$1 Meal Plan: Tortilla Pizza (using up left overs)

One of the tricks to getting the most out of your food budget is learning ways to avoid waste. Tortilla pizza is a fairly easy meal that's also a good way to use up small amounts of left overs or veggies that are past the peak of freshness but not quite bad yet. Because it's very customizable, it's hard to fix an exact number on how much this meal costs. I'll try to get some more specific examples in the future.

For the pizza pictured, I used 1 wheat Tortilla, 1 cup greens (spring mix), 1/3 cup cheese, 1-1/2 tbsp Prego Traditional spaghetti sauce, minced a small bit of leftover fresh onion, and sprinkled on a small amount of powdered garlic.

If you're worried about what happened to the rest of that Prego jar, the sauce actually keeps really well after being opened as long as it's resealed and refridgerated. I like keeping a small jar in the fridge for individuals meals like this. I write the date opened on a label, so it doesn't stay in there too long, but the sauce has literally gone months without change in texture, look, or flavor. (Again keep sealed and in the fridge...Leaving the sauce open or sitting out very long invites mold, so best to get it closed and back in the fridge quickly.)

I've also found a large onion will keep for weeks even after sliced if sealed up in a gladware container and kept in the fridge. This has been great for sandwhiches too, since it's rare I want a whole onion for anything. (If your food isn't lasting as long, try a colder fridge setting.)

Loading the pizza with more veggies and less cheese will make for a healthier (often cheaper) meal. You could also add bits of leftover meat or pineapple. Honestly I think the full cup of greens was a bit excessive, but I needed to use them up before they wilted.

With most ingredients either precooked or edible in their uncooked state, the oven temperature isn't vital. However I usually set mine at 400 and cook for about 10 minutes. A pizza with meat added may need longer.

Probably the best thing about the Tortilla pizza is it takes very little skill to prepare. I set the oven, put the Tortilla on the pan, use a spoon to dip and spread a thin layer of sauce, then I sprinkle with veggies and shredded cheese. I measured ingredients for experiment purposes this time, but usually that's not necessary.

It's not necessary to mince the veggies, though it will create more consistency from bite to bite. I've also made this with a single layer of fresh spinach leaves straight from the bag.

I've used sliced cheese too, though I break it into pieces for better melt consistency. Mozarella is traditonal, but Mexican blend, American, Swiss, etc. all melt nicely, so you can experiment with what's on hand.

Other ingredient ideas: Mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, chicken, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, corn, parsley, oregano....honestly you can put almost anything on a pizza, so get creative.

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