I have some unusual dietary needs, and lately they’ve just gotten more complicated. I have a myriad of health issues, from fibromyalgia to arthritis to endometriosis. I’ve gone through all kinds of treatments, surgeries, and prescription narcotics. Recently I (temporarily, I hope) lost my health insurance, and I decided it was time to get serious re: holistic treatments. I did some research and found out that my various conditions are likely to be caused by a condition oh-so-sexily called leaky gut syndrome. It’s a pretty terrible thing to deal with, so I decided to start changing my diet and taking supplements that are proven to help. I’m not going to go into all the details here, but I WILL provide two great links that will provide you with more info:
This is the article from the NYT that convinced me to change my lifestyle. I
may have definitely cried reading it.
There are so many articles that are hard to understand, especially when you’re suffering from fibro fog and the like. This one is easily understood and provides links to even more info.
Here’s the TL;DR version: I no longer eat gluten, dairy, or cane sugar in any form. I was already eating very little dairy, since I’ve been lactose intolerant since I was in kindergarten, and I haven’t had cane sugar since being diagnosed with an allergy a year ago. So basically I had to cut out gluten, cheese, and lattes. And add a ton of supplements, from tart cherry to a pricy probiotic.
The problem is that I’m not exactly a chef. I’m not even a cook. I don’t really cook at all, and when I do it’s as elaborate as putting pizza rolls in the oven. Lucky for me I live close to lots of restaurants, including a Whole Foods that has a great deli and fab sushi. But what about those times when I just needed some lunch, didn’t want to go anywhere, and didn’t want to deal with delivery? Where were my gluten, dairy, and sugar free pizza rolls?
Enter my old friend Amy (who, by the way, makes my favorite pizza rolls – which I can no longer eat). Amy’s Kitchen makes a pizza with soy-based “mozzarella” cheese and a rice crust. Disclaimer time: If you also avoid soy, you’re obviously SOL on this one. Also, I can’t eat a lot of gluten-free products because they’re made with BROWN rice flour, and I’m allergic to brown rice. So this pizza is ok for me because while I limit soy, I don’t eliminiate it, and they use plain ol’ rice flour instead of that brown bullshit. Also, this pizza doesn’t have sugar in the sauce or dough, which I can’t say for Fresh Brothers. Oh Fresh Brothers, how I wanted to try, love, and regularly order your GF/DF pizza. But you went and sugared me. YOU WENT AND SUGARED ME.
Anyway, at this point you’re probably thinking, “Great, you can eat your dumb frozen pizza you lazy-ass. But I bet it tastes like garbage! Bwahahaa!” And that’s where you’re WRONG, so save that villainous laugh for when I tell you about paleo bread, which is completely depressing unless you toast the hell out of it and drown it in peanut butter. Nope, this pizza is actually GOOD.
As I usually say when describing “good” foods made out of unconventional ingredients, if you took a bite of the real thing and then a bite of “Sarah’s weirdo food alternative” you’d probably think my version wasn’t so good. But if you haven’t eaten pizza in awhile and are desperate for an alternative, this one is the best I’ve found. The trick is to cook the pizza in your oven as usual, but afterward stick it in the broiler for a minute or two. This will melt the cheese and make it more like an actual pizza your normal friends get to eat. Why doesn’t the cheese melt when you cook it in the oven? Because it’s made out of weird stuff, that’s why. Just broil it, get over it, and enjoy it. You could probably put some toppings on it to add a little interest, since this pizza only comes as plain cheese. I haven’t tried that, but I’ve thought about it while I sat and ate salami while I waited for my pizza to cook.
My only other recommendation when cooking Amy’s GF/DF pizza is to make more than one. Since I’ve been on this diet I’ve noticed that I need to eat more food to keep my energy levels up. This might fade after I’ve fully detoxed. It takes six to eight weeks for all that bad stuff to get out of your system, and it’s typical to feel run down during that time. I first tried this pizza by making one for dinner… and then an hour or two later I had to have a second dinner. So I’d say make these in batches of two. Or make one, and cook another while you’re eating the first one. Or eat one as a snack. Look, just don’t expect to eat this one little pizza made of rice and soy and think you’re set for a long night out on the town. Let this serve as proof that going gluten and/or dairy free isn’t a diet that will make you skinny (people going gluten-free thinking they’ll lose weight is a pet peeve of mine, in case you couldn’t tell). This is a significant caloric investment, but a DELICIOUS one.