Tag Archives: Pizza

Namaste Baking Mixes Review and Giveaway

A while ago I was approached by Namaste Foods to review some of their gluten (plus dairy, soy, nut, corn & potato) free baking mixes. Since I had actually seen their products at one of the health food stores around here and how they are so allergy friendly, I was happy to accept! In addition, I also realize that sometimes there just isn’t time to make something from scratch, so having advice on what mixes to get is helpful!

I was encouraged to choose one sweet and one savoury mix: I chose their Pizza Crust mix and the Biscuits, Pie Crusts and More! mix.

Lately I’ve been trying to make my own pizza crusts as I don’t like paying huge amounts of money for two small crusts and I wanted vegan crusts, but with little success. The yeast crusts take too long and taste too yeasty and the non-yeast ones I’ve tried have had separation anxiety with my non-stick pan and wouldn’t stay together. So, when the opportunity to try Namaste’s pizza crust, I was quite excited. Fortunately it did not disappoint.

The mix was very easy to make – all I had to do was add water and oil, mix, spread out on a pan and bake. (Much easier than trying to wrestle to flatten pizza dough, wait for it to rise, and to struggle to cut it only to have the pizza crust taste too yeasty!) As a precautionary measure, I decided to make this crust on parchment paper so that it wouldn’t experience similar separation issues (causing me issues!) as past attempts.

The crust itself was very tasty and the added herbs were a nice touch. It cut fairly well and stayed together very well, even when it was cold! I wished that it would have risen slightly more, but the crust made a very good thin crust. I’m glad that it turned out as the mix makes two crusts! (In case you’re interested, this is what I put on the pizza: spread with tomato paste, sprinkle with italian seasonings and fresh parsley, cover with ham, spinach, thuringer sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, pineapple and mozzarella cheese (optional).)

Since I’m still not eating eggs, I wanted to choose a mix that didn’t necessarily need them. Once I saw that they had a pie crust mix, I knew I wanted to try it as I believe that one of the hardest tests for gluten free baking is to make a pie crust that doesn’t fall apart immediately or doesn’t need a chain saw to cut.

Fortunately, I was very impressed with Namaste’s pie crust mix – it cut easily and didn’t crumble. The original recipe called to press the crust into the pan, but since Mr. Bean wanted a saskatoon berry pie for his birthday, I wanted to roll it out so I could have the traditional two-crust berry pie. After many frustrating attempts, I’ve found the best way to roll out pie crust is between two pieces of plastic wrap. As you can see, it rolled out very well as there were essentially no cracks in the top crust – almost unheard of in my experience with gluten free pie crusts!

I didn’t roll it out as thinly as I could have as by the end I had to exert a fair amount of pressure, hence the very large edges. Even so, I made double the recipe the mix gave me so I could have two crusts, but it made enough for about 3 pie crusts. The crust itself had a good texture – not quite as flaky as its gluten and dairy filled counterpart, but I can’t complain because it held its form very well. It was quite tasty, too – usually the pastry part of pies is my least favourite, but I found myself secretly enjoying breaking off the edges and eating it plain. Mr. Bean was also very impressed with this pie and he is looking forward to the pie I am going to make with the remaining dough!

The filling was adapted from the frozen berry pie filling from the Joy of Cooking. I didn’t quite add enough tapioca starch so the juices didn’t thicken up as much as I would have liked. It was very tasty regardless.

Saskatoon Berry Pie Filling

5 c. frozen saskatoon berries
1/2 c. sugar
4 tbsp. of tapioca starch
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil or melted butter (if desired)

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Defrost berries only so that they all separate easily. Place berries in a large bowl.
  3. Add the sugar, tapioca starch and salt. Stir until berries are covered.
  4. Pour into the pie crust and cover with the top crust. Pinch edges of the crust together in any desired manner.
  5. Bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat down to 350F and bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting.
  8. Enjoy!

Now for the giveaway!

What you will win:

Namaste Giveaway Tote
3 Namaste Foods Products
Namaste Grocery tote
Copy of our Simple Pleasures Cookbook
Copy of Living Without Magazine
Assorted recipe cards

How to win:

  • Leave a comment below

For additional entries, you can:

  • Subscribe to my blog/rss feed and leave a comment to let me know (or if you already do, just leave a comment saying that!)
  • Share this giveaway on your blog, facebook or twitter (leave a separate comment for each)

This giveaway is now closed.

This giveaway is only open to the US and Canada! Sorry to my international readers! A winner will be drawn using random.org on June 14th.

Thanks for participating and good luck!

*I received both the pizza crust and biscuits, pie crusts and more mixes as well as a grocery tote and recipe cards in exchange for this review.*

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Filed under Baking, Food

Vegan Polenta Pizza

Do you really like pizza? I do. I’m not a pizza fanatic, but I definitely do enjoy eat it – especially when it’s gluten free! Over the last few days I’ve wanted to eat pizza, but normal pizza just wasn’t kosher for my Daniel Fast. (Yeast – nope!, Cheese – definitely not!, Meat – you wish!) When I saw a recipe for vegan polenta pizza, I knew I had to make it as I made a polenta pizza a REALLY long time ago and loved it.

I also had incentive to make pizza as Jessica of ATX Gluten-Free is hosting a Gluten Free Pizza Fest! This vegan pizza is adapted from Terry Walter’s Clean Start cookbook. It was also partially inspired by a GF pizza I had from a hole-in-the-wall place this summer that had pine nuts on it and was surprisingly good. They also add some much needed protein without being too out of place!

Vegan Polenta Pizza

2 c. water
1 tsp. italian seasonings
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 scant tsp. kosher salt
fresh pepper
3/4 c. cornmeal (you could be good and use actual polenta, but I’m lazy so cornmeal it is!)

1 leek, chopped
4 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 portabello mushroom, sliced
1 piece of kale, cut into strips
2 – 3 tbsp. pine nuts
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
Tomato paste
Fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Bring the water up to a boil. Add in the seasonings and olive oil.
  2. Whisking constantly, pour cornmeal into water in a steady stream. Continue whisking for 5 – 7 minutes or until the polenta is creamy and thick. Add water if needed – I ended up adding about 1/3 c. more water.
  3. Evenly distribute polenta between two 9″ cake pans. Using a spatula, spread out to about an even thickness.
  4. Let polenta cool slightly, then stick both pans in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the polenta to solidify.
  5. Heat oven to 350F. Transfer polenta disks onto a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
  6. Cook in oven for about 40 minutes and remove. Set aside.
  7. While there is about 15-20 minutes left in the baking of the pizza crusts, toast the pine nuts in a frying pan until fragrant.
  8. Heat up olive oil in the same frying pan. Saute the leek in the olive oil for a few minutes.
  9. Add the mushrooms and sauté until cooked.
  10. Add the kale and sauté until bright green.
  11. Spread tomato paste onto polenta crusts, leaving 1/2″ uncovered. Add any spices you want to.
  12. Sprinkle the tomato paste with pine nuts.
  13. Arrange the vegetables on the crust. Make sure you evenly distribute the mushrooms and kale!
  14. Cook pizza in oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until the kale starts toasting.
  15. Sprinkle with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.
  16. Enjoy!

What is your favourite type of pizza?

Linked up to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Hearth and Soul Hop-volume 34, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursdays and Seasonal Sundays.

Hearth n' Soul Blog Hop at A Moderate Life Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

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Filed under Food