The other night all I wanted was loaded nacho’s for dinner. I can only think of one other time in my life I craved loaded nacho’s, and I’m pretty sure it was a couple drinks in on a Thursday night in college. I knew this time around I wanted to make a healthier dairy and meat free version (i.e. vegan). Note – healthier does not mean healthy. If you take out of the processed vegan chipotle meat I used crumbled on these it would be significantly healthier but hey – I wanted fake meat so I used fake meat.
I was wondering how to tackle the dairy on nacho’s because vegan “cheese”‘s fall short for me. From “Feta” made with tofu, to cheese slices at the grocery store made of oils and chemicals to melt like cheese, I just don’t love them. I’ll eat them once in a while, but I don’t love them. The one “cheese” I like a lot is a vegetable based cheese from Maine based Little Lads which is great on sandwiches. That said, it doesn’t melt at all and forget about it on nacho’s.
I wanted to find a veggie based, low oil, cheese that I could drizzle on nachos.
Something I could dip veggies into.
Something I could eat and not feel like I just ate a pile of chemicals.
I’m not a vegan; I eat meat and I eat some dairy once in a while. I prefer vegan things to be called what they are and not some substitution of something they taste nothing like. It’s not that marinated crumbled tofu isn’t good, but it’s not feta. It’s nothing like it.
Needless to say, I was hopeful but a little skeptical of this nacho “cheese” recipe from Vegan Yumminess. It’s a carrot and potato based recipe (keep reading, I promise). It looked legit. I have to say, it taste pretty darn good to but let’s be frank – this does NOT taste like the Velveeta pumped cheese you get at the ballpark on corn chips. It tastes DELICIOUS though and is as close as I’ve ever tasted from a vegan “cheese”.
Next time I make this I am likely going to add in just a little more salt, some cumin and some cracked red pepper to make a spicy vegan nacho “cheese”, but damn if it isn’t delicious the way it is. Note that once you pour the cheese into a container it will form a thin skin on top of it, but just pull it off – no problem.
- Visit the "Adapted From" link above.
- Organic blue corn chips
- Re-fried beans (most already are vegan if you read the ingredients, so you likely don't need to splurge on the vegetarian/vegan versions which are more expensive)
- Green Pepper
- Fake meat of your choice (optional)
- Lime juice (couple teaspoons)
- Other veggies/legumes as you like.
- Follow the direction on Vegan Yumminess (link above)
- Dice the onion and pepper. Add a little water, or oil (NOT BOTH) to the pan. Saute together in a pan with cumin and chili powder to taste. Add salt if preferred. Once translucent and slightly browned remove from the pan.
- Add a few teaspoons of water to the pan to loosen browned veggie bits, and add your fake vegan meat to warm through if using.
- Dice the avodado into small bits and toss with a little cumin and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Dice a couple tomatoes. Set aside.
- On a baking pan, layer the chips with re-fried beans, some of the onion/pepper mixture, diced tomatoes, and the fake meat. Drizzle with vegan nacho "cheese". Add a second layer (optional).
- Once you've completed your last layer, drizzle with the rest of the nacho cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, just to heat through.
- Remove from oven and top with avocado.
- These are nacho's, not rocket science. Add whatever you'd like to the nacho's. Black beans would be great. Grated carrots would give a sweet crunch. Love taco spice? Add it! These are nacho's - the only requirement are chips and delicious delicious nacho cheese—go to town!