Friday, July 20, 2012

Chili Dog Nacho Sweet Potato Skins

I tried to come up with a more succinct name for tonight's dinner, but I wanted to cover the fact that I morphed nachos with sweet potato skins. In other words, I was trying to come up with a paleo-friendly take on one of my kids' favorite treat meals.

While I have made sweet potato chips in the past (baked, fried and even microwaved!), I have yet to come up with one that really wowed me. I still plan to try making them in my dehydrator, but today I thought I'd go a different route altogether. 

My favorite part of the sweet potato is the skin, and it's no secret that it contains a hefty dose of beta carotene and fiber. I decided to make tonight's nachos using crisp sweet potato skins as the vehicle for the topping. 

Here's the method I used to make the skins:

Crispy Sweet Potato Skins

3 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in half
salt & pepper
olive oil, for brushing

Preheat oven to 450. Microwave sweet potato halves for 10 minutes on high, just enough for the middle to be soft enough to scoop out.

Remove the flesh and put it in a container for future use (I'm debating sweet potato pancakes for tomorrow morning...)

Brush olive oil on both sides of the sweet potato skins and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, skin side down. Flip and back for 5 minutes more.

Then I made a very easy and kid-friendly topping from Rachael Ray's Chili Dog Nachos recipe. You could obviously go with any variation, but I happened to have some ground turkey and Applegate Farms hot dogs on hand. My kids also like milder flavors, so it was good to make something basic that I could customize to suit.

I preheated the broiler and filled the sweet potato skins with the nacho topping, then added a smidge of raw cheddar. Again, you can easily keep this recipe dairy-free by topping the skins as you choose.

After broiling the skins for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese, I then added all sorts of good stuff:
homemade guacamole, salsa, sliced green onions, minced cilantro and diced serrano peppers.

Everyone LOVED these. The skins were sturdy and crisp enough to be eaten by hand, like true nachos. What they lacked in crunch they made up for in flavor, and neither of my kids batted an eye lash at the absence of chips.