Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
24 Oct

Son of Grok’s Primal Pizza Recipe

I was at the gym yesterday when a fellow weightlifter and I got to talking about diet (for lack of a better word) and nutrition. He listened intently, interested in the philosophical foundation upon which the Primal eating plan is based. At the end of the conversation he had the same response I get from many people new to the Primal Blueprint. It started off with “I could never…” and ended with admiration in my ability to be so diligent about what I put in my body. It seems that most people get hung up on a couple things they think (and maybe they’re right) they could never “give up”. For some people it’s tortilla chips or ice cream. For others it’s fast food or pizza.

This reaction bothers me for a number of reasons. First off, I never feel short-changed, cheated or deprived, and I think most people on the PB feel the same way. The overwhelming variety of fresh and clean vegetables, fruits, meats and fats as mother nature intended satisfy me to my heart’s (and belly’s) content. Yes, there is a life after bland bread, tasteless grains and processed junk food. As I’ve said before: Once you go Primal, you’ll never go back.

Secondly, people use the “I could never…” statement as a reason to not try at all. Because they think they could never do one part of the program they don’t give the rest of it a chance. They neglect to realize that it isn’t an all or nothing proposition. For one, we have Sensible Vices and understand that even the most indulgent foods in moderation won’t completely derail your health and wellness. For two, sometimes there are alternatives that provide the same satisfaction without any compromises whatsoever. Case in point this extremely timely email I received from our faithful reader, commenter and friend, Son of Grok. (By the way – Check out Son of Grok’s story about going Primal here.)

Now I don’t mean to come down too hard on my workout buddy, because I completely understand the knee-jerk reaction. But it is such a common response I thought I’d do a little venting. Do you have similar experiences with people you’ve told about the Primal Blueprint? I’d love to hear your stories and the ways in which you’ve handled them. And for all those people that respond with “I could never… give up pizza,” here is your Primal response: Son of Grok’s Primal Pizza Recipe.

_______________________________________________________________

Mark,

I have to admit that I have been selfishly hoarding many of my recipes with the idea that if I start a blog myself, I will have some material. This recipe that my wife and I created last night was just too good to pass up though!

One major weakness for me that I crave and miss since going Primal is pizza. I just love that warm cheesy goodness. Anyways, want to know what we ate last night?

I can sense you cringing from here, but wait! I assure you that you will 100% approve of this pizza as Primal!  Let me assure you as well… this one is delicious!

The recipe:
As you can see, this makes a large pizza. Feeds about 4 so plan accordingly! This recipe is high in dairy but for pizza, I will make the exception!

Ingredients:
Crust:
2 Cups Almond Meal/Flour
2 Eggs
2 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tsp salt

Sauce:
1 Can Tomato Paste
1-2 Cups Water (To desired thickness)
1 Tsp Dried Oregano
1 Tsp Garlic

Toppings:
Whatever you want!
We used fresh shredded swiss and mozzarella, chicken, bacon and onion!

Instructions:

Crust:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. This should give you a ball of “dough”. If your dough is too “mushy” (like mine was), continue to add almond flour until you get a good consistency.
3. Make a pizza sheet or baking tray non-stick. This is VERY important if you want your pizza slices to come off in one piece.
4. Press your dough on the sheet nice and even about 1/4 inch in the middle and 1/2 inch at the edges.
5. Put crust in the oven for 15 minutes. It should look slightly golden brown when you take it out.

Sauce:
1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. Use water to desired thickness. We like ours pretty thick. Feel free to add more spice if you want it, too.
2. Simmer on stove for approximately 15 minutes.

Toppings:
You will want to pre-cook any meat going on your pizza. Veggies can go on fresh and raw, or cooked depending on your preference. Your favorite cheese will do, but I recommend the 50/50 mix of mozzarella and swiss that we used. It melted perfectly and tasted great!

Put it all together:
1. After crust comes out of the oven, spread sauce evenly over crust.
2. Add your cheese and toppings evenly on top of sauce.
3. Put back in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 more minutes. Cheese should be evenly melted.
4. Slice and enjoy!

Further Reading:

Recipes: Alternative to Grains

The Original Sensible Vices

The Art of Compromise

How to Eat More Chocolate and Drink More Wine Every Day

Is All Chocolate Created Equal?

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I hear that so often – how can you not eat bread? Don’t you miss ? Wow, you are disciplined (if they only knew!)! I could never give up ! I tend to think to myself that they must not care about their health, if that is the case, but I think it is more that people don’t really believe that bread is “bad” for them. I’ve given up trying to explain (unless someone really wants to know, which most people don’t – I sometimes even just say I’m allergic to wheat!).

    Anyway, the pizza looks great. I was going to try and create an almond flour crust – now it’s been done for me!!

    Alex wrote on October 24th, 2008
    • As I was reading your post Alex, I started thinking about the things I have given up to go Primal. I have compiled a short list to tell my friends next time they ask he how I do it…
      1. A large percentage chance of dying of heart disease;
      2. Horrible tasting lowfat dressings, condiments, and other acoutrimonts to my meals;
      3. Worrying about losing weight;
      4. Constant hunger pangs;
      5. Constantly watching what I eat and counting calories;
      6. Feeling horrible and tired about an hour after lunch;
      7. Dry skin; and
      8. Being fat.

      So, next time someone asks you how you do it, just tell them you gave up the things you didn’t want anymore. Or just tell them you are allergic to wheat…lol!

      StevenPrimal wrote on June 29th, 2010
      • That is awesome! Thanks for changing the perspective around! I’m going to make a list for myself :)

        Rachel wrote on July 13th, 2010
  2. Wonderful! Now if only there was a Primal Taco…

    McFly wrote on October 24th, 2008
    • I take parmesan cheese, shred it finely in a food processor and make a few small piles of it on a buttered cookie sheet.. broil it for 3 or 4 minutes until it’s brown on top and pull them out. Take them off the pan promptly and drape over a bowl. As they cool, they harden.. becoming cheese taco shells =) =) =) crunchy on the outside and gooey and warm inside. Nommm

      Paleoga wrote on October 16th, 2011
      • HOLY CRAP does this ever sound good!!!

        Icepyk wrote on March 28th, 2012
      • These are actually MEXICAN! For real! And sooo freaking delicious! They’re called a “chicharron de queso”. Thanks for reminding me of them!

        Gretchen wrote on November 13th, 2012
      • I have seen a taco using slices of jicama as the shell. I haven’t tried it, though.

        Shoeless Mark wrote on February 22nd, 2013
    • lettuce wrapped tacos

      RadiantLux wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • you can butterfly a peice of chicken, steak and stuff it with all your favorite taco fillings.

      vanessa wrote on January 15th, 2012
    • You could make the taco shells out of bacon.

      zeejayem wrote on June 23rd, 2012
    • If you slice Jicama very thin it will bend make a taco shape has grand crunch and flavor and you can fill it with anything ….tacos work for me…guacamole…whatever.

      Christal wrote on March 1st, 2014
  3. Cool. I’m going to try this. I had wondered how the almond flour would work.

    Here’s another version using cauliflower that came out quite good:

    http://www.freetheanimal.com/root/2008/10/making-cauliflower-crust-pizza.html

    Richard Nikoley wrote on October 24th, 2008
  4. My wife and I have some pretty awesome dinners. When people make a comment about having to give things up or how disciplined I must be, I just tell them what I CAN eat. After describing a few of our dinners and getting their mouths watering, it becomes pretty apparent that we eat well and its really no sacrifice at all.

    Note: Most of our meals are dairy free too but we don’t have to feel bad about having pizza with this recipe. When we started “inventing” it, I really did not think it would work even half as well as it did. It came out great though! It seemed kind of expensive to make too as we were doing it (cost of almond flour as such), but when I compared it to delivery it was actually not bad at all. Eat your heart out Papa John!

    Son of Grok wrote on October 24th, 2008
  5. McFly and everyone,
    I tracked Richards pizza link back to a plethora of amazing mexican food recipes on a site called the “low carb examiner”. They have recipes that sub a mixture of zuchini, eggs and cheese in for tortillas, corn chips, tostada shells and all of that. There are your primal tacos! Use the recipe for chell and add your taco fixins! The wife and I will try this one out and see how it fairs..

    Son of Grok wrote on October 24th, 2008
  6. I was one of those “I could never…” people. My friend started the PB a year ago and talked about it constantly. I was so burnt out hearing about it, I thought he was crazy. But over the months he lost like 60 pounds and I thought, “Well, maybe it’s not all that bad.” and then I started coming here and learning about it on my own. And then it started to make sense, and didn’t sound so crazy or impossible. So I gave it a shot, and I’ve been at it since July. I have lost almost 20 pounds and am a lot happier not eating so much junk. Of course it might have been easier for me, since I’m a big meat/veggie person anyway. I’ve learned there are a lot of people out there who consider french fries with every meal an essential part of your diet. But I think if they just stopped by here once in a while they’d find out they’re wasting their time with the fries. There is so much more stuff that is SO much better!

    Erin wrote on October 24th, 2008
  7. Congratulations, Erin. I am always so glad to hear success stories. Keep up the great work and tell your friends!

    Mark

    Mark Sisson wrote on October 24th, 2008
  8. One more thing… I wonder if this “dough” would work for pasta? I might try it… I need some almond flour though. I have a feeling it’ll just fall apart. Maybe some extra eggs would help. If anyone else decides to try it, let us know how it goes!

    Erin wrote on October 24th, 2008
    • Erin,
      I realize this post comes nearly a year and a half after your original post, but I too was a pasta freak. I actually started used zucchini to make noodles. I use a Y- peeler to get the noodles thin enough and then cut it to whatever size noodle the recipe calls for. Saute’ in butter (or your oil of choice)until the perfect texture (al dente was a few minutes.) It has this wonderful crisp nuttiness that real pasta can’t imagine getting near.

      naiadknight wrote on March 3rd, 2010
  9. Erin,
    I don’t think that it will work for noodles. You might be wasting your precious almond flour trying it. The crust is almost like one big almond cookie. It works well for the pizza but it might be to “crumbly” for noodles.

    Son of Grok wrote on October 24th, 2008
  10. Erin –
    Pasta (particularly spaghetti) used to be a favorite of mine (and no, I don’t have any idea as to why). So I was super happy to find spaghetti squash. You should try that instead of trying to make your own noodles. To make it the most like pasta, be sure to cook it long enough. You can then add any pasta sauces/toppings that you want.
    Mark posted a good recipe a little while back. Here’s the link: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fantastic-fall-recipes/

    Holly wrote on October 24th, 2008
  11. Hey Mark,

    I can totally relate to your post. Like Mark, I’m lean & muscular, and don’t have a bloated look (non-Primal diet), “beach body” look (excessive chest/bicep work at the expense of balanced functional exercises), or hunched posture look (from a lack of core strength & flexibility). Of course, like I’m sure Mark does, I frequently get asked what’s my secret to staying so fit, healthy, lean, etc.

    As a policy, I never offer unsolicited advice (although it sure would be easy–e.g., noticing the obese, with their shopping cart full of un-food while reading the latest weight-loss-program magazine cover article in the grocery store check out lines, or the chronic-cardio, hamstring bound, skinny-fat, die-hards); however, I frequently get asked what my secret is to staying so “fit, healthy, lean, etc.”. When I get asked what my current diet is, for instance, I always have to laugh, and explain that the word “diet” connotes a temporary change in eating habits–typically, until one looses a certain amount of weight, then reverts back to their “normal” eating habits. It’s all about lifestyle, and PB fits the bill nicely.

    Like Mark, it amazes me to get a “I could never . . . give up wheat, refined breakfast cereals, cronic-cardio, eat fat, etc.,”, response, all the while proclaiming wanting a leaner body, stronger body, better posture, more energy, better sex life, and the list goes on . . .

    Mark’s Primal Blueprint is not only easy, and works, but makes such common sense. Yes, we all have the genes we were born with, but for the most part, it’s our lifestyle that determines how they express themselves and that my friends, in a nutshell, is what it all boils down to.

    These days, rather than explaining my “secret” to looking so fit and healthy, and feeling like I’ve just wasted my time, I just write down Mark’s Daily Blog and let people know that everything they need to know is on his website. Then, only after perusing his site, will I be glad to answer their questions or engage in intelligent conversation about the Primal Blueprint and how it relates to so many areas of life.

    Cheers,

    Calvin

    Calvin Sweeney wrote on October 24th, 2008
    • Awesome advise!

      Shoeless Mark wrote on February 22nd, 2013
  12. Calvin –

    Thanks so much for the nice words. This is the idea behind MDA – to have a one stop shop for people to learn how to get lean, fit, ripped and healthy. It really is a pretty simple formula, and your email does a great job of summing it all up. Thanks for the testimonial and the referrals. I can’t do it alone, so every referral is really appreciated.

    Cheers!

    Mark

    (Two great testimonials in a single comment board is making my day! Keep up the great work, everyone!)

    Mark Sisson wrote on October 24th, 2008
  13. Hey Mark,

    My favorite part of this post is the part that states “it isn’t an all or nothing proposition”. So true!

    For me, I’ve had quite a few of the components of the Primal Blueprint down cold for some time. I’ve found that just by incorporating some of the small things, such as eliminating grains, processed foods, sugar etc. that I have seen fantastic gains that people notice. I want to make it clear to people that I have adopted a Paleo lifestyle because I gained the understanding of WHY it works based off of the Primal Blueprint, that’s a very important distinction. Knowing why something works is much different than just doing it.

    I feel leaner, stronger, and faster than before and I love it! I appreciate the great advice, you rock bro! If you want to check out my transformation in becoming a caveman, check out the following post.

    http://www.gohealthygofit.com/im-officially-a-caveman/

    Thanks again for your help!

    All the Best,

    Andrew R

    Andrew R wrote on October 24th, 2008
  14. I ran a slice (1/8 of the pie) through fitday for an analysis and this is what it came up with. This includes the toppings as we had them.

    Calories 397.5
    Fat 28.7g
    Carbs 12.85g
    Protien 25.9g

    According to fit day, The calorie breakdown is:
    Fat – 62%
    Protien – 25%
    Carbs – 13%

    Son of Grok wrote on October 24th, 2008
    • Thanks for doing this.

      idamonster wrote on March 10th, 2012
  15. The whole place is rockin’ today.

    Son of Grok- Thanks again for the recipe and great job on the FitDay breakdown – I love it.

    Andrew R. – Great story and blog post. Keep up the great work.

    Mark Sisson wrote on October 24th, 2008
  16. Dear Mark,

    I’m slowly moving closer and closer towards the PB lifestyle. I gave up bread and many other overly processed ‘foods’ easily, have my own veggie garden, stopped using chemicals around the home and on my skin (everyone should buy a chlorine shower filter like you suggested in a previous post, they’re great!), am exercising primally and have made other positive changes. And I’m only 19, imagine if I spend my whole life eating primally, I might live to 150!

    I know full well that this eating style includes a plethora of wonderful, wholesome foods, but I’m a real sucker for my home made pizza and pasta.

    I think that substitutes for non PB foods are good when you are transitioning from your old eating habits, and as a wonderful and mostly healthy treat when you are fully Primal.

    I can’t wait to try this pizza recipe, and I’m going to grow some of my own spaghetti squash to replace pasta because I cannot find any suppliers here in Australia.

    Thank you for your blog too! I’m an avid reader I know my health and quality of life will benefit greatly. I’ll be sure to report back with my future success story!

    Liz

    Liz wrote on October 25th, 2008
  17. I started eating this way about 8 years ago. Everyone still tells me it’s unrealistic. LOL.

    McFly-If you eat cheese, it’s really easy to make taco shells out of provolone cheese slices. Butter a plate and microwave until golden. Take out and fold over with a fork in the shape of a taco shell for about 1 minute. Looks and tastes like a taco shell. Taco salads are great too.

    Crystal wrote on October 25th, 2008
  18. Son of Grok, thanks for sharing your recipe. I’ve never been one to eat pizza, but these ingredients i have to try. For me, i’d use goat cheese, my preference.

    When someone says “I can’t give up this or that food.” I use myself as an example. I used to be addicted to ice cream. I knew i should give it up. One day i realized i just needed to change my “way of thinking.” I started saying to myself I WILL give it up. It’s amazing how much power there is in what you tell yourself you “can” do. It’s not that i “couldn’t” i realized i just didn’t want to. I succeeded!

    Donna wrote on October 27th, 2008
  19. Hi Mark,

    Whilst I my diet is nowhere near the primal blueprint at the moment I have made significant changes to it since I started reading your blog. For example, I have made the switch to wholemeal bread, cereal, rice and pasta etc (I used to eat white) and on non-training days I do avoid the grains completely. I just find (at least for now) I still need those carbs to keep me going on training days.

    Anyway, thanks for the primal pizza recipe. Although I only eat pizza occasionally (as I know it’s not good for me) I won’t deny that I enjoy it. This recipe should give me the best of both worlds.

    Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips wrote on November 2nd, 2008
  20. Making this right now. Make sure you lube up your hands with oil when working with this dough or it will stick to your hands.

    Keath wrote on December 3rd, 2008
  21. Do you have any idea what the nutritional breakdown on this is like? I’ve found that a lot of the recipes that involve substituting almond flour for regular flour are REALLY caloric.

    It’s probably still better than grains, but it is a concern of mine. I was making pancakes in the morning with almond flour, coconut milk and eggs.

    Once day I did the math and realized my breakfast had been 1500 calories!

    chris wrote on December 11th, 2008
    • well, that just means you can eat less of it and still add that delightful bowl of fresh veggies to it :D

      dodny wrote on August 18th, 2011
  22. Chris,
    Check out my comment further up in the post. I broke out the nutritional information per fitday.

    Son of Grok wrote on December 12th, 2008
  23. I like this recipe… Many chefs use flour to the dough doesn’t stick…I use powdered soy protein when I make my dough instead of flour

    roman wrote on December 23rd, 2008
  24. The recipe was wonderfull, but i have a few questions. My crust got really dark and also its very hard to work with. What about using some water aswell to make it thinner? or something else. Btw are pasturized cheese bad? or can i get unpasturized cheese anywhere?

    Trygve wrote on January 11th, 2009
  25. “Do you have any idea what the nutritional breakdown on this is like? I’ve found that a lot of the recipes that involve substituting almond flour for regular flour are REALLY caloric.

    It’s probably still better than grains, but it is a concern of mine. I was making pancakes in the morning with almond flour, coconut milk and eggs.

    Once day I did the math and realized my breakfast had been 1500 calories!”

    awesome! I am a pescatarian weight lifter with a high metabolism, trying to gain weight and interested in the primal blueprint. I will try almond flour!

    alex wrote on April 9th, 2009
  26. Allright, I just made this and am eating my second slice as we speak.

    I LOVE IT! When I make it right next time (see below), this will work great for my Sunday pizza cravings.

    I added pure mozzarella, bacon, red onion, and chicken.

    I had trouble handling the ‘dough’, and didn’t spread it out enough. So now my pizza is a bit too thick — every bite has a bit too high of dough-to-sauce/cheese ratio.

    Next time I’ll spread it thinner and it’ll be perfect. Tons of calories here, which I’m going to need these for my swim today anyway.

    Berto wrote on April 9th, 2009
  27. i made this last night – very good overall, although it is quite dry and grainy so I couldnt eat more than half a small pizza at any one time. I recommend spreadig the tomato sauce all the way to the edges to combat the dryness of the crust. maybe adding some butter would help too?

    alex wrote on April 29th, 2009
  28. I have a version of this. Posted a pic last week. My creation is a 15″

    I do a combo of riced cauliflower and almond flour.
    http://castlegrok.com/pizza-picture/

    Grok wrote on May 20th, 2009
  29. You don’t have to buy almond flour. I bought raw almonds in the bulk food section of my grocery and ground them up in my blender, worked fine and way cheaper. This pizza is amazingly delicious, the crust is crispy like a traditional one and with the sauce and toppings, it was so tasty. I could eat it all the time.

    Tom wrote on July 26th, 2009
  30. There are some things I will never give up in life. Pizza being one of them. Spaghetti is another, especially when there is a huge loaf of garlic bread – all the murderers of health. Ahh, I love it. In fact I only treat myself to spaghetti or pizza once every other month or so…and it has to be on a day where I really killed it working out – like sh!t a kidney style (pardon my American English).

    wave_twister wrote on August 1st, 2009
  31. I made this for lunch today and it was terrific!! I made a half recipe and rolled out the dough with a pin to reduce thickness (though personally I like thicker pizza). I’m very sensitive to sugar so I just diced whole canned tomatoes with peppers, onion, garlic and the rest of SOG’s ingredients.

    I topped with the sauce and a little goat’s cheese. I will definitely be making this for non-primal friends as well.

    Thanks SOG!

    Candice wrote on November 9th, 2009
  32. Does this work as well with other non-grain flour types?

    I had coconut flour and tried that. The ‘crust’ came out really mealy and crumbly. Had to eat it with a fork =/

    Kyle wrote on November 20th, 2009
  33. Ever try making a meat crust or… cauliflower/zucchini crust?

    GG wrote on December 31st, 2009
  34. Sounds good!! Make it as a “white pizza” too….olive oil, spices to taste, garlic and cheese, that’s it. No sauce. Yummy!!!

    Alcinda Moore wrote on January 5th, 2010
  35. What exactly is in the can of tomato paste? Since I’m in Ireland, we don’t seem to have everything you guys have over there. Can you list the ingredients for it please?

    Tom wrote on March 10th, 2010
  36. Tom, I’m in Ireland too, I’m guessing “tomato paste” would equate to tomato puree, which you can get in tubes and small tins here.

    Lisa wrote on March 10th, 2010
  37. It’s essentially a very thick tomato puree. It has about the consistency of paste and is often used as a thickener or sauce base.

    naiadknight wrote on March 10th, 2010
  38. There was no cans of tomato sauce in the paleolithic age, and there was no cheese either. Dairy products never existed. This is far from “Primal.”

    Al wrote on June 15th, 2010
    • There were no computers in the paleolithic age, and there were no blog posts or comments either. Emails never existed. Just get out of the cult wagon please :D

      dodny wrote on August 18th, 2011
  39. This looks and sounds great! I have eaten pizza once since I have been primal and it was during the first month. I have been primal for 3 months and have zero cravings for pizza even though I used to LOVE it.

    Nonetheless, I will be sure to give this a try soon when the time is right.

    Primal Toad wrote on July 10th, 2010
  40. Has anyone tried this with Chickpea flour? I am primal newbie so not sure if that would be ‘primal’?

    Wendy wrote on July 22nd, 2010

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