Chicken Spinach Flatbread Wraps with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Grilled chicken and grilled pineapple salsa wrapped in homemade spinach flatbread, drizzled with (another) homemade healthy ranch dressing – delicious, healthy and refreshing

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My brain has been so full of leafy greens and pineapple that my naughty buddies (a.k.a. rice, pasta and sorts…) were a bit upset saying that I don’t think about them that much. I could see leafy greens on the one side and pineapple on the other, not knowing if they would ever want to be BFFs. I told them they should help me and I was happy that they did. I caught them arguing few times that they can be together as one, but not to the point of being healthy. Oh, I almost forgot that this is a healthy recipe challenge with pineapple and leafy greens to go with it.

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I wasn’t exactly sure if I can pass the ‘healthy test’, but when Angie told me that when there are greens and pineapples, it’s healthy. 😛 So maybe I can get a passing grade for my homework… Maybe… 😀

I’ve thought of salad and smoothies, but I want to challenge myself more (hey, it’s fun!) so the last thing that came to mind is something sandwich. The best option I had in mind was to make my own spinach tortillas that later became spinach flatbread.

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So… there came chicken and grilled pineapple salsa wrapped in spinach flatbread… and let us not forget to drizzle with homemade ranch dressing! The chicken wrap was so filling and refreshing at the same time… and healthier. It was really good not feeling that guilt after eating these wraps. And oh, did I say “after eating these wraps”? It was a mistake; I ate only one. I hope you believe me this time. 😀 I should have put more grilled pineapple salsa, but overall, the taste was really good!

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This Fiesta Friday Healthy Recipe Challenge is so much fun. It indeed made me get out from my comfort zone and made something healthy and new. And I am glad that I almost everything is homemade – from the flatbread to salsa up to the dressing. I feel great! Thank you, Angie!

Now, let me share with you the recipe of this delicious wrap. I did post individual recipe for the fillings, but I will also share them below.

Chicken Spinach Flatbread Wraps with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Spinach flatbread, homemade (recipe below) or store-bought
  • Grilled pineapple salsa (recipe below)
  • Homemade healthy ranch dressing (optional)
  • Fresh parsley, to garnish
For the grilled chicken, you can use your own grilled chicken recipe or try this All-Purpose Grilled Chicken.
For the spinach flatbreads:
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat; I used AP flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp canola oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 2-3 tbsp water for the dough
  • water for simmering the spinach
 Instructions:
  1. In a pan, add water. Place over a stove on medium heat. When the bubbles appear at the edges, add the 1 1/2 cup of spinach and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Using a strainer, drain water from the spinach and run under a very cold water.
  3. Transfer to a blender and puree the spinach. You may need to add little water in this step. I did pureed mine using a mortar and pestle because my blender was acting up.
  4. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and vegetable oil.
  5. Add in spinach puree and mix until crumbly.
  6. Add in 2-3 tbsp (or more) water until the dough comes together.
  7. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
  8. In a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough and divide into three.
  9. Flatten each to 7-8 inches disk.
  10. In a non stick skillet with high heat, cook the flatten dough until brown spots appear. Flip and cook the other side.
  11. Repeat until all is cooked.
  12. Transfer to a lint-free towel and keep in an air-tight container until ready to use.

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For the grilled pineapple salsa:

Ingredients:
  • 6 slices of fresh pineapples
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced vertically into 4
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup ripe and firm tomatoes, diced
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Parsley or cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)
 Instructions:
  1. Place bell peppers and onion in skewers.
  2. Grill 4 slices of pineapples along with the bell peppers and onions until edges turn brown.
  3. While waiting for the veggies to be done from grilling, prepare your cucumber and tomatoes and place them in a bowl.
  4. After grilling, let cool a bit and chop the grilled veggies and add them to the bowl of cucumber and tomatoes. Add squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley and cilantro (if using).
  5. Chill before serving.

To assemble:

  1. Cut up your chicken. Chunks or vertically sliced is fine.
  2. Place your flatbread on a surface. Fill with grilled chicken. Top with grilled pineapple salsa.
  3. Optional: drizzle with homemade ranch dressing and fresh parsley.
  4. Wrap and enjoy your meal. 😉

Notes:

This can be topped with less salt and less fat white cheese, too. Oh, I could imagine how good it could be! 

The bread can be folded into two and press using a double/press grill pan. 

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Spinach Flatbreads

Sneak leafy greens into your kid’s sandwiches by making this Spinach Flatbread – it’s easy and it’s good for them and us, too. 

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When someone says leafy greens, the first thing comes to mind is spinach. I think that would prove that my favorite leafy green is spinach. I used to put spinach in vegetable soups/stews, but when told by friends that spinach is good for anemia, I started consuming spinach like Popeye. Since then, I could eat spinach in any form… even in the form of flatbread.

Well, I was really aiming for tortillas since I really wanted to make my own. Somehow and by accident, these came out as flatbreads. At first I was a little disappointed, but when I saw the dough cooking beautifully, I felt nothing but happiness. I also love the spinach specks – how gorgeous!

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I was a little nervous at first knowing that this has no yeast and was doubtful that the baking powder alone will do its thing and will make this bread pliable. The secret? You just have to believe. 😀

What do think my friends at Fiesta Friday # 155? Will you say something about my Spinach Flatbread? 😀

Spinach Flatbread

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat; I used AP flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp canola oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 2-3 tbsp water for the dough
  • water for simmering the spinach
 Instructions:
  1. In a pan, add water. Place over a stove on medium heat. When the bubbles appear at the edges, add the 1 1/2 cup of spinach and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Using a strainer, drain water from the spinach and run under a very cold water.
  3. Transfer to a blender and puree the spinach. You may need to add little water in this step. I did pureed mine using a mortar and pestle because my blender was acting up.
  4. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and vegetable oil.
  5. Add in spinach puree and mix until crumbly.
  6. Add in 2-3 tbsp (or more) water until the dough comes together.
  7. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
  8. In a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough and divide into three.
  9. Flatten each to 7-8 inches disk.
  10. In a non stick skillet with high heat, cook the flatten dough until brown spots appear. Flip and cook the other side.
  11. Repeat until all is cooked.

Notes:

This recipe made only 3 8 inches flatbreads, but can be doubled, tripled…

These flatbreads are good for wraps or can be paired with dips or dressings. 😉 

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Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Sweet, smoky and tropical pineapple salsa – the grilled ‘effect’ will make you eat the whole thing. Perfect as side dish, sandwich/wrap filling or with salad 

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So Fiesta Friday Healthy Recipe Challenge started kicking in. When Angie revealed the rules and the recipe should have pineapples in it, I still didn’t know what to do. It took a while until grilled pineapple salsa came to mind. The only thing left? Leafy greens. Hmm…

Before I finally proceed with my Fiesta Friday Healthy Challenge entry, let me just talk about this grilled pineapple salsa…

I love fruit-based salsa/salad and mango is my favorite. Since this challenge requires pineapple, I’d say bye bye for a while to my favorite fruit. I knew fresh pineapples aren’t that sweet like the one in can if you pick a good fruit. How to pick? Don’t ask me – ask the store fruit ninja (a.k.a. the ones who is in-charge with fruits at your local grocery store).

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I was planning to “coat” this with sugar syrup, but that’s a big No, No for now… In my experience in grilling the pineapples, the tang disappears, but dries out a little. I did mix 4 slices of grilled pineapple with the non-grilled ones and it came out perfect. I grilled this in a pan, but if you char-grill the pineapples and the veggies, it will give you a deliciously smoky flavor. If you are not a fan like me, you can also check out this post for the trick on how to get the smoky effect. I also grilled red bell peppers and onions to come along with the salsa. Added some cucumber, tomatoes and squeeze of lemon juice… and I got amazing salsa! 😉

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Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients:
  • 6 slices of fresh pineapples
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced vertically into 4
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup ripe and firm tomatoes, diced
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Parsley or cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)
 Instructions:
  1. Place bell peppers and onion in skewers.
  2. Grill 4 slices of pineapples along with the bell peppers and onions until edges turn brown.
  3. While waiting for the veggies to be done from grilling, prepare your cucumber and tomatoes and place them in a bowl.
  4. After grilling, let cool a bit and chop the grilled veggies and add them to the bowl of cucumber and tomatoes. Add squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley and cilantro (if using).
  5. Chill before serving.

Notes:

This can be served as a filling for sandwiches, wraps or can be added to a salad. This can also be used as a side dish or can be eaten with tortillas, flat breads or crackers. 

I served this as a filling and as a “dip” / side dish to my Spinach Flatbread. Heading over to Fiesta Friday # 155 to bring this delicious salsa.

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Healthy Ranch Dressing

Healthier ranch dressing that can be used in salads, wraps or sandwiches. Refreshing and better than store-bought ones. 

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Oh, yes! You are on the right blog. This is still me. 😀 Is this the first time you are seeing the word ‘healthy’ on the title of my post? I guess so. Hmm, let us hope that this will not be the last time. 😀

I think I am trying to explore again as I’ve been thinking of making homemade salad dressing for some time now. My favorite is Caesar dressing, but was not able to find anchovies so I opted for something new (for me) and healthier. I suddenly thought of ranch dressing and I settled for it.

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Ranch dressing or any salad dressing is better when made from home as you know what you’re putting inside your body.

In this ranch dressing, I used 0% fat and organic Greek yogurt. This came out so refreshing and perfect with any kind of salad or can be used in sandwiches or wraps, too.

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I am sharing this with my Fiesta Friday friends at this week’s Fiesta Friday # 155. I hope Angie and the rest of the gang will love this. 😀

Healthy Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, fat-free
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
 Instructions:
  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Do a taste test and adjust accordingly.
  3. Transfer to a container and chill inside the fridge.

Notes:

1/4 tsp each of dried dill and parsley can be used instead of fresh ones.

This dressing can last up to 3 days inside the fridge or check how many days your yogurt must be consumed after opening.

This dressing can be used in salad, sandwiches or wraps.

This recipe yields 1/2 cup / 125 ml of dressing, but can be doubled or tripled… 

I hope you like this recipe and let me know. 😉

‘All-Purpose’ Grilled Chicken

For the past few days, I’ve been struggling with the meals I prepare including my breakfast and lunch at my workplace. I’ve been eating store-bought meals for years and most of them are on the naughty side. So lately… I’ve been thinking of one dish in which I could use in more than one meal.

Now, let’s talk about grilled chicken. Personally, I love chicken thighs – the one sweet and spicy, to be specific. But… I’ve been trying my best to eat more chicken breast than thighs now. Don’t be too happy – this might last for only few days. 😛 So there are grilled chicken that is only good for salad or rice or you know, just one meal. Then my hungry brain told me to search for a good grilled chicken recipe that’s good for everything.

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This grilled chicken is good for salad, pasta, wraps, tacos, sandwich and so much more – you just have to be creative. 😉 I found a lovely marinade recipe and made the few adjustments and it tasted wonderful.

I hope my friends at Fiesta Friday # 155 would find this wonderful, too. Thanks, Angie, for keeping this party going. Lots of love to you!

All-Purpose Grilled Chicken

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 chicken breasts (best if pounded to 1/2 inch thick)
 Instructions
  1. In a jug, mix all ingredients except chicken.
  2. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag or a bowl. Pour in the marinade and keep inside the fridge for 30 minutes to overnight.
When ready to grill:
  1. Remove the chicken from the marinade.
  2. Grill for 5 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes:

The chicken can be grilled over charcoal, electric grill, in a grill pan/cast iron pan or under a broil.

This can be served with salad, pasta, rice and also as a filling for sandwich and wraps.

Happy weekend to all of you! Don’t forget to make someone smile today. 😉

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Cream Cheese Frosted Gingersnap Brownies

Fudgy brownies with gingersnap crust and cream cheese frosting! Heaven in every bite!  

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I’ve been craving for something chocolate for some time now. And when I say something chocolate, I mean something with rich chocolate frosting, filling or anything that is super rich in chocolate. I knew what I want from the start, but I keep on buying something with chocolate trying to convince myself that they could satisfy my craving… or let’s just say that’s an excuse (which is very obvious) so I can try something else before I finally admit that what I really crave is brownies. But still, I want something else with brownies. Think! Think! Think! Then there’s my cousin:

Cousin: Hey, aren’t you going to eat your gingersnaps? The texture might be bad now, you know. 

Me: Uh, I am gonna use that for something else (trying to sound convincing, though I really don’t know what else to do with gingersnaps-turned-soft cookies).

Cousin: What are you going to do?

Me: Something. (I want to tell my cousin to trust me, but I realized I cannot even trust my words. Ha!) 

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Then I thought of using the gingersnaps with the brownies. Maybe mix with the batter? Hmm, nope! A crust would be perfect so wouldn’t call this “find the gingersnap brownies” And a naughty frosting would be amazing! 😀 You get the idea? Fudgy brownies with gingersnap crust and cream cheese frosting! I used a chocolate with 70% cocoa so this would not come super sweet. I also placed the brownies inside the fridge before eating them – they came out absolutely fantastic!

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I hope you’ll enjoy these delicious bars as I bring them to this week’s Fiesta Friday #154. And I will be off to fill my head with some leafy greens and pineapple for the challenge. Don’t forget that the link for FF #154 is different from the Fiesta Friday Healthy Recipe Challenge – don’t be confused adding your link to the challenge when it’s meant to be for FF # 154.

And now, for the recipe:

Cream Cheese Frosted Gingersnap Brownies

Ingredients:

For the gingersnap crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

For the brownies:

  • 5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200 g 70% cocoa chocolate, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp of warm water
  • 1 tsp of instant espresso powder
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 200g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Gingersnap crumbs (optional)

Instructions:

You can make the frosting first by just mixing the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Keep in the fridge until ready to use. You can add less sugar then do a taste test and adjust accordingly.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 8×8 baking pan and place parchment paper or aluminum foil with hanging on the sides so it can be removed/lifted easier later on.
  2. In a bowl, combine gingersnap crumbs and melted butter. Pour it evenly on the prepared pan and gently press them to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes while making your brownie batter.
  3. In a small bowl, mix warm water and espresso powder. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients: cocoa powder, all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla extract and water-espresso mixture. Beat until all combined. Add the melted chocolate and mix again.
  6. Add the dry ingredients mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  7. Pour the batter evenly over the baked gingersnap crust and bake for about 35-45 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs, but not wet batter. (Check your brownies at 35 minutes of baking)
  8. Let it stay in the pan for about 20 minutes. Lift the foil/parchment paper and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting. 
  9. Cut the brownies into bars.
  10. Frost the brownies with cream cheese and top with more gingersnap crumbs.

Notes: 

To make gingersnap crumbs, place them in a food processor and pulse until finely crushed.

Bittersweet chocolate an be used instead of 70% cocoa.

Ovens differ from each other, so see what works on you. It takes about 15 minutes for my oven to reach 350 F (depending on how much heat it has). I used an oven with the fire from the bottom only so I always rotate the pan in the middle of baking. 

Best eaten after storing in the fridge. 

Have a sweet day, people! Always smile! 😉

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Cheese Manakish

Middle Eastern flat bread topped with beautiful Kashkaval cheese and/or mozzarella, browned to perfection. 

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I am very friendly and I’ve made friends recently. Well, they’re long time friends, but I didn’t know that they’ve been there the whole time… and when I say ‘there‘, I mean in my brain.

So you know that movie Inside Out? I have some sort of friends inside my brain but they look like more of a food – uh… like pasta, rice, bread, cheese. Yes, I know, because I’ve met them.

So few weeks ago, I’ve been in a pizza kick lately… like I’ve been making pizza for the 2 consecutive weekends and eat 6 slices of them in one sitting. Please, don’t look at me like that! I am still your friend, right? Anyway, let’s not discuss what happened inside my brain during the food war because it was very chaotic. To make the story short, Manakish won on the third weekend.

I’ve been meaning to make Manakish since forever, but I cannot figure out the right cheese the bakery usually uses as a topping whenever I get one. One day, I got a Kashkaval cheese from an amazing friend – kept it inside the fridge for a while until finally decided to use it. I wanted to top it on the pizza, but when I tasted the cheese it was like ‘Aha! This is the cheese the bakery usually uses for Manakish! I need to make one very soon!’ And I said it out loud like it was an emergency.

Excuse me pizza, please make a way for cheese manakish!

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I used Kashkaval cheese alone in some and some, I mixed with mozarella. I love the one with Kashkaval cheese alone – it was closer to the manakish I usually get from the bakery. Oh, it was so simple, yet so good! The recipe below makes about 8 x 4 inches round of manakish. Now, do not ask me how many I’ve eaten. I am not telling you this time. 😛

Now, let me bring these at this week’s Fiesta Friday # 153 with our co-hosts, Quinn and Monika. I am happy to be a part of first FF for 2017. Thanks, Angie!

Cheese Manakish

  • Servings: 8 x 4 inches round
  • Difficulty: easy, needs practice
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or any flavorless oil)

(You’ll also need additional flour for your work surface.)

For the toppings:

  • 1 cup of grated Kashkaval cheese; or
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella + 1 tbsp olive oil + pinch of salt

(You can also combine both cheeses (1 cup of grated Kashkaval cheese + ½ cup grated mozzarella, discard oil & salt when you want to combine them.)

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients for the dough in a large bowl.
  2. Using a wooden spoon or your clean hands, mix the dough until you get all the flour from the bowl.
  3. Transfer the dough in a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. This may take about 10 minutes or so.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover using a plastic wrap or lint free towel. Keep it in a warm place and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  5. When the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few seconds.
  6. By this time, you may need to preheat your oven at 375 F. My oven needs about 15 minutes before it reaches 375 F, so I turn it on when I am about prepare for the final steps.
  7. Divide the dough into eight. Flatten them thinly into about .5 cm or less than. (Optional: You can pinch the edges of the dough as Manakish usually has pinched edges. Most of the Manakish I see are pinched-free so I did not bother… or let’s simply put it this way: I completely forgot to pinch the sides. Haha!) Place them in a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  8. Bake them for 10-15 minutes or until the bottom turns lovely brown. Take the baking sheet out and flip the dough. Now, the bottom is now on top. Place your toppings and put the baking sheet inside the oven and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has beautifully melted.
  9. Optional: Turn off the oven and turn on the broil (grill). Place the Manakish under the broil and broil until the cheese turns lovely golden brown.
  10. Enjoy your Manakish warm. They can be kept in the fridge for later consumption and can be reheated beautifully in a microwave.

Notes:

  • The kneading process can be completely done in your stand mixer or even in a food processor. When kneading in a food processor, place the dry ingredients first. While the motor is running, gradually add warm water and olive oil. Turn off the food processor once the dough has turned into a ball. You can now continue with the rest of the steps.
  • In my oven, the heat does not circulate that much like in the fan oven. So I have to flip the dough so I will have browned bottom and tops, then turn on the broil later for the toppings to brown, too. You can place your toppings the first time when you place the dough inside the oven. I did flip my dough because I like browned top and bottom – that flipping gives me the texture I love. Do whatever works better for you.
  • You can also use your pizza dough recipe or you can get the dough from the store.
  • This is just like as if you are making pizza minus the pizza sauce.

I hope you’ll love the recipe!

Always smile and enjoy your weekend! Happy Fiesta Friday! 😉

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