Wednesday, August 21, 2013

GuiltLESS Pleasures: Not-so Nachos & Good-for-you Grilled Cheese

One thing I'm loving this month? The new Cooking Light issue! This week I've made two recipes from their newest issue for "healthified" comfort food.

This is one of John's busiest times at work, so I've been focused on making meals that are quick yet hearty and comforting. When John saw the array of nachos recipes as I was reading Cooking Light Sunday night he was very excited to try one out this week. (See picture below!)

Here was his nachos pick (that earned a 10 out of 10!):

Huevos Nachos
Inspired by Cooking Light

The original Cooking Light recipe is pretty simple, but I made some tweaks to it, and it was still a big success! (For dairy free and gluten free eaters like myself, I still broiled my chips, I just didn't add cheese to my half. I also use corn chips so they're gluten free.)

1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese  (optional if you're dairy free)
4 ounces tortilla chips
3/4 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (I kept seeds in so it was spicy)
Juice from 1/2 lime
3 small spicy chicken sausages (I used Trader Joe's spicy jalapeno and roasted red pepper all natural chicken sausage)
4 eggs

  1. Preheat broiler. 
  2. Mix together beans, onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice.
  3. Heat sausage in a pan for 7-9 minutes, or until heated through completely. Remove from pan and cut into small pieces. Stir into bean mixture.
  4. Scramble the four eggs in the pan. Remove from heat when done.
  5. Arrange chips on a baking sheet and top with cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
  6. Add the bean and sausage mixture to the chips and top with eggs. 
The second recipe that I've made this week is:

Again, I made some changes to make it both faster to prepare and with a gluten/dairy free option. I used hummus instead of cheese for mine and made them on gluten free bread. This was another recipe winner!


Grilled Cheese
1-2 cups chopped kale (depending on how much you want)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
Ground pepper and sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (Cooking Light calls for this, but I forgot to add it in and it was fine!)
8 slices bread
2 Tbsp. hummus (optional)
Cooking spray
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

Jalapeno Tomato Soup
2 tomatoes, halved
3 large garlic cloves, halved
3 shallots, halved
1 seeded red bell pepper, halved
1 jalapeno pepper, halved (I kept seeds in for spiciness)
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 can diced, fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth

Preparation: I am writing it in the order that I prepared everything since it went quickest this way.
  1. For soup: Preheat broiler. Place tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and peppers on jelly roll pan. Toss with canola oil. Broil for 10 minutes or until blackened.
  2. For sandwich: While vegetables for the soup cook, heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil to pan. Add in onion and cook for 10 minutes or until it's tender and browned. Add in kale, salt, and pepper until kale wilts. Remove from heat. Add in vinegar.
  3. For soup: Remove vegetables from broiler once they're browned. Coarsely chop them and add to a large pot. Add in the canned tomatoes and chicken broth. Use an immersion blender to blend everything together until it is a chunky broth. Let simmer, covered, over low heat while you finish the sandwiches.
  4. For sandwiches: Lower oven heat to 300 degrees. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add in bread slices, and when they start to brown, flip them over for another 1 1/2 minutes. Repeat this with all of the bread slices and reapply cooking spray when needed. 
  5. For sandwiches: Arrange 4 bread slices on a baking sheet. Top each with kale and onion mixture then add cheese to top. (For dairy free option, spread hummus on bread instead of using cheese.) Top with the other 4 bread slices to make a sandwich. Bake sandwiches for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. 
PS The next day, I took the soup with me as lunch on the go and ate it cold. It was still delicious and tasted like gazpacho!

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