Gluten-Free Plantain Pizza Crust

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My list of favorite foods goes something like: cherries (all-time favorite), pizza, cabbage, ice cream. Something like that. Subject to change. Regardless, you will notice the pizza. Pizza also appears in my business name and this website: Polifroni Pies and PIZZAS. I like to make pizza crusts for the market, because even though you’ve change up your eating and diet or have eating restrictions, doesn’t mean you can never eat pizza.

I have made loads of different crusts. I’ve used almond flour. I’ve used cassava. I’ve used arrowroot. I’ve used tapioca flour. And I’ve also used bunches of vegetable/root alternative. You can click through my recipe inventory and check some of them out. It started with cauliflower a decade ago. But I’ve also used: broccoli, rutabaga, sweet potato, butternut squash, and zucchini. One of my all-time favorites was plantains.

I did a lot of home-cooking last week for Zach and I. I really wanted to revisit the plantain crust. Oh man was it good. Hands down my favorite. Everyone thinks it is going to be sweet. Plantains are not bananas. They don’t peel like bananas. They are starchier, not sweet like a banana. I made this crust kind of thick (which I like), however, next time I think this would make two perfect 9 inch pizzas. I used a large tart pan I have with a removable bottom, but a pizza pan or spring pan would be good as well (maybe put it in a cast iron and make a deep dish).

If you want a great pizza, this is it! I like pork with plantains, so I put sausage. You could put all kinds of flavors, though. Pepperoni. Chicken. Bacon. Spinach. Mushrooms. With Cheese. Without cheese. Whatever your topping preference. Go crazy.

20180314_220624.jpgGluten-Free Plantain Pizza Continue reading “Gluten-Free Plantain Pizza Crust”

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Plantain Chips

I love plantains.

I had never had them until I was about 25. I was hooked on the first bought. And man have I taught and had loads of conversations about them since them. It usually starts at checkout, where many cashiers don’t know what it is or how to ring them up. I have learned to tell them to look up bananas first. From here the conversations generally turns to asking how it tastes. Upon which I respond:

  1. It does not taste like a banana
  2. It is not sweet, it is starchier
  3. No you can’t just peel it and eat it
  4. I suggest slicing it thinly and sauteing it in coconut oil with sea salt

I also introduced a lot of my friends and my husband to plantains, making them taste them for their first time. My friends are lucky, I usually introduce them in the form of pizza crust and taco tortilla shells to them. Zach, though I had him taste just sliced and sauteed ones (as described them). He is a BBQ chip kind of snacker, so he thought they didn’t have a lot of flavor and he only likes them very thinly sliced.

I however, have found I really enjoy the tastes of the plantain. And I like them pretty simple and plain. Just sea salt. Because I was thinking about being creative and making all these different flavors of chips, but then I skipped it all, sea salt is good. Since it isn’t broken, I am not fixing it.

I will also tattle on myself here. I think sometimes people think I am in the kitchen all the time. Or I want to be there ALL the time. This is not try. Look at last week, where I only had one post. Sometimes I need a break. Sometimes I am like everyone else and I don’t want to prep or make a bunch of food. Sometimes I like meals that are quick and easy. Like lettuce wraps, I love a lettuce wrap (which is what i ate with these chips). So making vegetable chips (cabbage are my favorite) has been a favorite method of mine in the past, to have on hand for those non-cooking days. It is true I love baking. I love cooking. But sometimes you need a break. And the next day I may be in the kitchen all day, completely joy-filled. Breaks are nice to refresh the work we’re doing.

As I mentioned, I did sea salt because that’s what I like, but feel free to play around with other flavors, or dips maybe. But I am also not a chip dipper or guac person (raw avocados actually make me nauseous), so I just eat them on their own.

IMAG3890.jpgPlantain Chips Continue reading “Plantain Chips”

Taco Tortilla Bowls

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So I have this wonderfully giving and attentive boyfriend. He loves to take care of me and shower me with gifts. He pops up frequently with surprises.I can’t tell you how many times I have opened the door to him declaring, “close your eyes.”

A few weeks ago one of these encounters brought about a set of tortilla bowl pans. Finally weeks later I have been put them to good use. Yesterday was a wonderfully beautiful day in Terre Haute. When I hit the trail I was struck with inspiration. In my head I began building and envisioning a taco. Once I straddled my bike and hit the trail again, I biked straight to the store to grab a plantain. Shot a text to the man friend while I was checking out to let him know he should probably come to dinner at my apartment.

20150811_212520Excitement. There is something absolutely blissful about thinking something up and then creating it. I think that is why I love baking so much. It is like a supreme high to me. An electric energy that has me brimming to create MORE (for instance after this I sketched a design for a Never Never Land wall mural and a Yogi Baker logo for a back drop).  Continue reading “Taco Tortilla Bowls”

Tacos, Connections, and Art

Simplify. My current goal for our home.  On a mission to rid our lives of the unnecessary stuff to make more time with the ones I love.So I am changing my approach to this site. I started out blogging….let’s see 7 years ago. It started out as a journal of sorts. A way to get my thoughts out. To clear my head. It was private hidden, only I could view it. And then I started extensively researching and blogging for my parents website. And then I launched this site two years ago when I decided I wanted to pursue my cooking passion. Initially I just wanted to post recipes. I had another site to contemplate and write on. Now, as happens with me, my thoughts have changed and evolved. I am a Thoreau lover for those who may not know (my most visible tattoo is one of his). SIMPLIFY. SIMPLIFY. Why am I running and writing on different sites or pages.
Why am I afraid to inject myself into this site? That last one has really been tripping me up. Often time with recipes, I don’t type a lot. There is a definite lack of content, entertainment and personality. But as I go to the market every week. As I think of where I want to go. I have to think of my brand? What’s my message? What’s my voice? What do I have to say? Share? Because each week I have to go with my baked goods, I’m selling myself and the food. Isn’t that the point to a market? To make a connection to your food source. To see the person and talk to the person lovingly growing and raising your food. It’s like meeting the parents of a beautiful child. I can ask questions. Attach a name. A real, breathing, talking, most often freaking amazing individual to the food I’m going to take home and use as a tool to nourish my body. Personally, I want that. And I have to do the same thing. I am the person behind the bliss. And so I am expanding, evolving this site. There will be more thoughts. More insight. Like the spaces I surround myself (my apartment), I want it to feel authentically me. Because I am a unique individual, with my own voice. And there is so much more to me than the recipes I post. And the beauty of the internet and touch phones, is that if someone doesn’t want to read my thoughts they can scroll to the recipe and what they’re looking for.
So I am a confessed total weirdo when it comes to food. Eating in front of people is a major struggle for me often. Ask my boyfriend, he likes to point out that he’s rarely seen me eat. I think the big struggle comes from my parents owning a fitness weight loss studio. For years I felt my identity was tied soley in with my body. I felt the pressure of being judged for my body. Picked to pieces. I defined myself and lived according to the number on a scale. As if my worth was somehow tied into that number. It was an obsession. And the problem is that even when I reached a goal, when I was super tiny and had the flattest stomach, is that it never seemed enough. And since the end of business, I’ve had to step back. Even though I’ve had a reawakening in my own eyes and self- reflection, that doesn’t mean that societal pressures don’t still loom. People judge by physical appearances. Point blank. Even though I am a lover and eternal optimist, that doesn’t mean I’m naïve enough to be ignorant to this fact.
And so I practice. I practice eating gluten-free, it truly is my lifestyle (just ask them at work, I’m the crazy baker who never tries anything that I make). I practice shopping at the market. I practice making better choices today. I practice nourishment. I practice recipe creations. I walk. I hike. I meditate. I do my kettlebells. I hit a yoga mat. I practice being happy and content. I am healthy. I am strong. I am flexible. And I step out of my comfort zone. If something challenges me, I go for it. So I have group eating issues? Let me schedule dinners with my friends. Shoot out a group text: Hey I’m playing with some new tortilla recipes, want to come over and have dinner. Or I haven’t seen you in a while, let’s watch a movie and make dinner. Go to Pulse and then home for a meal. Or schedule a post pool lunch. Or leaving the market with an extra pizza crust, I’ll look at the boyfriend and see if he wants to go home and make his and hers pizzas. Meet a new neighbor who doesn’t like cooking? Invite them over for dinner. Let’s get to know each other over a meal. Even better, I’ll add an activity. Since I long for connection to my food. I long for that connection with people too. I want to visit and talk with my friends. I want to super charge my creativity. Why not invite my art friends over to paint a canvas and eat tacos? Food, fun, and art all in one.

Continue reading “Tacos, Connections, and Art”

Plantain Pizza Crust

I don’t know why but I have an attraction to pizza. Many times when I’m hiking, day dreaming of kitchen experiments, I repeatedly go back to pizza. Hmm….I wonder if I try this for a crust? Ooh…..what if I top it with that? I have been there done that with pizza. From crusts made with spinach to zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower of course (before it was cool and common), tapioca flour, almond meal, coconut flour, butternut, sweet potatoes, eggs, chicken, and more than I can come up with off the top of my head. But for some reason I am always seeking to improve it. One more crust. Another idea. One more topping combo.

And then I go back to my goal boards. Actually I go back to the mountains. To Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. To that one Sunday, as I walking towards Pikes Peak, with it’s changing Aspen trees and snow capped top. When I stopped right in the middle of the road, hit with epiphany. I don’t want to train kettlebells. I don’t want to be a coach and tell people what to do. I want to be in the kitchen. I want my own business and little baby. I want creative freedom and license. I want to build something of my own. I want to experiment. I want the joy I feel being in the kitchen all the time. I want to cook for others. I want that smile or moan of satisfaction from good tasting food. What?!?! This gluten-free? You made this from scratch? I want my own food bus…..pause. When Julie came back to the kitchen at work to tell me her grilled cheese was fabulous and I need to do my own food venture, I instinctively resounded Continue reading “Plantain Pizza Crust”