Southwestern style pizza

Hi guys!

After I made this life-changing pizza a few weeks ago, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about ways to get more pizza in my life. I don’t order a lot of delivery pizza because 1) I am trying to save money and 2) while a place like Little Caesar’s is affordable, I think it’s the lowest form of pizza and should rightly be called a saucy, sub-par bread stick.  Not to worry, though – once I discovered this delicious and easy recipe for whole wheat pizza dough, I’ve decided pizza time is now. Can you believe that when I was younger I didn’t like pizza!?  My awkward adolescence was only made worse by this misguided opinion.


On an unrelated to pizza note – how is your summer going? I can’t believe it’s almost July.  One of my goals this summer was to run a half-marathon.  I’ve run a few 5ks and a 10k, but a half-marathon is something I’ve aspired to forever.  A while ago, I somewhat impulsively signed up for a half  on July 9 (!!), only giving myself 10 weeks to train.  It’s in Traverse City, Michigan, during their annual cherry festival.

Ever since I moved to Michigan I’ve been hearing people rave about various cities and parks up north near the Great Lakes, and how beautiful and pristine it all is. And cherries are totally a Michigan thing! At Starbucks they even have “Michigan cherry oat bars” so you know it’s legit. I also booked an adorable room using Airbnb for the first time and decided it would be the perfect solo, mid-summer weekend vacation.

Pro tip: A 10 week training plan is really no bueno for first time half runners.  It really leaves no room for missing workouts due to unforeseen circumstances, or inability to run due to soreness from a new training regimen. I’d say 14 weeks is much better.

So instead of doing the half, I’ll be running the 10k. It’s a little disappointing but I’ve already found another half that I can reasonably aspire to complete in September. And I’ll still enjoy a relaxing weekend of eating cherries, sipping cherry wine, and exploring some natural beauty.


So, back to pizza. While pizza doesn’t have a reputation for being a health food (and probably rightly so), I added lots of protein and veggies to this pizza to make it healthier while still scrumptious.

First, I used a whole wheat crust. Then I replaced the pizza sauce with a spicy black bean hummus made with one of my FAVE ingredients, chiles in adobo sauce. I topped the pizza with cheese (duh, some things shouldn’t change) along with tomato and bell pepper. Finished it off with creamy avocado and fresh cilantro.  YASS.


I’ll be the first to admit I’m not good at eating leftovers. I get bored of eating the same thing pretty quickly. But honestly I ate leftovers of this pizza for like a week and didn’t get bored, it’s that good.

Here’s what you’ll need:


Ingredients

Whole wheat crust:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Black bean hummus:

  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic glove, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 canned chiles in adobo (2 chiles made this pretty spicy, which is how I like it.  The spiciness is toned down a bit once it’s on the pizza, remember.  Adjust to taste.)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Pizza toppings:

  • 2 small roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced into small pieces (I used orange)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Monterey jack cheese
  • Diced avocado and chopped cilantro for topping’

Directions

 

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the hot water, sugar and yeast for the pizza crust. Allow the yeast to bloom for 10 minutes. It should be foamy on top when ready!
  2. While you wait, mix together the different flours along with the salt.  Note: I used a food processor fitted with a dough hook, but you could use a stand mixer with a dough hook, or a large bowl and your hands!
  3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, along with the olive oil. Process until a ball of dough forms, then process the ball of dough for another 1 minute. If it’s too dry and not coming together, add more water. If kneading with your hands, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until dough is stretchy and soft but not sticky.
  4. Let the dough rest in an oiled bowl for 40 minutes. It should double in size.
  5. To make the black bean hummus, add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.  Add more olive oil if the mixture is too dry.
  6. Preheat oven to 500 degrees a couple minutes before dough is ready.
  7. Once the dough has risen, flatten it out on a flour dusted surface.  You can use your hands to press the dough down into a circle, or a rolling pin.  It should be about 1/4 inch thickness.
  8. Place dough into a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal (or spray with non stick spray, but cornmeal adds a nice texture).
  9. Spread pizza generously with the black bean hummus (I didn’t use all of mine).  Then top with shredded cheese.  Try and cover all of the hummus with cheese, otherwise it will dry out too much in the oven.  Top with diced tomato and bell pepper.
  10. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and melted, and crust is golden brown.
  11. Top with avocado and cilantro, then enjoy!

 

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