This much healthier version of a traditional Mexican dish is really authentic in taste. Make it for a light lunch or triple the recipe and serve it at a party. Home-made nachos are very quick and easy to make. They are accompanied by soy yoghurt (soured with lemon juice), home-made guacamole dip, a lentil and bean tomato mix scattered with grated fried tofu. Enjoy!
home-made Nachos savoury crackers* (see recipe below)
1 cup cooked Puy / brown lentils
1 cup cooked red kidney beans
4 tomatoes, chopped
4 tbsp tomato paste, thinned with 4 tbsp water
1 - 2 tsp chopped fresh red chilli (to taste)
2 tsp peanut oil
¾ cup grated firm tofu
4 ml turmeric
3 ml paprika
2 tsp fine savoury yeast flakes
avocado guacamole dip (home-made)
½ cup soy yoghurt / silken tofu mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice
Place the lentils, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste mix and chilli in a saucepan and heat gently.Heat the peanut oil in a small pan and fry the tofu on fairly high heat to remove most of the moisture.Add the turmeric, paprika and savoury yeast to the tofu and stir for a minute. Remove from the heat.To assemble the nachos dish: spoon the lentil-tomato mixture into the middle of a large serving platter. Push the savoury crackers into the mixture from the sides. Scatter the fried tofu on top.Serve the avocado (guacamole) dip and soured soy yoghurt or silken tofu on the side, so everyone can help themselves.
* Nachos savoury crackers
These crackers taste wonderfully authentic, yet are baked in the oven rather than fried. You can add all sorts of interesting herbs to the dough if you wish. Cooked couscous adds an interesting texture, although you can substitute cooked quinoa to make gluten-free crackers. Nut butters effectively bind all the ingredients together to make crispy, black pepper studded nachos.
4 tbsp dry couscous / quinoa for gluten-free
1 cup yellow corn meal
½ tsp herbal salt
2 tbsp cashew nut butter / smooth peanut butter
2 tsp cracked black pepper
½ cup brewed lukewarm camomile tea / lukewarm water
2 tsp savoury yeast powder
olive oil cooking spray
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C (430°F). Place a baking (pizza) stone or heavy duty baking tray in the oven to heat up at the same time.Pour boiling water over the couscous and leave for 5 minutes (or cook the quinoa). Drain and fluff with a fork. Make the camomile tea.Place the corn meal and salt in a mixing bowl and combine. Rub in the nut butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir the black pepper and cooked couscous or quinoa into the flour mixture.Pour the tea (or water) over the flour mixture and stir until combined. Add the savoury yeast and stir to mix in.Dust a sheet of non-stick baking parchment with corn meal. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for half a minute. It will be a stiff dough.Roll the dough into a thick pipe, then transfer it to the parchment. Roll the dough with a rolling pin into a thin rectangular shape, flour the dough well so as not to stick. Take a knife and deeply score the dough into squares, then into triangles. Spray them with olive oil.Working quickly, remove the baking stone or tray from the oven and slide the parchment onto it together with the scored dough. Bake on the middle shelf for 10 minutes.Reduce the oven's temperature to 190°C (370°). Turn the crackers over and bake for a further 3 minutes. Make sure the crackers are dry and crispy.Remove from the oven, break the crackers free from each other and cool thoroughly on wire racks. When the nachos are cold, store them in an airtight container (for up to a week).
Makes enough for 4 people.
Laurinda Erasmus is a vegan chef and author of a vegan recipe book, called Benessere well-being: vegan & sugar-free eating for a healthy life-style, by Quinoa Publishing. The book has over 520 recipes, each with a colour photograph, taken by the author herself. The book won a gold medal at the Living Now Book Awards in New York, USA. She is passionate about the vast possibilities of creating plant-based meals, the increased wellness and energy through plant nutrition and making a smaller impact on our precious ecosystem. Through her book and vegan classes, she shows healthy and fun ways of how to bring more plant-based meals into one's diet. She also travels extensively, always collecting new recipes and re-writing them as vegan dishes. She shares her tips for vegan travellers accompanied by vegan travel recipes on her blogsite http://veganwellbeing.wordpress.com/ and to view her vegan recipe book, see http://www.veganwellbeing.net/.