A recipe better than a pile of
September 4, 2012 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a particular recipe for a gluten, soy, dairy, artificial sweetener, and corn-free cake and pizza?

My awesome workmate is having a birthday in a couple of weeks, and she is on an elimination diet to determine food sensitivities that may be affecting her restless leg syndrome.

Corn, soy, wheat/gluten, artificial sweeteners, and dairy are not allowed at this time for her. She is allowed to have stevia drops and some natural sugar in moderation. She can also have nuts, eggs, and fruit.

I have googled for recipes and have found many that have only *1* of the forbidden foods, but haven't had luck finding recipes for pizza or a cake with *none* of the above foods.

Can you recommend a specific recipe for either or both? My workmate is awesome and deserves these favorite foods for her birhthday! Thanks, guys!
posted by shortyJBot to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: ...and I meant for the title of the question to be "a recipe better than a pile of rice flour and stevia drops."
posted by shortyJBot at 10:07 AM on September 4, 2012

I cannot speak to the crust of the pizza, but Daiya makes a very good fake-mozzarella for the top of it.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:11 AM on September 4, 2012

Some googling returns this recipe for a pizza crust, which doesn't have any suggestions on a cheese substitute but seems good otherwise.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:11 AM on September 4, 2012

Well that works out nicely, then.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:12 AM on September 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

I made a surprisingly kick-ass pizza crust once by grinding some chia seeds using a spice grinder (a normal Cuisinart won't pulverize them finely enough), then mixing them half-and-half with nut flour (I used almonds, I think?), adding salt to taste, then mixing in warm water until it achieved a doughy consistency. Then I pushed it into a well-greased pan and baked it low 'n slow (no higher than 350F or so) until it dried out. It was chewy and tasty!
posted by julthumbscrew at 10:13 AM on September 4, 2012

I've heard of Cauliflower crust pizza before, but I've never tried it before. Pizza is always hard to do without gluten or without dairy, and combining the two will make it a very un-pizza-like food. Have you thought of totally switching the menu? She might rather have an awesome version of her second favorite foods rather than an unpleasantly experimental version of her favorites that she will have to grin and bear. Maybe meat+vegetable, with a fruit salad for dessert?
posted by fermezporte at 10:17 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'll second that Daiya is great and that cauliflower crust works (although definitely do a test run or two; a friend of mine just learned that lesson) but the thing you end up with at the end is going to be pretty far from the taste, texture and flavor of what one generally associates with pizza. But, hey, that can certainly be part of the fun.
posted by griphus at 10:24 AM on September 4, 2012

Try a low carb flax seed pizza crust, there are more to be found online if you google it.
posted by Snazzy67 at 10:26 AM on September 4, 2012

Pavlova, maybe? I don't know if that would trigger her limits on sugar, but you could skip the whipped cream and layer in some nuts and fresh fruits. Perhaps a variant of an olive oil/orange cake? They're usually pretty low in sugar and flour; here's one for a gluten-free version which I haven't made, but might be something to consider. The cream is only used in the glaze and could probably be substituted for something else.
posted by jetlagaddict at 10:33 AM on September 4, 2012

I've heard of Cauliflower crust pizza before, but I've never tried it before.

I'm not gluten-free but my partner is. We tried the cauliflower crust and didn't like it much; the texture came out all wrong -- kinda gummy -- for pizza crust.

So far our best pizza approximation has been Chicago style: make a chunky tomato sauce using decent tinned tomatoes, form the base in a cake tin going up the sides, par-bake the base first, layer cheese and pepperoni on the base under a thick layer of the sauce. This might work for you because it's much more about the sauce than about the cheese -- so using a non-dairy cheese substitute might not be as noticeable.

We use the Bob's Red Mill GF Pizza Base mix which is fairly easy to find in health-food shops and some supermarkets and which I think meets your colleague's restrictions.

Cakes are hard. We like the Trader Joes flourless chocolate cake as a GF treat, but I suspect it'd be problematic against the other restrictions.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:45 AM on September 4, 2012

I don't have a recipe off the top of my head that I could give you, but the restrictions you list almost exactly line up with the paleo/primal/caveman diet. Browse through websites from author-bloggers like Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf for some recipes--I know they're out there somewhere. Or just google "paleo birthday cake" or "paleo pizza" and see what comes up.
posted by huxham at 10:48 AM on September 4, 2012

I haven't actually tried either of these recipes yet, but I have them saved for a restricted-food occasion:

3 Ingredient Cake
Cherry tart
posted by mchorn at 10:50 AM on September 4, 2012

i've made this many times and i've had diehard cheese fans tell me they didn't even notice there wasn't cheese.

no fake cheese, no soy, no flax, no gluten.

paleo pizza

it makes a thin crust pizza and it honestly seems like it won't turn out good when you're making it and then boom, you have an awesome pizza.

i recommend making it once to test it out and then making again for the actual party.
posted by sio42 at 11:03 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

For cake recipes, I recommend searching for something like "paleo chocolate cake," as that will likely return something you can use -- at worst, you maybe add some dates and honey in place of some agave or whatever (depending on what fits your sense of artificial and natural sugars), but everything else from that list should be avoided while still giving you a tasty result. (Simple flourless chocolate cake might be fine too.) As with most Internet recipes, look for some reviews to help you sort through them.

I made some awesome beet-based brownies last night that came out great too, but that sounds like it's not quite the festival item you're looking for.
posted by acm at 11:54 AM on September 4, 2012

I have made Black Forest Cake, and it is often a flourless cake as in this recipe. You could use non-dairy whipped topping instead of cream, or just serve on its own. The only ingredients in the cake itself are eggs, sugar and cocoa powder.

My experience with gluten-free things so far seems to have yielded this result: it's better to find food that is normally gluten-free than to try to make gluten-free alternatives to gluteny-food. Rice noodles and rice-crackers are delicious. Gluten-free pizza dough made from rice-flour was pretty bad.

For a pizza: how about a beautiful sushi pizza?
posted by jb at 12:36 PM on September 4, 2012

Black forest cake is also AWESOME with fruit like raspberries or strawberrries.
posted by jb at 12:38 PM on September 4, 2012

does she definitely want cake and pizza? in my experience with eating on a restricted diet, often these junk-food alternatives made with substitutions are just disappointing, and i'd much rather be treated with something made from the whole foods i'm allowed, or with something that's not food.

that said, namaste food's gluten-free pizza crust mix (a rice-flour crust) is the best GF crust i've had.
posted by nevers at 1:36 PM on September 4, 2012

As a general note, depending on how strict your coworker needs to be during their elimination diet, you may need to take cross-contamination of gluten via your cooking implements into account.

Much like we had a deal, kyle, I found the cauli pizza to be really gummy. If polenta is on their okay list, this recipe is quite nice but I wouldn't really call it a pizza!
posted by halcyonday at 1:46 PM on September 4, 2012

Polenta is made from corn. It sounds like rice and maybe oats are the only grains she can eat. (I think that there is gluten in rye and barley).
posted by jb at 2:03 PM on September 4, 2012

I am allergic to wheat (and all its relatives, yay), corn, and soy - I can attest that there are very, very few things that taste *like* wheat or corn breads when made from rice flour. Rice flour products are generally bland (or alternatively overly salted/sugared), gritty, and not very good. If she's recently had what I call real food (wheat bread, etc.), the rice bread/cake/crust will taste pretty nasty.

Many/most commercially made gluten-free products use either corn or soy as a substitute for wheat, because the mouth-feel is similar or familiar enough for people to like it. The percentage of us who can't have any of the three is pretty low.

For savory crusts I find that a potato-based crust tastes good enough on its own to not make me think 'eww' with every bite - it gets crispy, and holds it shape, not falling apart as soon as you touch it like rice-flour products do. A from scratch recipe is here and if you google around a bit you can find a potato crust recipe using potato flour rather than grated potato. There is (or was, I haven't had it for a while) a commercially available wheat/corn/soy-free potato based pizza crust, but its name escapes me at the moment - check your local health food store.

I'll be honest - I've given up on cakes and most bakery goods (I am also allergic to a few other common ingredients, so that plays a role as well) but I believe Namaste Foods (linked above by nevers) also makes a yellow cake mix that might fit your requirements. You might also consider looking for almond-flour recipes for baked goods; again the mouth-feel and taste are familiar enough to not be disappointing.

Just as a general warning: a couple of people have made suggestions for things that have ingredients that are wheat or corn based - please read labels very, very carefully and know the common label terms that hide wheat and corn-based ingredients.

It is super, super nice of you to go to all this trouble for your friend - I hope you both have a wonderful time celebrating her birthday.
posted by faineant at 3:31 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah, I am actually going to ask her if she wants pizza and cake, because I understand it won't be exactly the same and she might have another favorite now, or might want to "eat clean" and not have foods that are reminiscent of foods she is avoiding. BUT, I wanted to give her the option and let her know that I have some potential recipes.

I have a couple stores that sell bulk natural foods/substitutes, so I think I can get pretty much any needed ingredient.

The fake cheese Greg Nog showed looks awesome! Since it has canola oil in it, does that mean it would be against the corn-free regulations? (Seriously asking, not snark. The cheese looks amazing.)

Thanks, guys!
posted by shortyJBot at 6:41 PM on September 4, 2012

Canola oil comes from rape seed, not corn, so it should be safe unless there are other cross contamination issues.
posted by fermezporte at 6:57 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just wanted to drop a recommendation for this Quinoa Crust Pizza Recipe

Unlike the other recommendations in this thread, it has no xantham gum (common in gluten free baked stuff, but can upset stomachs), doesn't require rising times and tastes delicious. I've tried a lot of GF crust mixes and recipes, and most of them taste... adequate. This one tastes a lot like a tasty flat bread.

Top with Daiya imitation cheese and I think it would taste A LOT like the real thing :D
posted by Aliera at 9:42 PM on September 4, 2012

For cake- Paleo chocolate cake recipes would probably work. Using almond flour, eggs and some dried fruit and cocoa powder would work. Make sure that the cocoa powder doesn't contain an allergen warning for milk. It's not sweet on it's own so you could use dates for sweetener.

There are also gluten free cake mixes, but you'd have to watch out for corn and soy and dairy. They have sugar already added of course, and I don't know how much sugar she can have?

If you have a Trader Joe's in your area, they are the cheapest by far for almond flour, and the quinoa's not bad either. My local TJ's also sells dates in the refrigerated section.
posted by Aliera at 9:56 PM on September 4, 2012

I also recommend paleo almond flour cakes because they're easy to make, forgiving and rise well for non-bakers, and taste the closest to what normal people are used to. Also as an added bonus, almond flour has a pleasant taste normally and doesn't need a lot of added flavor. Also since you're avoiding too much sugar you might try giving the cake a light powder coating of cocoa powder instead of frosting.

In contrast most GF cake recipes are really complicated, and brown rice baked goods can have a unpleasant gritty texture. I've also had trouble with some of them- getting them to rise, or ending up tasting gummy or requiring complicated mixtures of different flours. If you aren't used to GF baking, I really recommend almond flour.

Good luck and I think you're really awesome for doing this!
posted by Aliera at 10:12 PM on September 4, 2012

Forgive me for popping back in; I do not know how strictly your friend is avoiding wheat or corn, but as someone with an allergy, I would be calling the manufacturer to find out about these ingredients (not the canola oil, it is fine - as fermezporte said, it comes from rape seed, not corn), in the fake cheese:

Filtered water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and /or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, vegan natural flavors, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral)

Corn is incredibly cheap for manufacturers to use, and avoiding corn is much, much harder than avoiding wheat or gluten. Any time I see "natural flavors" or "vegetable" anything, I check with the manufacturer - it is very often a product derived from corn.
posted by faineant at 10:35 PM on September 4, 2012

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