I have completed 30 days of grain-free eating! And what do I have to show for it? Fifteen pounds GONE! That’s a bag of sugar and a bag of flour!
I’ve been making other healthy choices, of course, like staying away from sugar and processed foods, but I think eliminating grains has made a big difference. Now that my 30 days are over, I have decided I may occasionally have grain (gluten free), but for the most part I want to go grain free. It seems my body likes that.
It feels great to see some real progress. Now it’s time to starting adding in more regular exercise. That should be easy, right?
Since my last post was about goodness from the garden, I thought it’d be fitting to share this recipe for garden pizza! It’s full of fresh, raw ingredients served with creamy sauce on a crunchy crust. It’s like having a salad but in pizza form. And let’s face it, if I have a choice between pizza and salad…I’ll probably choose pizza! Why not have the best of both worlds?
I’ve made this recipe a couple times now, so these are photos from two different versions. The first time I made it, I used a round pan. The second time, I doubled the recipe and made it on a cookie sheet so I could have more pizza goodness!
The savory, grain-free crust is made with a combination of garbanzo bean and almond flours. Actually I used almond meal, which is a little coarser than the flour, and it turned out great. The crust is meant to be thin, and it’s quite dense and even crispy. It holds together very well with all the moist ingredients on top.
The sauce is actually not my own invention. It’s a recipe for crazy-good ranch dressing from chocolatecoveredkatie.com. It uses tofu, which is something I had never used before. It’s thick and creamy and you can customize it with whatever spices you like for a different flavor. I’m sure there are lots of other recipes for ranch dressing that would work as a sauce as well. Or you could mix some Vegenaise with dill and maybe a little garlic or Mrs. Dash and get something tasty, too.
As for the vegetables, use what you like! There are many combinations that will work well on this pizza. I put the veggies I’m going to use in the food processor and pulse it a few times. The veggies are instantly finely chopped and ready to go and I’ve saved a lot of time! I do hand cut the more watery ingredients, like tomato.
1 recipe of crazy-good ranch dressing from chocolatecoveredkatie.com or something similar (you won't use the whole recipe on the pizza)
Lots of chopped veggies, such as one carrot, half a leek or small onion, one or two tomatoes, several florets of cauliflower and broccoli, a handful of baby spinach, one cucumber, half of a sweet pepper
Mix together the ingredients for the crust (in the list above that's everything from the top through the ¼ cup of water).
Press the crust into a lightly greased pan (I used an 11" round stone).
Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
After the crust is cooled (or slightly cooled if you're really hungry!), spread the ranch dressing over it. It should take no more than half the dressing if you're using the one from chocolatecoveredkatie.com.
Top with chopped fresh veggies. If you realize you have too many veggies, just save them and use them as filling in a wrap or add to a salad later.
There’s just something about fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden! They always seem to taste better when they’re homegrown and you can pick them at the peak of ripeness.
The photos above are from my brother’s garden this year. He is an amazing gardener and each year his garden is bigger and better. I don’t spend as much time helping in the garden as I should (I must admit gardening does not come naturally to me), but he is very generous and I still get to reap the benefits. I am so thankful!
The growing season here in Michigan is winding down, but there is still plenty of fresh, locally grown produce to be had. If you don’t have access to a garden, check out a local farmer’s market. They offer plenty of fresh produce and your purchase supports local growers — definitely a win-win situation!
Using food from the garden doesn’t require a lot of cooking know-how or a binder full of recipes. Most of it can be enjoyed raw, and it’s full of healthy nutrients that your body is craving. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Consider preserving some of these fresh foods by freezing, dehydrating, or canning. Then you can enjoy the bounty of the summer even in the middle of winter…and save some money, too! There are lots of resources available online to help you get the most out of your garden goodies and farmer’s market finds.
My goal in writing this post was twofold. First, I wanted show off my brother’s beautiful garden. Second, I hoped to inspire you to get out and enjoy the natural goodness that’s growing around you. You’ll be glad you did!
Grain-free seems to agree with me! I was so excited when I weighed myself this morning and realized I have now lost a total of 10 pounds! That’s my first weight-loss goal. Yahoo! I have a long way to go, but I’m off to a great start.
I decided to find something around the house that weighed 10 pounds so I could have a tangible idea of how much weight has left my body. The bag of sugar above was just the thing! Fitting that it’s a bag of sugar since I very rarely eat sugar anymore. (If you’re wondering why I have a bag of sugar, it’s for baking cookies for church.) A 10-pound bag of sugar isn’t heavy, but it isn’t light either. It’s hard to believe just a few weeks ago, I was walking around with that thing all the time! Good riddance!