Baked Sweet Potato Nachos

There’s no better way to start the day than with a heaping pile of nachos for brunch. For nachos, these are pretty nutritious, minus the handful of cheese nestled in there. 

I used a mandolin to thinly slice about 3/4 of a large sweet potato (I used a Garnet yam, who cares?). After tossing the slices in oilve oil and cayenne pepper, I spread them out in a single layer and baked them at 400°F for 20 minutes, flipping the slices halfway. After 20 minutes, I removed the crisp slices from the oven and continued cooking the flimsy ones on a wire rack for another 10 or 15 minutes. The result? Crispy chips without deep frying! 

While the cheese was melting on top of the chips in the oven, I prepped some basic pico de gallo, mango guacamole, and the usual nacho garnishes. I also made a lighter version of crema by whisking together 1/2 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with the juice from half a lime, a splash of apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. 

Goot lort.​

Summer Shrimp and Strawberry Salad

It has been a hot second since my last real “summer break”. I remember the excitement of visiting my elementary school a week before summer ended. The school admin would post a long list of teachers and their class roster for the upcoming year. As much as I loved summer break, I was always so stoked to go back to school in the fall. Fast forward to 24, where the most exciting part of summer is the seasonal produce. It’s a sad truth I’ll have to accept. 

Sometimes I have all the right ingredients at the right time #blessed. I marinaded some shrimp in olive oil, lime juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Then, I chopped up an avocado, strawberries, and a quarter of a red onion. After throwing the shrimp on the barbie, I made a quick dressing using nonfat plain yogurt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Yogurt makes any vinaigrette about 1000 times more delicious. 

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

It wasn’t until college when I realize that buffalo wings are actually deep fried before they’re drenched in buffalo sauce. Not that this newfound knowledge will ever stop me from eating wings, but it’s nice to know there are *slightly* healthier alternatives. 

I broke apart an entire head of cauliflower into bite sized pieces, rinsed, and dried them. Then I tossed the cauliflower with milk, flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, and a splash of Frank’s buffalo sauce (this stuff has zero fat and  calories, but it’s loaded with sodium). I sprinkled the pieces with panko breadcrumbs and baked them on a tray at 450°F for 20 minutes. Then I lightly-coated the bites with more buffalo sauce, and let them bake in the oven for another 10 minutes. 

I served the bites taco style on a bed of shredded carrot and red cabbage, and topped it with a *slightly* healthier version of blue cheese dressing. To make the dressing, I mixed together blue cheese crumbles, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, milk, a splash of vinegar, salt, and pepper. Also, cilantro is always a good idea. 

Melon Caprese

Cantaloupe is not my favorite fruit, but it IS my least favorite. However, I’ll eat anything if it comes with fresh mozarella and basil. 

I used a melon baller to scoop out the innards of two cantaloupes onto a platter. I added a container of perlini mozarella balls. The theme of this caprese is balls. 

I added shreds of prosciutto and fresh basil to the mix. To make the vinaigrette, I whisked together some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. I tossed together all of the ingredients and let the flavors meld in the fridge until serving time. Cantaloupe is the worst, but this caprese is not.