Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mango and Black Bean Pizzas

Tonight for dinner, I have decided that I want something sweet but savory at the same time. I'm thinking that mango and black bean pizzas are definitely the way to go. Now I know some of you may be like "Mango and black beans?" Yes, mango and black beans! They actually go really good together. There are many types of mango and black bean salads and dishes, but these pizzas are really simple and quick. They make for a great snack or dinner dish. Talan absolutely loves to eat these.

Mango and Black Bean Pizzas

Okay, so here's what you will need to make 4 of these delightful pizzas. If you want to make more, just duplicate the directions to fit your needs.

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained, and mashed or pureed
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, cubed
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (I make my own but store bought sauce will work)
  • 2 cups lowfat cheddar cheese (I use a mixture of cheeses which I will explain later)
  • 4 whole wheat Greek style pocket-less pitas
Other than the ingredients, you will also need some cooking spray or vegetable/olive oil, a baking sheet, and of course, an oven (which is going to need to be preheated soon)!

1) Preheat your oven to 400° (see, I told ya!)
2) Spray your baking sheet with your cooking spray or lightly coat it with the oil.
3) Arrange the pitas on the baking sheet.
4) Spread the mashed (or pureed) beans over the pitas.
5) Spread the tomato sauce on top of the beans (recommended 1/4 cup per pita).
6) Sprinkle the cheese on top of the sauce (recommended 1/2 cup per pita).
7) Bake the pizzas in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly brown and/or bubbly.
8) Remove the pizzas from the oven and top with the mango cubes.
9) Cut pitas into small pieces, triangles, or other shapes (this is for the kids mainly).
10) ENJOY!

While the recipe recommends only using a particular amount of beans, sauce, and cheese for the pitas, remember that with any recipe, you can jazz it up to your liking. I love cheese, so I usually go a bit overboard with it on mine.

Instead of using just 2 cups of cheddar cheese as the recipe states, most of the time I use 1 cup of cheddar, 1 cup of mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Just using mozzarella makes for a really good pizza as well. As for Talan, I normally just top his with cheddar, as mozzarella can be a choking hazard at times, even for me.

Also, this dish is great and filling using just the pitas, but you can also try putting the toppings on an actual pizza crust as well.

For the health conscious crowd out there, you may like to know that the vitamin C in the mango and tomato sauce enhances ones ability to absorb of the non-meat form of iron in the beans and pita. This may not mean much to some, but iron is very important for toddlers and generally more difficult for them to get from their diet as they transition from breast milk or formula to table foods around the age of one, hence why I'm glad that Talan enjoys this dish. Also, remember that black beans are a wonderful source phytochemicals (non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties), fibers, and proteins.

There you have it. A quick and easy recipe for a snack or a quick dinner entree. If you try these as a dinner entree, then a traditional salad or a spinach salad, a good pasta dish, or both, go great with these pizzas as sides.

I do hope that you give this recipe a try!

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