Sometimes when you’re running low on ingredients, you’re forced to improvise. To make unusual decisions resulting in things you might not ordinarily try if you had say… some tomato sauce or mozzarella cheese around. The results of this culinary ad-libbing has a name… and that name is spicy avocado pizza.
Don’t let the spicy part frighten you. While this pizza definitely packs some warmth, the avocado is surprisingly effective at mellowing the heat out once it hits your tongue. The first time I made this pizza I made it with a whole avocado, pepper jack cheese, and no jalapeños. After revisions the pepper jack cheese was upgraded to habanero jack cheese (oh yes), the avocado was cut in half, and sliced jalapeños were scattered across the top. Cranking up the pepper dial to 11 and halving the avocado resulted in just the balance I was looking for. So if you have a pizza crust lying around but only have ingredients on hand for guacamole – fear not! This pizza will save you.
Spicy Avocado Pizza
A perfect balance of peppery kick and cool, creamy avocado - on a pizza!
- 1 prepared pizza crust (I like thin crust)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 avocado
- Juice from 1/2 of a lime
- Salt, to taste
- 3 ounces habanero jack cheese (pepper jack will work as well)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
- 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- Preheat oven according to package instructions for your prepared pizza crust.
- Blend avocado with the olive oil, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Spread evenly over the crust.
- Sprinkle half of the cilantro atop the avocado, then top with shredded cheese.
- Scattered sliced jalapeño and quartered tomato over the pizza. Transfer to oven and bake according to package instructions.
- Remove pizza from oven and top with remaining fresh cilantro. Slice and serve.
- Calorie information is based on using the prepared pizza crusts by Pizza Romana.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/
For those times when you can’t decide between taco night or pizza night, may I present for your consideration – Taco Pizza Night! I love this recipe because it’s high in protein and easy to throw together. Not only that, but you can scale the calories back to 170 calories per slice (340 calories for 1/3 of a 10-inch pizza) by using a reduced fat cheese and leaving off the avocado. Personally I think the 205 calories per slice is totally manageable in my diet though… and I never like to forgo the real deal when it comes to cheese! If you’re looking for a simple weeknight meal that can be whipped up in under half an hour, then this pizza should make its way into your oven and then into your mouth.
One of the things that makes this meal so easy to prepare is the use of a pre-made pizza crust. For the longest time I used whole grain lavash sheets to make a lower calorie variation on traditional pizza – like with my Quick Low Calorie Flatbread. Then I made an awesome discovery. One evening while doing my grocery shopping I came across the par-baked crusts from Pizza Romana and was shocked to see that the entire crust was only 300 calories. For comparison, a Boboli 8″ personal pizza crust is 380 calories while the 12″ pizza crust is over 1000 calories. The Pizza Romana crusts are about 10″ wide and made with very basic ingredients (flour, yeast, salt, oil). It makes for a perfect blank canvas to host an array of pizza toppings, and of course it worked wonderfully in this taco pizza. I’m able to find these at Central Market in Dallas – other HEB stores may carry them as well. If you cannot find these crusts in your area, Amazon happens to sell them by the 6-pack but the shipping cost is kind of ridonkulous. Another option would be making use of lavash as I did in my previous pizza recipe, or any other thin flatbreads that are readily available to you. And of course if you don’t care about the calories… by all means use whatever crust you want! Just make note that this could affect the overall cooking time.
A simple-to-prepare weeknight pizza that’s full of flavor.
- 1 premade pizza crust (I used the one by Pizza Romana)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/2-1 jalapeño pepper, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
- 1 mini sweet red pepper, diced (or 1/2 bell pepper)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 package or 1 1/2 cups vegetarian burger crumbles, thawed (I used Morningstar Farms)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 avocado, sliced (or cubed depending on your preference)
- Chopped cilantro & green onion for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450F (or whatever temperature your packaged crust suggests.)
- Using half a teaspoon of your olive oil, rub it along the outer edge of your prepared pizza crust. Lightly sprinkle with salt if desired. I find this gives a nicer texture and flavor to the crust when it comes out of the oven.
- Heat the remaining half teaspoon of olive oil on medium high heat in a nonstick skillet.
- Put onions, peppers, and garlic in the oil and let cook for a few minutes until soft and fragrant.
- Add burger crumbles, tomato paste, water, and seasonings to the pan. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle about half of the cheese onto your pizza crust. Since there is no sauce the cheese will act as a “glue” to hold your toppings in place. Evenly distribute the taco crumbles over the top of the cheese and then top with the remaining shredded cheddar.
- Place pizza directly on the oven rack and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the edges of the crust are crisp and golden. Use your crust’s package instructions as a guideline for cooking time.
- Remove from oven and top with fresh tomato, avocado, and herbs.
- Calories listed are for 2 slices or 1/3 of the whole pizza.
- Non vegetarians can brown 1/2 a pound of ground beef in place of the crumbles. Make sure to drain off excess grease before seasoning. I calculated the calorie info subbing in 80% lean ground beef and the calories/protein content were almost exactly the same as the original.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/
A couple of days ago I posted my recipe for a reduced calorie spinach and mushroom lasagna. I also mentioned how there was a fair bit of sauce leftover that I would be using again in another recipe later. Well here it is!
First off I must confess that I’m completely addicted to making these things. Whenever I discovered how easy it was to make a crispy, thin crust pizza with whole grain lavash, it became one of my go-to lunch meals. The entire sheet of lavash is only 120 calories and makes a nice sized personal pizza. It’s large enough that I often split one with someone and eat it with a small salad. The total calorie count of your flatbread will vary depending on the toppings, but mine almost always fall between 350-450. One of my favorites has been topped with a combination of chopped mushrooms, fontina cheese, fresh thyme, and truffle oil. And of course it’s hard not to love the trusty fall back of a classic margherita style pizza with tomatoes and chopped fresh basil. In this case however, I’ll be using the leftover lasagna filling I made the other night with shredded mozzarella, kalamata olives, and a sprinkling of paprika. If you’re a pizza fiend that is also trying to be a health fiend, definitely give this one a try. It comes together in under 15 minutes and will satisfy those nagging cravings without destroying your calorie budget. :)
Quick Low Calorie Flatbread
Easy and healthified version of a personal pizza that you can whip up in 10-15 minutes.
- 1/4 leftover green lasagna filling (or hey, use some pesto, leftover spaghetti sauce, infused oil, or sundried tomato spread – it’s all good!)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sheet whole grain lavash
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 5 kalamata olives, chopped
- Paprika, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 and place lavash directly on the oven rack for about 5 minutes, just to dry it out a little.
- Remove from oven and brush olive oil over the flatbread, focusing on the edges. Spread the lasagna filling over the top and add the shredded cheese and olives. Return to oven and bake another 5-8 minutes. Broiling will also work here but keep an eye on it as the lavash is very thin and can burn easily.
- Sprinkle with paprika, slice and serve immediately.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/