Good news! I’m no longer nauseous. I have passed the unbelievably unpleasant 3 months of sickness and overall yuckiness of first trimester pregnancy and I’m back to eating EVERYTHING I SEE. I think my current state is best represented by the gif below:
Excellent news for me and the growing child in my uterus. Not so great news for me and the growing junk in my trunk. Though, I’m not one not to embrace this part of pregnancy so growing junk in trunk, be damned! Pass the french fries please (and the spaghetti, and the mac n’ cheese and that basket of hush puppies over there and, also? Could I get a bite or 5 of that burrito, please?).
My biggest craving will always and forever my salt. I’ve always gone salty savory over sweet. Plus, for some reason, during this pregnancy, any time I eat sugar I feel like absolute poop. It just hits me in a way that makes me uncomfortable and again, yucky, so as much as I want all the milkshakes and hot fudge sundaes in the world, I’m just not doing it. I’m also still not doing hot coffee. That too, knocks me off my feet and not in a good way. But me and cheese? We’re back to being best buddies. Sweet hallelujah! Therefore, I bring you the following recipe.
I honestly can’t believe I haven’t done a cheese fry post before. In my mind, cheese fries are the answer to all of life’s problems. Like, maybe, if Bibi Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas got together over some cheese fries, there might just be peace in the Middle East. I’m just sayin’, no one’s tried it yet so . . .
Honestly, I set out to make this a nacho recipe and then I realized, “That’s ridiculous! I love fries! FRIES!” So I sautéed up some of my favorite veggies and delicately placed them on top of 2 different kinds of melted cheese and then topped all of THAT with spinach, cilantro, cherry tomatoes and a dollop of sour cream and bada boom, bada bing, you basically a delicious answer to the same ol’ nachos you always have. I mean, with all those veggies and leafy greens, it’s basically a salad, right?
Loaded Veggie Cheese Fries
1/2 bag of froze waffle fries
1 zucchini, diced small
1 small eggplant, cut in 1/2 inch rounds
1 red pepper, diced small
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 cup of Pepper Jack cheese
1/2 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
handful of cilantro, chopped
2 radishes, sliced thin
Cotija cheese (optional)
pepper (to taste)
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
Place sliced eggplant on paper towels, cover with kosher salt and let ‘sweat’ for 30 minutes (minimum). Once done, dab excess moisture with paper towel and dice eggplant small.
Cook fries based upon directions on bag (tip: cook your fries on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil so that when you top with cheese, you won’t be cleaning melted cheese off your sheet pan).
Place olive oil in a saute pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Place diced eggplant in the pan and cook for roughly 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the red peppers and zucchini as well as the garlic powder, pepper, cumin and cook for another 5 – 7 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.
Once fries are done, turn off oven, take out the fries and top with shredded cheese. Let melt on their own for a minute and then place for an additional minute in the warmed (but turned off) oven. Once melted, top with veggies, greens, tomatoes, radishes, Cotija cheese and sour cream and really anything else your heart desires.