Have you ever gone out on the town and attempted to order nachos that are vegan? Vegan establishments notwithstanding, it’s usually a disappointment. Generally the main feature on a nacho platter is cheese, so once you subtract that from the equation, you’re left with small portions of salsa and guacamole, and a few olives and hot peppers strewn atop a giant mound of chips. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and there will be a tomato chopped up in there. Either way, it’s so not worth the crazy money they charge you.
Logan and I have never tried to make a nacho platter until tonight, but we had a vision. A vision of (vegan) cheese and seasoned beans, and fresh vegetables. An entire avocado’s worth of guacamole instead of a piddly scoop. A vision of having every bite loaded with goodness, instead of trying to distribute measly bits of toppings among the pile of chips. I’m happy to say that we succeeded in achieving said vision.
This was ridiculously easy to make, and extremely filling. The two of us had no hope of finishing it all, though we came close. It only took us about half an hour from start to finish – it would take even less time if you already had the cheese sauce made. Here’s what we did:
2. Cook and season some beans (recipe follows)
4. Make a fresh veggie medley (method follows)
5. Assemble toppings (black olives, assorted hot peppers from a jar)
6. Prepare salsa and guacamole (method follows)
in a 9×12 pyrex pan, or something of similar size, layer all of the nacho ingredients in the order listed, from 1-5. Put salsa and guacamole in bowls on the side, with spoons to help you scoop it on your chips (these chips are quite loaded, and therefore a little hard to scoop!). Then, feast! This tasted absolutely amazing. Take that, restaurant nachos!
2. Seasoned Black Beans
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/8 – 1/4c water (as needed)
1 tsp cumin seeds (powder works too)
1 tsp chili powder*
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
*my chili powder is straight-up – most chili powders have added cumin and stuff, so if you have a chili powder like this you might have to adjust the seasonings a little.
Partially mash the black beans so they stick together, but so there are still some whole beans left. Put them into a small pot with a little bit of water and bring to bubbling over medium heat. Add all of the other ingredients and stir every couple of minutes, so the beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. After 5-10 minutes, the beans will lose a lot of water and be thicker – this is when they’re done. Taste to adjust seasonings – honestly, when I’m seasoning beans I don’t usually measure ingredients. I did this time, to give you a rough estimate, but it’s pretty free-form.
4. Fresh Veggie Medley
1/2 a bell pepper
3-4 green onions
Dice all ingredients (green and light green parts of the green onions only) and mix up in a bowl.
This is what I call the lazy person’s guacamole because we barely add anything to the avocado, but it tastes really good. If you have a favourite recipe, by all means, use that instead.
1 large avocado, mashed (or blended, if you want it really smooth – check out my post here
on how to choose a ripe avocado)
1 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
a pinch of salt (optional)
Once you’ve mashed your avocado, add the other ingredient(s). Stir and enjoy!