By Christine Vartanian Datian
Hot and healthy is the way to go with these Middle Eastern by way of Mexico pizzas.
4 – 8” or 9″ large whole wheat tortillas
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 or 2 roasted green chiles, peeled, seeded, cut into strips
2 medium green tomatoes, sliced thinly
1 large avocado, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chopped black or green olives
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
Pinch of oregano, cumin, and crushed red pepper flakes
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated cotija cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Chopped white onions, cilantro and shredded red cabbage
Crema or sour cream
Hot sauce or salsa
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large nonstick pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic, red onions, and bell pepper for a few minutes until the onions are translucent; add the shrimp, green chiles, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno pepper, olives, chili powder, salt, black pepper, oregano, cumin and red pepper flakes; toss all ingredients and cook on medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque. Remove from heat.
Place the four tortillas on a greased baking sheet. Evenly spoon amounts of the shrimp and vegetable mixture onto each tortilla; top each tortilla with some cotija cheese and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese melts. Remove from oven.
Serve pita pizzas topped with chopped green and white onions, cilantro and shredded cabbage; drizzle with crema or sour cream, and garnish with lime wedges and hot sauce or salsa.
(While the Mexican hard cow-milk cheese Cojita should be readily found, in case you cannot find it, use feta or Parmesan.)
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Christine Vartanian Datian is a native of Fresno, California and lives in Las Vegas. She is a graduate of Fresno High School and California State University, Fresno (CSUF), and holds a Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Mass Communications. She has been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines.