“You are what you eat” and with food allergies surfacing with greater frequency than in previous years, many have had to drastically change their way of eating, in some cases foregoing some of their favorite foods in order to survive. In an effort to provide those that need to alter their lifestyle a sense of nutrition and balance, chefs are working around the clock to create new and safe food items.
For this chef, cooking has become even more exciting because evolving awareness of food sensitivities has created a new demand to develop innovative alternatives for guests with food allergies. After running restaurants for 15 years, I thought I had heard it all, but every year it seems a new allergy surfaces.
Being aware of your body, and understanding what reacts with your system, is the first step to isolating a potential allergy. Then educating yourself on common types of food allergies, followed by research to learn how to cook good quality foods without them! One of the biggest complaints that I hear involves giving up foods that people have eaten their whole lives. With a lot of trial and error, the development of new tasty food items are finally available to the masses.
In a recent cooking class that I hosted, I focused on the large variety of substitutes for gluten. From coconut flour, to corn, soya, tapioca, millet, buckwheat, chia, potato, garbanzo, hemp and white & brown rice flours, the opportunities are endless.
Below you will find a recipe for Gluten Free Pizza Dough that I highly recommend trying. It’s fairly simple, and doesn’t require too many ingredients. Surprise the family this week and see what they think! Once its baked, you may top it with your favorite sauce, toppings, and cheese, and pop it back in the oven to melt! Good Luck and Good Eating.
Cheers! ~Chef Brian Roland of Crave Culinaire
1.5 cups of Brown Rice Flour Blend (see recipe below)
1 teaspoon Xantham Gum
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Sugar
2 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1.5 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Packet of Quick Rise Yeast (or one Tablespoon Yeast)
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
3/4 Cup plus one Tablespoon Water at 110 Degrees
In a stand mixer add all of the dry ingredients including the Yeast. Heat water and olive oil to 110 Degrees and add to dry ingredients. Mix on low until combined and then on high for two minutes
Scoop the dough onto a silplat sheet(rubberized nonstick/heatproof mat) and spread out with lightly oiled hands (the dough is going to be sticky…. shape a bit). Cover with lightly sprayed plastic wrap in a warm place for 45 minutes. Once dough has finished rising a bit reshape into a medium – large pizza. Heat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Take out and add sauce and toppings. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Brown Rice Flour Blend
2 Cups Brown Rice
2/3 Cup Potato Starch
1/3 Cup Tapioca Flour
Blend well! Store in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.