Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mexican Pita Pizza

Mexican Pita Pizzas

You may remember my post from a few weeks ago on BBQ Chicken Pita Pizzas, our favorite quick week night dinner.  Tonight I decided to step out and try another type of pita pizza, Mexican Pita Pizza.  As a kid I always loved the Taco Bell Mexican Pizzas, and in my adulthood I still love the flavors, but not the nutritional information.  This is a great way to enjoy the same flavors, but a with a lot more nutritious value.  BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza is still my favorite, but I'm so glad that I made this, because it was delicious and will definitely satisfy my Taco Bell cravings!  A traditional Mexican Pizza would be topped with black olives, but I swapped those out for the jalapenos because I like a good kick to my Mexican food.  To make this quick, inexpensive and easy I made this a vegetarian version, but to make it more like Taco Bell you could easily add a layer of cooked ground beef above the layer of beans.  Serve with sour cream and guacamole if desired, but I found that it was delicious as is and didn't need a thing added.

-2 pieces whole wheat pita bread
-1 recipe refried beans (below)
-4 Tbsp taco sauce (I like medium for extra heat)
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-chopped red onions
-chopped cilantro
-diced tomatoes
-sliced jalapenos (or black olives)

Layer half of the refried bean mixture onto each piece of pita bread.  Top with 1/2 of the taco sauce, then 1/2 of the cheese, then additional toppings as desired.  Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.  Slice and serve.

Quick Refried Beans

This is a super quick and easy way to make refried beans.  They are MUCH more delicious (and cheaper) than buying canned refried beans.  I make them a little different each time, based on what other ingredients I have on hand, but no matter what they always come out great.  This is a perfect side dish for Mexican meals when heated, it is also great served cold as a cold bean dip, as a bottom layer to a 7 layer dip, or makes a great warm bean dip especially when topped with melted cheese.

-1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 clove garlic
-1/2 Tbsp lime juice
-several leaves of fresh cilantro
-a few dashes of hot sauce
-2 Tbsp some type of liquid... I've used taco sauce, more lime juice, and the brine from a jar of pickled jalapenos with equal success (if using lime juice or a liquid without sodium add 1/4 tsp salt also)

Combine all ingredients if food processor (or blender) and process until desired consistency.  (I tend to opt. for a consistency with a few chunks of beans in it, but mostly pureed).