Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quinoa Nachos

I LOVE quinoa.  I think it's one of the greatest foods in the world!  And I LOVE nachos.  However, the way I like nachos is not necessarily Weight Watchers friendly.  I kind of like my nachos a little trashy.  The kind of nachos you would get at a not healthy at all kind of restaurant.  But this summer, I was able to go to the Spiral Diner again in Dallas and I ordered their nachos.  I thought it was awesome that they put quinoa on their nachos!  But I really haven't tried making my own nachos since I have been vegan.  Vegan cheeses on the market just didn't melt the way they needed to for nachos.  However, Daiya cheese came along and the wheels started turning in my brain.  It melts and it's stretchy, so it was only a matter of time before I made some vegan nachos.  So, with the help of Daiya and the Spiral Diner, quinoa nachos are my take on the traditional nachos I used to eat.  You can make them as healthy as you want based on what you decide to put on them.  With all of the veggies and spices, you can alter it to fit your taste buds.

Quinoa Nacho Mixture 
-1 cup cooked quinoa
-1 cup cooked black beans
-1/2 cup corn
-1-2 bell peppers (I prefer red and orange)
-1/2-1 package of mushrooms
-4-5 stalks of green onion
-2-3 handfuls of raw baby spinach
-1-2 tsp chili powder
-1/4 tsp garlic salt
-salt to taste

In a large pan, saute the bell peppers first.  While the bell peppers are cooking, add the chili powder and garlic salt.  When the bell peppers are almost tender, add the mushrooms and green onions.  Then add the corn and spinach.  When all of the veggies are cooked, add the quinoa and black beans.  Stir well.  Add salt to taste.

Assembling your nachos 
There are all kinds of possibilities with nachos.  This is how I create mine:
-1 1/2 servings (42 grams) of Trader Joe's Organic Baked Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
-1 serving of Daiya Cheddar Style "cheese"
(Melt the Daiya "cheese" over the chips in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until melted.)
-After the "cheese" is melted, add about 1 cup of the quinoa mixture on top of the nachos.

Other possibilities for the nachos
These are some of the "fixins" I add to my nachos:
-Trader Joe's organic salsa style refried beans
-Tofutti Sour Supreme or Follow Your Heart Vegan Sour Cream
-Fresh diced tomatoes
-We Can't Say It's Cheese Spread (If you prefer to have a "cheese" sauce instead of the Daiya, you could use the We Can't Say It's Cheese Spread and melt it in the microwave and pour it over your nachos.)

So the possibilities for vegan nachos are limitless!  Enjoy!

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