They are one of my favorite foods in the world. I’m not talking about the convenience store nachos. You know, the kind where it’s a small plastic tray of stale corn chips and a blob of liquid cheese on the side, sometimes topped with jalepenos.
Honestly, those convenience store nachos are what started my love of nachos years ago. It was considered a treat for me because we didn’t make them at home, and we rarely got out to the big city (not really big in hindsight, but for a kid a city of 30K people was the big city). When we did go out to the city, my mom let me grab a snack at the food court. This was back in the time when K-Mart was our go to shopping stop, and food courts in the big box stores was a new, novel thing (again, for the kid in me, who knows how long those existed before they caught on in our local small cities).
Now my tastes go to nachos with the works. Melted cheese, piled high with toppings galore! Some restaurants even make specialty nachos. I’m all for those too! BBQ nachos, Asian nachos, how about Pizza nachos? It seems that anything can be made into nachos these days. My favorite will always be the traditional works type Mexican nachos. Taco meat, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, black olives, yum!
A while back I wanted to do a healthier version of nachos. Sometimes the chips were too salty, too stale or got too soggy with my mountain of toppings. Above all, I wanted the same deliciousness without the chips. Something I wouldn’t feel guilty on if I indulged just a bit too much.
After a bit of thinking I realized I could use red peppers in place of the chips! I just needed to cut them into bigger chunks that could support the toppings. It was genius! Then, to make them healthier I could always cut back or eliminate the cheese and sour cream. The gears were turning and I knew I was on to something!
- Taco meat (I used this homemade seasoning recipe with a pound of hamburger)
- 1 or 2 red bell peppers cut into large chunks
- 1/2 avocado diced
- 4 or 5 black olives, sliced
- 1 or 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
- shredded cheese to taste
- a dollup of sour cream
- cilantro for garnish (optional)
Put the bell pepper in the bowl and space it out, then top with taco meat. I try to get the taco meat in between the chunks of pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and other toppings, and enjoy!
You can use other bell pepper colors in this, however red bell peppers are my favorite because they seem to be the sweetest to me. Experiment and find your favorite.
If you’d like to make this Paleo, don’t add sour cream, cheese or beans. Simple as that.
If you want this to be vegetarian, just add in refried or black beans in place of the meat, and season them with the taco seasoning. Use vegan dairy products or omit the cheese and sour cream if you do not eat dairy.
For a more melted dish, add ingredients to an oven safe dish and broil for a few minutes to melt the cheese (not too long, you’re not crisping chips remember!)
- black beans
- refried beans
- green pepper
- taco sauce
- Sriracha sauce (because it’s delicious!)
- shredded chicken
- shreddded pork
- shredded steak
- cooked shrimp (if you like the seafood style)
What are your favorite nacho toppings? Tell me in the comments.