Nachos

Making your own food allows you to know exactly what is in it.

You are the creator
(what a power trip)

This recipe comes with 6 main parts: Salsa, Guacamole, Spicy Beans, Sour Cream, Roasted Kumara, and Nacho Sauce. All the parts combine to make a dish that is out of this world. Here, I make everything from scratch, but of course you can make the dish your own and use the convenience of pre-made store-bought items . The only two parts that I recommend you make yourself is the roasted sweet potato and the nacho sauce. Enjoy!

This dish was inspired by Stevie Yay’s recipe. You can check out her blog: Trading Waste For Abundance to find the original recipe and other zero waste inspiration!

Ingredients


Salsa

  • ½  medium white onion diced
  • ½  medium red onion diced
  • 1 lime
  • Fresh cilantro chopped

Guacamole

  • 4 medium ripened avocados
  • ½  medium white onion diced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves freshly chopped
  • 1 medium fresh tomato diced (or several fresh cherry tomatoes)
  • ½  tbsp of fresh ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp of fresh ground coriander
  • 2 limes
  • Fresh cilantro chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Spicy Beans

  • 1.5 cups of cooked black beans (or 1 can)
  • 1 tsp of hot paprika
  • ½  tsp of fresh chilli (or powder chilli)
  • 1 tsp of fresh ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of fresh ground coriander
  • ½  cup of water (or bean broth)
  • Salt and pepper

Sour Cream (vegan)

  • 1 cup of plain coconut yogurt (you can do this with greek yogurt too if you don’t want it vegan)
  • 1 large lemon
  • Salt

Roasted Sweet Potato (Kumara)

*I thought this was weird at first too, but it is so yummy! Thanks Stevie!*

  • 1 sweet potato (kumara)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp of bitter-sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of hot paprika
  • Salt and pepper

Nacho Sauce

  • 1.5 cups of soaked cashews (soak in room temperature water for 3 hours or in hot water for 10 minutes to soften)
  • 1 medium carrot softened (boil for 10 minutes)
  • ½  cup of nutritional yeast
  • ½  cup of coconut milk
  • 5-10 jalapeños and some jalapeño brine (add more to increase spicy-ness)
  • 1-2 cups of hot water (I use the water from the boiled carrots!)
  • 2 medium tomatoes sliced (or 1 can of tomatoes *no added sugar*)
  • 1 lime


Chips

Proper Crips (New Zealand brand) makes corn tortilla chips that come in a compostable package! You can also bring your own bag to a Mexican restaurant and get fresh chips for take away!

Method

  1. I prefer to eat the salsa, guacamole, and sour cream cold, so I make these first. This will give them time to chill in the fridge while I prepare the rest of the dish. *Reminder, that you should be soaking your cashews right now too! Also, preheat the oven to 425 F (218 C).*
    1. Salsa: In a bowl add finely chopped red and white onion and fresh diced tomatoes. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the mix (taste it and add more if you prefer!). Add the fresh chopped cilantro and stir into the mix. Store in fridge until you are ready to eat! Allowing it to sit in the fridge also gives the tomatoes and onions time to absorb the yummy juices.
    2. Guacamole: I use a mortar and pestle for making my guac but a bowl and a fork to mash your avocado will do just fine too. First, I heat the fresh cumin and coriander together in a small pan for one minute or until they begin to “pop.” If you are using cumin and coriander that is already ground don’t worry about cooking your spices. Next, add the ‘cooked’ cumin and coriander into the mortar and pestle and grind them until they are a fine ground mix. Add the avocado into the mortar and pestle and smash it, mixing it with the spices. Finally, add the diced onions, diced tomato, juice of a lime, freshly chopped garlic, and salt and pepper to the smashed avocado and mix well. Adjust the ingredients to your taste. I sometimes add in fresh chilli to give it a bit of a kick. Store the finished guac in the fridge to chill and let it absorb the gorgeous spices and juices.
    3. Sour Cream: This one is very simple, you just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. You will have to get the balance right, so you may have to do some taste-testing to decide if you need more or less of any of the 3 ingredients. Using coconut yogurt (should be coconut yogurt, not coconut-flavoured yogurt, check ingredients!) does leave it with a hint of coconut flavour, however it tastes nice on the nachos! Leave finished sour cream in the fridge to cool.

2. Now, in order to get the timing of everything right, we should prepare our roasted sweet potatoes and cooked carrots. First, scrub your sweet potato clean and dice it into chunks. In a bowl or directly on the baking pan, mix your sweet potato chunks with the oil and spices listed in the ingredients. I use my hands to everything together, which is messy but fun. Once the sweet potato chunks are covered in the oil/spice mix, spread them onto a baking sheet evenly and bake uncovered. Bake for 20 mins or until you can put a fork through them with ease. Lastly, put a pot of water on the stove with at least 2 cups of water in it, to be ready to boil the carrots later.

3. Once the water is boiling, add in your carrots. Let them boil until they become soft enough to stick a fork through easily.

4. You can now prepare your spicy beans. In a lightly oiled pan, add the beans (canned or fresh-cooked), spices, and water (or bean broth from your fresh-cooked beans). You want to give the beans time to absorb the spices, so cook on a medium to low heat, stirring regularly. Once the water has cooked off and you a have a nice thick bean mixture set them aside.

5. It’s time to finally create the nacho sauce, you legend. I use a stick blender for this part, but a food processor or blender should work fine. Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. If it ends up a little chunky, try adding more hot water. Adjust salt, spices, and jalapeños to taste. I love mine to be creamy and cheesy so I add quite a bit of the nutritional yeast. Make it your own, you are the creator! 

6. Now for the layering! I am very particular about this, but I think I will leave it to you to sort this part out. Layer up with all your parts and enjoy!

Zero-Waste Tip:

By creating the sides and toppings from scratch, a lot of waste can be avoided. For example, this is a produce-heavy dish, with lots of fresh vegetables, meaning you have the opportunity to cut out plastic by bringing your own produce bags to the store.

Or, if you prefer to buy pre-made salsa or guacamole, try and buy them in glass or cans. Glass and tin are 100% recyclable, unlike plastic. Plastic gets downgraded when it gets recycled, meaning it gets turned into a worse and weaker plastic, which makes it nearly impossible to recycle again.

Spices are best when eaten fresh. You can invest in a mortar and pestle to grind up your own seeds (like cumin and coriander!). You can buy cumin seeds and other spices at many organic shops in the bulk section, which is probably cheaper than pre-ground spices too! Once you have fresh-ground spices, you will never want to go back.

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