3-cheese Veggie pizza on Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash crust

I loovveeee pizza. But pizza does not always love me. I’ve struggled with IBS, heartburn and acid reflux disease since I was in my teens (just a short 20ish years ago). Some medications worked for a while – until they didn’t and I switched to a new one – until it didn’t work anymore – and on and on until it felt like I would have to give up some of my favorite foods forever. And that made me sad and frustrated. How could I ever give up pizza?!?!

When I was in my early thirties, I found a whole food supplement that helped me heal my gut over time and now I’m completely medication free and symptom free 99% of the time. I have flare ups occasionally, but now I know how to avoid those and I have tools to help me feel better fairly quickly when it does happen.

Throughout that healing process I started to pay close attention to how food made me feel. I know now that gluten is not my friend. Sometimes I can tolerate it but most of the time it makes me feel foggy and bloated and gross. So I do my best at avoiding it. And by do my best I mean I try really hard during the week and usually on Friday my best efforts go straight out the window and I eat whatever I want. Ugh. Self-discipline is hard.

Every Friday night we do pizza night at my house. Sometimes we do take-out or delivery and sometimes we have a make-your-own-pizza bar at home. I’ve been trying to put in more of an effort at staying on the gluten free train over the weekend so I don’t end up feeling horrible at the start of every week. Because with three kids in school and business and life – who has time to feel awful?! Soooo…While everyone else is enjoying their doughy, delicious goodness of gluten filled chewy, but crispy amazing pizza – I’m avoiding the stomach ache and doing the not-your-typical-pizza pizza.

That was a really long way of telling you that I have figured out some ways to have gluten free pizza that aren’t totally gross and unsatisfying. Praise to the Trader Joe’s gods for giving us frozen crust made of vegetables. The cauliflower crust is pretty good, but then I found the butternut squash crust last week. New favorite! All the ingredients on this pizza are from Trader Joe’s, but most can be found at any grocery store. {Except the crust! That’s a TJ’s find that I haven’t seen at other stores.}

The trick to this crust is to make sure it’s crispy on both sides before you add toppings. The trickier part is flipping it. You’re going to need a large spatula for that.

Once it’s lightly brown and starting to look crispy on both sides, then you can add your toppings. Flip it so that the crispiest side is facing up. Add 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite sauce. I used tomato basil pasta sauce. I spread it almost to the edges and leave a little room so there is a crust edge on the pizza. Next I added about a half a cup of chopped fresh spinach. On top of that, I sprinkled mozzarella cheese. Topped that with some sliced leftover baby broccoli and sliced baby bella mushrooms. All kinds of veggies would be delicious on this pizza, so use what you have! I added small dollops of goat cheese all over and a good sprinkle of freshly fine-grated parmesan to finish it off. Baked it for another 10-12 minutes until the cheese was bubbly.

I ate half the pizza before I remembered to take pictures, so if that doesn’t tell you how good it is then I don’t know how else to convince you to try it. Hope you enjoy!

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