This Celiac Was Hungry On Her Gluten-Free Diet

This Celiac was Hungry, Then She Ate My Pizza

Her eyes closed in total bliss, as she tasted the hot slice. Then she groaned in total ecstasy.

No, this isn’t an excerpt from 50 Shades of Grey.

This is a small look behind the scenes at a private cooking class I gave last Monday night.


Easy Gluten Free Vegan Pizza Recipe

Easy Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe

It all started when I donated a private cooking class to my son’s preschool in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Even though we were leaving that year for kindergarten, I had fallen in love with the staff and mission of the school and wanted to support their growth one last time.

Jennifer, another mom, bought my private class, and last week we got together to cook – but there was one big request she had of our time together -

“Can you please teach me some filling gluten-free recipes?”

See, Jennifer was diagnosed as celiac last year, and has been avoiding all foods that contain gluten. While her body was recovering from the digestive hell she had suffered while eating gluten, Jenn felt unsatisfied and hungry most of the time from her new diet.

I brought over several recipes to teach her, and the hands-down favorite was this gluten-free, polenta crust pizza. We made the original recipe with egg and cow’s cheese, since her family eats dairy and keeps chickens, but the dairy free recipe below is really delicious:


Polenta Pizza Recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil

18-oz. pkg. precooked polenta

2 -4 Tbs. water

2 Tbs. flax seed meal (flax meal)

2 Tbs. gluten-free oats

1 tsp powdered garlic

½ cup plus ⅓ cup vegan Parmesan cheese

2 cups tomato sauce

1 recipe shitake bacon*

½ medium red bell pepper, sliced into 1-inch strips

1-2 scallions, greens thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly oil baking sheet lined with foil.
  2. Slice polenta, and place in food processor. Process polenta, and add water, flax meal, oats, garlic and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Blend until smooth. Spread polenta evenly on pizza pan.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove polenta from oven, and spread 2 cups sauce evenly over polenta crust. Top with sliced soy bacon, bell peppers, scallions and remaining 1/3 cup soy Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes more. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Shiitake Bacon

2 cups shiitake mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt


  1. Wash and stem mushrooms. Slice caps evenly into ¼ inch slices.
  2. Toss with olive oil and salt. Roast at 450 for 12-15 minutes, until crispy.


  1. Hi Alex,

    Is this the polenta you buy in a log at the store? Thanks!

  2. Renee says:

    Hi, the instructions say to add flour and cornstarch. I couldn’t find them in the ingredients list. How much cornstarch and what kind/how much flour? The recipe sounds awesome and would love to try it. Thanks!

    • Alex says:

      That’s oats and flax meal, Renee! :)

      • Renee says:

        Ah, thanks for the clarification. I see that you changed the directions and eliminated the cornstarch. Makes sense now. Thanks again for the recipe! I will give it a try this weekend. I have been gluten free for nearly a year (vegan for 5 yrs.) and have yet to find a satisfying pizza crust recipe. This one looks great!

  3. Julia says:

    Hi Alex,
    Just wanted to say that I made this tonight for my New Year’s Eve supper and it was amazing! I had such fun making it too (though I did trash the kitchen in the process!!). Looking forward to more great recipes in 2013 :D Best wishes Julia

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