Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Black Bean & Vegan Cheese Nachos

Well, I was back in the kitchen yesterday evening trying another one of Joanna's test recipes for her upcoming cookbook. I've been looking for a while for a good vegan "cheese" sauce for nachos because all of the ones that I have tried so far from my cookbooks have seemed to be a little lacking. Everything else that I've made from Joanna's tester recipes has been really good, so I assumed that her cheese sauce probably was too. I'm happy to report that it IS indeed good, and it's now on my official list of things that I will be making all the time from this point forward. I'm not sure why I like this so much better than other vegan cheese sauces that I have made, but I do. Maybe it's just that my tastes have changed enough since becoming vegan that I actually LOVE nutritional yeast now, or maybe it's just that Joanna is magic. Who knows.

I also whipped up a nice big skillet full of a double batch of her Refried Black Beans, which are also one of my favorite things to eat now. Then I just threw both of those things together with some Tortilla Chips and some Jalapeno Peppers and TA-DAH! Black Bean & Vegan Cheese Nachos. I packed everything separately in the lunch box, of course, but when I tested this out at home last night I just piled it all in one big pile in a bowl and dug in. DELICIOUS!

There's no fat at all added to the Cheese Sauce or the Refried Black Beans, so they're super duper healthy. The Tortilla Chips, however, were a bit of a problem. I wanted to get some baked ones, to try and save some calories on the fat, but there wasn't a single bag of baked tortilla chips at the grocery store that I go to. There was a bag that was cooked in Olestra, which I like, but they were HUGE triangular chips and wouldn't fit in the lunchbox very well at all. So I ended up buying just regular old Tostitos, in the little round version. Since they're fried, they, of course, have more fat in them than I would like. A serving is only 140 calories though, and there's 24 chips in a serving (that's a whole serving in the lunchbox). So when you consider that, plus the fact that everything else in the lunchbox is really quite healthy, then I guess it's not too bad for someone trying to lose some pounds. Well, it could be worse.

When I tasted the cheese sauce last night and realized that I really liked it, I couldn't help but feel like I had tasted it somewhere before. Then it finally dawned on me. It tasted just like the cheesy stuff in that Macaroni & Cheese that I brought a while back using the New Farm Cookbook recipe that was posted in a thread over at The PPK. That was the most delicious vegan Macaroni & Cheese that I have ever made, but it was FULL of fat. This Cheese Sauce that I brought today is FAT FREE and tastes just as good. So I think, from now on, if I want Macaroni & Cheese, I will probably just whip up some of Joanna's Cheese Sauce and stir IT up in macaroni and skip all that fat in the other recipe. I'll try that someday soon and bring it in the lunchbox.

It's absolutely BEAUTIFUL here today outside, so we made sure that we got our walking in during lunch.

And I can't wait until either tomorrow or Friday to go out and eat for lunch so I can show you all something new that I discovered in one of my favorite local restaurants. Of course, we don't have any exclusively vegan, or even vegetarian, restaurants right here where I live, but as you can see in some of my previous posts, there are are certain places where it's easier to eat vegan than in your typical fast food joint. I'm excited about posting about this delicious new dish that I found and I'll share it with you in a day or so.

So that does it for Wednesday's lunch. I LOVE nachos, and I used to eat WAY too much of them when I was an omnivore. This is actually the first vegan version that I have made that I really liked, so I am definitely going to have to be careful and not allow myself to pig out on these all the time and blow my diet. Of course, if I were to use the Light version of the chips, fried in Olestra, then I could significantly lower the calorie count, but it would still be calories, and I have a very hard time making myself stop eating nachos when there are still plenty left. Thank goodness for the lunchbox controlling my portions today or I probably would have been too stuffed to even get up and go for a walk. HA!

So thanks for stopping by today and I'll see everybody tomorrow! Adios!


Courtney said...

Yum! That cheese sounds great! When is her book coming out--I want the recipe!


kennyboy said...

I think she said that she is testing until June, so probably soon after that.

I think she plans on giving updates about it, and when it'll be out, on it at her website

She's started posting some of the recipes on there too!


Mary said...

I'm so glad you're back! I was avidly reading your blog, then you had stop posting. I forgot about it until I found it on someone else's blog. Welcome back!

Have you read the book Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Furhman? If you'll looking to lose weight, his book is sound advice. And he understands what a vegan diet is and has a plan for that.

Love looking at your lunches!

NightOwl said...

I want to try all of Joanna's recipes too! They look awesome! Those nachos look to die for. YUM! I loooove nachos.
I probably shouldn't have looked at your blog today, considering I'm having my once weekly "fruit and veg day" which is a semi-fast of sorts. But now I have something to look forward to making, so thanks Ken!

kennyboy said...

That's a good idea nightowl, to do that once a week, or at least more often than I do. I think I've only had one or two exclusively fruit & veg days here in the blog. That's probably something that I should start working on in order to keep the weight loss moving at a decent pace.

Thanks mary! I actually bought that book from his website, but I bought the e-version that you can just download but they were having all kinds of problems with the authorization of the programs that read it so I never could open the thing. I subscribed to his site for a little while too but I got so frustrated not being able to read the book that I finally just abandoned the whole thing.

A guy I work with loves that book though and pretty much follows that type of eating, although he will eat meat every now and then. Not very often though. >_<

I know a little bit about the things he recommends, and I follow some of them, like always using whole wheat pastry flour instead of white, but I would like to know more about it.

I'd still like to read his book. Maybe I'll pick it up on amazon once of these days.


Lady Di said...

You could always make your own nacho chips. I just spray with cooking oil, and salt (sometimes I like to use some Chili Lemon seasoning I found in the mexican section of FoodLion) and bake anywhere from 350-425 degrees until done. Just watch them, they don't take long, and if you bake them at the higher temp, they take even less. I've even made them (about 1 tortilla at a time) in the toaster oven too.

Melanie said...

wow. that cheese looks REALLY good. so far, the cheez sauces i've made have all been closer to brownish rather than good old orangey yellow. color matters to me, it affects my enjoyment. i'm all over that recipe now, will probably make it tomorrow for lunch.

Melanie said...

oops, it wasn't up there. no matter, i'll just wait for her book.

natalief said...

I wish I could find the recipe for that 'cheese' sauce over on Joanna's site via the link you gave but I can't... :(