Mexican Pizzas

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Oh, hey, it’s Mexican Pizza time, people.

So this is one of those hectic weeknight “what am I going to make because I’m tired and I really don’t want to slave in a kitchen” types of meals.  You can never go wrong with a Mexican Pizza.  (or probably any pizza, for that matter, but that’s another post.)

Emily from Pacific Foods contacted me a while back to see if I would be interested in using some of their products for an upcoming post.  It wasn’t a very hard decision to make on my end.  Now, if you follow this blog regularly, you might know that I don’t do a lot of giveaways or product reviews for several reasons (I’ll spare you my soapbox here), but if it’s a product that I might actually use or from a company that I respect for their values, then I will wholeheartedly dive into the opportunities/products that they supply.

So, judging by the large amounts of bean recipes in general on this site, and also by the fact that I buy and prepare at least one recipe showcasing some type of bean each week for myself, I didn’t want to let this one pass by. And, to be honest with you, Pacific Foods is one whole-heartedly rocking company.  From animal welfare in America’s general food industry (one of my biggest secret food passions, actually, and just one of the reasons why I am *mostly* vegetarian) to food sustainability to environmental impact via their packaging, this company lays it all out there.  As a consumer, this is, in my opinion, pretty amazing to learn about how my food is produced.  One day, you and I might sit down over a couple glasses of wine and I will pontificate about my views on America’s food supply, but for now, let it suffice to say that THIS approach to consumer consumption and education is exactly what I think we need, as ultimately, we are the ones who are putting these things in our miraculous bodies…and these things will ultimately become part of us.  So, it’s a pretty big deal.  And I whole-heartedly support this company and their mission.

So, Emily sent me three samples.  One 13.6-ounce package of refried beans, one 13.6-ounce package of refried black beans, and one 13.6-ounce package of baked beans. While I wanted to eat all three right away, I went with the traditional refried beans…well, because of this pizza.

I kind of made up the recipe as I went along, baking mine only until the edges started to turn up, about 10 minutes or so, so please adjust your baking time accordingly.  And feel free to omit/add ingredients as necessary for your own dietary needs/desires.

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Mexican Pizza

Servings: 2

 

Ingredients

Four 6-inch tortillas (use whatever kind you like)

One 13.6-ounce container of refried beans (Pacific Beans?  Absolutely!)

Juice of one lime, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 small shallot, chopped

Cheese, for topping (your choice of amount and brand…vegan or not-I used a mixture of cheddar I had on hand)

One 2.25-ounce can black olives, drained (you may have leftovers)

2-3 green onions, sliced

1 tomato, chopped

For garnish: avocado, cilantro, etc.

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Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the refried beans, lime juice, cumin, and garlic, stirring to combine.  Heat the mixture over medium heat until completely heated through.

3. To assemble the pizzas: Layer half of the hot bean mixture onto two tortillas. Place the other two tortillas over the beans and top with your cheeses, shallot, black olives, and green onions.

4. Place the pizzas on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until the pizzas are lightly cooked, about 10 minutes (you want the edges to slightly roll up and you want the cheese to be completely melted.)

5. Remove the pizzas from the oven and top with fresh tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro, if using.  Enjoy.

 

Source:  A Curvy Carrot original.

 

July 30, 2013 - 6:43 am

Miss Messy - I love making these and they look perfect! :)

July 30, 2013 - 7:20 am

Berry - “Place the other two tortillas over the beans and top with your cheeses, shallot, black onions, and green onions.”

Black olives?

July 30, 2013 - 8:30 am

Courtney - I’ve never seen a Mexican pizza look as pretty as this one!

July 30, 2013 - 12:41 pm

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - Mmm this sounds so freaking good! Love how easy it is!

July 30, 2013 - 1:23 pm

srlacy - Hahaha-you should have seen the one I DIDN’t photograph. Major aesthetic failure.

July 30, 2013 - 1:23 pm

srlacy - Thanks for catching that, Berry! You are right-you can put them on there before cooking, or after…whatever you want! I will fix the recipe now.

July 30, 2013 - 1:26 pm

Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough - Dude I LOOOOVE Mexican pizza. This looks amazing. And I wish I’d known how you feel about food and sustainability and animal welfare at the potluck this weekend — I have so much to say about it, too; we could have vented for hours! ;)

July 30, 2013 - 1:38 pm

srlacy - I know! I told Annie on the flight home that I wish that there would have been at least one talk about that this weekend-I feel like mostly everyone there would have felt the same way about it. Maybe next year? And we can still vent….with wine, of course! Hope you made it home safely. I’ve been sleeping and feeling like I cannot get caught up at all. It was so much fun, though!

July 30, 2013 - 4:24 pm

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl - First of all, these are too cute! Second of all, they sound amazingly delicious :) .

July 30, 2013 - 9:37 pm

Joanne - I’ve had a few of those hectic weeknights and a few more yet to come in the next few weeks so I’ll have to check out these beans and whip up this pizza! It’s always so great when a company produces a great product and espouses great values…the perfect package!

August 7, 2013 - 6:47 pm

Kate - A friend had pinned one of your recipes on FB and thank God she did! I just love your blog and your recipes. You have a real gift at “chatting” and your stuff looks amazing. Can hardly wait to try something.

PS Love champaign too

August 7, 2013 - 9:13 pm

srlacy - Thanks, Kate! It’s nice to meet you!

Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze

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The other day, while in a brave attempt to clean out one of my closets (shudder….), I came across a hand-written letter that I had unexpectedly received in the mail about a year or so ago, from one of my dearest friends in the whole world.

In the letter, he basically outlined (sometimes in a haiku/rhyming pattern…which if you know me personally, you will know that I love this sort of quirky, random, silly stuff) all of the things he loves about me…which was actually quite funny because some of them were little things that I do that I didn’t know that I actually did/do…but many of them were things that actually are points of insecurity for me.  To re-read this, about a whole year after he had sent it via snail mail, kind of shook me to the core a little bit.  It was a happy, calm and proud feeling.  Sometimes like how I feel after meditating.  And made me feel like a million bucks.  At the bottom of the letter, he said that I had once done it for him (I had actually hid it in his desk once-we worked together-and covered it in about 50 stickers of fruit and veggies made to look like they were driving cars.)  Apparently he found it at a time when he wasn’t feeling so great about life in general.  I had told him how thankful I was to have him in my life and how I loved all these things about him.  I didn’t do it for anything in return..in fact, as soon as I hid it in his desk, I promptly forgot about it.  It was just one of those moments where my gratitude spilled over a little bit, and I decided that instead of simply feeling my care for him…I would show it.  And let it go.  Because someday he might come across it and those warm fuzzy feelings are what life is about.

It’s now apparent to me that this is a (vicious?  No, vicious isn’t the right word here…happy?) cycle of love.  Apparently my letter pops into his life every now and then…and now I am understanding that his letter to me now pops in and out of mine.  The feeling of joy that this brings me is incredible.

There’s a lot  of bad things that happen in life.  Things change, people change, and many things that begin end.  This letter is one of those things that will just keep coming back, thankfully, and it will probably come back in the moments when I need it the most.  (even if I don’t know it.)

I was able to see Paul McCartney in concert a few days ago.  Something that I had pretty much dreamed of for over 25 years.  He ended the concert with “The End” (of course, obviously, was there any other choice there?) but the last line is one that I actually say to myself every single day when I wake up:  ”And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”  I suppose my friend’s letter is a perfect testament to this.

Why am I getting all lotus flower on you?  Because, simply, I think you have it within you to start a little happy ripple of warm fuzzies, too.  Starting now. Go tell someone how much they mean to you.  You might start something incredible, like this letter that started a few years ago between two really great friends.

And now…..

I don’t know how to segue into a recipe about these blueberry lemon muffins with cream cheese glaze.  Except that they give me a different kind of warm fuzzy feeling.  But not as good as finding a letter from a friend.

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Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze

Servings: about 24 muffins

 

Ingredients

For the muffins:

2 cups all-purpose flour (you could probably substitute whole wheat pastry flour here-I was out.  Sad face.)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup (1/2  stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)

2 eggs, whisked

1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

For the cream cheese glaze:

1/4 cup (2 ounces) block-style 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons water

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Instructions

1. For the muffins: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake pan with the liners of your choice.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the mashed banana, eggs, Greek yogurt, and vanilla; mix until blended.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients; mix until just combined.

6. Using a spatula, gently fold in blueberries and lemon rind.

7. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared cupcake pan.

8. Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

9. Cool completely on wire rack.

10. For the cream cheese glaze: In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water, stirring with a whisk until smooth (I actually found it much easier to use a hand mixer here.)

11. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled muffins, and go tell someone you love them.

 

Source:  Slightly adapted from Cooking Light, as part of my monthly contribution to the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.

July 25, 2013 - 8:25 am

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - These muffins sound awesome!!

July 25, 2013 - 4:14 pm

Kathy R - What a wonderful message. I think I will take a minute to do exactly what you suggest. I’m also going to make these muffins and gift them to my friends. The Ripple Effect — Life is Good!

July 25, 2013 - 4:20 pm

Mary-Clay @ Cooking with the King - Blueberry and lemon is my favorite combination. Ever. Add cream cheese? Love it even more. Looks delicious!

July 26, 2013 - 4:54 pm

meg etc - These look delicious! Great photos as well! Love your blog :)

July 28, 2013 - 5:12 pm

Joanne - That is such a sweet idea! I have a few friends who I really don’t tell that i love enough and a snail mail letter is such a sweet way to do it, so that they actually have something tangible to hold onto.

While warm fuzzy muffin feelings are definitely different from warm fuzzy friendship feelings, I must admit I love both of them!

July 28, 2013 - 9:23 pm

srlacy - Aww thanks Joanne! It was so great to meet you this weekend…and I can’t wait to start trying out your recipes!

August 11, 2013 - 2:00 pm

Terrie - I just made these and they are delicious. Used 1/2 whole wheat flour and added 1tbsp. Lemon juice to the batter. Next time I will try more lemon juice because I like the lemon flavor to come through. I didn’t do the glaze…..

French Onion Burgers with Onion Au Jus and Horseradish-Chive Sauce

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I’m slowly expanding my vegan pantry.   One thing at a time.  Because some of the ingredients are expensive and I want to purchase these things in moderation.  But I figure if I do this slowly, one dish at a time, it won’t seem so bad.

And, to be honest, these burgers pretty much make everything better.

All right.  I’ve made lots of veggie burgers.  Usually with cheese and some sort of egg product as a binder.  But, as I am venturing over to the vegan side of things more and more (think up to my knee now instead of just testing the water with my toe), I’m learning that you don’t always need cheese and eggs to make things taste great.  And it’s actually a true testament to how good these burgers taste because I didn’t sneak a piece of glorious cheese on top.

There’s a few different pieces to these burgers, so it sounds like a lot of work.  But it really actually isn’t-you just need to plan accordingly and strategically.  I spanned these burgers out over two days (which is funny because even though I plan what I make in advance, I rarely make recipes that take several days’ preparation because I am impatient.)  I just cooked the lentils, rice, and onions the night before so I wouldn’t have to do it the next day (do you have enough pots for this?  Because I barely did.).  If you do this, you can pretty much make everything else the next evening/afternoon…even as a semi-quick weeknight meal.

What can I say?  Other than the au jus sauce is to die for, the horseradish-chive sauce is fantastic, and the burgers have a great, earthy flavor.  Serve with some chips and some beer, and you can go into a guilt-free happy vegan food coma.

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French Onion Burger with Onion Au Jus and Horseradish-Chive Sauce

Servings: 4

 

Ingredients

For the burgers:

2/3 cup cooked lentils (Use whatever you have on hand.  I used some mixed sprouted lentils.)

1/3 cup cooked rice (I used Wehani)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 small yellow onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

3 tablespoons tamari

1 flax egg (to make a flax egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon ground flax and 3 tablespoons water, and let sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes.)

2/3 cup chopped cremini mushrooms

2/3 cup vital wheat gluten (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand.)

2 tablespoons water

Olive oil, for brushing the burgers before baking

4 pretzel rolls, toasted

For the Onion Au Jus:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 yellow onions, slice

1/8 teaspoon, plus 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 cup dry vermouth

4 cups vegan beef broth

2 tablespoons tamari

1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

For the Horseradish-Chive Spread:

One 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

2 teaspoons water

1/2 teaspoon agave nectar

1/4 cup chives, sliced

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Instructions

1. For the burgers:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine the lentils and rice, mashing to combine (leave the mixture a little chunky if you like.)

3. Add the garlic, onion, paprika, tamari, flax egg, mushrooms, and vital wheat gluten, mixing until thoroughly combined.

4. Divide the mixture into four equal patties, and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. **At this point, you can chill the burgers overnight if you want to make them the next day.

5. Lightly brush each burger with olive oil, and bake until lightly golden, about 30 minutes.

6. For the au jus sauce:  In a large pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering.

7. Add the sliced onions and 1/8 teaspoon of salt and cook until the onions are softened and golden, stirring frequently, about 35 minutes.

8. Add the vermouth and cook for about 2 minutes.

9. Add the broth, tamari and Worcestershire sauce, stirring to combine.  Brine the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

10. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

11. Strain the onions, reserving the broth, and set the onions and the broth aside, keeping each warm (if you are planning on making everything in the same night.)

12. For the horseradish-chive sauce:  In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, horseradish, water and agave and process until smooth.

13. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and add the chives, mixing until combined.  Chill until serving time.

14. To assemble the burgers:  Spread the horseradish-chive sauce over each toasted bun.  Place a burger on each bun and top with some of the cooked onions.  Serve with warm au jus sauce.

 

Source:  Barely adapted from VegNews, August 2013 issue.

 

 

July 23, 2013 - 7:53 am

natasha minocha - Hi, I’m so ready to try this recipe! It sounds smashing and good for you. But, I’m curious why would use vital wheat gluten here?

July 23, 2013 - 12:13 pm

srlacy - Hi Natasha-

I wondered the same thing. Here is an excellent link that helped explain it to me:
http://happyherbivore.com/2012/01/what-vital-wheat-gluten/

July 23, 2013 - 1:41 pm

Rachel - These burgers look awesome! I am so happy that you are doing more and more vegan recipes. I have been following your blog for awhile and it is one of the only ones I read that is not 100% vegan because I love that you use fresh, whole ingredients and I can usually make it vegan anyway.
Just wanted to say thanks – I really love your vegan recipes. Thank you again :-)

July 23, 2013 - 2:12 pm

srlacy - Aww, thanks Rachel. I appreciate that comment. And, if you ever have any good ideas for vegan substitutions, I would appreciate that as well!

July 23, 2013 - 3:59 pm

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl - I can’t even handle how delicious these look!! I am especially excited about the horseradish-chive sauce. That pretty much sounds out of this world!

July 23, 2013 - 4:09 pm

srlacy - It totally is! And you can throw whatever else you might like in there, too. Next time I might add in some extra spice!

July 25, 2013 - 11:29 am

Mushrooms Canada - These burgers sound amazing! Lentils and mushrooms make excellent burger patties. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

-Shannon

July 28, 2013 - 5:08 pm

Joanne - I definitely dabble in vegan fare a bit also and it is always refreshing to find a new cool way to make something without eggs or cheese! These sound fabulous. I’m always looking for new bean burgers in my life!

July 31, 2013 - 3:19 pm

Lisa - Loving your beautiful site and so excited to try your recipes. I wondering how much vital gluten to put in the lentil mixture please? thanks!

July 31, 2013 - 7:15 pm

srlacy - HI Lisa-

Thanks for the kind words. It’s 2/3 cup. It’s updated in the recipe now. Thank you!

August 6, 2013 - 5:40 pm

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan - I’ve been eyeing these burgers since I picked up the new VegNews! Now you are giving me the push to just make them!

August 12, 2013 - 6:05 am

Favorite Recipe Roundup – July Edition Peanut Butter + Banana… | My Blog - [...] Peanut Butter + Banana Waffles2-Layer No Bake Peanut Butter Brownie BarsLasagna Rolls with Tofu Ricotta and Everyday Tomato SauceMelon Basil Summer RollsDouble-Dipped Chocolate Covered Frozen BananasFrench Onion Burgers with Onion au Jus and Horseradish-Chive Sauce [...]

August 17, 2013 - 12:57 am

Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper - This looks amazing, what a great idea!!

October 18, 2013 - 7:13 pm

Emily - Hey! I just wanted to mention a quick disclaimer about the pretzel roll part – be careful about the ingredients in those! They’re often brushed with egg to get that crispy part, and often have butter in them! Be careful!