Pizza: The Almighty ‘Za. Or simply, “Friday night dinner at my parents’ place.” It’s one of my all time faves. I’ve got LOTS of great memories associated with pizza…meaning, I could eat it anytime, anywhere, and it’s guaranteed to turn a bad mood around, pronto.
But. What do you do when you’re following a program like BRD? If Rule #1 is “Eat protein, veggies, and legumes,” where does pizza crust fit in?
Well…what if I told you that this pizza crust is made with legumes?
Stick with me here. I’ve discovered something called “socca.” It’s an Italian flatbread made of — get this! — chickpeas. So now socca can help me accomplish two things: 1) Get more legumes in my diet, and 2) Get more pizza in my diet, even when it’s not my free day.
Now, I know there are a lot of grain-free and gluten-free flour substitutes out there, like rice flour or millet flour. But the problem with these is that they’re still starches. And Rule #1 does not say, “Eat protein, veggies, legumes, and starches.” We say, if you’re gonna eat carbs, make sure they’re the slow-burning kind. The kind that actually fills you up. You know, like beans or lentils.
Oh yeah! And chickpeas.
And there’s an added bonus here, too. When you follow our Seriously Simple rules, you end up eating whole foods most of the time. Yay! Like, for this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour. Know how many ingredients are in Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour? One.
(It’s garbanzo beans.)
If you want to eat any closer to the source than that, you’d have to grow and harvest your own chickpeas, dry them out, then grind them into flour all on your own. But that’s more work than I’d ever sign up for, so in the interest of keeping my end simple, I’ll let Bob and his red mill do the hard part.
So this chickpea flatbread is made entirely with ground chickpeas (thanks Bob!), water, olive oil, and herbs. Mix ’em all up, and pour the batter on an oiled pizza pan. Pop it under the broiler, and it’s like a 5-minute magic trick, but with pizza crust and an oven instead of a rabbit and a hat. Abra-ca-YUM!
And then I just add whatever goodness I’d like to the top (within protein/veggie/legum-y reason), and then in only a few more minutes I’ve got The Almighty ‘Za, comin’ in hot!
Now, you could crack open a frozen pizza, but it will literally take you only a few minutes longer to make this fresh version. Really. We timed it. No magic wand needed.
And it’s good for you, so there’s no guilt included in scarfing down 3-4 pieces. Which is a relief, since I ate 5. And now there’s only two pieces left, so I’m done here. I can’t type and eat at the same time …and someone else is eyeballing my pizza.
- For Socca
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup water
- 1-1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- cooking spray
- For pizza
- 4 tbsp. no-sugar tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 5 tbsp. refried beans
- 5 oz. Queso Fresco
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 cup romaine lettuce, diced
- ¾ cup pico de gallo (squeeze it out to make sure moisture removed)
- 4 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
- Make the socca: Mix chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, and garlic clove together in a bowl.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes while you prepare the pizza pan and toppings
- Wrap a 10-inch round pizza pan in tinfoil and spray with cooking spray
- Mix the tomato sauce, tomato paste and oregano together in a small bowl
- Cut the lettuce and avocado
- Crumble the Queso Fresco
- Pour the Socca batter onto the pizza sheet and place under a broiler on High for 5-7 minutes or until the top of the crust starts to bubble and turn brown
- Remove from the oven and loosen the crust from the tinfoil. You can leave it on the pizza pan or transfer gently to a pizza stone
- Spread the tomato mixture thinly over the crust
- Spread the refried beans thinly over the tomato mixture
- Top with the crumbled Queso Fresco
- Place in the oven under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the Queso begins melting
- Remove from the oven and top with the romaine lettuce, pico de gallo (make sure the extra moisture is squeezed out of it), avocado, and sprinkle with Parm cheese.
- Cut into squares or slices and serve