What athletes eat

Paige Claassen's on-the-go tortilla pizza


By Sarah Sekula, published on espnw.com

Rock climber Paige Claassen scales her way up sheer rock faces four to five days a week. After her legs have had enough and her hand calluses are burning, there’s nothing she loves more than whipping up a meal in the great outdoors.

Day and time: Friday night, 6:53 p.m.

Place: Joe’s Valley, Utah, third campsite on the left up a grassy knoll tucked between a few shrubs

What I’m eating: Tortilla Pizza, my one-pan camping specialty

Why I’m eating it: Tortilla Pizza has a lot of selling points. 1) It only requires one pan. 2) Ingredients are easy to find. 3) Topping options are limitless. (Tonight, I’m going with caramelized onions and shiitake mushrooms).

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It’s also a great camping meal because it provides instant gratification, but it also takes a long time. Let me explain. After a long day of climbing, three unfortunate things happen: the sun disappears, everyone gets cold, and I get super hangry.

Tortilla Pizza comes together pretty quickly, so I can jumpstart my tank. But I’ll likely need to make more than one to feed everyone in the group, which means I’ll be assembling and cooking pizzas for a while. This is a benefit because it keeps me busy, rather than just sitting and freezing. I enjoy cooking, so I’d rather cook and chat than sit and chat.

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The recipe:

Sauce (Ideally I’d make my own marinara, but since we’re talking camping meals, a jar of tomato sauce will suffice. A béchamel sauce or even olive oil would also do the trick.)

Cheese (I like a mix of mozzarella and Parmesan, but I’m also partial to goat cheese.)

Toppings (My favorites include eggplant, mushrooms, prosciutto and arugula. Tonight I’m going with shiitake mushrooms and caramelized onions.)

Choose a large pan that can fit your tortilla. Sauté veggies or meat in a bit of olive oil. Transfer to spare dish. A bit of sizzling butter or olive oil will help your pizza crisp. Place tortilla in the pan, spread with sauce, sprinkle with cheese and cover with toppings.

Cook on medium heat until golden brown on the bottom (3-4 minutes). Covering the pan with a lid, dish or spare pan will help the cheese to melt more evenly. Slice, eat, repeat.