Taco Pizza

Back when we were doing the vegan thing I spent a lot of time searching out new recipes. More often than not I would find recipes that I could easily convert from vegetarian and even omnivore. This taco pizza recipe was from a magazine, the original recipe had meat and cheese. With a little tweaking it quickly became a family favorite, well mostly my Hubby’s favorite. When I ask him for suggestions for our veggie night when meal planning he always goes to this or the One Pot Pasta which can easily be made vegetarian or vegan.

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These pizzas are super simple to put together and are even great for a crowd. We grill ours, but you can just as easily make them in the oven like any other pizza.

Taco Pizza
Makes 6 individual pizzas

Ingredients:
Cornmeal for sprinkling
16 oz. fresh pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
1 (15 oz.) can refried beans*
1/4 cup picante sauce
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained*

Toppings (all of which are optional, build it like you would your taco):
1 cup grated cheese (whatever you prefer)
2 cups lettuce, shredded
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 (4.5 oz.) can sliced black olives, drained
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

Directions:
1. Pre-heat your gas grill to high heat. Or, if using your oven, preheat to 400 degrees.

2. Generously sprinkle a cookie sheet (If BBQing use a cookie sheet without an edge so you can slide your pizzas off easily) with cornmeal (or flour). Divide your dough into 6 equal portions. Starting in the center, slowly pull and stretch the dough as you turn it. Gradually work from the center out until you have a nice little pizza crust. Place the crust on the prepared pan. Move it around to be sure the bottom is coated with enough cornmeal that it doesn’t stick, add more as needed. Repeat with remaining dough until you have 6 little pizza crusts on your pan.

3. To make the refried beans easier to spread, place them in a small bowl and stir to loosen (I like to add this seasoning to my beans, but it is totally optional). Evenly divide the beans onto the pizza dough. Using the back of the spoon, gently spread the beans around to cover the surface area of the dough.
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4. Spoon a generous tablespoon of picante sauce on top of the refried beans, again, using the back of a spoon, gently spread out to cover the surface of the beans.

5. Sprinkle on the black beans.
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6. Gently slide your pizzas directly onto the BBQ grill. (If using oven, just leave on the cookie sheet and place in oven.) Turn the burners down to low, close the lid and let cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes or so, check to see the pizzas are cooking evenly and not burning (my grill has hot spots). Once the dough starts to cook, you will be able to easily lift and turn the pizzas as needed to help them cook evenly. The pizzas are done when the edges are browned and the pizzas don’t flop when picked up. If cooking too fast, turn half the burners off and place your pizzas on the side without heat to cook indirectly. Keep covered so the BBQ can cook more like an oven.

7. Once cooked, remove your pizzas from the grill (or oven).
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8. On each pizza arrange your toppings as you like. I layered on a little cheese, lettuce, tomato, cilantro, olives and finished with a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt (sour cream)
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I hope your family enjoys this fun twist on a pizza as much as we do.

*I typically cook large batches of dry beans once every other month or so. Once cooked I strain and bag in freezer bags in 1 1/2 cup increments. Once frozen I can simply pull a bag to use in a recipe. Each bag is equivalent to one 15 oz. can of beans. I do this with black, pinto, white and even garbanzo beans. For refried beans I simply thaw a bag of whole pinto beans and mash while reheating with a little water, broth or oil if you prefer.

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