Makes 5 servings
Football season … gotta love it! (Well, maybe if your team is doing well?) Football season food … gotta have it! But bench the 1000 calorie nachos and let your tastebuds tackle this playful platter instead. It seems extra cheesy from the orange sweet potato. And it’s extra tasty from the mélange of vibrant ingredients. A cheerful appetizer to cheer on your team … or your favorite reality show star, if you wish. Go Buckeyes! (I know, I know … my team is having a challenging season.)
Calories Saved: 690
8 corn tortillas
1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup “medium” or “hot” salsa or salsa verde
1/4 cup minced (rehydrated) sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
1/4 cup plain fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup homemade or canned organic vegetarian (bean) chili
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded organic extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 small microwave-baked or boiled sweet potato with skin, chilled, and finely diced
1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup cherry tomatoes (preferably mixed colors of heirloom varieties), thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Rub with your fingers (or brush with a silicone pastry brush) the oil onto the entire surface of both sides of the tortillas. Sprinkle with the chili powder. Cut the tortillas into 4 wedges each. Place the tortilla wedges in a single layer onto two large baking sheets. Bake until just crisp, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let finish cooling and crisping on a rack.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
- Add the avocado, 2 tablespoons of the onion, 1 tablespoon of the salsa, 1 tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato, 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, salt, cumin, and juice from 2 of the lime wedges to a small bowl. Gently stir until just combined. Sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato.
- Add the yogurt to a small bowl and stir in the juice of 1 of the lime wedges; set aside.
- Arrange the chips onto an oven-proof platter. Top the chips with the chili, cheese, sweet potato, jalapeño, and remaining sun-dried tomatoes and onion. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 6 minutes.
- Top the warm nachos immediately with the cherry tomatoes and remaining cilantro. Garnish with the remaining lime wedges. Serve with the guacamole, yogurt mixture, and remaining salsa.
300 calories, 14g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 20mg cholesterol, 410mg sodium, 35g total carbohydrate, 7g dietary fiber, 6g sugars, 11g protein
The “Before” Recipe
chili bacon nachos
by Courtney Yablonsky
Makes 2 servings
1/2 cup canola oil
8 corn tortillas, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons diced red onion
1/4 cup salsa
3 tablespoons crumbled bacon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 small lime, cut into 6 wedges
1 cup canned or homemade beef chili
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/4 cup sour cream
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat (the oil should be about 1/2-inch deep). Place about 8 to 10 of the tortilla wedges in the hot oil at a time and cook, turning only as needed, until golden brown. Transfer chips to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add the avocado, 1 tablespoon of the onion, 1 tablespoon salsa, 1 tablespoon of the bacon, and the juice from 2 of the lime wedges to a small bowl. Stir until just combined. Add the salt and pepper to taste and top with 1/2 tablespoon of the bacon.
- Add the chips to an oven-proof plate or skillet. Top the chips with the chili, cheese, jalapeño, remaining onion, and the remaining bacon. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 6 minutes.
- Top the warm nachos with the diced tomato and garnish with the remaining lime wedges. Serve with the bacon guacamole, sour cream, and remaining salsa.
Per serving: 990 calories, 61g total fat, 22g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 115mg cholesterol, 2100mg sodium, 75g total carbohydrate, 13g dietary fiber, 10g sugars, 38g protein
NOTE: Analysis of THE “BEFORE” RECIPE is based on an estimated 3 tablespoons canola oil absorbed during frying process. Also, if you turned this THE “BEFORE” RECIPE into 5 servings instead of 2, it’s still an unhealthful pick: 390 calories, 24g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 45mg cholesterol, 840mg sodium, 30g total carbohydrate, 5g dietary fiber, 4g sugars, 15g protein
- Bake tortilla chips with oil instead of fry in oil to use just the amount of oil needed
- Heighten “heat” to heighten taste
- Boost or add herbs and spices, like fresh cilantro and ground cumin, for more aroma, flavor, and overall appeal
- Sprinkle with sun-dried tomato instead of bacon bits for an intense flavor burst without grease
- Focus on your favorite ingredient, such as adding extra avocado
- Try a higher flavor cheese (think the 3 S’s: sharp, stinky, or smoky) so you can use less while actually boosting flavor
- Keep the creaminess of sour cream by using Greek yogurt; add flavor interest with lime
- Opt for filling plant-based ingredients instead of animal-based ingredients often, such as a bean chili instead of the greasy beefy type
- Go for volume … add veggies when possible; sweet potato provides the appearance of cheese and balances the extra heat with slight sweetness
- Go for color … using a variety of colorful cherry tomatoes creates more eye appeal