What do your kids think of when they hear the term “Nachos”? When I was a kid, my idea of nachos was simply the compartmentalized plastic container filled with overly salted chip that I could dip haphazardly into a thick, oozy processed cheese sauce at a baseball game. Unfortunately for me, that horrible, chemically created cheese sauce still evokes fond memories of the distinct sound of the crack of a bat as it connects with a ball, the smell of a well-worn mitt and time spent with my Dad. But it’s time to take nachos out of the ballpark, and redefine them into a fun way to get fresh ingredients into our kids.
“Bar” style is a fun way to introduce kids to new foods, and a Nacho Bar is no exception. By letting our kids layer fresh vegetables like tomato, avocado, zucchini and onions and nourishing meatless protein like slowly simmered beans onto baked tortilla chips, we’ve suddenly turned fresh food into fun food.
These nachos are piled high with our “Zuc” amole Guacamole made with fresh avocados, tomatoes and zucchini, homemade Garden Fresh Pico de Gallo which is chock-full of fresh vegetables and fresh (not canned) pinto or black beans which add loads of good quality protein. Suddenly, ballpark junk food has been transformed into a vegetable-centric Meatless Main Dish the whole family will enjoy.
WHAT’S IN CANNED NACHO CHEESE SAUCE?
(All ingredients followed by an * can be referenced at www.wikipedia.org by clicking on the ingredient)
CHEF-MATE® !QUE BUENO!® Nacho Cheese Sauce
- Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes)
- Soybean Oil
- Modified Food Starch
- Green Chile Peppers
- Jalapeno Peppers
And Less Than 2% Of
**All listed product ingredients are taken from product’s package label. Though Out of the Box Food makes every effort to provide complete ingredient information, please check the package for the most current information.
Main Dish Vegetarian Nachos
- 2 C dried pinto or black beans
- 1/2 small onion, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 fresh jalepeno (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp chili sauce (ie. Cholulu or Tapatio)
- cold water
- salt to taste
- 1 bag baked tortilla chips
- 2 Cups shredded cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and jack cheese works best)
- 1 can sliced black olives
- Garlic-Lime Crema
- Garden Fresh Pico de Gallo
- “Zuc” amole Guacamole
- Chopped cilantro
- The night before: Place dried beans in a crockpot. Fill with cold water and let sit overnight.
- Day of: Drain beans and refill crockpot (3/4 full) with fresh, cold water.
- Add onion, garlic and jalepeno (if using)
- Turn crockpot onto high and cook 6 hours (or on low for 8-10)
- When beans are cooked, season with salt and chile sauce to taste.
- Lay baked tortilla chips in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Place under the broiler until just fragrant (approximately 2-3 minutes)
- Remove tortilla chips from oven and top with shredded cheese.
- Return to oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Lay out all toppings “bar style” (olives, Garden Fresh Pico de Gallo, “Zuc” amole, Garlic Lime Crema, and beans)
- Place cheese covered chips on plates and let everyone top nachos “bar style” with toppings of choice.
I love this easy meal as a great way to fill my kids plates with veggies. By allowing them to “create” their own nachos, they are actually piling on healthy protein and loads of fresh produce like chopped tomatoes, onions, avocado, zucchini and antioxidant rich cilantro. Until next time…
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