Joy Magazine

Mediterranean Beef & Vegetable Flatbread Pizza

Using pita bread for a crust you can make pizza faster, and more custom, than the time it takes to have pizza delivered.Photo courtesy MCT

Put the phone down. Before you call for delivery pizza tonight, consider creating your own gourmet version.

This recipe for Mediterranean Beef and Vegetable Flatbread is easy to assemble, and the nutrition facts show it is far better for you than stuffed-crust pizza.

In recent years, flatbread has become a supermarket staple. Pita, as it's also known, is regarded throughout the Middle East for its culinary versatility: It can be used to scoop up hummus, cradle sandwich fillings or as a base for toppings.

Pita typically is available in regular and whole-wheat versions. Traditional pizza dough is made from white, refined flour, but whole-wheat pitas are a more healthful substitute. Instead of pepperoni and sausage, add a lean cut of grilled, sliced beef and pile on the veggies.

Instead of mozzarella, a sprinkling of reduced-fat feta cheese crumbles gives a bit of tang without excessive calories.

Cooking tip: Add a medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced, if desired; saute it along with the red pepper and mushrooms.

How to make it

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

3/4 to 1 pound beef sirloin, cut about 3/4 inch thick and trimmed of fat

3 garlic cloves, minced and divided

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced

1 cup sliced button mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

4 whole-wheat flatbread pitas, warmed

2 teaspoons light sour cream

1 cup lightly packed baby spinach leaves, stems trimmed and discarded, thinly sliced

1/4 cup reduced-fat feta cheese

Directions:

Brush 1 teaspoon of the olive oil evenly over both sides of the sirloin. Rub half of the garlic evenly over both sides of sirloin. Season with the salt and pepper.

Preheat a grill to medium-high, direct heat or allow coals to burn down to white ash. Grill steak over direct heat, covered, for about 15 minutes or until it reaches medium doneness and a meat thermometer, inserted into center, registers 155 F. Remove from heat, cover and allow to stand for about 5 minutes. Thinly slice meat across the grain.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining garlic, the bell pepper, mushrooms and oregano and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently until tender, about 5 minutes.

To assemble, spread 1/2 teaspoon of the sour cream lightly over 1 side of each warm pita bread. Arrange 1/4 of the spinach over each pita. Top with portions of beef and vegetables. Sprinkle with some of the feta. Slice each into wedges and serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving: 320 calories (27 percent from fat), 10 grams total fat (3 grams saturated), 49 milligrams cholesterol, 33 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams protein, 368 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.


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