How to Make Vegan Nachos Without the Corn Chips and Added Fat!

Sometimes, I think I’m being really original. Then I remember that this is 2015, and pretty much any idea that pops into my head has already been thought of by at least 23,579 other people…

I was reminded of this last week, when I had the (I thought) INGENIOUS idea of making nachos.  Not with corn chips, but with *drum roll please* potatoes!

A quick Google search threatened to deflate my excitable mood almost instantly.

“Oh… I guess a few people have already done that.”

But, not to be defeated, I looked for the things I would do differently.  I realised that all of the pictures filling my laptop screen were of (don’t get me wrong – beautiful) dishes which included higher amounts of fat than I’d like.  I feel my best on a low fat, plant based diet without added oils; and none of these recipes were quite fitting the bill on that front.

Enter:  My Oil Free, Nut Free, Low Fat Vegan Potato Nacho Method!

Oil Free, Nut Free, Vegan Potato Nachos by Claire Dicarlo - Compassion & Comedy. www.clairedicarlo.com #vegan #nachos #rawtill4 #starchsolution #plantbased



I surprised my fiancé with this mammoth platter of Mexican goodness, and he agreed that it felt like we were eating something really indulgent – even though it was all made from 100% whole plants.

So today I want to share the method with you.  Everyone needs to have these nachos in their lives.  It’s gotta be a basic human right, or something…

Here’s what you’ll need to make a huge platter for 2 very hungry people.  

*As with everything I make in the kitchen, quantities are very approximate(!) & I encourage you to change them up.  I rarely follow recipes and it’s pretty hard to mess this dish up!*

 

Ingredients
For the Nachos:

  • Potatoes (I used around 6 or 7 large potatoes, & mixed it up with both creamy yellow potatoes & golden sweet potatoes.  Use whatever you have on hand)
  • A couple of large oven pans & some non-stick baking paper
For the Guacamole:

  • 1/2 a large avocado (ripe & soft)
  • 1 medium zucchini (courgette)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Handful of chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 1/4 red capsicum (bell pepper) – optional
For the Spicy Beans:

  • 1-2 cans kidney or black beans, drained
  • Spices of your choice (I used cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika and cayenne)
  • 3/4 red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • Approx. 10-15 medium sized mushrooms
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Some chopped coriander (cilantro)
For the ‘Sour Cream’:

  • 1 cup extra firm silken tofu
  • Juice of 1/4 – 1/2 a lemon
  • 1.5 tsp low sodium tamari (optional)
  • 1/2 – 1tbsp sweetener (try maple or brown rice syrup)
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
For the Salsa:

  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • Handful coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1tbsp lime juice
  • Optional – add chilli, cayenne or jalepenõs if you really like a kick!
For Garnishing:

  • Jalapenõ peppers
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • Shredded lettuce (optional)

*Note:  I am massively intolerant to onion & garlic (hello bloating!), so I haven’t included them here.  Feel free to add them in if you’re used to them flavouring your food.  I don’t miss them at all, but I know some people would.  Same goes with salt.*

For the ‘Cheese Sauce’ – I used this recipe from thevegan8.com.  I would not dream of re-printing Brandi’s wonderful recipe here, as she deserves ALL the credit for this beauty.  The sauce is super quick and simple, and uses all the same ingredients I’ve already listed above.  Check out her blog post to get the low-down.

Oil Free, Nut Free, Vegan Potato Nachos by Claire Dicarlo - Compassion & Comedy. www.clairedicarlo.com #vegan #nachos #rawtill4 #starchsolution #plantbased

 

Now, before I get into the method, I want to note that this meal is not my usual ‘Crazy Quick Kind Eats‘ style of cooking – it did take me longer than my usual 15 minutes of meal prep.  But I think it was so worth it for a special treat.  And the great news is, most of the toppings can actually be made in advance and refrigerated, to save on some time.

Oil Free, Nut Free, Vegan Potato Nachos by Claire Dicarlo - Compassion & Comedy. www.clairedicarlo.com #vegan #nachos #rawtill4 #starchsolution #plantbased

 

 Method
  • Pre-heat oven to around 215°C (420°F)
  • Wash & slice potatoes into 1cm thick slices
  • Place potatoes on non stick paper on your baking trays and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until fully cooked and crispy.  You’ll also want to put zucchini (courgette) in the oven at this point for your cheese sauce and low-fat guacamole.
  • Make your sauces.  Start with the sour ‘cream’.  Simply combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  And voilà!  This recipe was given to me by a friend of mine – I actually found it to be a little too runny and more like a sauce consistency, rather than a thick sour cream.  If I was making it again, I’d perhaps try a firmer silken tofu, or add something else in to thicken it up a bit.  Still tasted good though!
  • Next, the salsa.  Rinse your food processor and throw all of your salsa ingredients in there.  Simply pulse a couple of times to combine.  I like my salsa chunky, so I only pulse briefly.  If you prefer a smooth salsa, blend for longer.
  • Now, start prepping your spicy beans.  In a large pot, combine your beans, mushrooms & bell pepper.  Add your lime juice, spices and a little water to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.  Place on a low heat, stirring occasionally.  The mushrooms will release moisture as you cook, and stop the mixture from drying out.
  • Now you can start to make your guacamole.  Combine the avocado, lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl.  Chop your bell pepper into small cubes, and add to the bowl.  Mash everything up with a fork, until the avocado is a creamy consistency.

Oil Free, Nut Free, Vegan Potato Nachos by Claire Dicarlo - Compassion & Comedy. www.clairedicarlo.com #vegan #nachos #rawtill4 #starchsolution #plantbased

  • By now, the 20 minute buzzer on your oven should be making noises(!), and your zucchini should be well and truly cooked!  Remove from oven & set aside to cool.  Also remove the potatoes you’ll need for the cheese sauce.
  • Turn off the oven, but leave the potatoes in there to continue crisping up while you finish your prep.
  • Prepare your cheese sauce, as per the method from thevegan8.
  • Add the remaining zucchini to your avocado mixture and mash up until smooth & mixed well.  This is a great way to make guacamole lower in fat!  You don’t realise that the zucchini is half of the mixture 🙂 I also love to subsititue zucchini into hummus, to make a raw version.  I got the idea from Kimberly Snyder’s method, here.
  • Check on your bean mixture.  If all of the mushrooms and bell pepper are cooked, and the mixture is nice and hot, you can turn off the heat and stir through your chopped cilantro to finish.
  • Now you’ve prepared everything!  To serve, find a large shallow bowl or plate.  If you’d like to serve on a bed of shredded lettuce like I did, then cover the bowl in the lettuce.  Arrange your potatoes so that they cover the bottom of the bowl.  Top with your bean mixture, salsa & guacamole; & pour over your cheese sauce and sour ‘cream’.  Sprinkle some jalepenõs on top, and garnish with a few sprigs of fresh coriander (cilantro).

And that’s it!  Share with a willing partner (I’m sure this will be easy to find!) and enjoy.

I would recommend smaller plates or shallow bowls for easiest eating.  I only put mine on a huge platter for the photographs, and it was pretty messy to eat!  We ended up getting smaller plates and piling our nachos onto them instead.

Oil Free, Nut Free, Vegan Potato Nachos by Claire Dicarlo - Compassion & Comedy. www.clairedicarlo.com #vegan #nachos #rawtill4 #starchsolution #plantbased

The aftermath – the platter defeated us!

What do you think?!

Please continue the conversation below.  But before you do, remember this:  Debate is great, hatred is not.  Think before you type.  “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama