Epic Vegan Nachos with Homemade Tortilla Chips
This recipe is gluten free, vegan and oil free
Last year I was lucky enough to spend a month living in the middle of Manhattan. When I travel I am not usually a big city person and much prefer to get off the beaten track, discovering smaller towns with slower paces of life. New York City is the exception to that rule.
There is something indescribably enticing about the energy and excitement of this city that quickly pulled me in. The smell of pizza and bagels wafting from every street corner and the incredible diversity of people, which can vary dramatically from block to block, are incredibly alluring. While many can be overwhelmed by New York, I think having grown up in Sydney helped me cope with how big and bustling the Big Apple was and I got drawn into every moment.
A big part of life in New York is food. I had a lot of time to explore all of the best spots around the island and just enough time to cement my favourite places. I was staying in a beautiful old apartment building which was right around the corner from Chipotle (a Mexican takeaway chain ala Mad Mex in Australia). I have to admit, I succumbed to its temptations a few times.
Mexican food has a sweet spot in my heart. It has always been a delicious and easy way to ensure I can find something suitable for my gluten and dairy free food needs. This has a little to do with many of the staples being made with corn instead of wheat as well as being able to self-construct the meals. There was one part of Chipotle which I could never forget: the tortilla chips. They made their own tortilla chips which were irresistibly limey and zesty. The first time I tried these I knew I would be recreating them.
As soon as I got back to my kitchen I started experimenting with baking corn tortillas in olive oil, salt and lime juice. The result was definitely better than those at Chipotle (in my humble opinion). It didn't take long for me to realise that the oil on the chips was actually not essential and, in fact, the chips were crispier without much oil.
A squeeze of lime juice over the tortillas allowed the salt to stick and let me get away with not drowning the chips in oil. I don't know about you, but I would much prefer to have an extra spoonful of guacamole on my nachos than to have my tortillas deep fried. “¿Por que no los dos?”, I hear you ask.
Of course, my experiments with homemade tortilla chips quickly led into epic nacho feasts as well as an exceptionally delicious Nacho Cheese Sauce that packed just the right amount of punch. The combination of zesty chips, spicy chili beans, ripe guacamole and creamy nacho cheese sauce has got to be one of the most epic recipes to be featuring on the blog thus far. Yes, this recipe will require a little more work than my average recipes but let me assure you, it is more than worth it if you are up for the challenge.
This is the ultimate sharing meal, although I certainly won't judge you if you prefer to scoff these alone. No need for side plates, just serve these nachos on the baking tray and dig right in!
You'll Love These Nachos Because They Are:
Comes With A Kick!
An Epic Mexican Feast
EPIC VEGAN NACHOS WITH HOMEMADE TORTILLA CHIPS
This recipe is gluten free, vegan, oil free and will serve 2 people.
YOU WILL NEED
FOR TORTILLA CHIPS:
- 8 corn tortillas (look for 100% corn as many have additives)
- Juice 1/2 lime
- Pinch salt
FOR CHILI BEANS:
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3/4 red onion, finely diced (use the other 1/4 for guacamole)
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 2 ripe avocados
- Juice of 1 lemon or lime
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
- one batch of Cashew Nacho Cheese sauce
- finely chopped coriander
- fresh tomato, finely chopped
- cooked corn, cut away from cob
- lime wedges
- chili sauce
- Make Cashew Nacho Cheese and set aside
- Make the guacamole by adding all guac ingredients to a bowl and mashing with a fork or by simply blending in a food processor
- Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and line 2-3 trays with baking paper
- Using a large knife or pizza cutter, slice each tortillas into 6 triangles
- Spread the tortilla triangles over the trays so that no pieces are overlapping
- Squeeze lime juice over the tortillas and sprinkle with salt
- Place in the oven for around 10 minutes until they are golden and crunchy
- While tortillas are baking, make the chili beans: Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat and saute onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft
- Add spices and fry for one minute until fragrant
- Add tomato paste and beans. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
- Remove tortillas from the oven and arrange on one tray. Top with chili beans and place back in the oven 5-10 minutes until the beans are just starting to crisp up
- Remove tray from the oven, top with guacamole, Cashew Nacho Cheese, coriander, tomato and corn. Serve as a large share plate with lime wedges and extra chili sauce. Dig in!