Talk about pizza overload! But can you ever really have too many pictures of delicious, cheesy pizza staring you in the face? Perhaps you need a second alone with my previous post? Or maybe the previous few food-related ones? The blog has been pre-tty picture heavy lately, but with me reluctantly not running and life happening, I don’t exactlly have much to say on the running front. One thing not running has allowed me to do is spend more time making delicious and healthy things to share with you! If you can tear yourself away from the pizza foodporn for a few minutes, I will gladly tell you how that went down, along with my Coconut Mango Oatmeal Bake!
Now, after browsing through those pictures of my Tropical Pizza Powercake, I’m sure you’ve got some more questions like “Why isn’t this one MY plate or in MY belly?”; “Eat an entire pizza? No Guilt? Wtf is this btch talking about? Is she on the juice?”; “Are there more pictures? I NEED MORE FOODPORN! Please?” and, finally, “How do I do this?” Well, wipe the drool away, put away your collection of foodporn, and let’s have a chat about my amazing breakthrough with one of the greatest recipes ever!
If you remember, not too long ago I posted about an incredible pizza, the Powercake Pizza, from Kasey over at Powercakes.net! It had all of the delicious flavor and satisfaction of eating a pizza, but without the heaviness or guilt, plus it’s gluten-free! The thing with a powercake pizza, though, is that you kind of had to approach it with an open mind. It’s definitely more of a pizza cake than a pizza crust. I also ran into issues with a bit of mushiness and the pie sticking to the pan, but it tasted amazing, I was hooked! On my second attempt at the powercake pizza, I wanted to make it more crusty by adding more psyllium husk, less liquid, and by greasing the pan with coconut oil. It was better, but still not crust.
Cue today: Canada Day! And instead of being Canadian with a nice slab of Canadian bacon (turkey and extra lean, of course) with a side of healthified poutine (omg can you imagine? I need to work on this…) for breakfast, I took a trip to the tropics and made a Coconut Mango Oatmeal Bake instead. That hankering for something different, something tropical and sweet, lingered throughout the day. The culrpit? Pineapple Salsa. I picked some up last night after the gym, while in a flurry trying to come up with what to make for dinner. Salsa can go on pretty much anything, and pineapple was a flavor I’d never tried, so I bought it, put it on my chicken and fell in love. The tropical cravings were born, along with the idea for a powercake pizza, tropical style using the salsa as the sauce. But by the time I got home last night though, I opted for a quick and easy chicken+veg combo instead. So there I was, left with an unfulfilled craving for pineapple pizza that carried over into today.
At the same time, today I wanted to be traditional and to do what every other Canadian was doing today: BBQ. I thought of having a burger on a portabello bun with a side of turnip fries, or grilled chicken with bbq roasted veg, but none of it sounded particularly drool-worthy. I was still dreaming about my Tropical Powercake Pizza. Then it hit me. Tropical Powercake Pizza+BBQ=Masterpiece? Maybe? It was a gamble, I knew, but if this thing worked it would be HUGE. If not, at least I tried. With the original Powercake Pizza recipe followed to the T (save for using guar gym instead of xanthan, and water instead of milk, plus my own herbs/spices and spinach instead of kale…okay so maybe not to a complete T) I threw that sucker on the grill, closed the lid and waited.
The clouds parted, sunshine beamed down from the sky and the angels sang a beautiful song when I opened the lid to see the browned beauty before me. I approached it with a hesitant finger and poked. My eyes widened and I bounced up and down with giddy joy. It was FIRM! But not just firm. It was…was…crust! It was like a nice, thick pizza crust made from bread. I lifted it, and it peeled away effortlessly from the aluminum foil to reveal a magnificently charred bottom. I took it off the BBQ and slathered on 1/4C pineapple salsa, thinly sliced tomato, diced red, orange and green bell pepper, sliced mushrooms and grated SOYA cheddar ‘cheese’, then threw it back on the grill to cook up a little bit more and melt the ‘cheese’. Everything seemed to be working splendidly, but I knew there was still one more HUGE test: cutting, slicing, picking up, and eating. It could very well get soggy under the toppings, or be a total mess when I try to cut it. The potential for a fail was still there.
I approached it with my pizza cutter, gently pressing the wheel into a random spot in the outer edge and pushed it forward with great care. It was cut in half. Next, quartered. Then again, until I had 8 luscious little triangles waited to be carried away into my mouth. I sat down and approached a piece, lifting and finding that nothing fell off, and the pizza kept its shape, save for a slight flop at the tail, but that was typical of any pizza. I took a bite, savored it, and snapped pictures like mad out of pure joy and excitement that this actually worked, I had cracked the mushy, cakey code and found the missing piece to the gluten-free powercake pizza amazingness!
The secret to making a Powercake Pizza Crusty Crust is to cook it on the BBQ!
As soon as I sliced it up and took a bite, I couldn’t wait to tell Powercakes herself, Kasey, about how amazing her recipe turns out when you, instead of baking it, char that sucker up! I tagged her in every picture on Instagram, anxiously awaiting her reply. Even better, she’s going to share this with her readers on her blog!! When she said that, I totally fangirled. Kasey is a health and fitness blogger that I’ve come to really look up to. She’s the embodiment of fit, of owning your strong as a woman, of health and living a clean, balanced and active lifestyle - she’s a lot of the things I’m striving to be in my own life. It was finding Powercakes that helped me cut the cord with calorie counting and really embrace the clean eating philosophy without the ongoing tally of calories constantly running through my mind. And it’s because of her that I’m not longer ashamed of my veiny, muscley arms ;) Plus, she’s the genius behind countless Powercake recipes. If you’ve never made a powercake after a long run or tough workout, you are seriously missing out, my friend!
Now, if you run away from your computer to go fire up the grill and cook one of these up yourself right this second, I don’t blame you. But if you’re thinking ahead to breakfast and want to get a little tropical, here’s how to make your very own Coconut Mango Baked oatmeal: (adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie’s Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal recipe)
For the Oats:
1/2 C oats (I use Only Oats GF and WF oats)
vanilla extract/cinnamon/stevia - I eyeball it :)
1/2 C frozen mango chunks
1/4 C milk
pinch of salt
1 tbsp Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
For the ‘Frosting’:
1/2 C Greek Yogurt
1/2 scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
(1) Preheat your oven to 380*. (then crank it to 400 halfway through if you’re impatient like me!)
(2) Reserve a few mango chunks to dice and top your baked oats. Throw the rest into the blender and puree. Add to a bowl with the oats, cinnamon, stevia, vanilla, milk and shredded coconut. Mix well and transfer to a greased ramekin.
(3) Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until desired doneness. In the meantime, mix together the yogurt and the protein powder. Try to keep yourself from dunking your finger in it and eating it. Dice up those mango chunks to distract yourself. :)
(4) Top with ‘frosting’, mango, coconut and anything else your heart desires! Nuts and other fruit would be just swell! Then FEAST!
And finally, but briefly (phew, right?), yoga was fabulous! The instructor was great and there were quite a few beginners so she made it a beginner style class. I left super relaxed and my hips got an amazing stretch. I attempted a hill workout on the bike, but 8 minutes in Lefty was hurting so I got off, foam rolled and called it a day. I’m definitely going to make yoga a regular thing. Who knows, maybe I’ll be a runner and a yogi!