Meatless Monday: Protein before the Candyfest

We made two meatless and tomato-less treats for dinner yesterday which means it hit everyone’s dietary needs all at once. We made some modifications to both the recipes to use what we already had in our pantry (because that’s the theme for the rest of the year- out with the old, before we’re ready to stock up for the new!) and while that turned out just fine with one recipe, I think I wrecked the other… LUCKILY the one that worked is packed with protein to help you (and your littles) ride out the Halloween sugar highs…

img_3847The recipe we will definitely be making again was for a Mexican Pizza and we only had to make two tiny tweaks to it- the first was that the recipe calls for refried black beans. We had black beans and we had refried beans but not refried black beans so regular refried beans it was. This probably made it a little less healthy, but we figured the black beans would not spread as a base the way the refried beans would. We also cut the tomato out of the recipe so we could use one recipe for our whole family. We did not miss them at all.

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Next time we’ll try more of a liquid consistency and drizzle it up to look fancy… for this time, we were hungry and done is better than perfect…

While this was yummy and our toddler was delighted to scream out PIZZA! while eating it since he usually doesn’t get to eat pizza thanks to his tomato sensitivity, I would really just call this a fancy tostada done well. The component that really set this recipe apart from what we would normally make was crisping the tortillas and the avocado creme sauce. We were a little impatient and probably could have pureed the sauce to be smoother but it still tasted great and we kind of liked still having small chunks of avocado! We also cut the recipe in half but kept the sauce the same which I do not regret. The more you can drizzle the better! This recipe was a huge hit across the board and while it would not do well being frozen, it was ready within 30 minutes which is a big plus.

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They don’t even look appetizing…

The other recipe I tried was for Jalapeño Popper Quinoa Bites and it was definitely a fail. To be honest, I might try this recipe again without the modifications because I think that’s what made the outcome so bad. We had barely any white quinoa left so I used mostly red quinoa- I think this was the unforgivable substation. Red quinoa cooks much denser than regular quinoa and made the whole dish end up dry. I also substituted in different shredded cheese and used a regular sized muffin tin instead of a mini one which might have also thrown off the baking time. Overall though, I just didn’t like the cream cheese in it anyway but again, maybe it would have reacted differently if it had been with regular quinoa. I’ve made other quinoa bites in the past and really enjoyed them but no one in my family liked them this time! At least they had something else to eat and this wasn’t the only thing for dinner!

Any stories of substitutions gone horribly wrong in your cooking past? Share your knowledge so I know better as we keep trying to clean out our pantry!

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