Friday, June 12, 2015

quinoa pizza and perfect grain-free chocolate cupcakes

last day of school! the kids cry, "freedom!" and i echo the sentiment. i'm ready for less running around, more play time, and later starts to the days. yeah...who am i kidding. i have an eight year old who wakes up like a rooster, raring to go around 6am every day. and there will be plenty of fighting. and back-talk. and pre-teen attitude. but there will also be hours of tennis. and watching new skateboarding tricks. and measurable ballet progress. and fun in the pool. and a huge road trip to iowa for my 20-year high school reunion wherein we get to see friends and family in the many states between san jose and davenport. i get to see plenty of new babies along the way, too, which is always a good thing. let's just say the positives of this summer far outweigh the negatives.

back to the beginning...

last day of school! there were all the requisite parties this week and today the fourth graders had a pizza bash. we don't do normal pizza so i decided to have an alternative for mary and her friend shaylynn, who discovered a lot of food allergies earlier in the year. quinoa pizza crust is very easy to make, but takes a little foresight because you have to soak the quinoa for 8+ hours. a reminder in my phone made sure i didn't forget and, after a good rinse, the food processor turned the quinoa into a paste that quickly baked into a crispy crust. a few toppings and ten minutes later, i walked up to the school with two piping hot, grain-free pizzas.

quinoa pizza crust

3 C quinoa

put quinoa in a large bowl and cover by 1" with water. allow to soak at least 8 hours (i start mine in the evening and soak overnight, but you could easily start it first thing in the day and have it ready by dinner). rinse quinoa well (i have a strainer with a fine enough mesh that the quinoa doesn't go through) and put in the food processor with:

1 C water
3 T olive oil
2 T baking powder
1 t kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t basil
1/8 t garlic powder

allow to mix/chop/combine for 2-5 minutes, scraping down the sides so all the quinoa is incorporated. spread evenly on two silicon baking mats (or oiled parchment paper, either way you need two large baking sheets) and bake at 425 for 10-13 minutes. gently flip the crust over and top with whatever you love to have on pizza. bake for 15 minutes more or until cheese is golden, switching pans from the top to the bottom rack as needed.

in the middle of making the pizzas, i was also whipping together some chocolate cupcakes. it's a good thing i didn't remember how good these were because my waistline would show it if i did. have i mentioned i have no self control when it comes to food? guilty. it's the biggest reason i am so choosy about what i put in my mouth...and also the reason i exercise so intensely. tonight, the leftovers i inhaled are the cause of my extra workout, but they were SO worth the sweat and pain coming to me in a few minutes. ;)

grain-free chocolate cupcakes

1/2 C coconut flour
2/3 C tapioca flour
2/3 C coconut sugar
1/2 C cocoa powder (i use raw cacao powder, but any cocoa powder will work)
2 t baking soda
8 eggs (i used 6 jumbo eggs because that's what i had on hand)
1 C unsweetened applesauce
3/4 C coconut oil

put all ingredients in the food processor and mix thoroughly. scrape down the sides and mix again. divide batter between 24 cupcake liners and bake for 15-18 minutes at 350. the tops should be firm, but be sure not to overbake! allow to cool before frosting. the whipped cream frosting a couple recipes down is my favorite, but contains dairy. one batch of frosting will coat 36 cupcakes if you use a cookie scoop {approximately 2 T} to portion it onto the tops. enjoy!

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