A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
Sometimes a girl just wants a gooey, crunchy, fresh plate of nachos. Especially one loaded up with all the traditional toppings, like beans, cheese and guac.
Sometimes, though, my stomach isn't as big a fan of nachos as my taste buds. That's why, when I was craving nachos one Thursday night, I found my mission: healthifying nachos into a delicious dinner that my body and mind would fall in love with!
In particular, these nachos avoid the typical base of oily, fried chips and sneak in several servings of veggies. Not to mention, the avocado and salmon provide healthy fats while black beans offer some plant-based protein.
One of the best parts? This dinner can be prepped ahead of time so it only takes 15 minutes to throw together!
You can also cut them into rounds versus fries!
To throw your taste buds their own healthy fiesta, gather the following ingredients:
For the fries:
1 russet potato or 2 red/golden Yukon potatoes
1 half of a fresh lemon
Choice of spices (I use a few pinches of paprika, oregano, thyme and chili)
For the toppings:
1 pre-cooked salmon fillet (or alternate form of protein like ground turkey, chicken, tofu, extra beans, etc)
One baking tray of veggies (I use zucchini, squash, radishes and green beans)
Few drops of cooking oil (olive, coconut, etc)
Optional: salsa, fresh or homemade
Optional: lettuce for a side salad
To begin, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, scrub your potato(es) clean and slice into fries. Next, place into a plastic bag and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the fries. Shake to distribute, then toss the fries on a baking tray. Sprinkle with your choice of spices and pop in the oven! Bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping the fries halfway through.
Everyday can be "Fry-day" now!
During this time, you can also cook your protein and/or make your cheese sauce if needed, and cut your choice of veggies.
Usually, I'll cook the fries and protein and prep my veggies before class or a trip to the gym. Then, when I get home starving and "hangry," throwing dinner together is easy and quick.
When you're ready to eat, just set your oven on "Broil" and add a few drops of cooking oil to a plastic bag holding your sliced veggies. Shake to distribute, spread the veggies on a baking tray and put it under the broiler. My veggies usually take 7-8 minutes, rotating the tray halfway. Be sure to watch your veggies to make sure they don't burn!
While those cook, start stacking your nachos. Roughly divide the fries onto two plates and begin throwing on toppings. These include salmon (or other protein), black beans, and cheese sauce/shreds. I usually send my plate on a trip to the microwave for a few minutes to re-heat the fries and these toppings.
That perfect picture...before I nearly dropped my fork off the balcony!
Once the veggies are done, add those, the avocado, salsa and any other fresh goodies. Now, my favorite part: eat!
These potato nachos are obviously easy to experiment with. Try using sweet potatoes instead of regular for the base; add BBQ sauce instead of salsa for a Texan twist; or even (if you really want the crisp of chips), mix chips and potatoes.
My kind of veggie to nacho ratio...
Sometimes, finding a compromise between my taste buds and my tummy isn't easy. Other times, this college celiac gets lucky and discovers a delicious meal like this!