January 24, 2013

Mexican Pizza

I have a deep, dark confession...

I LOVE a certain fast food chains Mexican Pizza. I'm not proud, but it's true. Since I don't eat fast food anymore, I can't even remember the last time I've had one of those caloric delights. Let's just say it's been awhile. I will say in recent years, the quality of said fast food Mexican Pizza has gone waaaay downhill (if that's even possible...it's pretty sad when a bad quality food is even worse quality as time passes). I remember being very disappointed the last time I actually ate one, and then being upset that I wasted so many of my daily calorie allotment on it. Yeesh.

So, when this recipe popped into my Pinterest feed I got VERY excited. Giddy, even. This was a way more healthful version than the fast food chains menu item. Also, I was able to incorporate all that I loved about the original. Black olives, green onions, and fresh tomatoes as some of our toppings. I loved that this was baked and not fried, and I used really lean beef, whole wheat tortillas, and healthy mashed pinto beans as a stand-in for "refried". This recipe satisfied my longing for a *good* Mexican Pizza, and my family agreed that it was a delicious dinner.

Mexican Pizza
Adapted From: Trader Joe's Recipes website via Pinterest

1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 15-oz can of vegetarian/fat free "refried" pinto beans
8 small whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
2 cups sharp cheddar
2 green onions, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1/4 black pitted olives, sliced
2 sliced green onions, for garnish
1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place meat, onion and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until beef is evenly browned. Drain off grease. Season the meat with chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Coat a large sheet pan with cooking spray or use a Silicone baking mat. Place four tortillas on the sheet pan and cover with a layer of beans. Spread half of the seasoned meat over each tortilla and then cover with a second tortilla.

Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Spread half of the salsa over the top tortillas. Top each pizza with half of the cheese, tomatoes, green onions, and olives. Return the pizzas to the oven, bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Garnish with green onions and cilantro. Slice each pizza into 4 pieces and serve. (These were filling, so we had 2 slices each as a serving).

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