Healthy-er... No, not like er... healthy? nachos. Like healthier! Nachos that are healthier! Because when I think of nachos (not my own of course), I think of the kind you used to get at the roller rink. You know, back in the 80s when nachos were compiled of chips, cheap ground beef that was probably gray matter before it was beef and artificial cheese commonly known as 'nacho cheese'.
I lurve nachos. I lurve them. I lurve mexican food and it makes me sad that sometimes they're so nasty; especially when they can be so so good! Last night I was craving nachos something fierce so instead of denying the undeniable, I just gave in and created nachos. But not just any nachos; nachos that are healthy... well, as healthy as nachos can be because come on.. they're still nachos!
So anyway, these little beauties incorporate chips... um, yeah... they're nachos. But what makes them special is the fact that they have fresh zucchini, squash, onion, jalapeno, olives, green bell peppers and cilantro and green onion; a whole host of delicious, good for you veg. Veg nachos, so good!
Tortilla chips of your choice (go as 'authentic' as possible)
Daiya vegan cheese (seriously the best thing ever... thank you, inventor of Daiso, thank you)
1/2 small zucchini, thinly sliced, by a mandoline preferrably
1/2 small yellow squash, thinly sliced, by a mandoline preferrably
1/2 eggplant, thinly sliced, by a mandoline preferrably
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced, by a mandoline preferrably
1 small can sliced olives
1 small can diced jalapenos (can use fresh too... this is just what I had :))
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
Salsa for service (optional)
Vegan sour cream for service (optional)
Mandoline all your veg. Seriously.... just take the time to mandoline it; in the end it takes far less time than trying to thinly slice everything AND it's all uniform. You're saving yourself time, seriously. If you don't have a mandoline, a: chop the veg roughly instead of slicing it into rounds and b: get one.
On an oven proof pan, such as a cookie sheet or something of the like, spread a thin (singular) layer of your chips.
On top of your first layer of chips, get creative with your veg. Spread a thin (singular) layer of any assortment of your veg. That means your zucchini, squash, eggplant, onion, green pepper. Top that layer with some of your olives and jalapenos. Finish off your layer with the glorious Daiya cheese, my favorite thing ever ever ever!!!
Begin your second (and third, fourth, etc...) layers the same way: thin layer of chips, then veg assortment at your discretion; there is no wrong or right, then olives and jalapenos and top it off with the 'cheese'.
I ended up with about four layers of nachos... there were leftovers from the three (2 1/2) of us. They do make good leftovers though!
So, from there pop them in your oven; if you have a toaster oven, save yourself the energy and use that. If you don't, put your oven on about 350 and bake for about 10-15 minutes then check; if it's melty and toasty, you're done. If not, let it go for another 5 minutes or so.
Well, in my opinion nachos should always be served family style, but if you want to apply a little more couth-ness (word?) to your meal, you can portion them out. For picture taking purposes I did so.
Either way, family style or individual, sprinkle the fresh chopped green onion and cilantro on top. Offer the salsa and fake sour cream on the side. You could even go so far as to make some amazing guacamole to go along with it!
Now is the time to enjoy enjoy enjoy.... the crunchy melty deliciousness of the chips and cheese paired with the spice of the jalapeno and the unexpected flavor and texture of the veg makes for an adventurous and fun looking meal.