Trashy Food: Maeve's Veggie Nachos

I've loved veggie nachos for a long time, but my own recipe has changed quite a bit over the years. As a kid, I liked the challenge of making my own cheese sauce starting with a rue, mixing in some cheddar and a touch of salsa for a deliciously silky dip. Later, I simplified things by using grated cheese melted under the broiler. As a high school student, they became my snack food of choice when at the movies. And finally one of my college roommates introduced me to the idea of using a microwave (though I was a child of the 80's and 90's, somehow my family managed to live microwave-free for most of my youth, so it was quite a foreign and revolutionary idea for me). For several years I enjoyed quick and easy nachos with grated cheese and a variety of toppings - of course the traditional beans, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream, but also to make it more meal like and less guilt enducing, some chopped zucchini, peppers, or defrosted corn. And then, I dated my first socks-and-sandals wearing, mountain climbing, beer drinking Washingtonian and had my latest breakthrough. We weren't a great culinary match. And we'd often ended up at happy hour drinking beer and sharing nachos. Most of them were terrible - gooey and greesey, and soggy, lacking flavor. But one stood out - there was a nice mix of textures and flavors, and instead of just beans and cheese, they'd added meatless riblets (available from Gardenburger) for a satisfying sweet and 'meaty' component and a nice protein boost. The relationship didn't work out, but I've stuck with the riblets!

Drawing on my many variations, this one is my favorite - simple to make, complex in flavor, and relatively healthy (for nachos).

Makes 2-3 Servings


Black Bean Dip
1 Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp Chipotle in Adobo
1 tsp Lime Juice
1 tbsp Cilantro, roughly chopped
3 tbsp Water
2 Scallions, thinly sliced
Salt to taste

50 Corn Chips
4 oz Sharp Cheddar, grated (high quality sharp low fat cheese also works)
1 Recipe Black Bean Dip
1 Meatless Riblet, microwave according to package instructions, roughly dice
1/2 Cup Frozen Sweet Corn, defrosted and lightly salted
4 tbsp Prepared Salsa
1 Avocado, Finely Diced and Tossed in Lime Juice and Salt
2 Scallions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Lowfat Sour Cream

Blend half the black beans, chipotle, lime juice, water and cilantro in food processor. When well blended, mix in remaining beans and scallions, pulse just to combine - some beans should be in tact. Season with salt to taste. Lay about one third of the chips out in a single layer on a microwave proof plate. Evenly spread 1/3 of the cheese and dollop black bean dip onto each chip. Toss some of the corn and meatless riblets on top. Repeat for another 2 layers. Microwave for about 1 minute, until cheese has melted. Evely distribute dollops of salsa, avocado and scallions. Top with dollop on sour cream in center. Enjoy with a cold beer or red wine.


Instead of corn, add finely diced bell peppers, zucchini, and red onion.

If you don't have the time or equipment to make the black bean dip, simple sprinkle rinsed and drained black beans along with the chopped veggied/corn and lightly sprinkle with salt.

In case your avocado is less than perfect, salvadge whatever green flesh you can, and smash with the sour cream, lime juice, salt, and some chopped cilantro. Pile in center in place of the cour cream.

I prefer black beans and cheddar, but pinto beans, jack cheese, or queso fresco also work well. Or use a combination.

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