Friday, May 18, 2007

Black Bean & Vegan Cheese Nachos

Today's lunchbox was really easy to put together. That's good too, because I had plans yesterday evening and didn't want to spend a whole lot of time cooking and worrying about the next day's lunch. With all of the Mexican cooking over the last few days, I had lots of leftovers stored in the fridge. So it was no trouble at all to go through and combine a few of those items to create some delicious Black Bean & Vegan Cheese Nachos.

In fact, everything in the lunchbox is a leftover from the previous couple of days worth of cooking, except for the tortilla chips. Just move your pointer over each item in the lunchbox and text boxes will pop up and tell you what each item is. You might remember a while back when I brought some nachos for lunch and I had a hard time locating baked tortilla chips here where I live. I don't know what it was, but for some reason, none of the local stores that I checked had any baked tortilla chips, so I ended up getting fried ones last time. This time, however, I took matters into my own hands and baked my own tortilla chips. That way, I can cut the fat, to help me with my weight loss, plus they taste a hundred times better anyway when you make them yourself.

All I did was spray a cookie sheet with some canola oil and then use a pizza cutter to cut corn tortillas into little triangle shapes. I normally just cut them into fourths, but since these were for the lunchbox, where space is valuable, I made them a little bit smaller by cutting the tortillas into six pieces. Then I just placed all of those little triangles on the cookie sheet and sprayed the tops of them with a little more canola oil. A quick dusting of salt and they were ready for the oven. I like to use big chunky salt on my chips, it just seems to taste so much better. And not surprisingly, the best salt I've found to sprinkle on my homemade tortilla chips is coarse margarita salt. I just bake the chips in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes or so. Just watch them until they get nice and brown and crispy. Be careful not to burn them because they can burn on you pretty quickly.

These homemade chips taste so much better than storebought, and they are so much healthier.

So that's really it for Friday's lunchbox. That was one of the easiest lunches I've packed since almost everything was a leftover from a previous day's cooking. That's one of the things I like about Mexican food, with just a few different ingredients you can combine them in all kinds of ways to make different dishes. And speaking of Mexican dishes, I FINALLY finished that Cheesy Bean & Cheese Enchilada Casserole last night. Geez, I ate on that thing for DAYS. It was good though, and I'll definitely be making it again. And that vegan cheese sauce from that recipe is my current favorite vegan cheese replacement. It's so easy to make, and so yummy. I do like to add a little extra salt to it though, and a little bit of salsa to make it turn orange in color so it looks more like cheese sauce.

Well, thanks for reading the blog this week. See everybody on Monday.

Have a great weekend!


Brooke said...

I love making homemade tortilla chips, and I like your idea of using margarita salt. Your nachos look tasty!

Maria said...

You've had some mouth-watering food on here this past week! I wanted to let you know I made the cheesy black bean enchiladas last night and they were a bit hit here at my house!