Dinner,  Pizza,  Vegan

Easy Vegan Mexican Pizza

Here it is, my go to pizza for Friday nights.  It’s pretty much replaced my Italian pizzas, but make no mistake, my heart is always with my Italian cuisine, and pizza a top favorite.  The secret behind this easy pizza is that all ingredients come from Trader Joe’s, which has become my biggest shopping haul spot, and having all the ingredients on hand, I can pull this pizza together in 30 minutes.

My weekly shopping trip at Trader Joe’s is an overflowing cart of greens, veggies, fruits, and endless pantry items to round my plant based meals.  I truly love the seasonal changing of their inventory, even when my I find that a favorite has been pulled, there’s always excitement in discovering a new item.

Now as I write this up, I do hope their sprouted whole grain pizza crust sticks around through all the seasons, so far it has, but with Trader Joe’s, you never know!  There are two crusts in this package, super thin and made with a mix of sprouted wheat berries, quinoa, millet, oat groats, barley, rye berries, and amaranth.  When toasted lightly it has a naturally sweet & nutty flavor.  I normally avoid gluten products, unless they are sprouted as this is, and have found that it has never caused me any gluten sensitivity issues.

After taking this picture, I realized I missed the frozen organic corn and organic vegetable broth that I use to sauté the peppers and onions!

While Trader Joe’s has a nice variety of wines to choose from, I’ve made a switch to pouring myself a glass of Kombucha while I’m cooking, particularly for its tangy, fermented, effervescent taste but also for its numerous health benefits – definitely worth looking in to.

So this is hardly a recipe, more like a general idea and certainly one that can be adjusted to your favorite toppings.   I have added vegan cheese in the past but find I really don’t need it to fake the cheese and that this is really a flavorful and filling pizza on its own!

Easy Vegan Mexican Pizza – for making two pizzas

1 package Trader Joe’s Sprouted Whole Grain Pizza Crust

For the “sauce”

1 can Refried Beans

1/4 cup salsa

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the toppings

2 large red peppers, thinly sliced

1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 small jalapeno, diced finely (or a full jalapeno if you like the heat!)

1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Vegetable broth, oil or water for sautéing

1 avocado, fresh cilantro and hot sauce for serving

Preheat oven to 420 degrees.  Place each crust on a pizza pan, stone or pizza screen, which I always prefer to use. (And not just for pizzas but also when roasting fries, corn tortilla chips or warming breads.)

Bake the crust for 10 minutes.  While the crust is baking, combine the refried beans, salsa and seasonings stirring to combine well, set aside.  Remove the crust and flip them both over so the bottom, toasted side, is now face up ready for toppings.

Sauté the peppers, onions and jalapeno in a large frying/sauté pan until soft and lightly browned.  Add in the seasonings, corn and black beans stirring to combine, just about an additional 5 minutes.

Evenly spread the refried beans mixture over the two crusts.  Divide the toppings and distribute over the refried beans and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes.  I love a crispy crust, so my pizza is always the one on the lower rack!

Remove and allow to cool slightly, top with slices of avocado and fresh cilantro.  Serve with hot sauce.  Makes about 8 slices per pizza.

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.

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