I was on my way home to Flint from Detroit Metro Airport, after dropping off a dear neighbor who was on her way to Turkey. If at all possible, I try to make long trips like this worth my while, stopping at other destination on my way home. I decided to stop at No More Belly Aching, a gluten-free, dairy-free bakery in Brighton, MI.
Only one small problem: I wasn’t entirely sure where it was at.
A member of the Mid Michigan Celiac Support group mentioned this new business at one of our previous meetings, and even shared a flyer listing all of their baked goods. As I was driving, all I could remember is that it was in Brighton, MI. But, my friend had a GPS in her car, so it should be easy to find, right? Wrong…..I don’t think she’s updated the software on it since she bought it years ago, so it wasn’t showing anything. I figured that I’d just get off the freeway and ask around.
There’s something one should know about the Lee Rd. exit going to Brighton. From one side of the overpass to the other, is a series of roundabouts. As I was trying to make my way across, I couldn’t help but think of National Lampoon’s Vacation, and was panicking inside that I’d never get across. Luckily, I made it.
So I’m heading west towards the rows of strip malls, thinking I’ll stop at a 7-11 or something and ask if they know of the bakery which I seek. But low and behold, it was directly in front of me. Yeah!
|**Note** No More Belly Aching has moved since this post was originally written.
It was previously just off Lee Rd. The new location, pictured above, is on Grand River.
As I walked in I was kindly greeted, as my eyes perused the shelves. What should I buy? There were all sorts of sweet baked goods…but after a week’s worth of vacation, I knew that those were the last things that I needed. I spied a bag in their freezer case of 6 wraps for $6.99. This may seem a little pricey, but I kept in mind that I was supporting a local bakery, whose profits go back into the local economy, not a major national brand.
I had visions of personal size pizzas in mind. The gentleman who waited on me asked if I wanted a punch card, and I told him that I wasn’t a local person, just on my way back from DTW. When I mentioned that I lived in Flint, he shared with me that some of their products are available at Marjie’s Gluten Free Pantry in Fenton, MI, a store that is 100% GF.
So when I got home, I was eager to try my new purchase. I used a wrap, which is really more like a pita or flatbread, to eat some leftover ratatouille. The bread was very tender and fluffy. My husband found it enjoyable as well. Not bad on it’s own, but I was eager to try it as a pizza crust.
To be creative in my pizza making, I thought I would puree some leftover ratatouille in my mini food processor and use that as my pizza sauce. I placed the “naked” wraps in a 350 degree oven, probably for about 15-20 minutes, until they were just golden brown. (In retrospect I wish I would have baked them longer, for a crispier crust). Then I layered my sauce, topped it with mushrooms and mozzarella cheese, and continued to bake them in the oven. I can’t really tell you how long I baked them for, as I was busy talking on the phone.
I thoroughly enjoyed my pizzas, as did my husband. I think I will do it again. 🙂
As a side note, I love ratatouille….the food, not the Pixar movie. When I was kid, you couldn’t have gotten me to touch eggplant with a 10 ft. pole. But now as an adult, I am eager for spring and summer when I know that I can find beautiful eggplants in abundance at my local Flint Farmer’s Market. Ratatouille tastes like summer to me. If you’ve never had it, I HIGHLY suggest making it. It’s incredibly tasty and incredibly easy.
A recipe from the infamous Betty Crocker cookbook, 23rd printing, 1974. (hard cover pg. 426)
1 medium eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
2 small zucchini ( about 1/2 lb.)
1 cup finely chopped green pepper (1 whole)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and quartered
( I used 2 cans of Aldi’s Italian diced tomatoes, perfect!)
1/4 c. olive oil
(I barely use any at all, as it’s not really necessary)
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Cube eggplant and zucchini. (I leave the skin on mine.) Cook and stir all ingredients until heated through. Cover; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender.
****Me personally, I like it much more tender than what comes out after 10 minutes. I let mine simmer for probably at least 20 -30 minutes.