Adding healthy ingredients takes a snack to a meal
Lunch on Sundays at SuzerSpace is just about always nachos. Good on rainy days, good on sunny days. They pair well with sports, or crafts, or even chores.
You can’t really go wrong with melty cheese and chips, and anything else you add is bonus.
Because I top these with arugula and southwestern salad dressing, I call them “Salad Nachos” and then I feel less guilty about them. Although as long as you keep the fatty items off, and be tight on portion control, nachos don’t necessarily have to be on the bad list anyway.
A quick word about my feature photo – this isn’t a food blog, so I’m showing them exactly how we eat them. I lift them off the baking sheet by the foil, and then wrap that foil around the serving plate.
Classy? Not really. Easy cleanup? You betcha 🙂
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
1/4 - 1/2
rinsed and drained
Southwestern Style Ranch Salad Dressing
Line a small baking pan with foil
Place a single layer of chips on the foil, keeping them close together so very little foil shows through.
Add a light layer of black beans, and top that with salsa.
Sprinkle with shredded cheese evenly so everything gets a little.
Place this dish in a cold oven, and turn oven to Bake, 350 degrees. *See first note below
Bake until oven hits preheated temperature, switch to broil. *See second note below.
Remove from oven when cheese and chips are browned and crispy.
Top generously with arugula, sparingly with Southwestern style ranch dressing.
- I call this cooking method "Two-Stage" cooking, which is I'm using the pre-heating of the oven to warm all the ingredients and then switching over to broil to blast them at the last second. I find if I just broil the nachos, the tops are good, but the beans are cold.
- When the nachos are in the first stage of cooking, you've got freedom to do something else, since the oven will beep (or in our case play a song) when it's at 350 degrees. However, when you switch to broil, DO NOT LEAVE the oven, not even for a second. These go from "almost there" to carbon in as long as it takes you to look up that just one more thing on the computer.
Our version of the snack mix known as “Chex Mix”
I’ve previously admitted to my weakness for onion chip dip. The quick review – I love that stuff so much I have to put it on lock down and only eat it from Thanksgiving through New Year’s (with two exceptions – Super Bowl and Daytona 500 weekends).
I have a similar control issue with the snack mix that is universally called Chex Mix, whether or not it actually uses the brand name cereals.
Last year, we took a look at what we were actually eating in that mix, and changed up the recipe. I can’t realistically call it healthier, but I’d be willing to call it “betterfied.” And because it now packs more nutrition and way more fiber than most snacks, I’ve removed it from the quarantine calendar system.
Continue reading “Couch Mix”
A dump and mix recipe using black beans and diced tomatoes with green chiles
A good bit of my kitchen repertoire is based on dump and run recipes. You know the technique – a couple of cans of easy to acquire ingredients, combined with a few fresh ones, some time in the fridge or on the stove, and voila!
This one is extremely loosely based on a dish a co-worker brought to a potluck. Known as Texas Caviar or Cowboy Caviar, there are literally hundreds of recipes out there. It’s usually presented as a side salad or a dip for Fritos or those bowl shaped Tostitos.
The problem with all of them is they are loaded with a lot of fat, salt and high carb items. A few years ago, we radically changed our food plan because we were dealing with the carb counting challenge that a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis brings. (BIG DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. Consult one or both for best management of a major health condition).
Continue reading “Coonhound Caviar”
Roasted chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are another one of those recipes that is more of technique than an actual list of steps and measurements.
And it’s been posted in some form or another all over the food blogs.
But I’m going to put it here at SuzerSpace, too, because it’s a staple in our house.
It ticks all the boxes – super simple to make, inexpensive, tasty and good for you.
Continue reading “Roasted Chickpeas”
An easy dip from a few basic ingredients
Hummus is a bit of a head scratcher.
It’s been around forever, but suddenly a few years ago became the new “IT” food.
At the grocery store, a small container starts at $3.99 and goes up considerably if it has other high fashion ingredients (use the words artisan and roasted and you can add at least another dollar).
Food bloggers and their commenters have gone crazy as well, posting recipes with multiple steps and heated arguments about whether a Vitamix is better than a food processor. Don’t even get me started on the remove-the-skins vs. leave-the-skins debates. (Honestly, I fell for it, and used to skin them, but at least for me, the difference isn’t worth the work).
Continue reading “Super easy hummus”
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. But put me near the dip and chips, and watch out. I like it so much that we had to institute “Dip Mix Season” which runs from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day. There are two additional periods of legal dip mix use- Super Bowl Weekend and Daytona 500 weekend. Consuming dip outside of those calendar dates is frowned upon.
This past year, I stumbled upon an idea to make dip mix healthier. Not healthy. Just a little less bad. The easy swap was using cottage cheese for sour cream.
Continue reading “Healthier Onion Dip Mix”