Real Food Makeover: Vegan Nachos

Aaah, nachos. Besides reminding me of the movie Napoleon Dynamite (for some reason) , the taste of that "cheeze" and bland corn chip crunch hearkens back to cold nights wearing my Letterman's jacket watching high school football games. Bowling alleys and skating rinks come to mind as well.
As nasty as commercial nachos always end up being, there has always been some appeal to me that always ends with regret. Not anymore.
I went ahead and replaced the generic yellow corn chips with Trader Joe's or (Garden of Eatin' )Blue Corn Chips. For some reason, Blue Corn Chips are actually allowed on the Body Ecology Diet. If I were going completely grain-free on these, I would probably try substituting Trader Joe's Roasted Plantain Chips (all the salty, crunchy goodness without the grains!) . Trader Joe's has a myriad of healthy tortilla chip options, including Veggie Flaxseed Tortilla Chips and Hempseed Tortilla Chips! But I really like the blue corn chips.
Instead of the part-plastic cheeze ooze, there are many options. You could, of course, just choose your favorite real cheese (I love raw cheddar) and just shred it on top. I also think raw creme fraiche alone can do the job, accompanied with perhaps a little bit of fresh (or canned) salsa.
But for my fellow Nativity-fasters, I offer you a Traditional food-inspired recipe for Vegan Nachos that are delicious and will have you never looking back to those days of football games and skating rinks (as if you needed another reason!)
Vegan Nachos

You'll need to procure the following products that may or may not be homemade staples in your kitchen:

*Corn tortilla chips ( you can thriftily make these by frying regular corn tortillas--think Winco, they sell like a million for $1.29-- until crisp in coconut oil)

*Refried black beans (I happen to cook like a gallon of dried black beans in my slow cooker and freeze them. I then re-fry them in coconut oil and season with taco seasonings later)

*Tomato salsa of choice (again can be easily made like so: whirl a couple tomatoes, an onion, a jalapeno, and salt in the food processor for an ultra simple salsa)

*Guacamole (quite simply: 1 mashed avocado, juice of 1 lemon, sea salt to taste. done.)

*2 chopped scallions

*Cortido (Latin American Sauerkraut. Optional but incredibly worth every minute it takes you to make this)

Layer the above ingredients in the order listed. Purposefully omit forks from your table setting. Purposefully include an extra napkin.

Delicious. Filling. Satisfying. pH balanced. No, really.

Disclaimer: By the way, if you're wondering what's up with that orange stuff adjacent the blue chips in the photo above, it's a butternut squash "cheese sauce" I threw together a while ago. I used the photo for purposes of highlighting the blue chips. Unfortunately for the above recipe, my memory card was full and I was unable to patiently clear my card before consuming my supper, thus no picture of the nachos of which I write.

I'm working on refining the exact recipe for the squash nachos and will keep you posted.


Christiana: said...

That sounds yummmy!! I will definitely be trying it out on the siblings!! :)

Mimi said...

Yum! Wow, that looks good.

Rebecca said...

That sounds great, I can't do corn but maybe I will try the plantain chips.

Hope you post the info on the butternut squash "cheese" sauce.

Kelsey and Tony said...

OK, Ok, I get it - let's be healthy. But, seriously, you are dissing Nacho Nancy's nacho and pizza pocket combo???? You think that wasn't good for us?? And way to pretend on your blog in public that you were wearing your letterman's jacket eating nachos at the football game when really you were sitting by me in the marching band wearing a brown & gold polyester suit ("It's not polyester, it's wool, people" says Mr. Brown) with a captain's hat and white plastic spats on your shoes. Nice try, Russo, but I've got your number!!!

Ha, ha, ha...writing this comment is cracking me up!


PS You know I love your blog...I just can't let go of my nacho nancy memories...

Carrie T said...


How did you know I was thinking of you when I wrote that post!?!?! Totally!!!

Fact check: Carrie marched in the NBHS marching band during the 1992-1993 school year only.

Fact check: Carrie received her letterman's jacket during the fall of 1993 (sophomore year).

Ergo, Carrie wore her LJ during the 1993,94,and 95 football seasons at NBHS and consumed nachos during those years ONLY. [I should have clarified that better, I guess]

In spite of all this, I know you and I consumed a fair share of nachos together , both in the grandstands and at the lunch table from Nacho Nancy as well as our pizza pockets. Or sometimes it was just a plain bagel and cream cheese.

And I wondered why I had horrible acne all over my face?!?!?!?

I LOVE that you commented on this post. I secretly hoped you would read it!!!

Kelsey and Tony said...

Ah - the tables have turned. You got out of marching band?? How did that even happen? Why did I do it ALL FOUR YEARS? Thanks for commenting on my comment - I was so proud of it and was telling my husband about it. Hoping someone would get a laugh!

The nacho nancy plain bagel and cream cheese with Strawberry kiwi snapple was my breakfast all of senior year. Nutritional value...close to nil. But, it was so cool to give the snapple labels to Kelley so he could order his snapple jacket.

OK, I'll quit using your nacho blog posting to reminisce! Happy Advent!

Anonymous said...

About that Fact Check #2- re:
Letterman Jacket sophomore year.
Do you care to elaborate on your joy and delight upon receiving your coveted jacket for your 15th birthday? It's a classic preserved on video!

Sorry- I had to get back at you for posting that mushroom family picture on facebook!!

marm ( I'm smiling nachos!!)

Karl Thienes said...

Marm ~ We really need to get that video copied to DVD so we can preserve that fantastic piece of adoloscent poutiness forever. That would be a good Christmas present, actually.... :)

Carrie T said...


You can reminisce on my nacho post any old time. You know that. I got out of marching band somehow....I think my parents must have felt bad for my ever-eroding self image.

Speaking of parental good intentions:

My mom is referring to me receiving a letterman's jacket for my 15th birthday and me not being happy BECAUSE said letterman's jacket was lacking something very important: a letter.

This was EXTREMELY dissapointing as all of my built up anticipation for the jacket was shattered as I had to wait another 6-8 weeks for the letter to be put on.

I hope that video never gets digitally remastered for modern audiences....


Anonymous said...

Just plain nasty.

Calm the fuck down, square said...

wow you're bitchin as if this is more than nachos we're talking about.