Healthiest Ever Loaded Vegan Nachos

I used to think guzzling down a boat-load of nachos was a task strictly reserved for teenage boys, pregnant ladies, & the hangiest of hungover in all the land.

But after some much-needed reflection, and some serious doctoring of the classic recipe - I'm proud to announce I stand corrected. 

Welcome to your latest & greatest Monday night-approved cheesy pile of perfection.

Packed with vegetables, raw cashews, home-baked tortilla chips, & a spicy blend of fresh herbs & savory spices.

I hope this dish satisfies the depths of your soul, and takes you back to simpler times. 

Like going to the movies with your family as a child, or visiting the county fair...or freshman year of college.

*recalls unsavory dance moves* 

*remembers unpalatable clothing choices*

*relives get broken up with in frat-house at 2am*

Then again, some era's are better left untouched. 

Prep time: 60 miN

Cook time: 25 min

Total time: 1 hr 25 min

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

For the Nacho Cheese Sauce:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked 

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil

  • 8-10 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 white onion, chopped

  • 4 carrots, sliced

  • 8 oz. fire-roasted green chilis

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 2 tsp chipotle chili powder

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk

  • Jalapeno pepper slices, to taste ( I used the Trader Joes' Hot & Sweet jarred ones!)

For the Nachos:​

  • 16-20 organic corn tortillas

  • avocado oil

  • sea salt, to taste

  • 8-10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly

  • 3 shallots, sliced thinly

  • 1 can black or pinto beans, drained & rinsed

Optional: fresh cilantro, avocado slices & lime wedges for serving

Directions:

Begin by making the nacho cheese sauce. Add the raw cashews to a bowl and cover with hot water. Leave to soak for 1 hour. 

In the meantime, add the avocado oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in the minced garlic and chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes. 

 

Add the carrots and green chilis and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. 

 

Add the cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika, and stir to coat the vegetables. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. 

Toss the vegetable sauté into a high-speed blender, and add in the drained cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, non-dairy milk and jalapeno slices (I did about 10-12 Hot & Sweet slices). Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside the pan used to cook the vegetables for later use (do not clean).

Taste the cheese sauce and add more salt or jalapeno slices for flavor as desired.

Next, bake those tortilla chips. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and slice the corn tortillas into 4th's to form large triangles. Place in an even layer on a parchment-paper lined baking tray and brush with a bit of avocado oil and sea salt (if desired, can also bake plain - with no oil or salt). Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

While the tortilla chips are baking, sauté the sliced shiitakes, bell pepper and shallots with a pinch of sea salt in that same pan used to sauté the vegetables for the cheese sauce. Allow some of the leftover seasoning & broth lining the pan to coat the veggies to add some mild flavor.

Once the vegetables are hot and well-carmelized, remove from heat and set aside.

 

Remove the baked tortilla chips from the oven and pile half of them on to the lined baking sheet. Load with generous dollops of the nacho cheese sauce, sautéed veggies & beans. Then top with the second half of the tortilla chips & repeat the same process - layering on more cheese sauce, veggies and beans. 

Bake for 7-10 minutes at 375 degrees F, or until the cheese sauce appears hot and toasty. Remove from oven, garnish with fresh cilantro, avocado slices & lime wedges for squeezing.

Serve warm & DEVOUR.

For more disease-fighting & drool-worthy 

meal ideas, check out my other plant-powered recipes here:  

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