This is a salad. Actually, this is four salads. At least, that is what I would have told you this was going to be, had you asked me back in May, what was going up on the blog in June: four salads – one for each glorious week of the month of June. That was The Plan. Of course, we’re now in July and all we have is this: Not A Salad (also known as Nachos).
There are probably a few questions going through your head right now, such as:
- So you do make vaguely healthy stuff?
- Do all your plans turn out this way? and
- Why on earth would you make salads in the middle of the freakin’, freezing winter?
I’m just going to loftily ignore that first question, though one can understand how posts to date (cookies, pasta, milkshakes, pizza, etc) may give the impression that I struggle with healthy food such as vegetables and fruit. As for the second question, just imagine what a better world it would be, if all waylaid plans ended in nachos – Mary Queen of Scots would have kept her head, Burke & Wills would have made it back, and …. you get the picture. Think about it, world history disasters … nachos.
As for the last question, there is a very good reason why I was planning to eat a lot of salads in winter. You see, June is my birthmonth. You heard me, not birthDAY, but birthMONTH. I’m old enough to admit that the how and why of this self-indulgent month long celebration, is lost in the mists of time. All we know, is that this has been around long enough for everyone to acknowledge that all of June = time to celebrate.
And when I say ‘celebrate’, I mean ‘eat lots of food with me’. June is the month when I get to eat ridiculous amounts of ridiculously delicious food at every possible opportunity, with those who are nearest and dearest to me. The consequence of all this ‘celebrating’ is that I fit into far less clothes at the end of the month, than I did at the start of the month. Hence the need for salads. The idea was that on the nights when we weren’t out with loved ones, stuffing our faces with roti and cake and pasta, that we would be at home munching on salads. I’m looking forward to testing out this plan in 2016.
There are a few
excuses reasons why The Plan didn’t quite work out this year. To begin with, these nachos were supposed to go up on the blog in May. We tested them on both our mums on Mother’s Day, and the majority of the photos were ready shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, I then spent the last two weeks of May battling the Most Horrendous Cold Ever – we won’t go into the details of the myriad ways in which this cold messed with me (this is a food blog after all), suffice to say that I wasn’t really in the mood for writing.
Then we hit June, and June hit back with a list of Awesome Events:
- We appeared in The Bank of Melbourne’s #socialfeeds cookbook! I entered our second ever recipe into their competition on a whim, and still can’t work out how we were selected, unless it’s because all the other good home cooks had already appeared in Masterchef. Suffice to say that I insisted we celebrate by eating out. (We’re on page 17, just in case you were wondering).
- I got a new job!! I need a whole other blog to explain how frigging awesome this event is – of course, we ‘celebrated’.
- Louis and I celebrated six years together!!! One of us deserves some sort of endurance/bravery award for sticking it out this long – probably Louis.
- After six years together, Louis and I finally booked a holiday away together!!!! A week off between jobs was too good an opportunity to miss. So we bit the bullet, and after considering far flung parts of Australia, the LOTR geeks in us took over and we selected
Middle EarthNew Zealand as the location for our first joint foray into the wider world.
- It actually was my birthday!!!!! Il Solito Posto, Tonka, Chin Chin, Nuevo Latino – should I go on?
So, in short, I was just way too excited and having way too much fun, to sit down and be productive during June.
In spite of all the eating out, Louis’ BGLs weren’t too bad. It was certainly better than last Christmas. I don’t know if being vegetarian helps him, but he seems to have gotten pretty good at ordering off the menu, and I’ve learned not to ask ten millions times if he is sure he doesn’t want dessert. And yes, I did make some salads, they just haven’t been ‘fluffed’ for the blog yet. So here we are, July and Nachos.
I love nachos. Dripping with cheese, packed with guacamole, smothered in sour cream – and completely unfriendly to diabetics and anyone with a remote interest in being healthy. I can’t bring myself to completely give up nachos, so I’ve come up with this version. I’ve had to give up the sour cream. (*cries* Though really this is a good thing. Louis has always politely declined the sour cream, which means I’ve been eating a whole carton of sour cream by myself whenever we have nachos. Like I said, it’s a good thing I’m giving it up.) And you probably think the recipe below has close to noooooo cheese. However, it is just enough to get a bit of cheese on nearly every corn chip.
This brings me to my next point. In my perfect world, when you eat nachos, every single corn chip has a bit of every single topping on it. Actually, in my perfect world, nachos would be prepared and served as canapés. A single corn chip, with the perfect amount of topping on each one. Really, why is this not a thing at those fancy gatherings? I don’t have time to do this in the real world, so just settle for sprinkling the cheese around semi-haphazardly/ pedantically trying to get it on every corn chip.
And finally, I’ve added refried beans because my Mexican friend Fernando told me to. Which probably makes this as Mexican, as lemon chicken is Chinese. Enjoy!
Per Serve: 2220 kJ, 531 Calories, 2.7 exchanges
- 400g sweet snacking tomatoes
- 1 medium red onion (approx. 100g)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 packet Avo Fresh Avocado
- 200g corn chips
- half a tin of refried beans (approx. 220g)
- 150g grated light cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius (fan-forced).
- To make the salsa, chop the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Finely chop the onion. In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt & pepper.
- Line four small trays (or one large tray) with baking paper. Spread the corn chips out on the tray/s, in as thin a layer as you can. Spoon dollops of the refried beans across the corn chips. Sprinkle over the grated cheese. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
- While the corn chips are baking, make the “guacamole”. Open up the Avo Fresh pack and transfer to a small bowl. Drain the juices from the salsa into the bowl with the avocado. Add a heaped tablespoon of the salsa to the avocado and mix well. Season with salt & pepper.
- Take the trays out of the oven. If using four separate trays, this is when I transfer them to plates. Otherwise, if using a single large tray, I just put it straight on a wooden block in the middle of our dining table.
- Spoon on the guacamole, and then the salsa, evenly across all the corn chips.
- Put on your party hat, and eat with gusto!
- Ingredient Variations
- I am like the Goldilocks of the avocado world, except that I never get a happy ending. Whenever I buy an avocado, it is either too hard, or too soft – it is never just right. Which is why I buy avocado in packets. If you are more Bear than Goldilocks, feel free to replace the Avo Fresh with two actual fresh avocados.