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vegetarian nachos for 30 yr olds

need tasty colorful veggie nacho recipe

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  1. Just off the top of my head, I'd sautee diced sweet potatoes dusted with smoked chili powder. Then I'd take chips spread with frijoles negro, top it with the sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, corn, and white cheese. Under the broiler for a few minutes and then sprinkled with diced tomatoes and scallions. Drizzled with crema and tomatillo salsa.

    3 Replies
      1. re: charlesbois

        I host a book club with a fair few vegetarians. I will be adopting this for them, it sounds delicious and easy for me to do! A bit more substantial than just chips as well

        1. re: charlesbois

          Thanks for all the compliments! I think all the flavors would meld well and there would be a lot of interesting textures in the dish. I personally do a double layer of chips to ensure a lot of crispy chips on the bottom to support the topping-laden ones.

        2. Wow, those are some fancy and delicious sounding nachos.

          My first thought was the texmex way. Just refried beans, cheese, and whatever, ie., salsa, avacado, chopped tomatoes, pickled jalapenoes, etc.

          love charle's take on a nacho, for sure! thinking now, thinking, thinking....

          1. Weren't nachos vegetarian to begin with? The original preparation was small amounts of cheese and pepper on slightly stale tortillas (arranged individually, none of this glop everything on a pile of chips) heated under the broiler enough to melt the cheese. Simplicity itself, not the gooey piles of whatever that passes for nachos these days.

            1 Reply
            1. I like a bean on mine, like black soy bean or vegetarian refried beans. I usually use a jack and cheddar mix, napolitos/ jalepenos/ pepper mix, and fresh tomato. Lots of sour cream, salsa and guac on the side. I like a side of cilantro to sprinkle on fresh too.

              1. If you need a meat substitute, I recommend "SmartLife Ground" in Mexican flavor. You can find it in the grocery store (where I shop) next to the tofu and the other meat substitutes. It's really quite good and I prefer it to ground beef for tacos.

                That said, I really don't think you need meat at all on nachos. Ours are chips, cheese, jalapenos (for those that like them) or onions. My favorite veggies are pickled. If I do add red or green peppers, I like to saute them until they're soft before putting on the nachos.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JerryMe

                  Sorry, I missed yours. Well said. :-)

                2. I would roast up some vegetables- sweet potato, red onion, red bell pepper (halved, so you can peel it after roasting), zucchini, maybe corn- and put those atop the nachos then cover with cheese. Veggie ground (as noted above) is optional. Yves makes a Mexican-flavored veggie ground too. Serve with guacamole, salsa and warm refried beans for dipping on the side.

                  1. IMO nachos are one of those food items best left in their original state and not gussied up (sweet potatoes??).

                    If you ever happen to be in Los Angeles, you can try them in their original incarnation at El Cholo. They are simply good quality tortilla chips smothered in cheese, with sliced jalapeños added on top, then broiled. If you want to get fancy, spread the chips relatively flat, top each with a jalapeño slice before adding the cheese, then broil.

                    I've had countless variations of nachos and none of the busier versions advocated here are as good as what I just described.

                    *Edit: the reason I say this is because if you think about what makes nachos a pleasurable eating experience, the texture is really important. The chips must remain crunchy, which is why so many bar nachos fail so terribly - adding meat, beans, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc. is an excellent way to get a pile of soggy chips, where the only good ones can be had by getting some of the perimeter chips that weren't buried under ingredients and scooping the toppings off of the soggy chips in the middle. The fancier approaches advocated here all involve toppings with lots of residual moisture which will leave you with a platter of soggy chips buried under too many toppings.

                    On my visits to El Cholo, before I learned I was lactose intolerant, I'd frequently have a plate of these nachos as my main course because they were so rich and satisfying. The keys are to use high quality ingredients since there are only three of them, to be aggressive in the cheese application, and to ensure sufficient broiler time so the cheese gets bubbly and slightly browned.

                    When these are done properly it's an indulgent textural experience.

                    You can read more about the history of the dish here:
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nachos

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Josh

                      So serve the beans, salsa, guacamole and sour cream on the side. We know pizza has its origins about a thousand years ago, yet the addition of cheese to pizza occurred less than 200 years ago. Should we shun pizza with cheese because it's not the "original incarnation"? Personally, I think someone looking for a "tasty colorful veggie nacho recipe" would be well-served by adopting almost any of the suggestions mentioned above.

                      1. re: Jetgirly

                        I don't think that's analogous at all given that what defines pizza is the crust, not what's on top of it. Consider the many cheese-less and/or sauceless variations of pizza that exist, not to mention the other regional variations like the French pissaladiere that features neither cheese nor tomato.

                        I'm well aware that in the years since the 1940s many people have redefined nachos using the typically American more-is-more approach, but I have yet to try one of these renditions that doesn't suck.

                      2. re: Josh

                        I understand your position, but I actually adore the soggy nachos that end up near the bottom of an overloaded pile. Not sure why, but I love them!!

                      3. I just have to say I liked your title. Succinct and to the point. 8^)

                        1. thanks to everyone! appreciate the conversation and tips.

                            1. Loads of hate for the sweet potatoes. I guess I interpreted the questions as sort of "entrée" nachos. True, the first ever dish of nachos was a small plate dish but I assumed the original poster didn't need a recipe for those, or a culinary history lesson. I've had various types of vegetarian nachos, and roasted or sautéed veggies can take the place of a heartier (meat) ingredient quite well.

                              Far be it from me to correct the OP's interpretation of nachos, but perhaps Mj meant what can be colloquially called "nachos grande."

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: charlesbois

                                They did say the word "colorful," which to me indicated something besides just cheese and chips.

                                1. re: charlesbois

                                  No offense was intended, but sometimes a little culinary history is in order given the proliferation of ahistorical versions of a dish. I would hazard a guess that unless you live in the southwest the odds are probably very high that an encounter with authentic nachos would be pretty rare. And even then, they're easy to screw up. My dad's affinity for the El Cholo nachos wasn't great enough for him to be able to reproduce the dish at home. His version of them involved dumping a pile of cheese on some chips with a barely-drained tin of Ortega chilies on top, baked at 350. Repulsive.

                                  I don't think what you proffered sounds bad, but I would consider putting something on the chips prior to the beans to help them retain their crunch.

                                2. I thought nachos were already vegetarian?????

                                  1. Basic nachos - chips, cheese, guacamole, chopped onions and pica de gallo. Refried beans or whole black beans are nice too. Maybe some olives.

                                    For 30 year olds, since they are closer to "being over the hill", you might want to use soft foods to protect their brittle teeth. Also change some ingredients, such as, using bottled Salsa (reduces risk of heart burn), refried beans (without lard - less sat fats) and low fat cheese. You can also dust the nachos with powdered antacids and lipitor. :-)

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: dave_c

                                      Dave, the only reason I have been following this thread is to see if anyone would mention the "for 30 year olds" . At first I thought it was a mistake and it was meant to say "for 3 year olds" which would make more since. Maybe making nachos for a 3 year old birthday party?

                                      If indeed it is meant to say 30 year olds wouldn't just using adults fit the description? heehee

                                      1. re: pagesinthesun

                                        I only clicked over to this thread to see why the OP included the "for 30 year olds" in the title. When there was no reference to that in the body of the request, I also thought it might have been a typo instead of 3 year olds... I'm still waiting to find out why that was a significant piece of info to include in the title!

                                        1. re: calmossimo

                                          I assume they were looking for something beyond bar food--maybe more sophisticated? I was wondering as well :)

                                      2. One on my friends uses quinoa instead do
                                        Meat and it is delicious

                                        1. You can google recipes for Greek Nachos. There are lots of variations out there and most are vegetarian.