Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vegetarian Mexican Pizza

'Tis the season for me to break out vegetarian meals.  Yes, Lent is upon us tomorrow.  It totally caught me by surprise this yea!.  Although I am a hard-core carnivore, I actually like mixing it up with some meatless meals.  I have posted a few vegetarian or fish meals, but I plan to share even more in the next 40 days.  And I'm going to start it off today with one of my favorites: Vegetarian Mexican Pizza. 

I can't get enough Mexican food.  I can't get enough pizza.  Combining the two just makes good sense!  This recipe layers refried beans, Mexican cheese, taco sauce, onion, tomatoes, and spices on a whole wheat pizza crust.  I am pro whole grains.  Put it all together and you get a fiesta on a pizza crust.  This is gooey, cheesy, spicy, Mexican goodness.  And it is a good source of fiber.  Bonus!

It only takes a few minutes to put the pizza together and it only needs 10-15 minutes to bake.  I did make a homemade crust, but if you want a super fast meal you can easily substitute a store-bought thin crust.  Check out this link to my whole wheat pizza crust if you want to make your own.  I promise it is really easy and very tasty!

Whether you make your own pizza or buy one, start by spreading or placing your dough on a baking dish, spreading with refried beans, and sprinkling with chopped onion.  If having a vegetarian meal is important to you, check to make sure your refried beans don't have any meat ingredients.
Now spread on some delicious taco sauce.  You could also use salsa or picante sauce if you prefer.
Cheese time!  Also sprinkle on some cumin, chili powder, and dried cilantro.  I didn't use fresh cilantro because my husband is not a fan, but fresh cilantro would be great!
Add a layer of sliced tomatoes.  I love fresh tomatoes as a pizza topping!
Now bake this bi-cultural concoction for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy.  
Is your mouth watering yet?  Giving up meat doesn't feel like a sacrifice when you can have something that looks this good!

Vegetarian Mexican Pizza
1 whole wheat pizza crust (can be homemade or purchased)
1 (16 oz) can fat free refried beans
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup taco sauce
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (1/2 Monterrey Jack, 1/2 Cheddar)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried cilantro
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Spread crust over baking sheet.  Spread with beans.  Layer onions over beans and spread on taco sauce.  Add cheese and sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, and cilantro.  Arrange tomato slices over pizza and bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is crispy.
Optional toppings: salsa, reduced fat sour cream, shredded lettuce.

Recipe adapted from Women's Day

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