Choosing Raw Pizza with Quinoa Buckwheat Crust and Guacamole

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This is Gena Hemshaw’s delicious spin an absolute classic and irrefutable comfort food: pizza. This recipe takes a little forethought as both the buckwheat and quinoa in the crust need to be soaked, sprouted, and dehydrated before hand. The recipe itself will come together very easily and you’ll be delighted by the results! If you’re thinking “guacamole with marinara sauce?!”, it just WORKS, trust us…



For the crust
  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
    1 cup buckwheat, dry
    1/2 cup sunflower seeds
    3 tbsp ground flax meal
    8 sundried tomatoes, chopped
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp dried basil
    Black pepper to taste
For the marinara sauce
  • 1 very large red or yellow bell pepper, deseeded
    ¾ cup cherry or roma tomatoes
    ¼ cup sundried tomatoes
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    Generous sprinkle dried thyme
    Generous sprinkle dried oregano
    ¼ cup basil
    2 pitted dates
For the guacamole
  • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped
    1/4 red pepper, finely diced
    Handful cherry tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
    Juice of 1 lemon or lime
    1/2 cup cilantro, packed and chopped
    1/2 packet stevia, or a few drops (you could also use agave or honey)
    Sea salt and pepper to taste


Day 1: Submerge both the buckwheat and the quinoa in water and soak overnight.

Day 2: Rinse the grains off. Submerge the buckwheat again in fresh water. Meanwhile, place drained quinoa in a glass container, and cover the mouth with a paper towel or cheesecloth affixed with a rubber band. Lay container on its side and let sit.

Day 3: Rinse and drain buckwheat. Remove quinoa from glass jar–at this point, it should have sprouted little tails! Place both grains on Teflex-lined sheets in a dehydrator set to 115 degrees and dehydrate for the next 10-12 hours.

Day 4: Grind sunflower seeds and 1/2 cup dried buckwheat into a fine meal in a food processor. (Leftover buckwheat can be saved for something else!) To the ground seeds and buckwheat, add salt, pepper, spices, flax, and 1 cup sprouted quinoa. Process with 1 cup water till you have a sticky dough. If your dough is too dry, add more water until it’s still thick, but pliable. Pulse in the sundried tomatoes. Shape into 4 small disks, and dehydrate for 5 hours at 115 degrees. Flip, and dehydrate for another 4-5.

Step 2:

Make marinara and guac (see below).

Step 3:

Assemble pizzas! Pile your crusts high with marinara and guacamole, garnish with basil, if you wish, and enjoy!

For the marinara:

1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till thick and smooth. Serve over spiralized or thinly sliced zucchini, and enjoy!

For the Guacamole:

1. Begin my mashing the avocado and lemon or lime juice with a fork, till it’s mushy but not entirely without texture. Add the rest of your ingredients and mix again. Voila!

Gena HemshawAbout Gena Hemshaw

I’m a Manhattanite living in the D.C. area who is passionate about vegan and raw food. I’m also a clinical nutritionist and a premed student at Georgetown University, hoping to enter med school in 2013. You can read more about my services here. If you’re interested in a consultation, email me at My way of eating is simple: I’m a vegan, and I eat a lot of raw foods. Beyond that, I avoid processed food as much as possible. I eat lots of raw and cooked veggies, sea veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, organic, non-GMO soy, and root vegetables. I’m not 100% raw and don’t aspire to be: my goal is to get a wide array of nutrients from as many delicious, plant-based sources as I can. Exclusively raw diets work for some people, but many others find them either nutritionally or psychologically limiting. I do, however, believe that most people can experience tremendous health benefits from adding raw food to their diets. The title of my blog, then, evokes a lifestyle that encourages us to eat “close to nature,” and and encourages to make choices every day that emphasize raw food. The goal of this blog is not to force a vegan lifestyle on anyone. My goal is encourage you all to explore the many health benefits, spiritual benefits, and the delicious cuisine that veganism has to offer. With any luck, you’ll be inspired to think harder about the food on your plate, to feel more compassion and respect for the animals we share this planet with, and to get cooking! I grew up in a Greek family where lamb and cheese were the order of the day, but I can’t remember a time when the mainstream diet—especially meat—felt right to me. I believe that many girls who become susceptible to eating disorders feel disconnected from the prescribed way of eating in their lives; this was definitely true of me. And needless to say, when I tried to eat more healthily, but without an informed perspective, I quickly became obsessive and restrictive. This is when I was about twelve. For six years to come, I would struggle with restrictive eating and body dysmorphia. I managed to recover in my late teens (I’m 29 now), but I was left with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and a very sensitive digestive system. After my recovery, I started to take a plant-based diet more seriously. I, like many other women, found that eating plant-based food contributed immensely to my healing process. For the first time, I ate, cooked, and studied nutrition with a sense of enthusiasm and confidence. Exploring a cruelty free, eco-friendly, and body-friendly way of life made me proud to say, for the first time in a while, “I’m hungry.” I became 100% vegan about six years ago (I was eating mostly vegan before that), and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. A year later, I began researching raw foods. I was dubious about many (OK, most) of the claims, but I figured it was worth a shot, if only because I thought it might help me fine tune my digestive health. Within two weeks of eating more raw foods, I had more energy, more even-keeled moods, and better digestion. It was an adjustment to eat less cooked food than I had before, but not a hard one: in fact, I was so focused on the new foods I was enjoying that my fondness for hot food at every meal diminished. Fast. Since I started eating more raw foods, I’ve seen my IBS all but disappear. More importantly, I’ve learned to think differently and more creatively about food preparation, and I’ve fallen in love with the fresh flavors and textures of raw cuisine. People who become entranced with raw foods are often prone to extremism. It’s perfectly normal to be zealous about raw when you start out; certainly, I had a raw honeymoon phase, too! But I remain firm in my belief that raw foods should be a part of a healthy vegan diet, and not all of it: obsessing about whether or not you’re eating 100% raw is unhealthy and counterproductive. The point of this lifestyle should be joy, and freedom: if you’re miserably trying to be perfect, you’re missing the point. No matter who you are or what you eat, I think you can feel better by adding more raw food to your diet; at the least, I bet you’ll have quite a bit of fun. I hope I can inspire you along the way!

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