Tag Archives: gluten free

Garden Pizza, Gluten Free Crust, and Pizza Day Giveaway

finished sauce with tomato2 copy

In my newest book, Pizza Day, which will be released by my publisher Tuesday, there is a pizza recipe at the end of the story called Garden Pizza.

To win a signed and personalized copy of Pizza Day and its the companion, Soup Day, please go here!

Pizza Day and Soup Day Melissa Iwai 2017-72

Garden Pizza is what a little boy and his dad spend the day making using some of the ingredients that they have grown in their garden.

pizzaday_int_garden-Melissa-Iwai

These are some of the vegetables that they gather:

Pizza-Day_int-10-11-Melissa-Iwai

Sadly, we don’t have a stellar garden like theirs, so I made this pizza the other night for my guys using ingredients I bought instead.

Sauce igredients4 copy

Some of my sauce ingredients: diced carrots and onion, dried oregano and basil, garlic, tomato, and olive oil (I forgot to include the tomato paste here!). I use the fresh basil as a garnish to top the pizza when it’s done.

First I made the dough and let it rest and rise while I cooked the sauce.

dough pre rise 2 copy

My sauce gets its sweetness from the carrots. No sugar needed! Plus the carrots add nutrients and fiber.

pizza sauce

After the sauce cooked down and the flavors melded together, I pureed it in a blender, just like the boy in my book!

Pizza-Day_int-20-21-Melissa-Iwai-2017

Then when the dough was finished, I kneaded it, let it rest a bit, and rolled it out.

rolled out dough copy

It was time to top! Denis and Jamie just wanted sauce and cheese.

cheese pizza PIzza Day by Melissa Iwai 2017

I made mine veggie and turkey and used a cauliflower crust I had made (see recipe below), because I was doing reintroductions after the Whole 30 and hadn’t gotten to gluten yet!

PIzza Day by Melissa Iwai 2017

Riced cauliflower with egg and almond meal prebaked

PIzza Day by Melissa Iwai 2017

Baked crust (you must bake it before topping)

veggie pizza PIzza Day by Melissa Iwai 2017

Topped with pepper, tomato, onion, sauteed kale, and turkey

Then into the oven our pizzas went.

The final product:

finished pizza 3 copy

Crispy on the outside, chewy crust

 

vegie pizza closeup PIzza Day by Melissa Iwai 2017

My mini pizza with veggies, turkey, mozzarella, and fresh basil

Pizza Day by Melissa Iwai 2017
Cheesy!

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Pizza Day and the board book version of Soup Day here!

Pizza-Day_int-30-31-Melissa-Iwai-2017

 

Garden Pizza from Pizza Day by Melissa Iwai

Pizza Dough:

Ingredients:

Non-stick spray or oil for greasing

1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

3 cups flour, divided, plus more if needed

non-stick spray

 

Pizza Sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup chopped onion

¼ chopped carrot

1 ½ tablespoons chopped garlic, about 2 cloves

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

2 ½ cups chopped vine-ripened tomatoes, about 3 large

¼ cup tomato paste

  1. Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together yeast, water, olive oil, and salt in another large bowl until combined. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups of the flour to mixture and mix together until well blended.
  4. Add a little bit of the leftover flour gradually (you may use half or all) until dough forms a ball.
  5. Sprinkle flour onto a large board or counter top, and dump out dough. Knead for 5 minutes, adding a bit of the remaining flour each time it starts to feel sticky. You want to end up with a smooth, elastic mound of dough.
  6. Shape dough into a large ball. Place in greased bowl and turn over to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 1 hour.
  7. Heat olive oil in skillet and saute onions, carrots, garlic, salt, and herbs until onion is translucent.
  8. Add tomatoes and paste. Simmer until softened on very low heat, covered, about 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  9. Pulse in blender or food processor to desired chunkiness.

To assemble:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F for 10 minutes.

  1. Divide pizza dough in half, and roll each into a ball. Let rest 10-15 minutes.
  2. Lightly dust two baking sheets and a rolling pin with flour. Roll out each ball of dough into a round on each baking sheet.
  3. Spoon pizza sauce on top and spread onto each. Top with fresh veggies, pepperoni, cooked sausage, shredded cheese, grated parmesan cheese, goat cheese, whatever you like!
  4. Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending how crunchy you like your crust.

Makes 2 medium pizzas.

Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Nonstick olive oil spray

1 1/2 cups of riced cauliflower (I buy mine bagged from Trader Joe’s. You can also make your own by ricing or grating raw cauliflower), steamed for about two minutes

1 egg white or 1/2 whole egg

1 tablespoon almond meal

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare  two square pieces of parchment, about 6″ x 6″. Place one square on baking sheet and spray with non stick spray; set aside.
  3. Mix rest of ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Spoon mixture on top of prepared parchment sheet on baking tray. Flatten into a circle with a spoon.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven. Place other square of parchment on top of crust and flip. Then peel cooked piece of paper off.
  7. Your crust is now ready to be topped with toppings of your choice. After topping, bake in oven for another 5 minutes.

Makes one mini pizza crust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Art Related, Books, Children, Dinner, Gluten Free, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Shirataki Noodles and Soba Noodles

Shirataki Noodle Ramen

Shirataki Noodle Ramen

I made this comforting soup for lunch the other day.  I wasn’t even going to post it, because it involves packages of instant ramen noodles.  lol.  I grew up eating instant ramen (one of my dad’s specialties), and Jamie loves it too.  The sodium content is pretty outrageous, so I usually only use part of the seasoning packet in the soup.  It can also end up being a lot of calories — one package of noodles is supposed to be two servings.  It’s so easy to eat the whole thing as one serving.  I usually use 1 1/2 packages for Jamie and Denis.

I also like to use Shirataki noodles instead of eating the ramen noodles.  For the uninitiated, shirataki noodles are gluten free, low carb, chewy noodles made from a Japanese yam and are mostly water and fiber — hence the low carb value attributed to them.

Shirataki noodles

Shirataki noodles

I grew up eating them in Asian dishes and have always liked them.  But in the past five years or so, I’ve seen them touted by Hungry Girl and used in Western dishes, like fettucine alfredo.  This personally makes me gag.  The texture is so wrong.  These noodles are nothing like pasta.  People also complain about the fishy order that wafts out of the package when you open it.  You have to rinse the noodles and boil them.  I still feel that the slightly fishy, earthy odor remains, but in Asian dishes, like ramen, this is no problem.  It suits it.  So when I make ramen for the boys, I make shirataki for myself, and we share the broth.  I also like to add cooked egg, chopped scallions, and some kind of protein like cooked shrimp or chicken to it.

Another simple noodle dish is Tempura Soba.   It’s a Japanese tradition (which I did not grow up celebrating) to eat plain soba noodle soup right before midnight. I did this once in Japan before going to the temple and ringing the gong. I made it for our dinner tonight and added tempura shrimp for some protein. Recently I learned that buckwheat noodles are gluten free!  So that is good news for my niece and nephew and others who are gluten intolerant.  If your make your tempura batter with rice flour, then the tempura shrimp could also be made gluten free. 🙂

Shrimp tempura

Shrimp tempura

We’re looking forward to ringing in the new year tonight!  2013 had its extreme ups and downs — let’s hope 2014 is a more stable good one.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Soba with Shrimp Tempura

Soba with Shrimp Tempura

Shirataki ramen

Shirataki ramen

Shirataki Noodle Ramen

1 package of shirataki noodles

an egg, beaten

1 1/2 packages of instant ramen (the kind that come in a block)

Cooked meat (chopped ham, shrimp, pork, chicken, etc.)

scallions for garnish

shichimi togarashi (Japanese chili pepper) optional for garnish

1.  Cook shirataki noodles according the package instructions.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Cook beaten egg in a skillet.  Remove and chop up; set aside.

3.  Cook ramen according to package instructions (you may choose to not use all of the seasoning packet as I do).  Or if you are just eating the shirataki noodles and not using the ramen noodles, don’t bother cooking.

4.  Place desired amount of shirataki noodles in a large bowl.  Top with cooked egg, and cooked meat.  Ladle ramen broth into bowl.  Garnish with scallions and Shichimi Togarashi.

soba-with-shrimp-tempura

Shrimp Tempura Soba Noodles

1/2 pound dried soba (buckwheat) noodles

Oil for coating noodles and for frying

8 cups water

about 4 inches or .5 oz. of dried kombu (kelp — this is found in some Asian markets)

1 cup  or 10-15 g dried bonito flakes

1/3 cup soy sauce

2  tablespoons mirin

1  tablespoons sugar

1 cup tempura flour (you can use flour + 1/4 teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder if you don’t have tempura flour)

1 cup ice water or seltzer (with ice cubes)

12-15 large shrimp, deveined

scallions sliced thinly for garnish

Other garnish ideas:  sliced boiled egg, sliced fish cake, cooked spinach

1.  Boil water in a large pot, and cook dried soba noodles in it for about 4 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Coat with a bit of oil and set aside.

2.  Fill pot with 8 cups of water.  Add kombu.  Turn up heat.  Right before it comes to a rolling boil, remove kombu and discard.  Add bonito flakes and boil for about 30 seconds.  Turn off heat.  Let broth sit until flakes settle to bottom of pot.  Strain liquid into a clean pot, pressing on bonito flakes to get as much flavorful broth as possible.

3.  Heat broth over low heat.  Add soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.  Bring to a boil and dissolve sugar.  Set aside but keep hot.

4.  Heat about 1 inch of oil in a wok or saucepan to about 340 F.  Mix tempura flour with ice water.  Do not over mix — it’s OK if it’s lumpy.  Keep the ice cubes in the batter.  Dip shrimp in batter to coat and fry in hot oil until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes.  Remove to a rack placed over a baking sheet to drain.  Continue to cook rest of shrimp this way, being careful not to overcrowd them in the oil.

5.  To assemble, add cooked soba to a bowl, pour broth over.  Garnish with shrimp tempura and scallions.

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Filed under Eggs, Gluten Free, Shrimp, Soup

Microwave Pumpkin Breakfast Cake

This cake can be made in 2 minutes!

This cake can be made in 2 minutes

I’m traveling and visiting family at the moment, so this will be short and sweet!  As some of you might have already seen, there are a ton of cake in the mug recipes all over the web.  They are wonderful for college kids whose only cooking appliance is a microwave.  But I have been having fun making versions of this cake for my breakfasts.  Now that it’s so cold, I haven’t been having my protein smoothie as often.  I was also inspired by fellow blogger Wild Blue Wonder’s yummy pumpkin oats and sometimes make the cake with oats.

You can improvise with the recipe, substituting almond meal, rice flour, or other flour in place of the flour or oats and make it gluten free.  Here is a Paleo gluten free chocolate one that sounds good.

I used pumpkin puree, some almond meal, and a bit of TJ’s multigrain pancake mix.  I cook mine in a large ramekin.  Because I use so little flour, it has a real moist texture that is close to a bread pudding.  It’s so warm and comforting and delicious.

pumpkin cake

Hope everyone (in the U.S.)  has a wonderful Thanksgiving Thursday!  If you don’t celebrate, you can still enjoy some whipped cream with a piece of pumpkin pie. 🙂

Thanksgiving_Melissa2

Microwave Pumpkin Breakfast Cake

pumpkin cake close 2

2 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, other oil, or melted butter

2 tablespoons liquid egg white (or just use an egg)

cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to taste

sprinkle of stevia or 2 teaspoons sugar

couple drops of vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon almond meal

1 tablespoon pancake mix

(alternatively, use 2 tablespoons flour, GF flour, or other flour or combination)

1.  Mix all ingredients in a mug and microwave for about 1 minute and 30 seconds, checking after a minute.  Depends on the strength of your microwave.

Another way to do it is to mix everything in a bowl and transfer to a ramekin sprayed with nonstick spray and then microwave.

Makes one small single serving.  It’s so yummy with pumpkin butter smeared on top! 🙂

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Filed under Breakfast, Vegetarian

Double Chocolate Plantain Bread (Gluten Free) and Book Events

At Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn

At Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn

This past weekend I had back to back book events.  On Saturday, I read B is for Bulldozer and Truck Stop  at Greenlight Bookstore.  I also did this  ultra cute, fun collage project (from No Time For Flashcards) with the children.  Check it out — it is perfect for pre-K and Kindergarten aged kids!

Collage made by me and Jamie

Collage made by me and Jamie

I precut the shapes out of construction paper.  Jamie was my helper and passed them out.  I brought pieces of brown paper bag for “dirt” and encouraged them to tear it up into pieces and glue to their collages.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sunday was an amazing event at Books of Wonder on 18th Street in Manhattan.  If you have never been there before, it is a fantastic independent bookstore devoted solely to children’s books.  They do not carry any licensing products — you will not find any Disney or Nickeloden books here!  All the picture books are arranged alphabetically by illustrator, rather than author.  It’s the only bookstore I know of that does this!

>We love it there and go often for events of which there are many.  It’s been a wonderful opportunity to meet legendary book people, like the late Tomi Ungerer or Chris Van Allsberg as well as newer, well-known authors and illustrators.  One of our favorite events was listening to Nortan Juster and Jules Feiffer talk about creating The Phantom Tollbooth last year in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

This Sunday, though, I was on a panel there!  My panel mates are all exceptional picture book creators.  I was honored to be included in the group.

With Brian Floca, Anne Rockwell, Robie Harris, Chris Raschka, Deborah Heiligman.  Not pictured are Leyuen Pham, Doreen Cronin, and Betsy Lewin.

With Brian Floca, Anne Rockwell, Robie Harris, Chris Raschka, Deborah Heiligman. Not pictured are Leyuen Pham, Doreen Cronin, and Betsy Lewin.

I was totally nervous before the event – I am not so comfortable speaking in public anyway, but my anxiety was heightened by the stellar company I was keeping.  Anne Rockwell, who is the most sweetest, generous, warmest person ever, put me at ease.  I was so thankful she was able to make it.  She is a “living legend” as Peter Glassman, owner of Books of Wonder, said in his introduction of her.  She has written over 100 books, many of which she herself illustrated.  You can imagine my immense relief when she told me she love the illustrations for her warm story, Truck Stop!

Anne and I both spoke a bit about how the book came to be and our process of creating it.  Brian Floca spoke about his amazing book, Locamotive.   He actually got to drive an old fashioned locamotive for an afternoon as part of his research.   Robie Harris and Chris Racshka discussed writing and illustrating a book about child fears, When Lions Roar.  The challenge was creating something that wasn’t too scary, but scary enough, and what a delicate line that is.  Deborah Heiligman and Leuyen Pham talked about their book on the life and work of Paul Erdos (The Boy Who Loved Math)  as well as the esoteric system of Erdos numbers.  The wonderful Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin of Click, Clack, Moo! fame have been collaborating for 18 years.  Their newest is Click, Clack, Boo! They spoke about their collaboration and how much trust and respect they have for each other — also how they both share the same sense of humor (obvious if you’ve ever read their hilarious books about duck and Farmer Brown).

Everyone had such an interesting perspective on the work of picture book creating. It was really fascinating and inspirational.  I was so happy to meet finally Chris Raschka and Betsy Lewin  whose illustrations I adore and whose books Jamie grew up with (along with many of Anne’s).

Anne Rockwell and me outside of Books of Wonder after the event.  Do I look relieved?

Anne Rockwell and me outside of Books of Wonder
after the event. Do I look relieved?

It really is such a gift for kids to be able to meet authors and illustrators of the books they love.  If you ever have the opportunity, please do so!  Not every place is like  NYC where there are book events all the time, but in cities across the country, especially at independent book stores, there are events taking place often — and they are free!

With all these book events (not to mention deadlines and travel), this fall has been really busy.  It’s always a pleasure then to find a really, super easy recipe — especially one that is tasty, healthy, kid-friendly, and in this case, gluten free!

Double Chocolate Plantain Bread

Double Chocolate Plantain Bread

I have several people in my life (friends, my niece, Jamie’s friend) who are gluten intolerant.  So I am always on the lookout for some yummy gluten free recipe I can pass onto them or make.  I saw this TWO ingredient plantain bread on purelytwins.com recently, and I’ve been making it and experimenting with different variations and flavors.  The twins recommend using yellow plantains with a few brown spots, as they are less starchy.  But if you want a sweeter, less tangy flavor, the dark ones work too.

plantains

I came up with this Double Chocolate Plantain Bread Mini Loaf that is so moist and delicious.  It’s a nice snack cake for after school or even for breakfast.  I added vanilla, sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate chips to the two ingredient aforementioned plantain bread.  I baked it in a mini loaf pan.  I made the batter in my Vitamix, but any blender or food processor would work just fine (I’ve also made it in a food processor but the Vitamix is easier to clean!)

chocolate plantain bread 2

Double Chocolate Plantain Bread Mini Loaf

non-stick spray

1 large plantain, either yellow with a lot of brown or all brown

2 eggs

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 tablespoon (or more depending on your taste) sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line the bottom of a mini loaf with parchment and spray with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

2.  Peel and slice plantain. Put in a blender or food processor with eggs, cocoa, and sugar.  Puree until smooth.

3.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Drop chips evenly on top and stir gently to incorporate.

4. Bake for 25-35 minutes, checking with a skewer.  If it comes out clean when poked in the center, the loaf is done.  Check at around 25 minutes.  The center can be very moist and pudding like.  If you like that texture, take it out.  If not, bake a bit longer.

5.  Let cake cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then remove and cool completely.

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Filed under Books, Desserts, Snack, Uncategorized, Vegetarian