JJs Woodfire Pizza

I enjoy trying out a new restaurant, especially when I know the owner. This evening my mom, stepdad, sister and I checked out JJs Woodfire Pizza, located at 1612 S Madison, Suite E, Webb City. The restaurant is now under new management, by a friend of mine.

Traditional pizza is not part of my plant based lifestyle. So I was prepared to order a salad and watch my family chow down on pizza. Imagine my delight to discover that JJ’s offers gluten free crust and a “make your own pizza” option with plenty of veggies to choose from for toppings.

The restaurant is clean, bright and cheery, with ample seating. I liked the eclectic mix of tables and chairs, that includes high tops and traditional tables. For the sports minded there are tvs scattered around the perimeter of the dining area and yet the volume was set low, so if one doesn’t want to catch a game, the tvs can easily be ignored.

Tucked into a corner is a small stage equipped with sound equipment and a mic. Friday and Saturday evenings, beginning at 7:00, are karaoke nights. My sister Linda and I exchanged looks! We have discussed trying karaoke as a new experience, one that would definitely push us out of our comfort zones! This could be the place to go beyond.

Everyone in my group tried a different pizza, with three of us going with the “create your own” option. Our waitress was patient and helpful with our special requests.

Here are our yummy orders:

My stepfather Walter chose a black olive and mushroom pizza. This is a large, and he ate most of it!

Mom ordered a small mushroom and onion pizza on gluten free crust. A small is about 10″, providing plenty of pizza for one person.

Linda went with a small taco pizza, and raved about it! Look at the amount of ingredients on that pizza.

And I created my own small veggie pizza on gluten free crust, without cheese. I selected mushrooms, green peppers and black olives for my toppings, however, any veggies could be used.

While we waited for our pizzas, which appeared in a very timely manner, we signed up for JJ’s coupons and specials via text message. I had to snap a pic of my almost 90 year old stepdad figuring out how to do that, under my mom’s watchful supervision. Yes, that’s a flip phone, and I’m proud of them, that they do their best to keep up with technology!

The pizzas arrived and they were delicious! My family appreciates a thin, crispy crust and these pizzas were perfection. We enjoyed our dinners, chatting and laughing and comparing pizzas as we ate. All of us boxed up leftovers to take home and finish up tomorrow.

Two thumbs up for an authentic, woodfired pizza, made with fresh ingredients. And a heart felt thanks to my friend, for offering gluten free, dairy free, veggie options. This is my new go-to pizza restaurant. I’ll be a frequent customer.

And watch out. One night soon, my sister and I are going to do karaoke!

Homemade Veggie Pizza

Inspiration led me into the kitchen this evening, where I made my first veggie pizza. The recipe came from Anthony Willam, the Medical Medium. When I saw his post on Facebook, I knew I wanted to try this healthy version of a favorite comfort food. 

My mom, and stepdad Max, owned and operated a pizza restaurant for years. I know pizza. Mom created a wonderful dough recipe and perfected a variety of mouth watering pizzas that they sold in their successful restaurant. I have made pizza at home many times, using the family recipe. 

Traditional pizza is off the menu now, and my old recipes are tucked away, so I was excited to create a veggie pizza that is in alignment with my diet. This version is dairy free, and the crust is gluten and dairy free. 

I couldn’t locate a gluten free, ready made crust. However, I found a great mix at my local   market that is gluten and dairy free. I prepared the dough, according to the package directions, and had enough dough to make two  10 inch pizzas. 

I baked the pizza crusts for about 8 minutes while the sliced and chopped veggies sautéed. After the crusts were lightly browned, I used my own homemade marinara sauce as the base. The cooked veggies were divided between the two crusts, sliced black olives added, and the pizzas were returned to the oven for 10 more minutes. 

Ready to go back into the oven for a few minutes. 

Ready to eat!

In a short time, I had a fresh from the oven pizza, ready to sample. It was delicious! I felt like I had a special treat, without any accompanying guilt. And I didn’t miss the cheese. 

In fact, my body thanked me for this yummy pizza, loaded with fresh vegetables. In the last decade, a slice of pizza, while tasting great, instantly brought on a bout of indigestion. Reacting to the gluten and cheese, my body tried to let me know pizza wasn’t comfort food at all. It caused great discomfort. I ate it anyway, which shows the extent of my unhealthy relationship with food. 

Tonight, I savored each delectable bite, knowing there was nothing there to harm me or feed viruses and inflammation in my body. This was food that was good for me, on many levels. 

I love these cooking adventures and trying new recipes. Preparing healthy meals in creative ways is a deep level of self care. I am nurturing myself while listening to and honoring my body. 

And in addition to all the benefits of creating healthy, plant based meals that contribute to my healing and well being, cooking creatively is fun, and feeds my soul as well as my body. This takes bon appétit to a whole new level. 

Vegan Gluten Free Pizza

It’s Wedding Day Eve here, the night before the Big Event tomorrow. This evening I had the opportunity to meet many of Nate’s family members, who have arrived in Joplin from all over the midwest. We gathered at JB’s Downtown for a time of getting to know each other and sharing a meal. 

I knew pizza was being served tonight, and I was okay with that. I planned to eat a salad. JBs, in fact, prepared a huge salad, served family style, and free of cheese, meat or croutons. Perfect. 

As others were placing their pizza orders, I heard our awesome server ask what type of crust was preferred…thin, hand tossed or gluten free. Gluten free? My ears caught those words and I was interested. 

The server confirmed that they offer a vegan pizza with a gluten free crust. I was excited! Greg and I ordered one to share. Our pizza was the last one brought to the table, and it was worth the wait. 

Black olives, onions, mushrooms, green peppers and spinach topped olive oil and basil pesto, over a crispy, gluten free crust. It was so good! And I felt good eating a couple of pieces. It is wonderful to discover vegan options here in Joplin and know that if I want a pizza, I can get a healthy one. 

It was great to meet Nate’s charming family. There will be more relatives to be introduced  to tomorrow and my family will be arriving, all here to celebrate the marriage of Adriel and Nate. We will end the evening one big happy family. I can’t wait!

Journey 364: Arkansas Goodies

I spent the day in the lovely and water soaked state of Arkansas. After checking on the house in Decatur and taking care of some things there, Greg and I meandered over to Rogers late in the afternoon. 


We stopped for a meal at a favorite pizza restaurant there. The name always gives me the giggles, however, they make great pizzas! Today we tried a vegetarian pizza. I’ve perhaps just forgotten, but I believe this is the first all veggie pizza that I’ve had. It was delicious and filling without leaving me feeling stuffed. 


The skies cleared today and for the first time since Christmas Day, I could see the sun. What a welcome sight as sunlight filtered in through the blinds on the restaurant windows. 

I can’t drive through Rogers without a stop at Barnes & Noble Bookstore. I had a short list of desired items in mind and scored on all but one of them. One of the things on my list was a 2016 Scotland calendar. Not only did I find one, I found a Secret Garden coloring calendar by Johanna Basford! The calendars were 50% off, so I purchased both. I’m excited to color each month’s page and display the calendar with my creative work in my studio. 

It was a good day. Greg and I enjoyed reviewing aspects of our journeys from this past year and both of us shared our hopes for the upcoming year. I reminded myself all day, with both wonderment and excitement, that tomorrow this year concludes. What a remarkable journey it has been and I’ll review 2015 in Thursday’s blog post. 

Tonight I am reading and writing, working on an assignment and doing more research. Oh yes, and I am coloring in my 2016 calendar. What a great way for me to welcome in a new year.