Sweet Potato Nachos

sweetpotatonachos

Hold your horses, these are some amazing nachos.  We’ve had them for dinner a couple of times in the past month now.  I dreamed them up while playing, let’s use up what’s in the fridge and pantry.  That is one of Eric’s favorite meal-time methods – he hates hates having too much of one item around, while I am the opposite and would stockpile 15 of everything if I could.

sweet.potato

Start by roasting 1 sweet potato, at 425° for 45 – 55 minutes, or till soft.  I made a 1/2 pan, which easily fed Eric, myself, and toddler.  If you want a full size baking sheet, double the recipe.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Place a layer of tortilla chips on the foil.  Tear the sweet potato into chunks and sprinkle 1/2 over the layer of chips.

nacho.cold

Cover sweet potato in 3 oz of cooked ground beef or fake beef crumbles, 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese, and a sprinkling of Mexican spice mixture.  Repeat layers once.  Top with 1-2 sliced jalapeño peppers, seeds in or removed.

qorn

I am a big fan of Quorn meatless and soy-free grounds.  I use them in all my recipes in place of ground beef.

baking

Bake nachos in oven for 8-10 minutes at 350°, or till heated and cheese melted.  I love my Breville toaster oven and use mine for baking a variety of things – Eric converted me years ago and I will never go back.  Can you catch my mistake in baking these?

table

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a choice beverage, of course.

Sweet Potato Nachos (serves 2-3)

1.  Roast 1 large sweet potato, at 425° for 45 – 55 minutes, or till soft.

2. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Place a layer of tortilla chips on the foil.  Tear the sweet potato into chunks and sprinkle 1/2 over the layer of chips.  Cover 1/2 of sweet potato in 3 oz of cooked ground beef or fake beef crumbles, 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese, and a sprinkling of Mexican spice mixture.  Repeat previous steps for second layer.  Top with 1-2 sliced jalapeño peppers, seeds in or removed.

3. Bake nachos in oven for 8-10 minutes at 350°, or till heated and cheese melted.  Serve with sour cream.

Southwestern Pinto Soup

pinto.soup

I made this heavenly toasty soup earlier in the week in my way too dusty slow cooker.  I need to brush it off and use it more often, it’s just too luxurious to come home to a house that smells deceivingly like a laborious meal.  The slow cooker meal feels almost magical, and I get giddy just thinking about it – when I walk into my home after work and after three trips from the car, with two hungry and exhausted kids, 3 ravenous animals, and my hangry self.  The very last thing I want to do on a weeknight is cook dinner – we’ve been surviving on multiple days of leftovers and frozen vegetables for the past 6 months.  My toddler has been known to say, “Mommy, we been having this last night.”  True.  Eat it or go hungry kiddo, sorry.  Hence the sudden drop in healthy meals on this blog.

pinto.beans

I cooked up the rest of my dried pinto beans earlier in the week for a random Monday night of nachos.  Leave it to the Bon Apetit Instagram feed to fuel that hankering.  So I had this heaping container of beans and no idea how to use them all, and so this soup was made.  I really do love this image of the beans, by the way, it makes me want to paint it on a 13 foot canvas.  My problem with the blog is this – I love to cook, I love baking, and I cannot turn off my artist eye.  So, often, I halt everything and capture the image, even if it is a container of glossy, slimy, and borderline gross container of pinto beans.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard my toddler say to me, “Mommy, what are you taking a picture of?”

soup.base

The base of this soup consists of three ways of tomatoes – canned by yours truly, paste, and fresh – and vegetable broth.  This soup is a vegetarian recipe and could easily be made vegan. Check out the recipe below.

knivesMy only other news is that we are slowly but surely organizing our lives in Iowa.  Funny how a move and a baby can throw your whole world into chaos.  😉   I love my new Ikea Magnetic Knife Strips but am still dreaming up ways to beautify gut my kitchen.

orange.kitchen

This kitchen speaks to my orange-loving soul!

Southwestern Pinto Soup with Cornbread Dumplings

Saute´ until soft:

1/2 yellow onion, diced and 3 cloves of garlic, minced.

Combine with onion mixture in slow cooker:

2 cups cooked pinto beans, 1 can diced tomatoes, 2 cups vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 6 oz. can tomato paste, 2 chopped fresh tomatoes.

Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 7 hours.

30 minutes before serving, mix up dumplings.  In a small bowl combine:

2 tablespoons of water, 1 egg (to make vegan, swap egg for 1 tablespoon ground flax-seed with 3 tablespoons water), and 8 tablespoons corn flour.

Drop spoonfuls of batter into hot soup, cover and let cook 30 more minutes.

Serve with sprinkling of cheese and splash of lime juice.

Quinoa, Roasted Veggies & Sardine Toast

As I head into the third trimester, I can’t say that I have boundless energy for much aside from the essentials.  However, I have been trying to avoid simply eating the first thing I happen come across and instead, eat well-rounded meals that include lots of veggies. I know how important it is to eat a variety if healthy foods while baby boy is still in the womb. I have to start developing that palate now!

This simple veggie, grain, and fish meal was one I made earlier this week. For the veggies, I simply tossed yellow onion, carrots, and asparagus in olive oil and then roasted them in the oven at 425 for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, I cooked some multi colored quinoa on the stove while the veggies were roasting. Side note: I’m really excited for gardening this year – my mom is going to try growing quinoa this year and I am looking forward to seeing this experiment through.

Lastly, I spread some sardines on sliced pumpernickel bread and sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top. I toasted these savory delights in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes. There you have it – an easy, quick and healthy weeknight meal.

Iowa update: my first Iowa daffodils started blooming today. It’s been getting into the high 60s with a sprinkling of days in the 70s.  I was driving the other day and kept wondering what was so different. Finally I realized the grass was relatively green!  I felt giddy with the simple thought of green grass. After the winter we’ve had, who wouldn’t be thrilled by this simple revelation?

The weather also just makes Greta so happy.  It’s impossible to get her to eat dinner or get ready for bed – she just wants to be outside all the time now. Here she’s doing her yoga in the grass because, “Mommy, it’s warm out! No coat!”
In other news, we finally made our Ikea run for Greta’s big girl bed. We successfully moved her into a new room, in preparation for baby boy. More on those two rooms at a later date.