These cauliflower tater tots are a delicious and super clever way to pack some veggies into a classic childhood snack.
One of my favorite all-time childhood appetizers were tater tots. I mean, I was introduced to these little cylindrical crisps in my childhood school cafeterias. As I’ve gotten older and am now more aware of my health, I am trying to become more intentional about eating healthier foods.
This cauliflower tater tot recipe is the perfect accompaniment to my mushroom & Swiss burger recipe (or really anything else you may want to eat these with!). If you don’t feel like easting these with anything else, they are perfectly good with a side of sriracha, ketchup, or solo! Whatever floats your boat is the name of this game.
Cauliflower for Picky People!
If you have picky eaters at home and have been trying to figure out how to incorporate more veggies into their plates, consider this recipe. The way we prepare our veggies is everything. Your kids (or spouse!) will want to have more of this dish. 🙂
You can either prepare these tots in an air fryer or oven. They will taste great, regardless of your cooking method. Not only are these tots also lower in carbs, but if you’re adhering to Weight Watchers (and are on the Green plan), one serving will be worth 3 WW smart points.
2tbsp.dried Italian seasoning (Parsley and Oregano)
Coarsely chop the cauliflower into large, chunkypieces.
Afterwards,allow the pieces to boil in rolling hot water for about 3-5 minutes, or untiltender to the touch. Immediately drain.
Once the cauliflower finishes cooking, pulse inthe food processor until each of the pieces are roughly the size of grains ofrice (cauliflower rice). Afterwards, transfer the mixture into a large bowl.
Combine all of the following into the large bowlof cauliflower rice: the egg, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oil, and Italianseasonings. Mix until everything is well combined.
After mixing, take roughly the size of atablespoon of cauliflower rice mixture and form it into the shape of a tatertot and place the taters on a surface sizable enough to contain all of thepieces (about 30-35 tots!)
Gently place enough tater tots in the basket and set on 375f for 20 minutes and flip halfway.
Have preheated oven set at 400 degreesF. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Flip halfway. Enjoy!
Consider adding this mushroom & Swiss beef burger recipe to your upcoming barbecue menu. I promise that these are sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
I love burgers.
I don’t really have much to say about this recipe except well, I really love a good mushroom burger. My husband and I have eaten at enough burger joints that I’ve become somewhat of a snob when it comes to my burger. I guess it’s because I’ve had too many subpar and disappointing hamburgers (thanks Wendy’s, Mickey D’s and Burger King).
If there is one burger that never disappoints, it’s a good old fashioned mushroom Swiss. I love how the nuttiness of the Swiss cheese balances out the caramelized meatiness of the mushrooms AND onions. You really can’t go wrong.
How does this portabella recipe taste?
I wanted to try something different and find a reasonably healthier way to bulk up my hamburger patties. Rather than using more beef, I decided to incorporate plenty of portabella into the actual patty mixture. The verdict? These patties do NOT disappoint. In fact, I felt that the mushroom within the patty mixture actually helped to create a juicier and more mouthwatering burger. This is definitely one that will be on our menu rotation! If you’re looking for something tasty to accompany these patties, consider making my cauliflower tater tots.
If you’re a fellow Weight Watchers member (and are on the Green plan), one patty with melted cheese and grilled onion will be worth 9 WW smart points.
Coarsely dice onion into pieces roughly half aninch in size. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse mushrooms and half of the diced onions until the pieces are roughly the size of rice grains.
After pulsing the mushrooms and onions, sauté the mixture in 1 tsp. oil for about 4-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms lightly caramelize and the onion turns translucent. Allow the mushroom mixture to cool down for a few minutes or until semi-cool to the touch. Once cooled, transfer to a large bowl.
In large bowl, add ground beef, egg, andseasonings to the mixture, and mix until all of the ingredients are wellcombined. Afterwards, form the mixture into 4-6 patties, and then sauté them oneach side for about 3-5 minutes.
Immediately top each patty with a slice of Swiss cheese, and then serve assemble the burger with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Recipe is 421 calories with the patty and Swiss cheese.
WARNING: These zucchini fritters are extremely addictive.
This year, my husband and I decided to become members of a local CSA (Community-Supported Agricultural system), and decided to become members of Steed Farm, the local CSA in our hometown. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, a CSA is a system where the consumer has the opportunity to subscribe to the local harvest of a local farm or collective of farms (Click here if you’re interested in seeing my CSA video-its good stuff!).
I recently received my first share of produce, which was super exciting. No joke…we probably came home with about 7 pounds worth of produce. Among all of the goodies I received, I had two very large and hefty zucchini fruits. After trying to figure out how I was going to prepare them, I had an ‘A-ha!’ moment: Why not turn them into fritters?!?! I had most of the ingredients, to do so.
The Moment of Truth
After experimenting with this dish three different times, and modifying each of the ingredient quantities, I am proud to announce that I finally came up with a recipe that I am super proud of. Folks, I present you with my very tasty zucchini fritters. These fritters contain feta cheese, which naturally gives these the salt and amount of zing these babies need. If you don’t want to fry them, no worries! I included a step which shows you how to bake ‘em. These fritters are pretty low in carbs, which is why I opted for Almond flour in my recipe. But you can use whatever other type of flour you’d like! The flour ratio should still be the same.
A couple disclaimers before I proceed:
The quality of the skillet you use matters (take it from me). If you opt for frying, these fritters are prone to sticking on the bottom of the skillet and WILL crumble a part if you do not make sure that you do not have a non-stick surface.
WARNING: These fritters are addictive. Even though they are low in carbs (per serving), you may wind up wanting to eat the whole batch. Just a heads up…
WARNING: These zucchini fritters are extremely addictive.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Keyword: low-carb, vegetarian
1tbsp.crushed red pepper flakes
Finely dice onion into ¼" cubes, and set aside.
Coarsely chop zucchini into 1” Cubes, separate them into three batches. Place each batchinto a food processor and pulse for about three seconds, two-three times, untilthe zucchini pieces are roughly ¼” in size. Repeat this step for each batch.
After all of the zucchini has been pulsed, take a cheese cloth, and squeeze as muchof the water out of the zucchini chunks, until almost all of the liquid has drained out. This will take about 3-5 minutes.
Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl, except the oil. Gently stir untileverything looks evenly mixed.
Cookyour zucchini fritters using one of two methods:
Frying:Heat your large skillet to medium heat, and add the cooking oil. While theskillet is heating, take your batter, and create balls which are about one-one anda half inches in diameter. Creating the mini patties is best to use with atablespoon. Gently drop each medallion-sized patty into the skillet, and allowto fry on each side for about 2 minutes on each side (no more than three minutes),until each side is golden browned. Try not to fry more than five patties at atime. Repeat until all pieces are cooked.
Baking:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once oven has pre-heated, lightly grease a largebaking sheet, and form mini patties the size of 1-1.5 inch medallions. Bakefritters for about 25-30 minutes, until the fritters have golden browned.
Enjoy your zucchini fritters with some marinara sauce, or sour cream!
Nutritional Information per serving (serving size- 4 fritters):
Unlike your traditional lasagna, this deliciously cheesy vegan zucchini lasagna is different because it is plant-based, and is lower-in carbs (if you’re counting!)
THIS. LASAGNA. TOOK. ME. PLACES.
Simply put: I have been craving lasagna for a while, so I was really looking forward to making this. However, unlike your traditional lasagna, this is different because it is vegan, and replaces zucchini for lasagna noodles, which makes this lower-in carbs (if you’re counting!).
This seriously turned out to be one of the most delicious lasagnas that I have ever tasted, and I’m not just saying that because I made it! It’s creamy, delicious, nutty, and extremely filling. Unlike most zucchini lasagnas I’ve had in the past, this one wasn’t soupy, nor did any excess liquid from the zucchini make the dish too wet. The consistency was just right-almost as if I were eating the traditional Italian Dish. The homemade cashew ricotta cheese was not only extremely delicious, but was very helpful in absorbing the excess moisture from the veggies.
Patience is a Virtue
Before I jump into the recipe, I will say that this cheesy vegan zucchini lasagna is going to take some time for you to prepare. Dedicate at least two hours for the preparation of this meal (which will include the ingredient prep and baking time). This dish was made almost completely from scratch, which means that I had to make almost every component with my own blood, sweat, and tears (you get it-I hope!). If you’re into prepping ingredients ahead of time, then you’ll be ahead of the game!
My advice: Patience is a virtue. Trust me. You’ll be licking your plate clean.
Let’s jump to the Cheesy Vegan Zucchini Lasagna recipe, shall we:
Cheesy Vegan Zucchini Lasagna
For the noodles:
2 medium whole zucchinis or one extra-large zucchini
For the sauce:
Two 8 ounce packages of portabella mushrooms
5-6 large plum tomatoes
2 large red bell peppers (or 4 medium bell peppers)
4 cloves of garlic
6-8 fresh basil leaves
½ large onion, or 1 small onion
1 cup fresh spinach
2 tbsp. dried oregano seasoning
1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil (evoo), divided into two teaspoons
Dash of salt & black pepper
For the cashew ricotta cheese:
1 tsp evoo
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked
½ cup reserved water from soaked cashews
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, or ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder (depending on how garlicky you like your ricotta)
For the topping:
Miyokos brand of Mozzarella cheese (optional, since this is my favorite store-bought vegan cheese)
Directions for the noodles:
Slice the lengthwise with a mandolin. I highly recommend using a mandolin, for consistent slices. However, if you choose to slice these by hand, be sure to slice them no more than about 1/8” in thickness.
These next two steps are optional, but HIGHLY recommended. To help get rid of the excess moisture from the zucchinis, place a large baking sheet with a layer of napkins, and salt the napkins. Then, lay each zucchini noodle slice over the salt, and try to avoid overlapping the slices. Liberally salt over the zucchinis, and let these ‘sweat’ for about 30 minutes. Afterwards, gently run your fingers through each slice over a sink or colander to get rid of the excess moisture and gently place the zucchini back into the pan, and once again avoid overlapping each slice.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baking sheet(s) with the slices in the oven for ten minutes, to finish drying them off. The zucchini will now be ‘dry’ enough to use for the lasagna without making the dish too wet. Set aside.
For the meat sauce
This step is best to do ahead of time-Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the tomatoes in half, remove the bell pepper caps (with seeds), ad place these, along with the garlic cloves in a baking tray. Drizzle 2 tsp of the evoo over the produce and massage oil throughout. Bake these for about 25-30 minutes until the produce becomes wilted and has beautiful golden brown spots. Then place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times until a sauce-consistency forms (I personally like my sauce on the chunkier side)
While the zucchini is ‘sweating’, begin preparing the ‘meat’: coarsely dice the onion (to no more than ½” cubes), dice the garlic cloves into fine pieces, and crumble the portabella mushrooms until they are about ¼” sized pieces. You can either pulse these a couple times in a food processor or crumble them by hand. Up to you.
Drizzle two tsp evoo on a skillet, preheated to medium high. Immediately place mushroom and onion mix into the skillet. Add the salt, black pepper, spinach, red pepper, and crushed oregano seasoning to mixture. Cover for the first 3 minutes to allow everything to wilt, then remove cover and stir mixture frequently for about 7 minutes, until the onions turn translucent, and the portabella begins to lightly brown.
Add roasted tomato sauce mixture to the portabella ‘meat’ and let is simmer on low for about 10 minutes, or until more of the juices from the tomato mixture reduces.
For cashew ricotta:
1. Place all specified ingredients into (cleaned) food processor and let it blend for about 3-5 minutes, or until it has that thick, ricotta mixture. Be sure to check and stir periodically. That easy.
Directions for the Lasagna assembling:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take an 8” casserole dish, and take about 2-3 tablespoons of meat sauce to spoon at bottom. This will help the lasagna become easy to scoop out (trust me!)
Like any traditional lasagna recipe, gently layer the zucchini noodles, as the second layer. Then add about half or the ricotta mixture and gently spread. Then layer about a third of the meat sauce mixture. Afterwards, layer about 1/3 of the Miyokos mozzarella cheese. Then repeat this step, until you have about 2-3 layers of lasagna. Top with the rest of the sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese. Over with a sheet of aluminum foil
Bake covered for 30 minutes. Afterwards, remove aluminum foil cover and allow to bake for 15 additional minutes.
The hardest step (but a VERY important one!!). Let the lasagna rest for about 10-15 minutes-OR-until you feel like it is cool enough for you to eat.
Quarter this lasagna with a spatula (or knife) and with your spatula, gently take each piece out, and plate.
Devour this dish and enjoy!!!
Makes 4 servings (serving size: 1 hearty slice)
Nutritional information for the Cheesy Vegan Zucchini Lasagna:
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