Confession.  Up until yesterday at mile 8 of the More Magazine Women’s Half Marathon…I had never used a Port-A-Potty in the middle of a race before.

There goes that winning streak.

But after spending miles 1 through 7 trying to convince myself that I didn’t, in fact, have to go…I arrived at mile 8, only to realize that…uh…yes I did.

I really can be so stubborn sometimes.


I blame it on the course.  There are a lot of hills contained in two loops of Central Park.

And hills mean jostling.  Lots of jostling.

Jostling of certain feminine body parts that somehow manage to jostle even when they barely exist to begin with…

Jostling of iPod earbud wires so that they fall out of your ears every thirty two seconds…

Jostling of stomach contents…

Not desirable.

Now you see why that Port-A-Potty and I had a date with destiny.


Combine that with 70 degree weather and 90% humidity…and you have yourself what will forever be known as the-race-in-which-I-felt-like-I-was-going-to-vomit-for-13.1-miles.



Yet, even with a bathroom break and walking through every. single. water stop.  (Another thing I NEVER do.  Usually I’m all like “water…PUH-leaze! Hydration is overrated.”)  I managed to finish in two hours and twelve seconds.  Which is only about four minutes slower than the half marathon I ran four weeks ago.  Not too shabby all things considered.

And on that note, I would just like to say a MAJOR good luck to everyone running the Boston Marathon today!  I would say that I’m jealous but…I thought it was absurdly hot and stifling when I ran it last year. And that’s nothing compared to the near 90 degree temps this year.  Stop for water, people. I mean it.  Don’t be like me.


The more I think about it, a good homemade veggie-full pizza is kind of the best post-run meal (after the container of chocolate milk that I chugged as if my life depended on it.  It did.).  It has all your essential nutrients (protein! whole grain carbs!) and really doesn’t have to be quite as unhealthy as its reputation purports.

This week for the Food Matters Project, we are making Bittman’s pizza dough.  His dough from How To Cook Everything has been my favorite for years, so I actually didn’t make the recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.  Why mess with a good thing, you know?  Usually I make my dough with all bread flour but this time, I subbed in 2 cups of whole wheat flour for 2 cups of bread flour and, though you could definitely taste the whole wheat in the finished product…I considered that a good thing.  For the recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook, which has less hands on time (it’s essentially Jim Lahey’s no-knead recipe but with whole wheat flour), check out Niki’s blog!  And to see what other people did with the recipe, check out the Food Matters Project website.

My toppings were inspired by half a block of queso fresco that I had in the fridge.  I just love it so much that I couldn’t let it go to waste and, though eating it out of hand was certainly an option, I thought this was the better way to go.  After a quick inventory of my fridge and cabinets, I decided to pair it with a chipotle-infused tomato sauce, corn and kale.  Best decisions ever.  This pizza was an explosion of flavor and health.

With queso fresco on top.  Swoon.

PS – Since I used Del Monte canned corn and Del Monte diced tomatoes in this recipe, I am submitting it to the Del Monte Crown the Cook recipe contest!


Mexican Pizza with Kale, Queso and a Chipotle Tomato Sauce
Serves 6, an Eats Well With Others Original


      For the dough:

    • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
    • 1 cup lukewarm water, divided
    • pinch of sugar
    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup bread flour
    • 2 tsp sea salt
    • 2 tbsp jalapeno-infused olive oil


    For the pizza:

  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo, chopped finely
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 14 oz can corn, drained
  • 1/2 lb chopped kale
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz queso fresco


      For the dough:

    1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast with 1/4 cup lukewarm water (as warm as you can get it from the tap while still being able to stick your finger in it for a few seconds) and a pinch of sugar.  Stir so that yeast dissolves.  It should start to get foamy within about five minutes. If it doesn’t, then your yeast is probably dead and the dough won’t rise.  Start again with new yeast.  If it does, then push forward!
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, remaining water, salt, olive oil, and now-foamy yeast.  Mix with the dough hook attachment until just combine, then turn up speed to 4 or 5 and “knead” for five minutes or until dough is elastic.
    3. Fold dough into a ball and place in a large, greased bowl.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
    4. Punch down dough and let rest for 10 minutes.  Roll out onto a pizza pan dusted with flour or cornmeal.

For the pizza:

  • Preheat oven to 500 or as high as it will go.
  • In a medium, non-stick skillet, combine the tomatoes, chipotle, onion, garlic, and chili powder.  Saute over medium-high heat until onion is translucent, about 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add in the canned corn and the kale.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the kale begins to wilt, about 5 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Spread sauce over pizza dough.  Top with queso fresco, crumbling as you go.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the bottom of the pizza starts to brown.  Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.


Looking for more fun pizza topping ideas?  Check out these posts:
Roasted Eggplant, Tomato and Tapenade Pizza with Goat Cheese
Savory Rhubarb and Chipotle Goat Cheese Pizza
Spinach and Onion Curry Pizza
Fig and Ricotta Pizza with a Maple-Balsamic Reduction

This pizza has been yeastspotted!


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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97 Responses to Mexican Pizza with Kale, Queso and a Chipotle Tomato Sauce {the food matters project}

  1. Saguna says:

    Kale, corn AND chipotle? That looks freaking fantastic! So much snazzier than the usual three-cheese vegetarian pizzas that are served to the lone veggies. Mmmm. Must make this.

  2. I am SO proud of you, you did absolutely amazing! And as someone who avoids porter potties like the plague you deserve a lot of credit! My husband ran into a church to use the bathroom during a half marathon once… LOVE this pizza!

  3. Simply Life says:

    congrats on the run! wow, that is a great time!!!

  4. Beth says:

    Congratulations on an awesome run!

  5. Blond Duck says:

    I never thought of Mexican pizza! Brilliant!

  6. Great pizza! Good for you on the half! I watched a movie for 2 hours and you ran a half marathon. You deserve the pizza more. 🙂

  7. Mary says:

    Congrats on the run! Nice time as well. This pizza sounds amazing right now! I’ve never made a pizza with a Mexican twist (or with kale!). I am loving this idea.

  8. Great job on the race – and your pizza looks absolutely amazing! I’ll have to try that crust.

    Rest and recover today! :0)

  9. That’s the most colorful pizza I’ve ever seen 🙂

  10. Suzi says:

    What a beautiful, colorful pizza. Fantastic.

  11. I love your story about the race. Great job! I giuve you so much credit, I hate running as much as I try to like.

    Now I love this pizza. I wonder if I could sneak off work an hour early so I can make the dough and have this for dinner. It looks and sounds sooooooooo amazing!!

  12. Margarita says:

    Congratulations on the run! Even with a potty break, your time is still impressive! Disregard the official time, you have an idea how kong your potty break took so just subtract that. Your pizza looks delish! I wish I added more stuff to mine now! Dang!

  13. Danielle says:

    Thats my kind of pizza!

  14. Eleah says:

    nice job! I’m also stubborn with porta pottys… I try to convince myself for miles that I don’t need one. Then I’ll tell myself, “The next time I see one.. I’ll use it!” but I’ll get to it and there will be a line or something so I pass it up. I had to go from about 20 minutes before my last half all the way through it but I was way too stubborn to stop (I wanted to run the whole way!)
    Painful. But so satisfying.

  15. kelsey says:

    Perfect post-race food! Just pinned to make!

    you are totes a rock star!

  16. Congratulations on the race! My next half is coming up at the beginning of May and I’m hoping it will be the first time I don’t have to use a porta-potty. I somehow always choose races with a lot of hills, so I feel you on the jostling business. Your pizza looks fantastic as well, I really think this will be on the menu for our next pizza night 🙂

  17. Amy says:

    After birthing 2 children, who destroyed my bladder, I would have just wet myself… unable to make it to the port-a-potty.

  18. I made something very similar to yours and it’s my favorite pizza recipe. I’m going to have to try it with the kale.

  19. Cathleen says:

    I don’t even know what to saw, but I WANT IT!!
    It looks delicious 😉

  20. Jenn says:

    As always, a delicious looking concoction!! Congrats on your run!

  21. Considering you used the Port-A-Potty you got an awesome time! I always just pee outside near a tree – super weird I guess, but after running so many races I have no shame…although I’m sure running in a big city like New York would make this hard. I also ran a race yesterday (10km) and ate pizza after! It’s the best idea ever. I’m glad we agree.

  22. Big Dude says:

    Your pizza looks awesome and it’s good you didn’t get through life w/o the porta pottie experience – you’ll really the very ripe ones.

  23. God Joanne you always always inspire me to run… Hopefully one day I will…
    B/W This pizza looks dynamite… Loaded with flavors…
    Really delicious!!!

  24. Gloria says:

    oh Joanne this look georgeous like always I love your recipes LOL

  25. You are a Goddess, in my eyes. I doubt I could run longer than two minutes, before collapsing. Marathon runners are one very dedicated bunch. What a winning meal, too. Love the crust with the infused oil– nice! The colors are gorgeous, and it’s a guiltless meal. That means I can more than my usual two slices. Congrats on your run.

  26. Jenna says:

    Looks fab, and great job on that race! Sounds like the toilet time didn’t really affect you much (as a non-runner, I’m like “4 minutes? Pshaw! It’s nothing!”).

  27. Lynn says:

    I’m impressed that you are doing all that running. I did the Peachtree Road Race last July 4 in Atlanta (only 6.2 miles) and thought I would die! Never again.

    But this pizza sure looks like a winner. Another good use for kale, too. 🙂

  28. Congrats on the run! That is one awesome looking pizza!

  29. Lexi says:

    Wow! Great use of ingredients!

  30. Congrats on another good half! I never thought I’d say this but I am glad that I dropped out of Boston this year – the heat is def too much today.

    I just bought some queso fresco over the weekend actually but um, have been eating it plain. I should make this pizza instead!

  31. Kim says:

    Oh, my goodness. I want this so badly right now I nearly licked my computer screen. YUM.

  32. The pizza looks beautiful if you can say that about a pizza. mine always turns out dead ugly but at least she tasted good haha

  33. Jenn Kendall says:

    omg that pizza looks fantastic! such a creative use of ingredients!

  34. Congrats on the race Joanne! That does look like a perfect pre or post-race meal!

  35. Shawnda says:

    You know you had me at pizza! (Mexican, actually.) Congrats on finishing the half!

  36. its so much fun! Its fun to look at, fun to make and definitely fun to eat!

  37. Congrats on your very trying race! Your pizza looks so lovely with all of those tasty veggies piled on it.

  38. Katie says:

    Congrats on the half marathon yesterday. I was in Central Park cheering on a friend, and I was hot just watching. I was amazed at all the women out there yesterday. These pizza would be a great reward after a run like that.

  39. Erica says:

    Great job! he pizza looks amazing,Joanne!Beautiful colors and full of flavor!

  40. daphne says:

    yum! Such a good post workout meal with a balance of carbs, fat and veges! It looks so colourful!

  41. Dining Alone says:

    We made an awesome veggie calzone yesterday and I might steal your toppings to go into my next one! This looks great! Congrats on your race!

  42. Very colorful, and I’ve never ever seen wholewheat crust. Are you really Italian:)

  43. Evi says:

    I will say that I have never stopped at a port-a-potty during a run either. But sometimes nature calls, right? Congrats on another 1/2 marathon!

    Great recipe, we’ll definitely have to try this one out. I like all of the veggies on that!

  44. Candace says:

    I am pulling that wonderful yellow book down from my shelf one more time and making that crust AND your pizza. This looks absolutely amazing, Joanne. Ah-mazing!

  45. Elizabeth says:

    Kale on a pizza is the best thing ever.

  46. Eileen says:

    I love the idea of chipotle, hearty greens, and corn on a pizza! Maybe I should start keeping some chipotles in adobo in the pantry–why don’t I already do that?

  47. Reeni says:

    Congrats on the race! I’m sorry you didn’t feel good! Your a trooper for sticking it out. The pizza looks like the perfect way to refuel! It’s a powerhouse of great flavors and so unique.

  48. Reeni says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. Natalie says:

    Oh my gosh, this looks amazing! I just discovered corn on pizza last summer and it was life changing!

  50. isn’t that wild.
    do you know that just 3 days ago i used a port a potty that i thought was fabulous. now granted i’m not in the habit of using them but when you have to go you go. and once inside i thought how clean it was, there was this little tiny sink (clean as well) and there was a nice mirror, a place to put your pocketbook, and even fancy little vents on the top of the walls to open so air could come in. LOL it was a high end port a potty and one i will remember LOL

  51. Your posts always make me laugh! So you had a date with destiny at the port-a-potty? I’m curious – was it one of those nice-looking bungalow ones or was it the really disgusting ones that they did a stunt in for Jackass 3D?

    On a more pleasant note, great pizza idea! I’d have to say – I’ve never had “mexican pizza” that wasn’t from Taco Bell so I’m sure this would be a gazillion times better, and healthier of course 🙂

  52. MM says:

    I love everything about this pizza, Joanne. Especially the chipotle tomato sauce.
    Usually, I try to avoid Port-A-Potties too. But when ya gotta go…

  53. Natalie says:

    majorly impressed that you ran in the heat yesterday–way to go!

    ps. this pizza?! WANT.

  54. I ran my first half marathon last fall and had to use the port-a-potty after mile 1! I felt like such an amateur. At least you waited a bit longer than I did 🙂

  55. Queso fresco is an awesome addition here! This pizza looks indulgent yet bright and chock full of veggies!

  56. Kristen says:

    This looks amazing. We used to put corn on our pizza when we lived in Chile and I loved it, but I never remember to do it! Awesome job in the 1/2 by the way!! One of my best friends ran Boston today and she said it was miserable–like running in Okinawa in the middle of the summer. Crazy!

  57. Christine says:

    I want to reach through the computer monitor and grab a slice! This should make a great submission for the Del Monte contest. So fresh looking! I’m glad you had a good run despite the “bumps” in the road!!

  58. Kristen says:

    Oh my gosh this pizza looks awesome! We used to put corn on our pizza when I lived in Chile and I loved it, but I never do it now for some reason. I bet get back on that :). Congrats on your 1/2. That’s an awesome time, especially considering it was so hot and you felt miserable. I’m impressed!! One of my best friends ran Boston today and she said it was miserable!

  59. I’m totally not a mexican pizza person…but this one is like none I’ve ever been around before! I’m also not a portaporry person…and I’m not sure I’m going to let that change 🙂

  60. MyFudo™ says:

    Ever since my first romantic recipe with kale, it has become an indispensable ingredient in my kitchen…I love to add it in almost anything. i Love this recipe.

  61. Lats hope you win the del monde comp with this cause I don’t know where you got the energy to make it after all that running

  62. Yeah, so I need this in my life NOW. I actually can’t get enough of chipotles, sweetcorn and salty cheese together…but add PIZZA BASE?! Genius!

  63. Ben says:

    I don’t know how you do that, not the using the port-a-potty part, but the running a marathon part. I ran 5k last Saturday and my legs still hurt 🙁 I love your pizza. I remember my first Mexican pizza I tried. It was good, not the best, but good. Now I need to try your version.

  64. Bizzy says:

    This is what you call PIZZA. I am impressed.

  65. That Girl says:

    You know, the only time I had to use a porta-potty during a half, walked through water stops, and felt stomach issues ended up being because I was pregnant…..


  66. Nina says:

    Congratulations on the run. I have never used Kale….i think i shud pick up some. Looks yummy!

  67. Marcia says:

    That’s pretty awesome on the run, and the pizza looks awesome!

  68. I love homemade pizza and this looks like a wonderful combination.
    Wait til you have kids – I have had three- and I have to pee every 15 minutes whether I run or not. In fact I am afraid of what could happen if I ran…
    I had a friend who tried out her kids’ trampoline and immediately peed her pants. So consider yourself in good shape still!

  69. Hannah says:

    Now that is one loaded pizza! I know people can get crazy about the crust, but I think that the toppings are where it’s at, when it comes down to it. I’ve never tried a pizza with Mexican-inspired toppings though, and this looks like a really tasty change of pace. Nice and summery for this insane weather we have, too.

  70. This sounds lovely. I especially like the idea of adding a spicy oil right into the crust! I’ll definitely be using that one.

  71. Lora says:

    Wow I am so impressed with your running. I am sure I couldn’t even run two short NYC blocks. I love the flavor comboon this pizza. Fab!

  72. Your mexican pizza sounds great. I never tried a mexican pizza, but with this recipe I think I need to change this.

  73. Karen says:

    That crust looks wonderful – nice toppings.

  74. Love your Mexican pizza! Chiptole tomato sauce sounds fabulous.

  75. Katerina says:

    You have combined two of my favorites in this Joanne! Mexican and pizza. I think I could eat pizza every day and Mexican kitchen speaks to my heart. Needless to say that I would devour your pizza in seconds!

  76. tigerfish says:

    Very creative and particularly, I like the addition of kale to this pizza.

  77. That is one incredible looking pizza! It looks so pretty, but yummy at the same time 😀 I love your choice of toppings – much more creative than I ever am with pizza!

  78. I was intrigued by the kale, an underused vegetable in my opinion. For pizza, the crust is important but so is the topping. Balance good thing, pizza should not be top-heavy.
    A beauty of a recipe, thanks.

  79. vianney says:

    congrats on the run…those potty things scare me. this pizza has my NAME written all over it. queso swoon (agree)

  80. Lori says:

    Oh man, so sorry you had to break your streak! I’m holding on to mine for dear life. I had to break down and use one before a race, but not during…yet. In fact, at our last race I’m pretty sure you could hear me cheer across the parking lot when I was told the nearby stadium had bathrooms that were open. 🙂

    Potties aside, this pizza sounds amazing! I need to break out of my plain veggie pizza rut and this is perfect!

  81. grace says:

    this is my kind of pizza–i love the colors and flavors so much!
    incidentally, i don’t mind port-a-potties in times of desperation. just breathe through your mouth and don’t touch anything! 🙂

  82. This is such a creative pizza, Joanne! It’s like Mexican flatbread… I dig it. Way to go for finishing that race. I’m not a runner so I don’t know how you do it, bathroom stop or not!

  83. Congratz on your marathon, Joanne! I pee SO OFTEN whenever I do my cycling jaunts. Trust me, I have become really good at peeing beside the road in the ditch. When I have to go, I have to go… and when I cycle, I drink a lot, so I pee a lot, too!! Gosh, I shoudl really start doing more long distance treks… the season is new fresh! 🙂

  84. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, It was warm for running yesterday. I can’t imagine. Congratulations on finishing. I like walking.
    Oh, but what a beautiful pizza to sit down to. I love all of the flavors and a homemade dough! Blessings my dearest. Catherine xo

  85. Pam says:

    Port-a-potties are the worst! Sorry you had a tough race.

    The pizza looks delightfully delicious!

  86. OK, so it’s not enough for you to win the Saucy Mama contest and finish all your runs in record time? You gotta win the Del Monte contest too? Because you totally will with this one. 🙂 BTW, I had to stop TWICE at my one and only half marathon. And I took 3 hours to finish. You can laugh.

  87. Shannon says:

    i’m usually on the edge of hydration b/c water jostles no mater what! glad you survived and stopped when you needed to–sometimes conditions are out of our control 😉 Delicious way to refuel, and my kind of pizza 🙂

  88. Chris says:

    You couldn’t work anymore color onto that pizza? ha ha

    That heat really decimated the times at the Boston marathon, didn’t it?

  89. Kevin says:

    That is one loaded and tasty looking pizza!

  90. Johanna GGG says:

    I love your toppings – and I must try this pizza dough – I went through a jim lahey bread phase but don’t make it now – must do that again too – but haven’t tried it with dough. Congrats on getting through the marathon – sounds like a great achievement to me – jostle or not!

  91. Deborah says:

    I’m definitely impressed. Pretty sure it would take me about 6 hours to run that far!! And this pizza – amazing!!

  92. Adrienne says:

    This looks wonderful, like always. Sorry your run was such a struggle! But then again when I run 2 miles I feel like that let alone 13. Go you.

  93. elly says:

    Jalapeno-infused oil, YES! This looks fantastic. I kind of like Tex-Mex. A LITTLE. 😉

  94. What a great way to recuperate after your run. I had to smile at the jostling party 🙂

    Delicious flavors in your veggie pizza, Joanne!

  95. […] This colorful dish is also complemented with a chipotle tomato sauce. […]

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