Mexican Pizza

I bought a bike this week!

The summer I returned from a year studying abroad, I went to visit my friends at UCSB who were just graduating. I was fortunate enough to inherit Daisy, my graduating friend Mallory’s purple beach cruiser, and I looooved her! But I had to leave her when I moved home, and have been bikeless ever since.

Welp, my chauffeur boyfriend just started working on a congressional campaign (70+ hours a week) so I realized that I needed a bike. Thus, Daisy 2.0 was born.

I can now leave home 7 minutes before work and get there on time! I can stop at home and change before getting to a 6:45pm dodgeball game! And most importantly, I can bike home at lunch and have time to make a delicious and nutritious meal. Enter: Mexican Pizza.

One good thing about T-Man working so much is that I can make food with beans in it. He will try pretty much anything I make…Anything, that is, that doesn’t include mushrooms (okay), tomatoes (understandable), or BEANS (what?!). This is a problemo, people. I love beans. They’re full of fiber and protein, and you can work them into so many dishes! Like this “pizza”.

Mexican Pizza with Pico de Gallo
Serves 1
2 tortillas (I just discovered La Tortilla Factory‘s Fiber & Flax corn tortillas… only 90 calories + 5 grams of fiber in 2 tortillas!)
1/2 cup refried beans (I used a fat-free variety from Trader Joe’s Jose’s)
1/4 cup zucchini, sliced (or veggies of your choice)
2-3 tbs shredded cheese
1-2 tsp hot sauce
oil of your choice

Pico de Gallo
for 1 pizza
1/2 tomato, diced with seeds and juices removed
1/4 cup onion
1/2 jalapeno, diced (optional)
1 tbs lime juice
1 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Combine hot sauce and refried beans in a microwave-safe container. Microwave until warm, probably no longer than a minute.

2. With your stove at medium heat, add a small amount of oil to pan (I used my misto). While it’s heating up, spread 1/2 of bean mixture onto a tortilla. Carefully place, tortilla side down, on the pan. Decrease heat to low.

3. Add sliced veggies on top of the beans. At this point, I covered the pan so that the veggies would cook through a little bit. Once veggies are cooked, add as much (or as little) cheese as you want. Feel free to add seasonings at this point

4. Spread remainder of bean mixture on 2nd tortilla and place on it on top (tortilla side down again). Cover until heated through.

5. While you wait, dice up the ingredients for your Pico de Gallo and toss together.

6. If desired, add more cheese. Note: I always desire more cheese.

7. Remove from heat, top with pico de gallo, and chow down!

Sure, it’s not authentic, but it’s a super simple, filling and pretty nutritious meal. You can make it so many different ways: crisp up the tortillas in some oil, use different veggies or mashed black beans instead of refried…the possibilities are endless!

Yesterday, I omitted the second tortilla, added a boatload of bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, and made it into an open-faced tostada of sorts:

And check out the approximate nutrition facts for the above meal:

Quick, healthy lunches: I have found you!

Now excuse me as I get ready to bike home at lunch (because I can) and bake cookies for the boyfriend’s work BBQ. I think my famous orange creamsicle cookies will most certainly convince them to let him have a few days off…Recipe and photos to come soon 🙂

Arroz con Pollo (kinda)

The difficult thing about having short(ish) hair is that you actually have to get it cut every once in a while.

Since I have been so busy with work and moving, I realized that my hair is seriously overgrown and in need of a trim. Since I donated my hair last year, I usually tell myself, “If all your hair fits into a ponytail, it’s time to get it cut!”

I’ve been in ponytail land for weeks now. It’s time.

The problem is, I have gotten my hair cut by the same stylist for over 10 years and he works in my parents’ neighborhood, which is 20 minutes away. I am a car-less, bike-less girl who depends on her boyfriend to drive her everywhere, and I work from 9-6 every day. What’s a girl to do? I’m starting to realize that a change in stylist might have to happen soon.

But change isn’t all that bad, you see. I’ve been bookmarking recipes for Arroz con Pollo for a while now, and I’ve been really wanting to make it. The most appealing are this paella-style Arroz con Pollo from A Cozy Kitchen, and this beautiful version from Joy the Baker.

I noticed a common ingredient in both recipes, which presented a problem: Arroz con Pollo is not Arroz con Pollo without saffron. And try as I might, I can’t find those little red stems anywhere! Okay, so I only looked in one aisle at Safeway and at the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market where everything is 1 day away from expiring……but that’s beside the point.

I decided that a change was necessary, and I put my own Tex-Mex spin on the one-pot dish. It may not have been traditional, but it was delicious, and easy to make! Continue reading