Guilt-free nachos FTW! Here’s an explanation behind my reasoning, nacho philosophy, and all that jazz:
I’m going to come right out and say it: there’s nothing healthy about fried corn tortilla chips. Yes you can buy natural ones cooked in healthy oils with non-gmo corn and all that jazz, but they still would never in a million years show up on a “foods you need to eat more of” list. Not by a long shot!
But me, I’ll take crunchy, salty tortilla chips over any other chip, so I simply don’t buy or snack on potato chips and allow these bad boys to be my indulgence. Sure potato chips are tasty, but they aren’t my favorite, so my version of moderation includes highlighting and enjoying my favorites and keeping the others out of the house to avoid over-indulgence of fatty snack foods.
This may not work for everyone but it works like a flipping charm for me.
But this post wasn’t meant to be a nutrition schpiel so let’s get back to the reason I sat down to write in the first place:
Nachos. Glorious. Nachos.
I think it’s safe to say that I have them in some way shape or form on a weekly basis. Usually this is around the time that I have a TON of leftovers to use up or have exhausted my produce supply and need to eat straight from the pantry for a day. Is anyone else with me?
So what makes my nachos guilt-free? Toppings, Portions, and… well, they make me happy. And happy people don’t regret a darn thing.
1. Beans are not only mandatory for my nachos, but they have to freakishly outnumber the amount of cheese I use on said nachos. Sometimes I’ll add a mix of refried and black beans but usually I just toss half a can’s worth of black beans on top of my chips. These bad boys are so meaty you won’t miss actual meat! Helloooo fiber! You can even make them in the crockpot!
2. Green Salsa is another must. I usually skip the conventional red and go straight for a jar of Mrs Renfro’s Green Salsa. Green salsas are typically made with tomatillos… but this stuff is strictly jalapenos and onion. It’s HOT yet ridiculously flavorful. I put it on anything and everything. Especially nachos.
3. I try to skip the sour cream and use thick & creamy greek yogurt instead. Fage’s plain nonfat greek actually tastes just like sour cream to me (while other brands remind me of dessert) and tastes AMAZING on top of nachos. More filling protein? Yes please!
4. Duh, cheese (remember this is me we’re talking about!) Meat… sugar… bread… I could give it all up in a hot second, but not cheese. It’s my favorite. One thing I have been working on with my queso addiction is to control the portion size I dive into. I try to choose the most fragrant and flavorful varieties so I can use less but still get a ton of flavor, and I also came up with a little string cheese trick along the way. To control the amount of cheese I pile on to my snacks or meals, I’ll sometimes just grab a cheddar-mozz swirled string cheese and grate it onto my food. It melts like a champ but doesn’t allow me to go for a second or third handful of the shredded stuff. In fact, I don’t even purchase shredded cheeses anymore. They have a weird mold-inhibiting antibiotic in them so If I avoid them like the plague and and grate my own. Done and done.
5. Duh, veggies! If I have them on hand, they’re going on my nachos. Avocado, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Jalapenos, White Yellow Red and Green onion, the list goes on and on. Usually no two plates of nachos are ever the same because of the varying availability of veggies in my house. Never a dull meal =)
6. Paul’s trick: when I was sick with the plague last week we ran out of food, and I was not only STUFFY, but STARVING. To help me with my ridiculously stuffy nose, paul doused a plate of nachos with jalapeno salsa, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper. It unstuffed my nose almost immediately (helloooo capsaicin!) and actually slowed me down from eating too fast. Def plan on adding them to more dishes from now on =)
Whoo! That was a long one, eh?
Gold stars and high-fives for anyone that stayed with me til the end!
If you’re as crazy as I am for nachos, try my irish nachos on for size. They use homemade baked russet or sweet potato “chips” as the base and are loaded with all your favorite toppings!