My Recipe Book: Portobello Basil Pizza (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I know that there are going to be some of you out there who've already read the recipe title for the day and thought to yourself, "No freakin' way." But please, keep an open mind! There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who LOVE pizza and the ones who just simply like pizza (I refuse to even acknowledge anyone who says they don't like pizza). Now I'm not a pizza addict or anything - I enjoy pizza just as much as the next person. The crunchy crust, the smooth rich tomato sauce, the ridiculous piles of any kind of topping a girl like me could ever want. And pizza is the ultimate food for bringing people together, both now and forever. Case in point: pizza parties. Can you remember a pizza party where you didn't have fun? I didn't think so.

Ever since starting TRFD, I have been very open about admitting the fact that I actively miss both cheese and bread. It's not something that I will ever try to hide - there would be nights prior to TRFD that I was so tired and defeated from work that I would stop at the Papa John's on the way home and not even bat an eyelash at ordering both a small cheese pizza (extra cheese, extra garlic butter sauce, duh) in addition to a cheesy bread. All of it was for me, and I have very few regrets about those nights. I was told by employees there on more than one occasion as I exited the establishment, "Have fun at the party tonight!" I will, thank you. Party of one. Well, two, maybe, if you count Shep.

So, one fateful night, when I walked by Papa John's and had a massive (I'm talking HUGE) craving for cheesy bread, I knew I needed to find a solution in my kitchen ASAP. There had to be some way I could enjoy a pizza without dairy and without gluten. And there is! Courtesy of Bob's Red Mill, as always. Because how else are you supposed to survive on a gluten-free plan without Bob? I'm really not sure, to be honest with you. He's a miracle worker and a gift. There's a pre-made gluten free pizza mix that I've used multiple times before, but this pizza was a big winner with my dinner guests... AKA just me.

Portobello Basil Pizza (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
This recipe adapted from vegan blogger Keepin' It Kind. So, so good, y'all. She's got other incredible pizza recipes, too, so check out her site!

- 2 to 3 Tablespoons of Artichoke Tapenade (I prefer Meditalia, but you can also make your own)
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons of Black Olive Tapenade (same, Meditalia makes an amazing one)
- 1 Cup of Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds (or more, if you're into it)
- 1 Portobello Mushroom Cap
- 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
- Sliced Tomatoes
- 1 Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
- 2 to 3 Cloves of Garlic, Sliced
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons of Pine Nuts (optional)

For the Pizza Dough:
- 1 Package of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix (including yeast packet)
- 1 - 1/2 Cups of Warm Water
- 1 Teaspoon of Coconut Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons of Flaxseed Meal
- 6 Tablespoons of Water
- 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, and then grease one or two pans with cooking spray (I usually use this one).
2. In bowl, combine warm water, coconut sugar, and contents of yeast packet. Let it stand for a few minutes. 
3. In a separate bowl, combine flaxseed meal and remaining water. Let is stand for a few minutes.
4. In a larger bowl or standing mixer with dough arm, combine the dry pizza mix with the yeast mixture and the flaxseed meal mixture, adding in the olive oil. Mix for a minute or two on medium speed, or until fully combined.
5. In the same large bowl, go ahead and split the dough into two halves, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 30 minutes or so.
6. Place the dough onto the greased pan, using very (very) wet hands to spread out the dough across the pan. You'll need to re-wet your hands frequently to keep the dough from becoming too sticky. (Note: You can either do both balls of dough now on seperate trays, or you can cook one now and save the other. I like to save one for later by wrapping it in a ball in saran wrap and placing that into a Ziploc bag - it keeps in the fridge for a few days. When I want it, I just unwrap and follow the instructions below!)
7. Bake the dough without toppings for 8 to 10 minutes.
8. While the dough is baking, combine the artichoke and black olive tapenades in a small bowl. Set aside.
9. Coat the Portobello mushroom caps in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
10. Using a nonstick or castiron pan that has a lid, cook the mushrooms gill-side up on medium-high heat, covered, for about 5 minutes (I usually leave the juice from the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar in there with them). Then flip the mushrooms and cook, still covered, on the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and slice the shroom, then set aside.
11. Remove the pizza dough from the oven and brush the crush with a bit of olive oil (optional). Then, top with the combined artichoke and black olive tapenades as your "sauce."
12. Top with the sliced tomatoes, while basil leaves, sliced Portobello mushroom cap, and sliced garlic. Cover all of that goodness with the Daiya mozzarella style shreds.
13. Bake at 425 degrees F for another 15 to 20 minutes, more if you like your crust crunchy and lovely. I toss the pine nuts on top of it when there's about 5 minutes left until the pizza's ready, so the nuts are slightly roasted, but not burnt (optional, obviously).
14. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes - super important. I burnt my mouth SO BADLY the first time I made this (#thestruggleisreal). Then slice, sit down, eat, enjoy!

The best thing about pizzas is that you can customize them any way you want. Don't like mushrooms? Put somethin' else on there and stop complaining. Don't like the tapenade idea? Use a traditional sauce, then! Either way, you'll be on your way to a pizza party in no time.

Let us know if you use this recipe! Tag us on social medias, anywhere the @hippieteaparty handle is recognized (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). Or, shoot us an e-mail at hippieteaparty@gmail.com - we want pictures!

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