This Christmas, spent with my son and his family, was one to go into the Button history books. In addition to all the wonderful gifts we all got, seeing my 17-month-old grandson tear into his presents and being with family and friends, my very pregnant daughter-in-law and I got the gift that just keeps on giving — COVID. I had managed to not get it since the beginning of the pandemic, now wham!
Holiday guests coming over? Whip up some spinach and artichoke dip to serve with a festive green Grinch cocktail
I knew I was in trouble when I was driving home the day after Christmas — a nagging tickle in my throat that turned into a slight cough that turned into a really bad chest cold by Tuesday — and a positive COVID test on Wednesday. Other than the chest congestion and being thoroughly exhausted, I’m on the mend. Today was the first day I ventured out — and ended up sleeping for four hours on the couch when I got home. Sigh. I keep telling myself this too will pass.
I haven’t felt like eating much, in fact, Campbell’s chicken noodle soup has been the mainstay. Before Christmas, I was getting into using my air fryer as a way to eat healthier and with way less fat. Here are a few things I've tried.
BAKED SWEET POTATO CHIPS
Yield: 6 Servings
2 sweet potatoes sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven or air fryer to 400 F.
Slice sweet potatoes thin.
In mixing bowl add sweet potatoes, oil and spices. Mix well.
Lay out sweet potatoes in air fryer and make sure potato slices do not overlap. (You may need to do a couple of batches, depending on size of air fryer basket.)
Bake for 7 minutes and flip.
Bake for another 7-10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are starting to brown and crisp.
Serve with your favorite dip or eat by themselves.
(Recipe courtesy foodtalkdaily.com)
Yield: 4 servings
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp tarragon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
olive or avocado oil spray
Peel and chop the eggplant into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt on the eggplant and let rest.
In a mixing bowl combine the breadcrumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine all these dry ingredients.
In a small mixing bowl add the eggs and whisk until scrambled.
Using a paper towel block the eggplant to remove excess water.
Take each eggplant bite, dunk in the eggwash, then the breadcrumbs and add to your air fryer or oven on a greased rack.
If using the oven set to 400 F and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Set the air fryer to 400 F and air fry for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.
Once the eggplant bites are done, place them on a plate or bowl and grate some parmesan cheese over top. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce.
EASY FROZEN TILAPIA AIR FRYER RECIPE
(Recipe courtesy Happy Honey Kitchen)
Yield: 2 servings
2 tilapia fillets fresh or frozen
olive oil spray
salt and pepper
Preheat air fryer to 400 F.
Spray the preheated air fryer basket with olive oil spray to prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom. Season tilapia with salt and pepper. Place seasoned tilapia fillets in the air fryer and spray the top of the fish with olive oil spray. Flip the fish halfway through cooking. Cook for 10 to 13 minutes to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
EASY AIR FRYER STUFFED PORK CHOPS
(Recipe courtesy foodtalkdaily.com)
Yield: 2 pork chops
2 to 4 center cut pork chops, 1-inch thick
2 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 pear, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable or chicken broth
Pinch of thyme, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper
1 corn muffin crumbled in crumbs
Stuffing preparation: Chop up bacon slices, onion, jalapeño and pear. Crisp chopped bacon in pan on the stovetop over medium heat; once crisp, add in your onions, jalapeño and pear and broth and cook all together for about 5-6 minutes.
Remove the bacon, onion, jalapeño, pear mixture from the stove and pour into a bowl. Now grab your corn muffin and crumble into pieces and add it into the bowl of bacon, onion, jalapeño, pear mixture and stir together. Add the spices. Place the bowl of stuffing in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
While your stuffing is chilling, slice a large deep pocket in the side of each chop. Fill the pocket cut into each pork chop with the stuffing mixture.
Place the stuffed pork chops back in the pan on the stove for a quick 3 minute sear on each side.
Preheat the air fryer to 390 F. Add your chops into the air fryer and cook for 13 minutes or to an internal temperature of 145-150 F. If you are using the oven, bake at 400 F for 15 minutes.