(Not So) Deep Fat Fried Friday

Growing up I lived with four brothers.  Yes, you read that right...four.  And, like most teenage boys, they could eat and eat and eat and not gain a single ounce.   Naturally, I was incredibly jealous.

In an effort to keep up with their ravenous appetites my mother came up with what had to be the most unhealthy, dysfunctional and all around glorious meal tradition: Deep Fat Fried Fridays.

Yes that is correct.  Almost every Friday evening my mom would pull out the fryer and make her way towards the deep freeze.  Anything that needed to go was tossed in the fryer and served up on a massive platter.  Mozzarella sticks, jumbo shrimp, tater tots, french fries, meatballs....the most heavenly, greasy, artery clogging foods you could think of were battered, deep fried then pushed out to us kids like meat to the wolves.

Now don't judge.  Today I cannot fathom the thought of deep fat frying any of my meals (except freshly caught fish, which will always be best fried).  Because my metabolism was not that of my brothers I developed a taste for healthy cooking early.  However, you can take away the deep fryer, but there will always be a part of me that can't resist that deliciously, unhealthy Smorgasbord.

Well...it is Friday!  And I sense a revival is in the mix. However, over the years I have come to learn that there is very little unhealthy food in existence that I cannot find a healthy, yet equally (if not more) delicious version of.

So what is on tonight's menu??

How about mozzarella sticks, mini pizzas and meatballs?!

And guess what, they are all way, way more HEALTHY!!!

Red Hot Spicy (Turkey) Meatballs

What you need:

  • Ground Turkey
  • Bread Crumbs (I use Healthy Oat bread and chop it in my Magic Bullet)
  • 1 egg
  • Season with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and anything else you like.
  • Hot sauce of your choice

Mix all of the ingredients together.  If the result is too sticky add more bread crumbs.

Roll into meatballs and place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick Olive Oil.

Bake for 40 minutes at 400 F.

After the meatballs are fully cooked, place in a crock-pot on low and cover with the hot/mild/any sauce of your choice.

Cauliflower Crust Mini Pizzas

What you need for the crust:
  •  1 head of cauliflower
  • Shredded cheese of your choice
  • Oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic
  • 2 eggs
                                                      Blend cauliflower in a food processor.

Rice the cauliflower by microwaving for 5-8 minutes.

Add cheese, spices and eggs to the cauliflower.

Mix until a thick dough has been made.

Drop dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Form into mini pizza crusts.

Bake fore 30 minutes at 350 F.

Flip over and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Once finished top with cheese, pasta sauce (I use Prego Heart Smart Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic), and toppings of your choice (hint hint: lots of veggies!).

Bake until the cheese is melted and enjoy!

Mozzarella Sticks

What you need:

  • Frigo Light Mozzarella String Cheese
  • Egg Roll Wrappers
Yup it is that simple!  Just cut each string cheese in half, wrap in an egg roll wrapper and bake for 15 minutes at 375 F.  



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