Meet Bella McKenzie, who began her blogging journey with Sweetnsavorylife.com back in 2009 as a way to show off her vegan recipes. But the blog became 100 percent gluten-free in 2011 after her husband was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
Getting creative with both diets, she’s passionate about providing quality, colorful and fun recipes for her gluten-free and vegan communities of readers alike!
Learn more about Bella below and be sure to check out her recipe for Italian Polenta Pizza!
DGF: What is the inspiration for your blog?
Bella: The inspiration for my blog is my best friend, my husband. He became disturbingly sick in 2010. This led to countless hours of in-depth research and a massive kitchen overhaul, once we understood what a glutenintolerancewas. We both love to cook so it was initially a hard pill to swallow. It is tough realizing that 90 percent of the stuff you love the most is gone for good, but we pulled together (like we always do) and since have made some of the best food on the planet, in my opinion. He is my cooking and health inspiration.
DGF: Why did you decide to start blogging?
Bella: I decided to start blogging because I was passionate about health and wanted to share my journey with the world. I knew that I could never travel all of the places that my blog could go at one time. No plane in this world could put me in someone’s kitchen in South Africa or Hong Kong. So that was my drive. I wanted to share the knowledge that was given to me with others whom I could never come in contact with. Everyone deserves good food - wherever they are from.
DGF: What is the one food that is always in your refrigerator?
Bella: To pick one - wow. Okay! Milled flax (ground flax) is always in my refrigerator. Why? It is excellent for many things. I use flax in green smoothies, in gluten free vegan breads, and in a lot of my desserts as a great egg substitute. It is perfect for gluten free and vegan baked goods, and I love to sprinkle it on a lot of foods for an extra omega-3 & fiber supplement. I keep it in the refrigerator because it maintains its nutritional value best in there.
DGF: If you could have anyone in the world to dinner, who would it be and what would you serve them?
Bella: If I could treat one person in the world to dinner, it would most likely be Starbucks President and CEO, Howard Schultz. I would serve him my best gluten-free and vegan baked Starbucks-like breakfast pastries with a warm gluten free vegan Frappuccino. I would love to be able to talk to and glean from one the world biggest and best coffee company's experts!
Italian Polenta Pizza
This recipe is: Gluten-Free, Dairy Free
Contributed From: www.sweetnsavorylife.com
1/2 cup Earth Balance original Soymilk
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup Earth Balance Mindful Mayo
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 cup cornmeal, or fine ground polenta
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon vegan cane sugar
1 pinch of parsley flakes
1 pinch of oregano
1 pinch Italian seasoning, to taste (optional)
1/2 tablespoon Smart Balance Oil
Marinara Sauce of your choice
Optional Toppings: 1/3 cup artichoke hearts, 1 cup baby spinach, 1 roma tomato, sliced, 1 ounce sliced olives, Daiya cheese shreds
1. Spray a 13" x 9" Pyrex pan or a 9" cake pan with Pam organic extra virgin olive oil spray.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine Earth Balance original soymilk, water, Mindful Mayo, and a large pinch of sea salt. Bring just about to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and add cornmeal in a steady stream, while stirring to prevent lumps. Once it starts to thicken, reduce heat, and eventually turn off heat and continue to stir out lumps.
3. Add all seasonings and oil to the polenta until well flavored to your desire. Place the prepared polenta into a 9x9 cake pan and place in freezer for 20 minutes. Next, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
4. After 20 minutes, remove polenta pizza crust from freezer and place in oven to bake with a light sheen of oil brushed on it for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce and veggies for the top of the pizza. When pizza is close to complete, take it out of the oven, add sauce, veggies and Daiya cheese and place back in for about 10 minutes. Remove polenta pizza out of oven. Cut into slices and enjoy.