Pizza for you, pizza for me.

Black Bean Pizza.

Start with one pizza crust. You could make your own, but, yes, we buy ours. We get the Mama Mary’s whole wheat thin crust. I do think that this pizza would be better with a thin crust, for what it’s worth. This winter I will probably experiment with making my own.

Then, make yourself some refried black beans. I use this recipe from the Food Network. My only recommendation is that you might want to up the cumin and salt a bit – the first time I made it, I had about 1 1/2 cans of beans, and I forgot to take down the levels of cumin, and I have found I like it better with the extra flavor. Mike doubled the recipe when he made it when I was in Chicago, and . . . it didn’t work as well. The beans tasted like mashed potatoes. Which, admittedly, is not a bad thing for anything to taste like, but was kind of strange. So be careful if you are doubling it.

The refried black beans take a while. You are probably still making them. Speaking of beans, we have been using so many black beans lately that I have been wondering if I should be buying dried ones instead. But I hear mixed reports. Anybody have a strong opinion? Recommendations on where I should/could buy them? Mike bought some but we haven’t tried them yet.

While you are doing that, sautée some peppers (preferably from the Farmer’s Market) and onion and chicken (we used chicken that was already cooked and shredded and then added it after the peppers were done just to get the seasoning) in some vegetable oil. What kind of pepper is up to you. I realized last night we could have used the jalapeño that is sitting on our counter, but we stuck to red and green bell peppers. Season all that with a little salt, a little cumin, a little chili powder, and a tiny bit of cayenne.

You are probably still waiting on the refried black beans. I maybe should have warned you to use a bigger pan than you thought you’d need.

When the refried beans are finally ready, spread them on the pizza crust. There will be some left over, which is excellent, because you can have some later on in the week. Then add the peppers and onions and chicken on top, cover it with cheese, and bake it at, oh, about 425 for ten minutes or so. Until the cheese is nice and melty.

While it’s baking, cut up a tomato and some cilantro. When the pizza comes out of the oven, spread those on top. Eat your piece while your husband is wrestling with Skype for a class. Be sure and taunt him with how great it is. Threaten to eat the entire thing.

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This is just something we came up with because Mike came back from Costa Rica with a black bean obsession. This suits me just fine, because I am also quite a fan of black beans, and it means we get to try new things. He’s been eating black beans and rice (made from a recipe he brought back from Costa Rica) for breakfast, but he wants to branch out, too. He asked me to make refried black beans the other night, and after we enjoyed them, we thought maybe they’d go pretty well on pizza. We sort of knocked off California Pizza Kitchen’s Tostada pizza, except of course that ours was better and cheaper.

Hummus Pizza.

Make some hummus. I think you should start here so that you have time to make the hummus. We haven’t settled on a hummus recipe yet. We tried it with tahini and liked it, but added some roasted red pepper as well, just to balance out the sesame seed flavor. I basically just like hummus. We haven’t tried it with dried beans yet (again, lack of confidence in my ability to work with dried beans), but it’s been good with canned.

Take your pizza crust. Again, we used the thin whole wheat crust from Mama Mary’s. Spray it with olive oil and put it in the oven at about 400.

Slice an onion and begin caramelizing it in some olive oil. We used red onion. I love red onion. We hardly ever buy it. I love slicing into them because they are so pretty.

When the pizza crust is starting to get a little brown, flip it over, spray it with more olive oil, and let the other side brown as well.

When the onion is almost done, add a red pepper you bought that very morning at the Farmer’s Market. Continue sautéeing it until the red pepper is soft.

Take the crust out of the oven and spread the hummus over it. Put your onion and red pepper on top of that. Sprinkle with feta and put under the broiler for, oh, about 3 minutes, just to soften it up a bit.

If you are me, you will also add olives to your slices. If you are Mike, you will not. And we meant to add tomato, but by the time we were done with all that, we’d forgotten the tomato and didn’t feel like slicing it.

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When I’d envisioned hummus pizza, I’d thought: crust, hummus, tomatoes and cucumbers. And a little feta. But Mike doesn’t like cucumbers, so we tried this instead, and it was really good with the red onion. He didn’t love the crunchy crust (although I did), so we may not do olive oil on both sides next time, just so it won’t be as crunchy for him.

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