Cardio and Cooking: Panini-Pressed Nachos

I left the house earlier this morning to buy my textbooks for the semester. I am not one for waiting in lines, so yes, I would prefer getting up earlyish on a weekend instead.

Apparently, while I was gone, my mom decided that she wanted to clean out the oven and stove, rendering it unusable for lunch. Thanks, Mom... I still prefer hot lunches to sandwiches considering how often I brown bag my school lunches. This left one of two options: the microwave...or the panini press. A few years back, my parents decided to redeem their Save On More points in order to get a panini press, which they have used a total of...no times. This also goes for the food dehydrator, the blender, the pulverizer, and the coffee grinder. Who has used all of the above? Hmmm...

We didn't have any bread in the house, and I was too lazy and hungry to go through the 3-hour-long process of making a fresh loaf of bread, so I browsed the rest of our inventory. And...aha! Corn tortilla chips! I decided that I would like a nice nacho cheesy lunch today.

Things I have learned today about nachos:
- I could have had homemade guacamole if I was smarter with my avocado earlier this week... :( Fail.
- Most vegetarian nacho recipes incorporate black beans. I should try that.
Nachos for lunch with a few tablespoons of fat-free sour cream, and a glass of Oasis Wild Berry Pomegranate juice (it was on sale at Save On - 2 for $6~).
Vegetarian Panini-Pressed Nachos for One
(This was a decent-sized lunch for me, but you may need to adjust if you have a larger appetite than a 5'2" Asian girl.)
10 corn tortilla chips
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup corn niblets (I used frozen ones and popped them in the microwave for about 40 seconds.)
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

1. Heat up your panini press, and lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom grill pan. I turned on the grill/panini option, and set it to medium high heat.
2. Place the ingredients in whichever order you like for nachos. I generally like the nachos first, all the assorted fixings, and cheese on top, but it's totally up to you.
3. Cover the nachos with a metal pie plate, and close the panini-press on it. This makes it bake the nachos without squishing them flat, and makes for easier cleaning. If your panini press is not as stubborn, you can just have the bare top grill pan hover just over the top of your nachos. Keep baking until all the cheese is melted and gooey.
4.  Enjoy with some salsa or sour cream or guacamole and your own choice of beverage!

Happy Panini-Pressing!


P.S. I am so lucky that I used under 1 cup of dairy today because I wasn't even paying attention. I don't handle dairy very well most of the time if it is more than that. Phew! > <
P.P.S. I know that I've been consistent in posting every day since I started this thing, but believe me...it will slow down a lot. Unfortunately, food blogging does not excuse you from research papers and exams. Rats.

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