One of my most used phrases when I talk about my philosophy as a dietitian is “practical nutrition.” I am all about practical, whatever that might look like. For me, the first things that come to mind with practical nutrition include easy meals, quick snacks, cooking tips, toddler/kid feeding tips, simple grocery shopping tips, etc.
“Easy” isn’t necessarily my goal for families, as lifestyle changes usually feel anything but easy, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science. If a tip or an idea can be shared that helps just one person achieve practical nutrition in their lives then I am happy!
This time, my practical nutrition recipe includes a few of my favorite things… pizza, sweet potatoes, kid-friendly recipes, and did I say pizza? These loaded sweet potato pizza bites are a fun and lighter spin on traditional pizza and can be customized with any of your favorite toppings. The sweet potato base can even be changed up by using regular potatoes, zucchini, etc. After trying the pizza version, I had the thought that you could make these with taco style toppings, BBQ toppings, or any other favorite food for that matter. Be adventurous, have fun!
2 medium sweet potatoes, (sliced into 24 - ¼-1/2 inch rounds w/ skin on)
1T olive oil
1 lb. chicken breast/tenderloins (have leftovers? use that!)
¼ cup green (any color will work) pepper, diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
¼ cup canned black olives, chopped
½ cup ranch dressing
½ cup cheese of choice
Other toppings I used: lean chopped ham, banana peppers, Kalamata olives, etc.
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
? cup water
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place sweet potato rounds on a baking sheet and brush both sides with oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
If not using leftover chicken, cook the chicken. (Any method of cooking is fine: pan, grill, oven, etc. I chose to bake mine.) Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook until done, internal temp of 165 degrees. Once the chicken is done chop or shred. Add the chicken back into a pan along with the peppers, onions and olives. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat and then turn off heat. Set aside.
While chicken is cooking and sweet potatoes are in the oven. Make the pizza sauce. In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, combine all ingredients. When sauce is heated through, remove from heat. Add additional water as needed to achieve desired consistency.
To Assemble pizza, top sweet potato rounds with sauce. Top sauce with chicken mixture and optional cheese. Place back into oven and bake for 3-5 minutes or until heated through (or cheese is melted). Drizzle lightly with ranch dressing of your choice and enjoy!
**For my kids I used the sauce, ham, cheese and olives. I knew pizza on sweet potatoes would be a new concept so I chose not to pile on all the different veggies. My 3 year old loved adding his own toppings and making his own creation. And for fun, here is my 1 year old- because we all need proof that it is kid approved, right?**
Recipe adapted from The Real Food Dietitians.