I know we went over this last week, but for those of you who need a little refresher, my version of the Super Bowl revolves around one thing and one thing only- food. And lots of it! In summary, my super bowl is far better than that other version. So now that we’re all up to speed on that, let’s face plant into these nachos, shall we? I mean, let’s not fool anyone. We all know that’s what you’re thinking about doing. Heck, I know I am. Crispy tater tots, melted cheese, a crunchy salsa, and not one, but two, types of creamy sauce, all with a little southwestern flair (in honor of some game they’re having in Arizona on Sunday). If that doesn’t have face plant written all over it, I don’t know what does!
Sweet Potato Tater Tot Nachos
Southwestern style nachos made with crispy tater tots in place of the typical chips
- 2 pounds sweet potato tater tots (I use 2 of the bags from Trader Joe's)
- Olive oil or cooking spray
- 1 cup grated monterey cheese
- BEAN SALSA
- 1/2 cup corn (fresh, canned or frozen, just make sure it's drained)
- 1 15-ounce can black beans
- 1 teaspoon Southwest seasoning
- 2 jalapeños, chopped and seeds removed
- The juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- CHIPOTLE CREAM
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chipotle mustard
- AVOCADO CREAM
- 1 avocado
- The juice of half of a lemon
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl toss your tater tots in about 2 tablespoons of oil until they are evenly coated. Spread them out evenly on a metal baking sheet (do not line it with foil as the foil won't allow them to get nice and crispy). Alternately, instead of tossing the tater tots in oil, spray your baking sheet with cooking spray before spreading the tater tots out. Proceed to bake your tater tots for 15 minutes. Flip them over then bake for another 20 minutes, or until crispy.
- While the tater tots are cooking, whip up your toppings. To make the bean salsa, toss the corn, beans, jalapeños, lemon juice and seasonings in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.
- To make the Chipotle cream, combine the yogurt, mayo, and chipotle mustard in a small bowl and stir until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Lastly, make your avocado cream. In a small bowl (or a mortar and pestle) mash together the avocado, lemon juice, yogurt, mayo, cilantro, and salt until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Once your tater tots are baked and crispy, top them with the cheese and put them back in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted (I made sure to push the tater tots close together to prevent losing any cheese).
- Transfer the tater tots to your serving dish (I ripped up a paper grocery bag and used that along with a wooden pizza board). Top them with the bean salsa. Drizzle with the two creams and finish with extra cilantro (if desired). Serve immediately.
- These nachos are vegetarian.
- The bean salsa and cream toppings can be made ahead and store in the refrigerator, although for the best flavor, I would recommend making the cream sauces no more than 1 day ahead and the bean salsa no more than 2 days ahead.
- If you'd like to add meat, I would recommend doing chicken or pulled pork.
- Feel free to use regular tater tots in place of the sweet potato ones, cheddar cheese in place of the monterey cheese, chili powder and cumin (or another seasoning mix) in place of the Southwest seasoning mix, and regular chipotle peppers in place of the chipotle mustard.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
We’re getting closer and closer to the Super Bowl and I couldn’t be more excited. Dips, chips, cheese, buffalo sauce on EVERYTHING…..it’s a
show down chow down on all things yummy and delicious! Wait, wait, wait, wait. What do you mean, that’s not what the Super Bowl is about?? You mean, it’s not a competition between two people to see who can eat the most snacks to win buffalo wings?!! I’m. So. Confused. And where did this whole football thing come from??! I mean, a leather ball mixed with food and drinks? No! No! No! I think I like my version of the Super Bowl like 10,000 times better. My version includes things like this swirl dip, a spicy, smoky, and sweet dip compromised of a flavorful fruit salsa swirled together with a creamy white bean dip. Let’s be completely honest with ourselves, doesn’t eating a bowl of that sound so much more fun than watching some ball be thrown around a little green field?! By the way, applications for this year’s EATING Super Bowl have already been filled (by me, me and, oh, me!), but we will be accepting applications for next year. Now excuse me while I’m off to practice…..it’s almost game time baby!
Sweet & Spicy Salsa and White Bean Dip
A little smokey, a little spicy, a little bit sweet, this creamy and crunchy Vegan dip has flavors for everyone; serve this easy-to-prepare dip as an appetizer or a snack
- 1 cup diced mango
- 1 cup diced pineapple
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 jalapeños, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- Cilantro, to taste
- 1 15-ounce can of white beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- First make your salsa by combining all the fruit, pepper, onions and seasoning in a medium-sized bowl. A note on the cilantro: I love it and would happily add at least 1/2 a cup, but my husband is not a fan so we did only a few tablespoons.
- Once your salsa is mixed, place it in the fridge while you make your bean dip.
- Using a Cuisinart blend together the beans, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt until it is smooth, about 1 minute.
- To assemble the dip, pick out a serving bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the salsa to the bottom, then top that with the bean dip. Repeat with more salsa, then more dip. Finish off the top with a "swirl"- using a spoon "dig" a ring into the bean dip, then fill the ring with salsa. Top off with extra cilantro, if you so desire.
- This tastes best served immediately, with corn chips (preferably blue corn chips).
- This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
Let’s talk about cauliflower, shall we? I know, I’m throwing you for a total loop there, talking about cauliflower in a post about cauliflower recipes….WEIRDEST.THING.EVER. Don’t worry…we’re not talking about the forlorn little florets haphazardly shoved onto the grocery store items that I refer to as dejected rainbows (more commonly known as a ‘veggie tray’). No, the cauliflower we’re talking about is the real dizzle dazzle deal, yo. It’s one of my all-time favorite veggies and for good reason. You can do evvvvverything with it. Whip up a pizza crust, make faux buffalo “chicken” nuggets, puree it into a rich and creamy sauce, heck you can probably even make it into glue and bind a book with it (but why would you want to waste it doing that?!). Obviously, this is one powerhouse of a vegetable. To show you just how versatile (and tasty) it is, Grace, Luci, and I decided to tackle cauliflower recipes for this month’s 3×3 post. With a dip, salad, and main dish, it’s safe to say the cauliflower will be taking over your life….or at least your next meal. But considering you probably still have your fair share of Christmas cookie sins to redeem, I don’t think you’ll be complaining too much….
One-pot Cauliflower & Caper Pasta
An easy vegetarian dish that is bursting with cauliflower, capers, garbanzo beans, fennel, and lots of zesty flavors that comes together in a flash
- 1 pound of spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil + extra for drizzling
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- The juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges for serving
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 3 cups finely chopped cauliflower
- 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 2 1/2 tablespoons bread crumbs (I like to use Italian seasoned ones)
- 1/3 cup goat cheese, plus more for serving (if desired)
- Salt & pepper
- Dill, for serving
- First, make sure you have a rack in the middle of your oven. Then, turn it on to broil.
- Fill a large ovenproof pot (I like to use my Le Creuset) with water (and a pinch of salt and a dash of olive oil!) and bring it to a boil over high heat on the stovetop. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, about 8 minutes. (Now is the perfect time to chop your veggies, if you haven't already.)
- Drain the pasta and, without rinsing it in cold water, immediately add it back to the pot. Stir in the olive oil, pepper flakes, salt, lemon juice, capers, and garbanzo beans.
- Once everything is well mixed, top the pasta with the fennel and cauliflower pieces. Sprinkle that with the bread crumbs and a dash of salt and pepper and then drizzle the whole thing with olive oil (I probably drizzled on approximately another 2 tablespoons). Finish the top off with the goat cheese crumbles.
- Place the pot in the oven and broil for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese and veggies have turned a slight golden color. If you'd like, serve the pasta with one, a few, or all (or none) of the following: extra cheese, salt and pepper, a sprinkle of dill, lemon wedges, pepper flakes, or a drizzle of olive oil.
- Sever with a kale salad, crunchy bread, and a glass of white wine.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- As with all my recipes, this one is totally customizable. Therefore if you don't like capers, fennel, or garbanzo beans, feel free to either replace them or leave them out completely.
- In place of the goat cheese try using parmesan cheese, feta cheese, or ricotta cheese, or eliminate the cheese altogether.
- To make this less zesty/spicy, leave the pepper flakes out.
- This recipes is vegetarian. To make it gluten-free, eliminate the bread crumbs and use a gluten-free pasta. To make it dairy-free, eliminate the cheese.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
I can stuff my face with tofu, I can spend 2 hours kickboxing every morning, I can remember to take my vitamins daily, I can start every morning with lemon water…..but I can not, no matter how hard I try, kick my sweet tooth. It’s so bad that even my sweet tooth has a sweet tooth problem. And I’m totally owning it. Instead of forcing myself to forego desserts (it pains me just to say those 2 words together, so you can imagine how detrimental it would be for me to actually forego the desserts), I’ve instead mastered the art of portion control….except for things that contain ice cream, caramel, chocolate, whipped cream, or sugar….because obviously anything in one of the main food groups according to “Elf” absolutely does not require portion control. When I’m not busy being a portion control ninja, I’m inventing new ways to trick my taste buds into thinking I’m eating a decadent dessert all while secretly saving my waistline from the “moment on the lips, forever on the hips” epidemic. My latest such invention is these gingerbread fruit parfaits. Now, they aren’t nearly as healthy as some of the gluten-free cardboard options available on the market, but they aren’t quite as rich as, say, a triple chocolate fudge brownie topped with cookie dough and oreos. Before these parfaits were born, I was already a fan of gingerbread. It’s healthy….unless you put whipped cream on it, which I always do, so, I guess for me it’s not healthy, buuuuut for everyone else, it’s healthy. Even making half the amount of my favorite recipe still leaves us with so much extra gingerbread that a few pieces almost always go bad. I hate wasting food (especially dessert), so what better way to save a cake than fry it in butter, am I right or am I right?! I promise it’s not a lot of butter (and you could even use coconut oil). To make the parfaits the gingerbread croutons are layered with Greek yogurt whipped cream and a champagne-infused fruit compote (because everything is better with bubbles). Spoons up for healthy desserts!
Recipe Links Gingerbread
Gingerbread Fruit Parfaits
A light and healthy fruit parfait made with Greek yogurt whipped cream, spicy gingerbread croutons, topped off with a champagne-infused fruit compote
- 2 small blood oranges, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 1/3 cup blackberries
- 2 tablespoons champagne (prosecco would also work fine)
- 1 teaspoon of an orange liquor
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 1/2 cups gingerbread cubes (about 3 2"x 2" square pieces cut into cubes; recipe link below)
- 1 teaspoon butter or coconut oil
- First, in a small bowl, stir together the fruit, then pour the champagne and orange liquor over it. Place the bowl in the fridge while you assemble the remaining layers.
- Next, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attached, combine the yogurt and cream. Beat together until the mixture has combined and become thick, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, sugar, and honey and beat about 2 more minutes. Remove the bowl form the stand and place in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the parfaits.
- Lastly, heat the butter or oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Toss in the gingerbread cubes and sauté them for a couple minutes, tossing them every few seconds, until they are warmed and crispy.
- To assemble the parfaits, in a bowl/serving dish/glass layer a few gingerbread cubes followed by cream topped with the fruit. Repeat these layers one more time. Continue until all of your parfaits have been assembled. Serve immediately.
- The fruit mixture and cream can each be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and stored separately, in airtight containers, in the refrigerator, until you are ready for them.
- If you can't find blood oranges feel free to use regular oranges or even grapefruit. Similarly, feel free to replace the blackberries with another type of fruit.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
(I only make half the recipe)
Another cold day. Another bowl of soup. Who woulda thunk?! This is a new favorite recipe from an old favorite cookbook. Cookbooks…remember those ancient things? The things we used before Google came along to spit out 100s of versions of the recipe we needed faster than we could even flip to the recipe index in the book. Well, I had a whole stack of them collecting dust and I decided it was time for the dust to collect elsewhere…at least some of the time. This mushroom tomato tofu stew is adapted from a book that I actually cooked from a lot while I was growing up. I’d forgotten all about it, until I was browsing a used bookstore and happened upon a barely used copy for only a couple dollars. I was thrilled (to add it to my dust-collecting collection)! Being in detox-from-the-holidays mode I figured it was better to reach for the low-fat cookbook before I tackle (and proceed to gain 500 pounds) from Julia Child’s book. And boy does this stew deliver on the detox level. It’s packed with vegetables and pretty much only vegetables, making it 1,000 times healthier than anything else I’ve eaten in the last month, although I’m pretty sure eating french fries (potatoes=veggies!!!) would be healthier than anything I’ve eaten in the last month. Per usual, I can never truly “follow” a recipe so I have made a few adjustments. Feel free to do the same.
Do you like to make recipes from cookbooks, blogs, websites, or just wing it?
One-Pot Mushroom Tomato Tofu Stew
A simple stew that is hearty, full of flavor, and bursting with nutrients
- 4 cups chopped onions (about 3 medium-sized onions)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cups sliced celery (about 1 bunch, or 8 stalks)
- 4 cups sliced mushrooms (about 12 baby bella mushrooms or a 10 ounce package)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
- 1 28-ounce can of undrained chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1/3 cup of Bragg's or soy sauce (more or less, depending on taste preference)
- 2 teaspoons salt (more or less, depending on taste preference)
- 12 ounces of tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
- To a large soup pot add the water and onions. Place the pot over high heat, put the lid on, and let the onions cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add in the celery and continue cooking for another 5 minutes with the lid on. Next, add the mushrooms, lower the heat to medium, and cook an additional 5 minutes, adding more water if the vegetables begin to stick to the pan.
- Once you've cooked the vegetables down, add in the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer on low heat, until everything has warmed through. Discard the bay leaf and serve.
- This recipe is low-fat, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- I recommend serving this with a salad and some crusty bread.
- This soup can be made ahead then kept warm in a crockpot, or simply reheat it for 5 minutes over medium heat before serving.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites Cookbook
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/