I love when I look up old recipes and see the evolution of my diet. In 2010 I made Baked Nachos with Picadillo as a healthy alternative to the nachos I used to eat in my pre-vegan days. And it was healthier – meat-free, dairy-free – and definitely cruelty-free. But I used processed Gimme Lean for the Picadillo, processed tapioca cheese and store-bought chips and condiments. Don’t get me wrong, they were delicious nachos but now I’m posting the Superbowl or even better, Puppybowl of Nachos and it’s all homemade!
This recipe uses my own Pico de Gallo, Red Guacamole, Mexican Tomato Sauce and Vegan Butter which you have seen here on the blog before. It also uses some new recipes: Lentil or Tempeh Picadillo, Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips and Queso Cheese Sauce.
Of course you can pick and choose which ingredients you make from scratch and which you buy but it’s good to know you CAN make such indulgent, decadent nachos yourself. These are not only vegan but they are gluten-free and soy-free (if you use lentils instead of tempeh for the Picadillo).
Whether you’re watching the Superbowl or the Puppy Bowl, my Superbowl/Puppybowl Nachos will make you a winner! By the way, for your squealing pleasure, click here is the line-up of Puppy Bowl IX players. And be sure to check out last year’s Superbowl Menu which I like to believe led the Giants to victory. Enjoy!
Lentil or Tempeh Picadillo
1 Tbs. olive oil
¼ large red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ green bell pepper, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
2 Serrano chiles, seeded and diced or 1-4 oz. can of green chiles
1 cup cooked lentils or 1 package of tempeh
7 oz. of my Mexican Tomato Sauce (recipe here)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. Mexican chile powder
1 tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and the chiles and sauté for another 3 minutes.
If you are using tempeh, you can steam it first to make it softer and milder. Some people find tempeh grainy-tasting. Either place it in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or break it up in a microwave-safe bowl with a spoonful of water, cover and nuke for 3 minutes. Let it cool enough so you can touch it without burning your hands and then crumble it up.
Add the tempeh crumbles or the lentils into the skillet and mix it with the peppers and onions. Add the sauce and the spices to the pan. Mix it well and cook until the Picadillo is heated through. Adjust the seasonings to your taste. Transfer the Picadillo to a bowl and set aside.
Queso Cheese Sauce
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
2 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. mustard powder
1 cup water
1 Tbs. vegan butter (recipe here) or oil of your choice
1 Tbs. chickpea flour
1 cup almond milk
1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1-4 oz. can green chiles
Salt and black pepper to taste
Hot sauce (optional)
In a food processor add the cashews and pulse a few times to break them up. Throw in the vinegar, oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, spices and water. Process until you have a smooth sauce. Add more water if you need to.
Now we need to make a roux. In a small saucepan, heat the butter or oil over medium-high heat. Add the chickpea flour and whisk it into the butter or oil. Let cook for about a minute. While whisking, add the milk until the flour is completely incorporated and smooth. Stir in the cashew mixture, the diced tomatoes and chiles. Season with salt and pepper. Add hot sauce, if you want it extra spicy.
Baked Tortilla Chips
6-8 corn or brown rice tortillas
Kosher salt to taste
½ tsp. chile powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. paprika
Cooking oil spray
Lay the chips on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly spray with cooking oil. Sprinkle both sides of the chips with the spice mix. Bake in the oven until the chips are browned and crispy, turning half-way through. Depending on your oven, it should take about 10 minutes or so but you want to watch them so they don’t burn.
Now that we have all the components, let’s put them together to make a mountain of decadent but not sinful deliciousness. Here I used my own baked tortilla chips, Pico de gallo and Queso cheese sauce. I also added a bit of Daiya shreds and topped the nachos with fresh avocado slices instead of using guacamole. Remember, you don’t have to make your nachos the exact way I did. These are “nacho” nachos, these are mynachos (ok, I’m sorry but it had to be said sometime, didn’t it?) I purposely didn’t state any set amounts of the ingredients here. Use however much you want. Just remember to have as much fun making these as you have eating them!
Cooking oil spray or vegetable oil
Baked tortilla chips (recipe above)
Picadillo (recipe above)
Queso cheese sauce (recipe above)
1 cup Daiya cheese, either flavor (I like a combo of mozzarella and Pepperjack)
Pico de Gallo (recipe here)
Fresh avocado slices
Red Guacamole (optional; recipe here)
Vegan sour cream (optional)
Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients to create a second layer. Top with a third layer of tortilla chips. Bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and gooey. Remove from the oven and top with more Pico de Gallo and fresh avocado slices.