Oh did I have fun with the #365dairyfree challenge this week! Some of my new recipe trials were pretty basic, but things got interesting with dinners and baking. And along the way, some fun ideas emerged. Spring break is ahead, followed by summer, and I know many of you will need fun ways to keep kids busy. Don’t worry; I think this Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Pizza will definitely entice them to help you out in the kitchen.
This recipe was inspired by my favorite convenient treat growing up, mint chocolate chip brownie sundaes. Recently, I had some serious cravings for that nostalgic dessert, but no mint chip dairy-free ice cream on hand. Frosting immediately came to mind (I love all sugary toppings), and with St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, I thought, “Why not make it green, too?!”
The end result is an insanely good brownie pizza with a naturally-colored mint cream cheesy frosting. It all comes together easily, without top allergens, when using Enjoy Life Brownie Mix (Update: Unfortunately this mix has been discontinued!) and Dark Chocolate Morsels. As an added bonus, these brownies are already spiked with chocolate chips for a triple chocolate dessert!
Dinnertime Fun: Building a Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Pizza Bar
But kids can’t live on sweets alone (okay, maybe they can, but it isn’t the best idea for parental sanity). So why not let them make their own savory pizzas, too!
Getting Kids Involved: Kids of all ages can adorn their individual pizzas with whatever sauces and toppings they like. Older kids may be able to help with making the pizza dough (possibly even baking) and with prepping and plating the toppings.
Pizza Crust: Make the crusts personal-sized and pre-bake as directed. I used Enjoy Life Pizza Crust Mix with Ancient Grains when I originally created this post, but it’s unfortunately been discontinued! You can make this wheat-based pizza dough, or a gluten-free one.
Tons of Toppings: It’s unbelievable how many ways you can top a pizza – even cheeseless! Here are some ideas to get you started (comment if I missed any of your favorites!) …
- The Meat of It – pepperoni, bacon crumbles, Canadian bacon, fully-cooked allergen-safe sausage, chorizo, kielbasa, chopped chicken, capicolla, salami, prosciutto, meatballs, anchovies, shrimp, vegan pizza “meats”.
- Produce Picks – mushrooms (button, cremini, shiitake, portobello), olives (black, Kalamata, green), bell peppers (red, green, yellow, orange), tomatoes, pineapple, garlic (raw or roasted), onions (raw or caramelized), sweet corn, artichoke hearts, baby spinach, kale, capers, leeks, potatoes, shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, eggplant (thinly sliced or roasted), bean sprouts, jalapeno peppers (or other hot peppers), diced green chiles, zucchini, broccoli, green onions / scallions, pepperoncinis.
- Feelin’ Saucy – traditional pizza sauce, peanut sauce, barbecue sauce, garlic olive oil, dairy-free pesto, salsa, enchilada sauce, hummus.
- Bonus Bites – dairy-free cheese shreds, black beans, fresh herbs (oregano, basil, marjoram, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, dill, etc!), crushed red pepper, hot sauce.
365 Dairy-Free Recipe Challenge Update
With the 365 New Dairy-Free Recipe Challenge, my goal is to trial at least 365 new-to-me recipes this year, and that doesn’t even count all of the retesting to perfect many of those dishes. This past week I trialed all of the following allergy-friendly recipes for the first time:
- Brown Irish Soda Bread (My new love – recipe to be posted!)
- Turkey Meatballs in Sriracha Sauce (Adapted this recipe from Budget Bytes – we loved it!)
- Citrus-Yogurt Smoothie (Trying out some superfood combos – needs work)
- Italian Chicken Bake (Not bad, but the technique needs work)
- One-Skillet Lemon Chicken and Zucchini (Tried a dairy-free version of this recipe!)
- Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Pizza (Oh yes, and it’s so guilt-fully good)
Special Diet Notes: Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Pizza
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, and generally top food allergy-friendly. The pizza bar ideas are also top allergy-friendly and optionally vegan!
- 1 box dairy-free brownie mix
- Ingredients for brownie preparation
- 4 ounces dairy-free cream cheese alternative (I used ½ package of Daiya)
- ¼ cup coconut cream (see note below)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ to 1 teaspoon matcha / green tea powder (for color)
- Dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease and flour (gluten-free, if needed) a pizza pan, or line it with parchment paper for easier removal. No pizza pan? You can use a large baking pan instead or a small jelly roll pan.
- In a mixing bowl, prepare the brownie batter as directed.
- Evenly spread the batter into your pizza pan or baking dish.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until firm around the edges. Let cool completely.
- Place the cream cheese alternative, coconut cream, peppermint extract (start with the lesser amount), vanilla extract, and salt in a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth.
- Sift in the powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon matcha powder and beat until smooth.
- Adjust the taste and color by adding more peppermint extract, as desired (some are stronger than others - I used Simply Organic, which is quite potent!), and more green tea powder for color (it doesn't notably affect the taste).
- Chill in the refrigerator (or even freezer if you only have 15 minutes) to set up the coconut cream. Give it a quick whip before using.
- Frost the cooled brownie pizza with the frosting and sprinkle on chocolate chips - as many as you like!