I was tempted to name these "Freedom Nachos" because they are unencumbered by so many of the usual, (yet not-so-healthy) additions you'd typically find in a plate of comfort food nachos. This dish is dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, even legume-free, and vegan! What!? How is that even possible? And are they even good?... are two questions you may be asking yourself. The answer to both is a resounding yes! You do of course need to come to the table with a hungry tummy and an open mind. Like I said these are nacho-average-nachos! For the record, personally I am not a vegan, however, I really do enjoy plant-based foods so I throw them into my repertoire often.
I, like many others, kicked off 2018 with a renewed vigor for overall health and wellness. This enthusiasm included an elimination diet aimed at addressing some stubborn skin issues. I'm fairly certain that gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and alcohol are my frenemies, so I am doing my best to avoid those where possible. I'll report back in a few more months on whether or not I see any lasting change on the clear skin front! Other than the promise of a smoother complexion, I am just feeling better in so many ways. I am sleeping more soundly, waking up with a pep in my step, and all my clothes fit more comfortably to boot! What does this have to do with nachos?? Keep reading.
There are some wonderful people behind some great brands who've made my pursuit of wellness thus far a delightful adventure. Namely, the Whole30 community for all the science-y stuff that needs much explaining (note: this recipe isn't Whole30 #sorrynotsorry). Thrive Market for my compliant pantry needs, Sage Mountain Farm for the abundance of organic produce I get through their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, and Siete Foods for their BOMB grain-free tortillas (the real inspo behind this post!)
I learned about these coveted tortillas made with alternative flours from two of my healthy AF pals Danielle (@potatochipsncaviar) and Gabriela (@spicyloveschaos), who I saw regularly enjoying *posting about* these soft wraps and crunchy chips on Instagram, giving me serious FOMO. I've already told you my feelings about tacos. So it should be no surprise that I went on a hunt to locate Siete in a market near me. But alas, I am patiently awaiting the arrival of my town's Whole Foods (ok we're only getting a Whole 365, and it better be good or else, *knife emoji*).
So I literally took to spamming my local Sprouts in-person, and on the socials to get-with-the-program and stock Siete! I heard crickets back from Sprouts. Luckily a few "mentions" later, the team over at Siete DM'd me to let me know they were in negotiations with Sprouts to bring me ALL THE CHIPS! I am not sure if I can take full credit for bringing Siete to the Sprouts masses, but I'm gonna take it.
When I headed to the store to pick up my chips I bought the last bag on the shelf! I was super proud/ worried that they didn't order enough. If you too live in a Siete desert, and can't wait for them to arrive via Amazon... Siete actually has a PDF print-out on their website that you can fill out and hand to your grocer to get the special requests started. You can find it here.
In summary, if 1990 was know for alternative rock bands, then 2018 will be know for alternative ingredients. Read, cassava, aquafaba, amaranth, they sound like alt bands to me. Also, this tweet:
Nacho Average Nachos
1 bag tortilla chips, I suggest Siete Foods!
1 head organic cauliflower cut into small florets
1 tablespoon "Latin Heat by Sauce Goddess" or if you cannot find this brand create your own mixture of powdered cumin, dried oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and salt.
Avocado oil for drizzling
Various garnishes (thinly sliced radishes, avocado slices, cilantro, chives, jalapeños, dollops of your favorite salsa, fresh broccoli sprouts. Get creative!)
For the vegan nacho cheese...
1 cups raw cashews (I prefer Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Raw Whole Cashews)
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch chili powder
1 chipotle in adobo with a little sauce (or sub salsa or your favorite hot sauce)
1/2 - 1 cup hot water (depending on how thin you want your queso)
1 tablespoon olive oil (for blending)
For the guacamole...
2 ripe avocados
1 clove garlic minced
1 small shallot diced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of your favorite hot sauce
1 small handful fresh cilantro chopped
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss cauliflower florets in spice mixture and drizzle with a tablespoon of your favorite fat (avocado oil, olive oil etc.)
Arrange cauliflower on parchment in a single layer.
Roast in the oven at 400 degrees till nicely browned.
Prepare the vegan nacho cheese by combining all the above ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blitz till smooth. You may need to pause at times and coax the mixture together stirring by hand a bit.
Prepare the guacamole in a medium bowl by mashing the above ingredients with a fork till the desired consistency is reached.
Assemble your nachos and garnish to your heart's desire!