Saturday, February 1, 2014

Easy Mini Nacho Pizzas

So today begins February, a month of many celebrations.  Valentine's Day probably comes to mind the most.  Love, hearts, and all that commercial stuff.  I'm not a fan of this holiday (one day a year to show your love?  Nah.), but I can appreciate that other people are.  I do like how it (hopefully) reminds people to show their loved one(s) how much they love them, even if it is once a year.

How about Groundhog day?  Better yet, how about the movie, Groundhog Day?  I absolutely loooooove that movie!  Bill Murray is a riot, and his friend Ned kills me every time.  And Andie MacDowell is absolutely adorable in it.  I love the idea of the movie, that we get to live a day over and over and over again until we get it right.  Good feel good movie.  I need to pop that one in the DVD again soon.

February also means that my niece & nephew turn a year older - this year, they'll be 10 years old.  Those two kiddos mean the world to me.  They live about a 3 hour drive from Austin, so I get to see them "enough" but not nearly as much as I'd like.  I absolutely cherish being their Aunt Laura.  It's the most fun job I have right now.  :)

And last but not least, February is American Heart Health Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness of heart health issues in our country.  I believe (and yes, there is debate on this topic) heart disease is a direct function of our diet, and the more your diet resembles a whole foods plant based diet, the less your chances of getting any heart disease whatsoever.  In fact, eating a whole food plant based diet even has the ability to reverse heart disease built up from years of not eating right.  I firmly believe the research I've read in this area, so much so that I've changed the entire way I eat as a result of it and am, in a real sense, betting my life on it.

So to start off this great month of February, I want to introduce you to a very easy & heart healthy recipe:  Easy Mini Nacho Pizzas.  I was inspired to make them from this delicious recipe from LunchboxBunch.

Easy Mini Nacho Pizzas
makes 4 mini pizzas

2 English muffins (100% whole wheat, if possible), split in half and lightly toasted
1/4 can refried beans (low sodium, is possible)
Salsa (amount to your liking)
1/2 avocado, cut in chunks
1 tomato, diced
1/4 onion, chopped
Dash of spicy salt to taste, optional (I prefer Tony Chachere's)
Cilantro, optional

I basically layered it up in the order shown.  First I lightly toasted the english muffins and spread a healthy layer of refried beans on it, along with a layer of salsa.  Next came the avocado chunks, then the tomatoes, and finally the pieces of onion.  I finished it off with a dash on each mini pizza of my favorite spicy salt, Tony Chachere's.  I popped them in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, and they were good to go.  (I forgot to add the cilantro, but that would've made them that much better!)

Where's the cheese, right?  Right?  These delicious hunks of mexican goodness were created without cheese, thank you very much.  Not even vegan cheese.  The recipe I used as inspiration for my version shows vegan pepper jack cheese shreds, and they look delicious in the pictures, but I really do try to stay away from processed as much as possible.  I pick my battles with the processed foods, and this is not one that's important to me.  So I try to stay away from even vegan cheese for now.  I may change my tune one day, but that feels right for where I am on this food journey right now.  :)

This recipe can easily be transformed into a vegetarian-friendly recipe with the addition of cheese or sour cream, or even a meat recipe with the addition of shredded chicken or pork.  Whatever way you choose to eat it, it's one that I recommend for its ease and, let's face it, its cute little twist on nachos as a mini pizza.  It's worth making it for that reason alone.

As you can see in the background of the pictures, I used the leftover space on the cookie sheet to roast what was left of the brussels sprouts in the fridge.  That and a small side salad with this homemade garlic dijon vinaigrette dressing rounded out our meal.

Cheers to an easy, vegan, heart-healthy meal to start off February.

Happy Heart Health Month, y'all!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Beau! I'm trying to nail down the look & feel of my posts, and this one was more of the kind I'm striving for. :)

  2. Yum. I'm excited to give these a try! Yea for February and Laura!

    1. Awww, thanks, Erica! Appreciate your checking out my blog. :)