Asian Nachos!

That description doesn’t even do it justice honestly. The peanut sauce is the thing that kitten dreams are made of. The flavors of the wontons, sauce and chicken blend so perfectly that you are left wondering how you lived before they were in your mouth. They need to put all of this in the description.

 

I was pretty intimidated about attempting this recipe because my Google search didn’t turn up any good matches. Food experiments don’t happen often in my kitchen because I’m afraid of buying a bunch of ingredients only to end up with non-edible foodstuffs. This recipe had so many steps that, as a wannabe chef, I knew the best thing would be to break it down and attempt one thing at a time, which is why it took me twice as long to make it. You will find the much more refined version below:

Asian Nachos

Ingredients:

8 wonton wrappers (16 if you burn a couple  like me)

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella

chopped green onions (garnish)

1 medium sized chicken breast fillet, cooked and sliced (or shredded)

Rice

1 cup brown rice

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup red pepper, diced

1/4 cup black beans

1/4 cup corn

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp chili powder

Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup water

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. Thai style chili sauce

1 tsp. minced garlic

squeeze of lime

Directions:

1. Cook rice according to package directions.

2. Heat oil in a small pan and sauté red onion and peppers. Once onion is translucent, stir in black beans, corn and spices.

3. Mix the bean mixture into cooked rice and keep warm.

4.  For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan at medium high heat. Add more water if necessary. You want a ketchup-like texture.

5. Set oven to broil setting (I set it on Low). Place wontons on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Put cookie sheet in oven for 3-5 minutes, maybe less depending on your oven. You must focus on this step or you will burn many wontons.

6. Once wontons are toasted, place them on the outside of a large, ovenproof plate.

7. Top wontons with sliced chicken, sauce and mozzarella cheese. Throw nachos in the oven until the cheese is melted.

8. Finish everything off by scooping brown rice mixture into the center of the plate. Garnish everything with chopped green onions.

Check out Lighter Lasagna Soup

Whew.

If you are still with me, here are a few notes from my cooking adventures:

  • The wontons came in the shape of squares, but I cut them into circles to make things more official. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to fry them or put them in the oven, so I tried both. Ultimately I decided on broiling them because the difference was insignificant, especially after the toppings. However, I don’t know if the cooking spray was the best thing to use in this situation because of the high heat. When I tried broiling them with nothing added, they wouldn’t brown. Suggestions?

wontons

  • The easiest way to add the peanut sauce to the nachos was to fashion my own icing bag out of a Ziploc bag. I threw the sauce in the bag and cut one of the corners. It wasn’t the ideal method, but I had eaten one too many wontons at that point.

 

  • This is the chili sauce I used:

  • I didn’t include any cooking instruction for the chicken because, frankly, this recipe was getting too long. I think you all know how to cook some chicken. I marinated it in soy sauce, garlic and ginger beforehand.
  • I skipped the wasabi because I don’t like it. Feel free to drizzle over your own nachos.
  • The amounts I included for the rice ingredients yields way more rice than what you can fit in the center of the serving plate. Who wouldn’t want extra though?

I have to say, I am pretty damn proud of myself for this one. I didn’t think I’d be able to pull it off without a recipe to follow. As for the taste, they were about as close to it gets to the real thing! Frying the wontons would’ve made them a little crispier, but it wasn’t too big of a deal. The sauce really made the dish. And if you want to make this vegetarian, just omit the chicken. You can sauté more bean mixture and top the wontons with that instead.

 

Lighter Lasagna Soup

How does one come up with the idea of lasagna soup?  I guess the same way people come up with cheeseburger soup and chicken tortilla soup.  I’m assuming they couldn’t decide whether they wanted a cheeseburger/chicken tortilla or soup.  
 
And that’s the exact predicament I was in last week.  I had bought everything I needed to make a lasagna since I put that on my meal plan for that week and at the last minute, I wasn’t feeling so well and decided I wanted soup.  That’s how I ended up with lasagna soup.  It really did taste like lasagna in soup form.  The only difference was I used macaroni noodles instead of lasagna noodles which I though would look nicer and fit on a spoon better.  
 
I lightened up this lasagna-inspired soup by using extra lean pork sausage (you could also use turkey sausage).  I also used reduced fat ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella for the cheesy topping which, by the way, is what really makes this soup so delicious, so don’t skip it!

Ingredients:
Soup

500g extra lean pork sausage or turkey sausage, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices
6 cups fat free chicken stock
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (leave out if serving to children)
1.5 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
Salt
3/4 cup whole wheat macaroni pasta, dry
Cheesy Topping
1.5 cups reduced fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1.5 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt

Directions:
1. In soup pot over medium heat, cook sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces.  Halfway through cooking sausage, add chopped onion.
2. When both sausage and onion are cooked, add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
3. While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to direction on box.  Drain and rinse.
4. Once soup has simmered for at least 30 minutes, add cooked pasta and continue simmering for another 15 minutes.
5. While soup is continuing to simmer, mix together ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, Italian seasoning and salt.
6. Spoon soup into bowls and top with about 1/4 cup of cheesy topping.

Nutritional Information:
Servings: 8
Serving size: 1.5 cups soup plus 1/4 cup cheesy topping
Calories 261, total fat 10.5g (sat. fat 4g), total carbs 18.5g, fibre 2g, net carbs 16.5g, sugar 6.6g, protein 22.6g

Weight Watchers Points: 6
Weight Watchers Points Plus: 7