely can’t hurt to mix things up a bit and add variety to your diet by going gluten-free with some conventional recipes.
Kids Love Gluten-Free Polenta Pizza
My gluten-free polenta pizza is a fun clean eating alternative to traditional pizza and a fabulous family-friendly meal that’s also super quick and easy to make.
While I decided to give mine a Tex-Mex twist by swapping mildly spicy, smoky chipotle black-bean hummus for the usual marinara, you can always just top your pizza with good old red sauce (my favorite store-bought brand is Rao’s—it’s pricey but worth it!)
Make It Dairy-Free (Or Not)
We don’t really do a lot of dairy in our house (the exception is good quality cheese, because I do LOVE cheese and I think a little is fine), however I often make this pizza dairy free with pine nut crumbs. Pine nut crumbs are rich and satisfying, so they still give you the “full fat” mouth-feel of real cheese, but without the dairy. Making pine nut crumbs is a snap too, simply put the pine nuts in a food processor and process until crumb-like. You can make a big batch and keep them in the freezer for months!
Gluten Free Tex-Mex Polenta Pizza
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided (plus more for greasing pan)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup cornmeal (polenta)
- 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (look for these in the ethnic section of your supermarket)
- 2 cups shredded carrots (to save time, buy bagged pre-shredded carrots)
- Cumin, to taste
- 1 cup pine nut “crumbs” (just process pine nuts in the food processor until crumb-like) OR organic mozzarella cheese (ideally from pastured cows)
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly coat an 81⁄2-inch springform pan with extra virgin olive oil.
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Whisking constantly, slowly add the cornmeal and 1 tablespoon oil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, until the polenta starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 4–5 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper.
Remove from heat. Spread the polenta over the bottom of the prepared pan, using a spoon to form a raised edge. Set aside for 10 minutes to set.
Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, purée the black beans, remaining oil, and chipotle pepper until mixture is smooth and creamy. Using the back of a spoon, spread the chipotle–black bean hummus on top of the polenta. Layer the shredded carrots on top. Season carrots with cumin to taste. Sprinkle the pine nut crumbs or cheese on top of the carrots.
Bake polenta pizza for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top. Return polenta pizza to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Allow polenta pizza to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the springform pan. Cut into wedges and serve warm.