Monday, March 5, 2012

Nacho Recipe Makeover

The first week of National Nutrition Month has flown by! Did you make something nutritious and delicious? Morgan and I did! :)

Yesterday I had a craving for nachos but didn't want to go out and get greasy high fat nachos most restaurants sell. I decided to make a healthier version at home. I should note that typically I don't eat or serve up nachos like normal people, I end up making a bowl and crumbling chips on top or eating them on the side, so that's what my meal looked like. For this particular recipe I decided to keep the vegetables pretty chunky and only lightly seasoned so I could use them to make a fajita or omlete or pasta sauce later in the week if I got sick of nachos. I also used ground chicken breast instead of ground beef, note I've also made these using ground bison meat (very tasty). Using bison or ground chicken will cut the amount of saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat found in typical ground beef nachos while still uping the protein value. You could easily make these vegetarian by using texturixed vegetable protein (TVP), tofu crumbles, or beans. This is the kind of recipe you want to take with a grain of salt, adapt it as you'd like, it's very versatile!

The Breakdown of Nacho making:

The ground chicken:
-1 lb of ground chicken breast
-1 tsp of ground cumin
-1 tsp of garlic powder or fresh chopped garlic (I was out so I used the powdered stuff)
-salt to taste *I typically under salt so you'll want to adjust to your taste buds
-1/2 tsp of chili powder
-1/2  fresh lime squeezed

Spray your non stick pan with cooking spray or olive oil (I used my Misto) and let ground chicken cook up. This takes about 10 minutes. It will look something like this...

The Veggies:
-1 red bell pepper (go organic if you can, these are on the dirty dozen)
-1 green bell pepper (go organic if you can, these are on the dirty dozen)
-1/2 large red onion
-1 pint of baby bella mushrooms
-dash of salt
-1/2 tsp garlic
-1/2 fresh lime squeezed

Spray down your pan with pam or your misto to prevent veggies from sticking. Dice up all veggies, I kept my chunky, but you can make them smaller.Start by adding the onions and seasoning, stir until onions start to become translucent then add other vegetables (they cook more quickly).
Look at all those colors! We've got Red, Green, White, and Purple (since red onions are really purple)

The Toppings:
-Fat free greek yogurt (instead of sour cream)
-Reduced fat cheese (any kind you like)
-Fresh cilantro
-Hot sauce (I can't get enough of it)
-Diced jalapenos
-Salsa (my favorite is Frontera brand)
-Baked tortilla chips

When your nacho bowl is all done it'll look something like this!
This meal is quick and easy to prepare, you can also use the ingredients to make fajitas, burritos, a mexican style lasagna or even spicy omletes/frittatas. I know Morgan mentioned this before but we are both greek yogurt fans. I really don't think there's anything you can't top with greek yogurt. The tangy flavor is perfect as a substitute for sour cream and it packs a protein punch. Not to mention greek yogurt is a great source of calcium and probiotics (these are gut friendly bacteria that we all need). The avocado adds some heart healthy fats and wonderful flavor. Also use a little fresh lime juice to really bring the flavors to life! You could most definitely layer the chips and top them with low fat cheese along with the other ingredients to make a more traditional looking nacho dish but I love the bowl!

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