Healthified Nachos (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)
Nachos. Not typically considered a health food, right? Sure, it's a staple of going to an athletic event, comforting bar food, or a movie snack, but a health food? I don't think so.
But I've got a recipe here that will challenge that. I'm not saying this should be a full meal substitute, but if you're in the mood for snacking on some nachos, THIS is THE recipe you should use. Completely dairy-free, the "cheesy" sauce used in this recipe is 100% plant-based and SO good! I've given it to total cheese-fanatics and they have loved it. Call me sneaky, but I didn't tell them what they were eating before I gave it to them (it was offered up as a cheesy pasta in the form I gave it to them in), and they thought it was delicious.
I'm not advocating for misleading your friends and family by any means, but what they don't know won't hurt them -- in fact, it could really help in the case of a dairy-free "cheese" sauce lie this one. Upset stomachs won't be a factor, standard post-greasy cheese lethargy won't kick in 10 minutes later, and they'll enjoy every bite.
The chips featured in this recipe are another win. Cassava flour is the base of these simple, clean-ingredient chips. Cassava is a naturally gluten-free root vegetable/tuber similar to a potato in taste and appearance. Its low glycemic index makes it great for keeping blood sugar in check. Because of its low glycemic index, cassava is thought to be great for improving physical endurance, because it keeps blood glucose levels balanced. Also, cassava is a digestive-resistant starch, meaning it doesn't break down as other starches do, allowing beneficial bacteria in the gut to feed on it, making it a great food for gut-health. What's not to love about that?
As an added bonus on these nachos, organic black beans from Whole Foods Market's 365 Everyday Value brand add in an extra punch of fiber and protein. Additionally, black beans are a great source of phytonutrients (despite their colorless appearance), and they are also digestive-resistant in a way that makes them especially helpful in keeping the colon functioning properly.
So, how do you get your hands on these healthy, dairy-free, gluten-free, cheesy, satisfying nachos? You follow the recipe below, of course!
- For the dairy free "cheese" sauce:
- 1/2 cup kabocha squash or butternut squash (roasted)
- 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1 TBSP tahini
- 2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt (+ more to taste)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup warm water (can have more on hand depending on your consistency preference)
- For chips/toppings:
- 2 cups Siete Sea Salt Grain Free Tortilla chips
- 1/2 cup 365 Everyday Value Organic Black Beans
- 1/4 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 TBSP chopped chives (optional)
- a few springs of cilantro chopped and spread throughout or on top for garnish
- To roast the kabocha or butternut squash: Preheat oven to 400° F. Meanwhile, peel, de-seed, and cube the squash into half-inch cubes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray with avocado oil. Align squash on the parchment-lined baking sheet and add a few pinches of salt. Roast for 15 minutes, then stir/flip the cubes of squash, and roast for another 7-8 minutes, until very soft. Once done, remove from oven.
- To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, add all ingredients except water. Using an immersion blender, blend ingredients until they come together into a homogenous mixture. Begin to add water in parts, then continuing to blend. Keep adding water until you get a thick, but smooth consistency, or until it reaches your preferred consistency. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor to combine all ingredients -- pulse until all ingredients come together into one homogenous mixture. If using a food processor, transfer to a small saucepan. Move saucepan with blended sauce to the stove on low heat, stirring frequently. Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes on low heat until warm and flavors intensify. Makes approximately 1.5 cups of sauce.
- To assemble the nachos: In a shallow bowl or plate, pile the chips. Pour sauce while still warm on to the chips to get a good coating, but not to the point of being drenched. Top with black beans, chives, tomatoes, and cilantro. Bonus points for adding guac or avocado as well!
Ingredients for this recipe generously provided by Whole Foods Market Montgomery County.
Thanks for reading!