Pizza Tot-chos with hidden veggies

Is it possible that food can be perfect? For me there are two perfect foods, pizza and nachos. Specifically – I love combining pizza and nachos into pizza nachos. Pepperoni, mozz, and sauce in nacho form? It may be the best invention since sliced bread.If only eating pizza or nachos made you skinny. I’d LOVE that. Since it doesn’t, I do my best to make them as healthy as possible and leave them as a special now and then treat.

Recently, I saw online that Green Giant had made a cauliflower tater tot. I mean, tater tots aren’t necessarily one of my favorite foods, but I do love me some tot-chos.  Apparently their marketing worked because I went to the store and picked up some cauliflower tater tots this week. I’m like a five year old sometimes, I sneak veggies into my own meals I’m all for it. Cauliflower tots – sold. This is mom level PRO if you ask me. My husband thought I was nuts as I put them in the cart. I even told him I was trying to eat more veggies and he told me that I was crazy. Maybe I am – crazy healthy that is. Or I may just be crazy. Either way – these tot-chos are going to become a staple for me because the are so so good.

This past week little Madison got her first ear infection which left me at home with her for two days before I could take her back to day care. Knowing that I had extra time for lunch, I decided it was finally time to whip up some cauliflower pizza tot-chos. They really hit the spot and gave me the energy to snuggle with my poor sick baby. I promise these are both delicious and freakishly easy to throw together while holding a baby in one arm. Depending on the amount you make they can be a great after school snack, lunch, or even dinner for the whole family!

Cauliflower pizza tot-chos

INGREDIENTS

Green Giant cauliflower tots
Mozzarella cheese
Hormel Turkey Pepperoni
Pizza Sauce
Other pizza toppings as desired

DIRECTIONS

1. Cook tator tots in 425 degree oven for twenty minutes.
2. Take out tots and top them with desired pizza toppings.
3. Place tots back in oven for additional 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
4. Top with pizza sauce and parmesan cheese and enjoy!

 

Using up our leftovers: Chicken & vegetable fried rice

Chicken and Vegetable Fried RiceI’m sure you’ve been there before. You make meals for the week and end up with leftovers that you don’t know what to do with. We ended up there this week. A couple random pieces of chicken, some cooked veggies, some fresh veggies that we didn’t eat for other meals, and only a few days left before they went bad. I asked my husband what he wanted to do with them and he suggested fried rice. So, I went to the kitchen and got cooking.

We both love Chinese food, but when we moved to a small town in Kansas we’ve really struggled to find a good Chinese restaurant. One over breads everything, another overcooks everything, one drowns it in soy sauce. After trying so many places we decided it’s easier (and cheaper) to do it on our own so we can make it to our own liking. I prefer grilled chicken, little to no soy sauce, and rice that’s still al dente. My husband prefers more soy sauce than me, but other than that is open to just about anything.

I personally struggle to eat enough vegetables on a daily basis. I mean, I know I should, but everything else always sounds better. The joy of fried rice is you eat vegetables without even noticing they’re there. Not only does it make me feel healthier, but someday we can serve this to the munchkin to make her eat her veggies, too. She’s still too little to be eating them, but soon she’ll be on more than mashed and pureed foods.

When we make fried rice it is probably one of the easiest recipes we use. I mean, if it got much easier it would be hard to call it a recipe. Any leftovers you have you could potentially use in fried rice. Leftover turkey after Thanksgiving…turkey fried rice. Leftover ham after Easter…ham fried rice. Leftover taco meat after Taco Tuesday…Mexican fried rice. You get the idea, right?

Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

RECIPE
2 cups rice (we used a wild rice, quinoa combo)
2 eggs
Soy sauce

Everything else is completely up to you. Whatever you have in your fridge will work. We used:
2 pieces of chicken, shredded
1/2 green pepper, cut in strips
1/2 red pepper, cut in strips
1/2 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
Leftover peppers and radishes, chopped

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cook rice according to instructions on box.
2. While rice is cooking, saute fresh vegetables in large skillet.
3. After 5-7 minutes, add in pre-cooked food items (leftovers) and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
4. Add cooked rice and stir until everything is well mixed.
5. Add soy sauce to your flavoring and serve.

What have you put in your fried rice?

Do you have any other uses for leftover food?

Marinated Tomato Salad

We are overwhelmed with cherry tomatoes. Seriously, so many little tomatoes. I know it’s tomato season, but I feel like we are up to our eyeballs in tomatoes. The sad thing is, we do not even own a tomato plant, we just bought them at Costco without first planning on how we would use them. The bonus to all of this: I get to experiment! I love a good cooking experiment.

When I think of tomatoes, I usually think of a delicious caprese salad. However, being lactose intolerant I cannot eat that. So, I made a lactose free version of caprese salad complete with a little extra seasoning. The result was spot on. I could have eaten the entire bowl. I plan on using it to top my omelette tomorrow, topping a salad for either lunch or dinner (or both), and maybe not sharing with my husband. For all you raw foodies out there, this is entirely raw, vegan, vegetarian, and absolutely delicious. The combination of veggies and healthy fats makes it a great side dish or snack. How can you go wrong with that?

Marinated Tomato Salad

INGREDIENTS
3 cups cherry tomatoes (chopped in half)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Fresh basil for topping.

DIRECTIONS
1. Chop the tomatoes in halves and place in large bowl with lid.
2. Add the olive oil, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and onion powder to the bowl and seal the lid.
3. Shake it up baby!
4. Allow the tomatoes to marinate at least 4-6 hours, if not longer.
5. Top with fresh basil and enjoy.

Basil plant

A little basil plant helped me with the fresh basil for this recipe.