Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza

20130815-195642.jpg

It’s fall, y’all. Time to break out the boots, cozy sweaters and the fall recipe book! This recipe includes one of my favorite fall flavor combinations–locally made bulk chorizo sausage and roasted sweet potatoes. We buy our bulk chorizo from Mae Farm, a local farm that raises pigs in the highest ethical standards, with lots of room to roam and be pigs. Their chorizo is pretty phenomenal and I can’t wait for fall so we can make this pizza again! By the way, this same combination of flavors works great in a quesadilla as well! If you are feeding people who aren’t fans of spice, you can leave out the chili in adobo sauce.

This pizza is a knife and fork pizza. Or at least a two napkin pizza. It is chock full of late summer/early fall goodness, like roasted sweet potato, sweet onions, locally made chorizo sausage, and colorful, fresh bell peppers. This pizza is a meal In itself. I had originally planned to have a salad with dinner, but once I saw how huge the pizza was, I decided to save the salad for another night!

Pizza is one of those incredibly versatile meals that can make the most of whatever you have in the pantry or refrigerator. I’m including my whole wheat crust recipe because it is filling and higher in protein and fiber. You could replace it with whatever crust you like, though. I’m definitely going to make this again during football season!

Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza (makes 4-6 serving)

  • 1 recipe whole wheat pizza crust (see below)
  • 1 large sweet potato, roasted, with flesh removed from skin (compost the skin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 bell peppers (I used 1 each of red, yellow and green), washed, seeded and chopped
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
  • 1 lb. chorizo bulk chorizo sausage
  • 1 cup canned organic black beans
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  1. Prepare the pizza crust and let rise.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a 12″ skillet, brown the chorizo sausage over medium heat. Place a strainer over a thick layer of paper towel and pour sausage and drippings into the strainer and set aside.
  4. Return the skillet to the heat, and add the olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers. Stir together and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft and there is no liquid in the pan. Remove pan from heat.
  5. On a lightly greased or flour dusted baking sheet, stretch dough out to make your pizza shape (I prefer square pizzas, but that’s me).
  6. Spread the sweet potato over the crust and sprinkle the drained chorizo over the sweet potato.
  7. Add black beans on top of the sausage, then add the pepper mixture over all.
  8. Cover the vegetables with a generous amount of cheese.
  9. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Cut and serve immediately.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (makes 2 rounds of dough)

  • 1 pckg. yeast
  • 1 3/4 c. warm water
  • 4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until completely dissolved and a bit foamy.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer (w/dough hook attached), combine flour, salt and olive oil.
  3. While mixer is running on low/med low, add yeast water to the flour in a stream.
  4. Allow mixer to knead dough for about 4 min.
  5. Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.
  6. Punch down dough and divide into two pieces (we divided it into 3). Each ball will make a pizza. You can freeze half for another time or let each dough ball stand covered for 20 minutes.
  7. Shape and make your pizzas according to the recipe directions.

Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza

20130815-195642.jpg

This pizza is a knife and fork pizza. Or at least a two napkin pizza. It is chock full of late summer goodness, like roasted sweet potato, sweet onions, locally made chorizo sausage, and colorful, fresh bell peppers. This pizza is a meal In itself. I had originally planned to have a salad with dinner, but once I saw how huge the pizza was, I decided to save the salad for another night!

Pizza is one of those incredibly versatile meals that can make the most of whatever you have in the pantry or refrigerator. I’m including my whole wheat crust recipe because it is filling and higher in protein and fiber. You could replace it with whatever crust you like, though. I’m definitely going to make this again during football season!

Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza (makes 4-6 serving)

  • 1 recipe whole wheat pizza crust (see below)
  • 1 large sweet potato, roasted, with flesh removed from skin (compost the skin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 bell peppers (I used 1 each of red, yellow and green), washed, seeded and chopped
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
  • 1 lb. chorizo bulk chorizo sausage
  • 1 cup canned organic black beans
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  1. Prepare the pizza crust and let rise.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a 12″ skillet, brown the chorizo sausage over medium heat. Place a strainer over a thick layer of paper towel and pour sausage and drippings into the strainer and set aside.
  4. Return the skillet to the heat, and add the olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers. Stir together and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft and there is no liquid in the pan. Remove pan from heat.
  5. On a lightly greased or flour dusted baking sheet, stretch dough out to make your pizza shape (I prefer square pizzas, but that’s me).
  6. Spread the sweet potato over the crust and sprinkle the drained chorizo over the sweet potato.
  7. Add black beans on top of the sausage, then add the pepper mixture over all.
  8. Cover the vegetables with a generous amount of cheese.
  9. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Cut and serve immediately.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (makes 2 rounds of dough)

  • 1 pckg. yeast
  • 1 3/4 c. warm water
  • 4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until completely dissolved and a bit foamy.
    2. In the bowl of a standing mixer (w/dough hook attached), combine flour, salt and olive oil.
    3. While mixer is running on low/med low, add yeast water to the flour in a stream.
    4. Allow mixer to knead dough for about 4 min.
    5. Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.
    6. Punch down dough and divide into two pieces (we divided it into 3). Each ball will make a pizza. You can freeze half for another time or let each dough ball stand covered for 20 minutes.
    7. Shape and make your pizzas according to the recipe directions.

    Summer Corn and Black Bean Salad

    20130630-153552.jpg

    When summer starts blazing with heat and humidity, I usually lose my desire to cook anything complicated. I love cold vegetable salads in the summer–their fresh flavors add a a lot to grilled foods and if you add some protein (like sustainably caught tuna), you can turn a side dish into an entrĂ©e in a snap!

    I found a corn salad recipe on Pinterest recently, and it looked promising. The photos were artful and lovely and the description sounded very tasty. I made it according to the directions, and not only was it not tasty, it didn’t look anything like the photo. Grrr. This made me wonder if anyone had actually made the recipe or if they were just re-pinning a bit of food porn. Pinterest is weird like that. Also, what is up with all the processed food recipes calling themselves “Amish” recipes? Pretty sure Amish people don’t eat cheese spread and Nutella. Just sayin’.

    Once I found myself with a sub-par recipe, I re-assessed the situation, and came up with a plan to fix the salad. This is what I ended up with. The photo may not be beautiful, but the flavors are, and I vouch for the recipe because I actually did make it and eat it myself!

    To update you, I finished my first 10K race, the Athleta Esprit de She, in the blazing heat and had such a great time, even if my time wasn’t great. It was wonderful to run with a group of women–what terrific, positive energy! I met some wonderful people, including a lovely lady named Pam, who encouraged me to run the Disney races. At 59, she has been running for 3 years, and has finished 8 half marathons with her daughter. Her blog, We Run Disney, is HERE if you want to check it out! As I close in on 50, I have been really giving a lot of thought to what I want to accomplish before that milestone. Pam was so friendly and encouraging, that I emailed her for more info. and now, I have set a new goal–Tom and I are going to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2014! Yes, yes, you wonder how Tom qualifies as a “princess”. Turns out, princes can run with a qualifying princess, so now our decision is what kind of matching costumes to wear (Tom would vote for “no costume,” but what fun is that?). And at some point soon, we will start training. Fun!

    Salads like this will help us train in the sweltering months ahead! You can make this full recipe or divide everything in half for a smaller amount. Either way, it’s all good!

    Summer Corn and Black Bean Salad (makes about 8 servings)

    • 4 ears of organic corn
    • 2 cans organic black beans
    • 1 pint organic cherry tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup chopped chili peppers (I used 1/2 can of roasted Hatch New Mexican peppers)
    • 1 avocado
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • Juice of one lime
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    1. Cook corn in your preferred method. I leave the cobs wrapped in the husks, cut the bottom inch off and microwave the cobs two at a time for 3 minutes. Let the cobs cool a bit, then grab the tops of the husk and silk and push the cob out the bottom. You should end up with one naked cob and a handful of husk and silk.
    2. Using a sharp knife or a scraper, remove the corn kernels from the cobs and put in a bowl.
    3. Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the bowl.
    4. Wash and halve the tomatoes. Add to the bowl.
    5. Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pour over the vegetables and mix well.
    6. Cut up the avocado (or mash like guacamole) and fold into the vegetable mixture.
    7. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
    8. Serve chilled.

    Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

    20130510-121500.jpg

    Quesadillas have come a long way, baby. Back in the day (the 80s for me), restaurants that served quesadillas to us suburban folk stuck pretty much with overly salty cheese and maybe chicken. I thought they were the most boring of all Tex-Mex foods. Really though, they are a genius way to make the most of little bits of leftovers, and the flavor combinations are pretty much endless. This recipe is based on one from Sugar Dish Me (HERE is the original recipe) and we really like it. It has a great combination of flavors and is very high in good-for-you veggies.

    20130117-190744.jpg

    We used a very large, leftover sweet potato, some Swiss chard from our garden, leftover black beans and some chorizo sausage from Mae Farm. You can top your quesadillas with whatever you like. We are using our homemade tomato salsa and some unflavored Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

    20130117-190825.jpg

    You could go vegan with this by leaving off the meat, cheese and sour cream and it would still be awesome.

    Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas (serves 4)

    • 4 whole wheat tortillas
    • 1 large or 2 small organic sweet potatoes, roasted
    • 1 lb. bulk hormone free chorizo sausage
    • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
    • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
    • 1/2 bunch organic Swiss chard, cleaned and chopped
    • 1 cup of cooked (or canned) organic black beans
    • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
    • 1 jar homemade (or store bought) salsa (optional)
    • 1 small container of unflavored Greek yogurt (optional)
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and bulk sausage. Brown sausage and remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
    3. Remove all but 2 tbsp. of the fat from the pan. Return pan to heat and add onions and Swiss chard. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until onion is starting to brown and chard is wilted. Remove from heat.
    4. Chop the chipotle peppers and set aside.
    5. Mash sweet potato flesh until smooth and set aside.
    6. Spread sweet potato puree on half of each tortilla.
    7. Top sweet potato with about 1/2 cup of cooked sausage.
    8. Top sausage with onion/chard mixture.
    9. Top onions with black beans and peppers.
    10. Top the beans with shredded cheese.
    11. Fold the empty side of the tortilla over the filled side to make a half circle. Press down a bit to make it all stick together.
    12. Put filled tortillas onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
    13. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut each quesadilla into 2-3 triangles. Plate and serve with your choice of condiments!

    20130117-190609.jpg

    %d bloggers like this: