Friday, September 23, 2011

Garden Fresh Nachos

I get really excited when I make a meal that is a hit with both of my girls and they are begging for more.   Now  that excitement increases even more when that meal that they are begging for is loaded up with veggie goodness.  Nacho night at the Byrne house last week was one of these nights.  My girls couldn't get enough.   My favorite part was my new vegan, raw nacho cheese I created.  Oh my goodness!!!. So delish!
Who would've known that cashews could make such an amazing 'cheese'.  It's easy, it's cheaper than all those cheese substitutes out there and those of us with a dairy intolerance can enjoy the creamy cheese topping that I've personally missed at times over the years.  I hope you enjoy our new found love!

Vegan Nacho Cheese

1 cup of cashews
½ red pepper
¼ cup water
1 clove garlic
1/2 small onion
2 TBS nutritional yeast
2 TBS fresh Chives
1/4-1/2 tsp Chilli powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Paprika
Sea Salt
Pinch of ground Chipotle

Soak cashews for 2 hours.  Drain and rinse.  If you don't have time to soak cashews or forget sometimes I will just put them in hot water for 10-15 minutes, which helps soften them up and create a creamy texture.
Add cashews and rest of ingredients to blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add more water for a thinner 'cheese' spread. 
You can play with the amount of spices so that it suits your family's personal taste preferences.
This 'cheese' was amazing on nachos but I also did quesadillas for the girls with it and they just loved it! 

 To make nachos, layer tortilla chips of choice on baking sheet or jelly roll pan.  Top with already cooked rice.  Add peppers, onions, green peppers, whatever you have on hand that you feel would go well with your nacho mix.  Add beans...pinto, black beans, refried beans, again what's handy and available.  Top with raw, vegan nacho cheese.  Put in oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until it looks like cheese is melting. 

Then finish off  cooked nachos with your favorite toppings.  I love fresh, homemade salsa which includes a bunch more garden fresh veggies (tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro, garlic).  Add some homemade guacamole or chopped avocado.  Oh my....amazing, delicious goodness that even a 3 year old will be begging for more!

 I wanted to add some greens to mine so I used the toppings and made quite an amazing taco salad over a bed of greens.  Either way you go, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised and how scrumptious this is and how many veggies can be included!


  1. O, what a creation! Good work. I like all the spices and how versatile it could be. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I totally scoffed at Kelli when she told me about this recipe - I take it all back now! I tried it tonight and it's delicious! I agree with Stephanie - it could be super versatile, too. Thanks for sharing!!