Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Food: Simple Single Mom Recipes (Nachos)


Sometimes life gets hectic - and it's even more so for a single mom. That's why, when the Midlife Guru left this comment on my "I Can't Vlog" blog post, it got me thinking:
"I haven't watched a vlog before but it seems like a good way to spend some extra time because it is a twofer: blog information and a video. You can write a great script and act it out. A topic that would be interesting with your challenges would be meal time. I bet you have a lot of quick meals and that your dinner conversation is a lot of fun!! Good luck."
Some of you will remember that comment because it's the same one I referenced in my "Flatline/Rollercoaster" post from earlier this week. (Thanks, Midlife Guru!) Now, I know this still isn't a vlog, but that's because I still can't vlog (even though Dana's still urging me to try) - but I'm fully confident that a blog post can still get the point across just fine without y'all having to watch me act like a spaz. It's a win-win, trust me.

Still, I thought it might be fun to actually share some of our favorite meals here with you guys - I know that my readers are from a somewhat varied demographic too, so I'm starting this series with something totally simple. It's not the healthiest meal option, but it's quick, it's fun, the kids love it, and I often have leftovers - which makes it perfect for feeding a bigger family than ours or even serving in a party setting (are MLB parties a thing? I mean, I know NFL parties are a thing, but ...). I also love that this recipe is super affordable, so it works in a pinch. It's also mostly made of non-perishable items, so it's easy enough to keep the ingredients on hand.


As you can see, there are lots of ingredients here. I know - overwhelming, right? You'll need:
  • 1 28 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes, mostly drained (The brand doesn't matter all that much.)
  • 1 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes and chilies, about half drained (I use Rotel, but you can use any kind.)
  • 16 ounces (about half of the large 32 ounce block) of Velveeta Cheese (You can use more or less according to your preferences - this isn't really exact.)

For the sake of this post, I kept it simple, but you can also add any of the following:
  • spinach and artichokes
  • browned, diced bacon
  • browned, ground sausage or beef (or both, but of course you'll need more cheese) - or chicken, pepperoni, or any other meat diced or shredded
  • salsa verde
  • beans (maybe with some chili seasoning?)
  • caramelized onions (maybe best with the queso blanco from Velveeta instead of the classic)

As you can see, the options with this recipe are pretty limitless, as are the dipping options. You can make just about any variety of this dip and serve if as a dip with chips or ever tater tots, but you can also serve it poured over chips (like nachos), tater tots or fries, etc. And it's really this easy to make:


Turn your burner to somewhere between low and medium (not high enough to curdle everything, but not low enough to take all night). If you planned on adding any ground beef or sausage, you can go ahead and brown that in this pan first, then drain the fat off before adding the tomatoes, Rotel, and cheese. This will cook up faster if you take the time to dice the cheese first, but if you just plop it in there like I did, it'll still turn out just fine.

Another thing to love about this recipe - it's pretty forgiving, so you can adjust ingredients and ingredient amounts all you want (within reason) without messing up the dinner.


See? There's still a chunk in there next to the spoon that hadn't melted just yet. Ten minutes later, everything was melted and dinner was served. We poured the cheese over Tostitos tortilla chips - we like the bite-sized rounds best! And for less than ten dollars, we all went to bed smiling with full bellies.


Now, granted, we don't have indulgent dinners like this all the time - but sometimes you just gotta let loose, and this is a great dinner for movie nights, casual Fridays, or any night when you've gotta get fed quick before heading out to ball practice, ballet recitals, or Karate.

You can also adapt this to use low-fat/low-sodium ingredients too, and it makes great leftovers - it'll solidify in the refrigerator, so you just scoop some off into a bowl and heat in the microwave, stirring every 45 seconds or so until it's all melted.

See? It's the perfect quick, simple recipe.


Have you made this (or something like it for your family before? If you have, tell me your favorite add-ins in the comments! 

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45 comments:

  1. I'm not really a fan of Mexican food but this really looks delicious! I know my husband would love this! I will cook this for him one of these days for sure! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. No problem! One of my favorite things about this is how versatile it is - you can even adjust the ingredients to change how spicy it is, too!

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  2. Thank you SO much for this. I'm always looking for easy, because I hate to cook.This looks delicious.

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    1. Haha, a woman after my own heart! Definitely try this - it's great for the hot nights when you can't imagine a reason to turn the stove on, the days when you're just too tired to bother, nights when you're squeezing dinner between other things. It's a great one for when you just need something simple.

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  3. It looks delicious, it is a great idea for light dinner. I would love to give it a try :)

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    1. Yeah it's definitely our favorite light dinner idea. We like to make it on the nights when we're not that hungry but we know that if we don't eat something we'll be "STARVING" by breakfast.

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  4. As a kid myself, I just found something easy to make when there's no food at home!

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    1. There you go! And this is super simple - you can literally even make it in a big bowl in the microwave. Just add a splash of milk to the bowl if the mix gets too thick.

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  5. This would make a simple and easy video. I like the simplicity and tastiness.

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    1. You're right, it probably would. I wish I had the confidence to start vlogging - but lately I've been really debating adding vlogs to my Patreon feed.

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  6. I love nachos so much! I go to the mexican restaurant only to eat them ihih! Never made them at home, I must try!

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    1. Definitely make them at home - it's cheaper, tastes just as well, and you'll know exactly what you're getting!

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  7. this is awesome keep posting more! good work I actually think you are very good in cooking and I learned a lot from you :D love the pics btw :D

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    1. Um, thanks, lol. It's really just chips and cheese though.

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  8. oh my this looks so tasty. I can't wait to give this a try.

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    1. If you do, feel free to come back and tell me how it went!

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  9. Home cooked food always ends up being better for you. Plus home cooked food is easier on the wallet. You are less likely to over eat at home as well.

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    1. That's so true! Even with how we make our food at home, it's WAY less than what we'd get (and probably waste) at a restaurant.

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  10. I'm so glad I get to see a recipe from you here. I love all of your writing that I have read so far. Love your honesty and openness. But now I get some thing to know that is every day mundane you. I guess some people might think that is boring but I love it. And it's definitely something I would try out. Add Bacon to everything and it makes it better. Except chocolate. I have tried that and while I love them both separately I will have to say that I am pronouncing that combination officially divorced. At least in my book. Maybe in someone else's book they can have them do marriage counseling to work it out, but I just don't like it. Anyway, love the post and I hope to try it out soon. Will let you know how it goes.

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    1. Haha, you're so funny. Bacon and chocolate in marriage counseling - nah, I think they just aren't meant to be, lol.

      Thank you for your kind compliments on my writing; I enjoy your blog as well, and have had fun getting to know you and your daughter through your blog. You have a great perspective.

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    2. Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure to write and read other people's work. You are definitely among my favorites. I'm with you on the Bacon and Chocolate. Irreconcilable differences is all I can say.

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  11. That looks like a guilty treat, it looks very yummy. I know my husband and daughter would love this (my hips would not!) Thanks for the quick and easy recipe!

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    1. It's definitely a guilty pleasure sort of dinner! We don't make it often, but when we do ... yum!

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  12. Now that's awesome. It's perfect for game day or movie night with the whole family. It's easy to make so it's not something that I'd forgo. I'm definitely keeping the recipe! We're all huge fans of nachos!

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    1. Another great thing about this is that it doesn't have to be the whole meal. If you're having a party or just need something more hearty to go along with it, you can easily serve it as just an appetizer!

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  13. That looks amazing! My wife loves nachos so I will definately need to make this one day soon. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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    1. You're welcome - I hope you guys love it!

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  14. That is a great recipe for a quick snack unfortunately I am lactose intolerant so would have to substitute with something else. The kids I am sure will love it though. Great easy instructions to follow, thank you for sharing.

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    1. Aww, I'm sorry you can't have it! I wonder if there's a lactose-free cheese, like there is with milk ...

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  15. This recipe looks so delicious. he pictures look amazing, i cant wait to try it.

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  16. I tried making a version of this recipe before. The only difference is that I added bacon. #baconislife

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    1. Yum! It would be great with bacon - imagine a meatlover's version with ground beef, sausage, and bacon! Delish!

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  17. This recipe loos delicious. I cant wait to try it.

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    1. It's definitely a family favorite for us!

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  18. This looks good for a movie night at home

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  19. Amazing recipe Brandi! We usually keep tacos and nachos in the house, but this recipe inspired us to go out and get tortilla chips and the ingredients for this recipe (we're thinking of adding bacon!).

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  20. This looks really yummy and is something I would love to try out. Thanks for sharing the recipe

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    1. Thanks! If you decide to make some of your own, feel free to come back and tell me how you liked it or what you ended up adding to yours.

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  21. I think this looks amazing. I wonder if Velveta Cheese is lactose free. Having lactose intolerance has been awful. It causes me to not enjoy some things that I would love to enjoy. Like cheese :) Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I'm not sure, Jim; I imagine there's some sort of vegan cheese spread you could possibly use instead. Vegan products are meant to be completely animal-free, which for you would mean that even if it's "cheese," it doesn't have milk in it.

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  22. I today's busy world, I am definitely a fan of quick meals. My daughter loves cheesy dishes. She had been having cheese pizza for a while, I think this recipe deserves some love from her.

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