It is never too late to celebrate a national holiday in Mexico and the U.S., Cinco de Mayo, also known as the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. In the spirit of the Americanized Mexican holiday, I’ve made a pizza with delicious Mexican flavors. There’s always Mexican cuisine around our kitchen – everything from red or green rice, pico de gallo, beans, fresh made tortillas and occasionally even some refreshing cucumber or tamarind margaritas.
So we made a different vegan taco pizza using a beer flatbread recipe, Beyond Meat’s newest Beef-Free crumbles and Violife’s Hot Peppers cheese. Other toppings include roasted corn & poblano chiles, chopped roma tomatoes, avocado and spinach. We prefer Beyond Meat’s more neutral Beef-Free “Beefy” crumbles over the “Feisty” Beef-Free crumbles, that way you can add your own seasonings to taste.
Update: Just recently a Greek company Violife has removed preservatives polyphenols and sorbic acid. Now all Violife cheese slices (except for their creamy range) are preservative-free in addition to being coconut-oil based, gluten-free, GMO-free, lactose-free, nut-free, palm-oil free and soya-free. Read our full review on Violife cheese and creamy range here.
We shredded the Violife Hot Peppers Cheese slices using a cheese grater. The melting shreds are perfect for our Taco Beer Flatbread Pizza with Roasted Corn & Poblano, fajitas, quesadillas, empanadas, calzones or burritos, or even lasagna or cheesy pasta dishes. The Hot Peppers cheese reminds me of pepperjack with a bit of red and green peppers with mild heat, but not very spicy.
To achieve a very melty cheese, I find it helpful by mixing unsweetened dairy-free milk and cheese (shredded using a grater or roughly chopped) in a saucepan. Since Violife is not readily available in the U.S., I’ve also included a homemade nacho cheese sauce in the “Notes” section of the recipe. Please note, ensure all the toppings are prepped because the cheese sauce is the last step to make. If the cheese sauce is too runny, add more cheese. If the cheese sauce is too thick, add more milk.
Roasting poblano peppers is pretty fun including ears of corn. Roast the corn and chiles either directly over a gas flame or under a broiler, turning often with tongs, until some kernels or skins are blackened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let the corn cool at room temperature, then cut the kernels off each cob in a bowl. Transfer the blackened poblano to a bowl with a plastic wrap and allow to cool. Using gloves, remove the charred skins (rinse briefly and pat dry with a paper towel). Cut in half, remove seeds and membranes and cut into 2-inch thin strips. In a large bowl, mix together with salt and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate, about 1 hour. Toss to combine before serving.
Let’s talk about that beer flatbread I’ve been raving about lately and there are only five core ingredients to make it: bread flour, yeast, garlic powder, vegan beer and salt. We’ve used it to make perfect calzones (coming soon on the blog), wraps, and even crispy pizzas using a different cooking method. The recipe is adapted from The Beeroness’ Homemade Garlic Beer Pita Bread. Garlic powder is optional and not always necessary. I substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour, which works out well.
For the beer, use ONLY wheat, pale ale or blonde beers. I’ve tried hoppy beers in this recipe and the flatbread came across slightly bitter (maybe not for hoppy beer fans). Not all beers are vegan. Please note in the production of beer, some producers use animal by-products as fining agents, essentially a filtration process. Check out the frequently updated Barnivore to check whether your specific beer is vegan, vegan-friendly or not.
I use a vegan New Belgium Snapshot Wheat Beer for the recipe; their brewery does not use any kind of animal by-products in their beers or during processing/filtration including sugar that is free of bone char. It’s a drinkable and enjoyable craft beer. As you can see New Belgium beers have a good track record with Barnivore.
Taco Beer Flatbread Pizza with Roasted Corn & Poblano
Yield: About 4 eight-inch diameter flatbread pizzas
1 recipe Vegan Beer Flatbread
For the corn & poblano:
- 2 ears of corn (about 1½ cups kernels), roasted and kernels removed from the cob (see “Notes”)
- 2 medium poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch strips (see “Notes”)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the cheese sauce:
- 1¼ – 1½ cups unsweetened dairy-free milk (depending on thickness)
- 2 (7-ounce/200g) packages Violife hot peppers cheese, shredded with a grater or chopped (or about 3 cups vegan cheese shreds)
- 2 (12-ounce) packages Beyond Meat Beef Free Beefy Crumbles, sautéed until warm (optional)
- 1 large ripe hass avocado, halved, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1½ cups roma tomatoes, diced
- ¼ cup (2-ounce) spinach leaves, chopped
- 1 recipe “Creamy Black Bean & Cilantro Dip” for serving
- Minced fresh cilantro leaves or minced chives for garnish (optional)
Make the corn & poblano: Mix together all of the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate, about 1 hour. Toss to combine before serving.
Make the cheese sauce: Ensure all the toppings are prepped because the cheese sauce is the last step to make. Heat milk in a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, stir in the cheese, stirring rapidly with a wire whisk, until the cheese has melted. It should be thickened and smooth. If the cheese sauce is too runny, add more cheese. If the cheese sauce is too thick, add more milk. Remove from heat and pour the sauce on the flatbread immediately.
Place the Creamy Black Bean & Cilantro Dip in the center of the flatbread and spread it evenly across the surface, stopping about 1 inch from the edges. Add the cheese sauce immediately. Top with Beyond Meat Beef-Free crumbles, tomatoes, corn & poblano, spinach and avocado. Garnish with cilantro.
Advance preparation: The Corn & Poblano will keep for two or three days in the refrigerator. Creamy Black Bean & Cilantro Dip can be prepared up to a day and keeps well for a week in the refrigerator, make sure you heat it up on stove or in a microwave before serving. These Vegan Beer Flatbreads are best served the day they’re made, but you can store them in foil at room temperature and reheat gently the next day.
Corn & Poblano tips: Grill the corn directly over a gas flame or under a broiler, turning frequently, until some of the corn is charred and heated through for about 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with the other corn. Let the corn cool at room temperature, then cut the kernels off each cob in a bowl. Roast the chiles either directly over a gas flame or under a broiler, turning often with tongs, until skins are blackened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with other chiles. Transfer to a bowl with a plastic wrap and allow to cool. Using gloves, remove the charred skins (rinse briefly and pat dry with a paper towel). Cut in half, remove seeds and membranes and cut into 2-inch thin strips.
Vegan Beer: Use ONLY wheat, pale ale or blonde beers. Check out the frequently updated Barnivore to check whether your specific beer is vegan, vegan-friendly or not. We use a vegan New Belgium Snapshot Wheat Beer for the recipe; their brewery does not use any kind of animal by-products in their beers or during processing/filtration including sugar that is free of bone char. It’s a drinkable and enjoyable craft beer.
Today makes it 2½ weeks away from my birthday. Our summer birthdays are a month apart. I’m pretty simple when it comes to my birthday, and I normally don’t make a fuss over it. Doni surprised me with a Vitamix Professional Series 300 for my early birthday present and my heart nearly exploded. I’ve always wanted a Vitamix when I became interested in cooking last year. It was the best birthday gift I’ve ever received along with a pair of Stella McCartney sandals. I’m a happy girl! We’ve been making more smoothies this week and one of our favorite smoothie was fresh blueberries, frozen banana, coconut water, chia seeds and ground cinnamon. Doni makes the best smoothies ever! I am looking forward to posting more summery smoothies this year! ♥
Have you ever used beer in a recipe or tried flatbread ‘pizza’? What are your favorite toppings?