Whenever we go out to eat at restaurants there is always a lot of modification that takes place or else I call ahead to arrange a special vegan dish. Sometimes you simply cannot modify a meal to be vegan, because what makes that meal so unique is the different elements that you inevitably have to remove.
Case in point, nachos! They are by far one of the more popular vegetarian dishes on most menus and leave me uber sad about not being able to munch down a whole plate. It was my awesome MIL’s birthday on Saturday and I was looking online at the menu for the munch place when I saw nachos and knew that I had seen it once to often. It was time to make my own.
Sometimes making homemade versions is really a blessing in disguise, because you get to go as wild as you please! 😀 So, considering I haven’t had real nachos in about 9 years, I cannot say what they are supposed to be like, but this has cheeze that melts, avo, beans, and crispy baked veggies. A happy combo makes for a happy marfigs! I could probably have added actually nacho chips, but I prefer vegetables to pretty much anything in the world, and you can use anything you have in the house – carrots, zucchinis, even thin cauliflower steaks! Of course, it doesn’t really count as “nachos”, but honestly, I don’t think anyone expects sanity from my corner.
- 240g raw sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
- Spices and herbs of choice (I like smoked paprika and thyme)
- 1 medium apple of choice, cut into thin slices minus the core
- 2 small radishes, sliced thinly
- 1 medium/small beet, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced thinly lengthwise
- 1/2 cup kidney beans
- 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBSP mustard
- personal portion of Bunny Kitchen’s fantastic meltable and grate-able vegan cheeze (I’m not going to dictate how much cheeze anyone should eat because I believe that’s a spiritual experience)
- 1/2 cup salsa of choice/homemade – I chopped some cherry tomatoes with onion flakes, peppadews, 2 radishes, oregano and chili flakes with vinegar in the food processor.
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 small lime
- Preheat the oven to 180C and spray your baking sheet.
- Steam your sweet potatoes and beetroot for approximately 4 minutes.
- Lay out your sliced sweet potatoes, beetroot and apple slices and splash herbs and spices. I went wild on paprika.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flip, splash more spices and herbs, then bake for another 20 until crisp. DO not switch off your oven.
- In a small non-stick pot heat up your kidney beans with lots of paprika and the mustard until it becomes a bit more mushy, approximately 15 minutes.
- Either prepare your salsa or keep your store-bought version on hand.
- Transfer your crisp chips to a 10cm round springform dish. Lay down 1/2 of your mixed sweet potatoes, beets, and apple slices, grate some cheeze and splash some herbs liberally. Add a dollop of salsa. Repeat until you end with cheeze on top. Splash lots of oregano and paprika!
- Bake for another 20 minutes until the cheeze has melted. I did something funny to my batch of cheeze so the top wasn’t melty but somewhat crisp. However the inner cheese layer was goo galore!
- Spring it out and serve with some extra salsa on the side, the kidney bean mush and avocado. Squeeze out your lime on top. Yum!
How much fun is this? 😀 I had a spoon, little fork, and napkins all ready so that I could eat this monster with delight and no stress over mess. I tend to eat most food with my hands anyway like a real barbarian, so stuff that is legit hand-held food makes me all the more gleeful.
May I just take a moment to gloat about my mushy beans? My dad’s wife makes the most insanely delicious refried beans ever, thanks to some years in South America, and this is the closest I’ve come to recreating that without a cup of oil or whatever voodoo she does to make it so swoon-worthy. Next time I’ll boil up a few hundred grams worth of kidney beans instead of using one silly can, because this is my favourite new treat.
RED cheeze! muahahah! I love beetroot – it makes everything all the more glorious and cheery. With the salsa, beans and avo mushed in this was truly a happy feast a few hours before a ridiculous gym session. If I had bigger sweet potatoes I could probably use a cheese slicer and make uber thin crisp chips, since these came out a bit stumpy and thickish, but it was still awesome and I cannot wait to make it again. Rah!
Anyway, there’s no good way to photograph layered mush and still convince everyone of its tastiness, but trust me, this is a glorious festivity of taste and colour. Man-thing’s a bit of a prat about avo and roasted apple, so he’d have to get his own special, toned down version, which is why this ended up being single serving, but one could easily stuff all these components into a lettuce wrap, pita bread, served on spinach…how is it possible to make oneself so hungry after such stuffation? I need to leave now for my own sanity!