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. I posted a massive Taco Pizza with crushed tortilla chips two years ago to celebrate the event and it had been awhile since we made this type of pizza.
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.
Mix together all of the ingredients. Cover and refridgerate, about 1 hour. Toss to combine before serving.
In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour, yeast and garlic powder. Warm the beer until the temperature reaches between 120°-125° F in a bowl of a very warm water, on the stove, or in microwave on high for 20 seconds, use a cooking thermometer or infrared digital thermometer gun to determine temperature. The beer should be warm, not too hot. With the stand mixer at medium speed, add the warm beer until well blended, about 1 minute, then add salt. Continue to mix, gradually increasing the mixer speed to medium-high, until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Place it in an oiled bowl and cover with cling/plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a draft-free warm place until doubled in size, about an hour. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into four equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, on a floured surface, roll the dough into a large circle, about 8 inches in diameter. Preheat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Lightly grease the surface, cook the flatbread for 2 minutes on the first side until nicely puffed. Turn over with tongs or spatula and continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until golden with brown spots. Place the flatbread on a wire rack and cover with a clean towel to keep warm. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Optional for a slightly crunchier flatbread: Preheat the oven to 450° F. Place the flatbread pizza on a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel and slide the flatbread from the peel to a very hot stone, about 8 to 10 minutes until golden.
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 evently 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 refridgerator. Creamy Black Bean & Cilantro Dip can be prepared up to a day and keeps well for a week in the refridgerator, make sure you heat it up on stove or in a microwave before serving.
For the corn & poblano: 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 membrances and cut into 2-inch thin strips.
For the beer: Use ONLY wheat, pale ale or blonde beers. Check out the frequently updated Barnivore 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.
For the flatbread: These are best served the day they’re made, but you can store them in foil at room temperature and reheat gently the next day. The flatbread recipe is adapted from The Beeroness’ Homemade Garlic Beer Pita Bread.
For the quick nacho cheese sauce:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours, over overnight
1 cup organic carrots, diced (about 6 ounces or two medium carrots) or ¾ cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 to 2 teaspoons minced jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded if desired
½ cup vegetable stock, homemade or store-bought
Place the carrots in a steamer, cover and steam for 5 to 8 minutes (or boil in a saucepan) until tender. Remove from heat, rinse with cold water and drain on paper towels. Using a standard blender or using an immersion blender, mix all ingredients until silky smooth. Add a bit of water if too thick.
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! ♥