I rarely make nachos. But when I do I go all in - fully loaded style. Melty orange vegan cheese, hearty layer of black beans, cashew sour cream, fresh avocado, vegan taco crumbles, jalapenos, tomatoes, cilantro and zesty diced red onion. And with Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, you have every reason to hop to the store and fill your cart with nacho fiesta ingredients. And my Citrus Daiquiri on the side..
Pie Tin Nachos. The best nachos I had as a kid were served at this little hole in the wall spot in Santa Cruz Cali. They served blue corn chip nachos loaded with cheese, beans, veggie toppings and then baked in the oven until the edges of the chips were black-charred and crisp. They baked and served those hot plate nachos in a pie tin. And since then I always prefer to serve my nachos in a shiny rustic pie tin. I simply haven't found a better serving vessel for hot, oven-bubbly nachos.
Serve with a Citrus Daiquiri - (plus many more Cinco de Mayo recipes here!)..
Nachos are FUN! Total party food. I think it may be impossible to be grumpy with a perky, cheerful platter of colorful nachos in front of you.
You can get fancy or keep it simple. Just pile on the toppings and serve. I like to quickly bake (about ten minutes 400 degrees) my chips + cheese + jalapeno slices (the cheese melts and the chips toast up all warm and crisp - the fresh jalapeno softens and adds a spicy aroma.) Then I pull my warm pie tin of chips from the oven and add the remaining toppings over top.
Hot/Cold. The oven-fresh pie platter, cheesy chips, taco crumbles and beans will all be warm to hot. The veggies, sour cream, avocado and such will be chilled or room temperature - so when you bite into those fresh nachos you get a perfect hot and cold sensation. Crunchy warm chips topped with melty cheese and cool vibrant veggies. As you eat, the flavors and textures change as the hot and cold mesh to a soft nacho cheesy warmth. The moisture penetrates the chips and they get kinda soft, soggy and melted - but in a cozy-good, I may need a fork to devour all this goodness - sort of way.
Here are my ingredient details for making vegan nachos...
Easy: canned black beans.
More Time: dried beans, soaked overnight, then simmered with spices, garlic and onion. Recipe below..
Easy Black Beans
1 1/2 cups soaked dried black beans (soak overnight)
1 cup veggie broth
2 tsp safflower oil
1/4 cup onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp spices: chipotle, chili powder, onion - customize..
optional: a few dashes liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, cilantro, bell pepper..
Simmer the beans with the ingredients until tender. Add more broth if needed.
Grab your favorite bag. Blue corn, multigrain, white corn, baked..
You could also use chopped corn tortillas for a less "fried" nacho platter.
Probably the most important aspect of nachos is the vegan cheese. You can go with Daiya's pepperjack flavor. Follow Your Heart's Nacho flavor. Teese's Nacho flavor. I used Teese in my nachos today - LOVED it - this was my first time trying. It really melted well for nacho-style cheese)..
OR you could make your own cheese - which is pretty awesome. Make your own cashew nacho cheese sauce, as seen in my -> Ball Park Nachos recipe photos and link.
Jalapeno, avocado, onion, olives, tomato, cilantro, corn... this is the fun part where you can add any veggies you crave.
Veggie Taco Crumbles.
These are optional - but nice because they add lots of flavor and a nice dose of vegan protein. There are a few brands available now I used Wildwood's taco crumbles. Loved them!
You could also make your own taco crumbles using either tofu or tempeh - some Mexican spices, a splash of liquid smoke and a splash of oil. Simply crumble and saute over high heat just as you would a tofu scramble. Marinate the protein before sauteing for more flavor. Chopped chipotle in adobo sauce, dried chipotle powder or diced jalapeno will bring some heat to your crumble mixture.
You could easily grab a container of vegan pre-made sour cream. Tofutti and Follow Your Heart have options. Or you could make your own cashew or silken tofu based sour cream. My recipe below..
Cashew Sour Cream
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1/2 cup silken tofu
2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice + a pinch of grated zest
3/4 tsp salt
1-2 tsp agave or maple syrup
1 Tbsp walnut oil (or another oil)
1/2 cup water (add 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached)
a few dashes spices (garlic powder, pepper, chipotle, chili salt)
2 Tbsp soy creamer, plain flavor (optional - adds creamy richness)
Directions: blend in a high-speed blender - be sure to blend very well - at a high speed - so that you get a creamy smooth sour cream)
Get more vegan nacho inspiration on Family Kitchen: How-to Veganize Your Nachos