Category: Air Fryer

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

For years, a recipe for making a healthier pizza crust from cauliflower has made the rounds. Although interested, I couldn’t find the enthusiasm to try making it. Like Tres Leche Cake, it was too labor-intensive to fit my criteria for a Hasty Tasty Meal. Thanks to Green Giant, that’s no longer the case.

Cauliflower pizza crust is pricey ($4.99 at my local grocery store), but is worth the investment if you’re craving pizza and can’t sacrifice nutrition. Yes, nutritional pizza is no longer an oxymoron.

I baked mine in my Power Air Fryer Oven 400°F but it works better in a conventional oven at 450°

Here’s how I made a sausage and mushroom pizza:

RECIPE

Reasonably Healthy Cauliflower Crust Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Makes 2 2-slice servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen cauliflower pizza crust
  • 1 8 oz. can low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 patty fully cooked turkey sausage
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasonings
  • 1 can mushrooms, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses (2/3 cup mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmesan)
  • cooking spray
  • optional salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Remove cauliflower crust from its packaging. Prebake crust directly on the rack for 12-15 minutes.
  3. While crust bakes, combine sauce, seasonings (including garlic), and turkey sausage patty in a blender or food processor. Don’t overprocess. Stir in mushrooms. Also, grate cheeses if needed.
  4. Carefully remove crust from the oven using a pizza peel or large spatula. 
  5. Spread the sauce over the crust and sprinkle the chopped onion and pepper.
  6. Cover with shredded cheese and return pizza to the oven, again placing it directly on the oven rack.
  7. Bake just until browned and bubbly (approximately 6 minutes). Carefully remove the pizza and allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Slice into 4 pieces and serve.

Healthier Taco Bowls

I had fun using several of my kitchen gadgets to make my healthier version of taco bowls. First, I “fried” the taco shells in my new Power Air Fryer oven. I cooked my chicken breast in my Instant Pot Duo Mini 3-quart, shredded it using my Cuisinart, and heated my cheese sauce in my microwave oven. The payoff was a delicious and filling meal that counts only 3 Weight Watchers SmartPoints.

RECIPE

HASTY TASTY TACO BOWLS

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • OLE tortillas
  • ½ pound chicken breasts (Fresh or frozen)
  • 1 can Ro*Tel (you pick heat level)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jar Tostitos Queso con Salsa (or similar brand)
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions:

  1. Form each tortilla into a bowl using a mold or oven-proof bowl.
  2. Air-fry at 370°F for 12 minutes.
  3. Place chicken breasts and contents of a can of Ro*Tel into the pot of a pressure cooker. Cook under pressure 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pressure to drop on its own.
  4. While chicken cooks, prep beans, corn, onions, and cilantro and combine.
  5. Carefully open pressure cooker and remove the chicken (replace lid to trap in the heat). Shred chicken and return to cooker.
  6. Stir in beans, corn, onions, and cilantro mixture with the shredded chicken. Cover and allow residual heat to warm the beans and corn.
  7. Pour Queso con Salsa into a heatproof measuring pitcher and heat 2-3 minutes in the microwave oven, stirring occasionally.
  8. Place taco bowl shell on a plate, fill with 1/4 of the mixture, and then drizzle with 2 Tbsp. of the queso con salsa. Serve immediately.

Air Fryer Bagels

I love bagels but not the kind in grocery stores. Our time living in New Jersey spoiled me for fresh, NY style bagels. I’m not returning to the northeast anytime soon, so I’m making my own. I won’t heat my Florida kitchen using the oven, either, so here’s my take on air fryer bagels using a recipe I found in the Weight Watchers’ Facebook group.

 

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • coarse salt for coating

Directions:

  1. Combine flour and yogurt and mix well.  Allow dough to rest 30 minutes and then knead 4-5 times.
  2. Bring 1 quart water to boil in a large saucepan.
  3. Separate dough into 4 spheres. Shape bagels by punching the middle of each sphere and spinning the dough until desired shape.
  4. Drop each bagel into the boiling water, turning after 2 minutes.
  5. After boiling bagels for a total of 4 minutes, remove to drain on paper towels.
  6. Sprinkle tops with coarse salt.
  7. Place bagels in air fryer and set for 390°-400° (settings vary per air fryer) for 7 minutes.
  8. Remove and enjoy with your favorite cream cheese or jam!

Do these bagels taste as good as NY bagels? Not even close. However, they’re good enough, and these bagels are only 2 SmartPoints® on the Weight Watchers® program! 

Product Test: Electric Air Fryer

I resisted purchasing an air fryer for about two years. While friends, acquaintances, and infomercials assured me I would use one, I resisted. We don’t eat a lot of deep-fried foods, so why bother?

But curiosity overcame my objections and I purchased one, a GoWise USA 3.7 quart model. Then I began my tests.

First, I picked up fresh catfish fillets at my local Publix. I washed my new electric air fryer according to the instructions and sprayed Pam in the basket. After dipping the catfish in egg and then a light coating of flour/cornstarch, I placed the fillets in the basket of my electric air fryer. I selected the Fish setting for 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, I gently turned each fillet to ensure even browning. My husband and I enjoyed catfish fillets that tasted deep-fried! So far, so good.

Next, I cooked a frozen hash brown patty on the Fries setting for 6 minutes, turning the patty after 5 minutes. Perfect! Better than any fast-food breakfast hash brown patty because it wasn’t greasy.

I cooked frozen, breaded veal cutlets (from Omaha Steaks) on the Chicken setting for 20 minutes (again, turning at the halfway point) for veal Parmigiana. As good as any restaurant!

Frozen french fries were the best, and took only 15 minutes for shoestring-size fries. After about 8 minutes, I shook the basket to expose all sides evenly. Better than our favorite burger chain because there’s no grease!

Finally, I tried kale. I’ve always wanted to try making kale chips but just didn’t feel like heating up the oven. The electric air fryer acts as a mini-convection oven, and will make any vegetable into a chip with nothing more than a spray of Pam. Kale chips took 20 minutes at 320 degrees. It doesn’t cook a lot at a time, but that’s no problem since I’m the only one in my household willing to eat kale chips. 😉

According to Harlan Fowler, author of the GoWise USA Air Fryer Cookbook, regular bacon cooks well–very crisp, but it leaves a puddle of rendered fat in the pan. (Not a bad thing if you need rendered bacon fat for a recipe, but messy for cleanup). Yet the instructions state to avoid cooking fatty meats like sausage, and I think bacon qualifies as a fatty meat. I won’t cook bacon in my air fryer. I do look forward to trying his recipe for sweet potato fries, however. Love sweet potato fries!

 I have more testing to do, but I already know this purchase will work for me. The electric air fryer is a welcome addition to our kitchen. 

 

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