Recently, Irene wrote about the pursuit of a good gluten free pizza crust (read all about it here). As I was reading her post, I was thinking about how similar the Gluten-Free-Pizza-Crust-Puzzle is to what I consider the IC-Friendly-Pizza-Sauce-Conundrum.
For starters, I'll talk about what is, in my opinion, the best IC take-out or restaurant pizza. Ironically enough, I concur with Irene. The winner is:
For a long time after I went on the IC diet, going out for pizza seemed like a thing of the distant, delicious past. That was until I discovered that Mellow Mushroom has an IC friendly pizza option!
For one thing, they make their pizza using spring water, which is an IC staple because it has a higher pH than tap or purified water. I'll talk more about the importance of spring water in another post at another time. But trust me, pizza crust made with spring water is a very good thing.
As for pizza options, Mellow Mushroom's "Build Your Own" pizza section is excellent.
First you get to choose your base. I go with olive oil & garlic, but pesto is also an option. I haven't tried their pesto because I am afraid it could have lemon juice or citric acid in it, and furthermore, I love the olive oil & garlic base enough that it's what I crave when I go there.
Next comes the fruits & veggies option. I like mine simple, so I just get black olives. Sometimes I'll get fresh basil, too. They have a whole selection of other options, plenty of which are IC friendly.
As for cheese. I go with regular mozzarella or fresh mozzarella. If you have IC and haven't tried mozzarella to see if you can tolerate it, you might want to try. I avoided it for a long time out of fear, but eventually discovered that it doesn't make me flare at all. Talk about a relief!
They also have some safe protein options, including chicken and turkey, but I have never liked meat on my pizza, so I usually leave it at that.
*If you can't tolerate Parmesan, make sure to let your server know because they sprinkle it on the crust of all their pizzas!*
I always order the personal sized 10" pizza, and I usually have leftovers for the next day. It works out great because my husband can order his own "regular" pizza and we can enjoy the meal together. Or sometimes we'll share an IC friendly pizza and he'll just get a side of tomato sauce for dipping. Either way, we both win!
Mellow Mushroom is one of the only restaurants where the whole Eat Free Trio can go together and all order the same meal, tailored to our specific dietary needs. I would rate them a 10 out of 10 and give their pizza the Eat Free Seal of Approval!
Check out the full menu, here.
I'd also like to mention my 2nd Runner Up in the take-out/restaurant category:
Pizza Fusion serves up fresh, organic, earth friendly pizza. They also have organic beer and wine, if you are able to tolerate either. They have a great selection and atmosphere, and their prices are reasonable. I order the exact same pizza there that I do at Mellow Mushroom, and I enjoy it every time!
Check out their menu here.
As for at home pizza, after trying my Mellow Mushroom creation, I realized I could probably re-create it easily at home. I have done so many times since.
Miranda's IC Friendly Pizza
Boboli Whole Wheat pizza crust
Organic shredded mozzarella
Organic olive oil
Organic garlic salt
Organic garlic powder
McCormick All Natural Garlic & Basil seasoning
Organic black olives
Organic spinach leaves
Pre-heat oven to 350°
*I have found that Boboli whole wheat pizza crust works great for me.
The first thing I do to prepare my pizza is lightly cover the crust with butter and then sprinkle it with garlic salt. Then I spread olive oil over the entire center of the pizza and sprinkle garlic powder and and garlic & basil seasoning over it. I add a layer of spinach over the olive oil and then cover it with mozzarella. Finally, I add the black olives on top.
I bake for 8 minutes and then enjoy!
So as it turns out, pizza doesn't have to be a thing of the distant, delicious past. It's actually quite attainable. Just think about all the things you like about pizza besides the sauce, and hopefully you can make your own, safe, delicious pizza at home.