I don’t think there are many things more satisfying than sitting down on a nice, sunny terrace on a Friday afternoon with a cold beer and a big plate of nachos. What better way to relax after a long week?
It’s usually easy enough to find good vegetarian nachos at most places, but vegan nachos can be a bit more of a challenge. What’s a nacho without the gooey, melted cheese?
Well, the trick is to load them up with all the fresh veggies you can find and making a really easy, spiced-up taco “meat”. There’s so much going on with these veggie nachos that you won’t even notice the cheese is missing.
My taco “meat” is made with TVP, or textured vegetable protein, i.e. soy. TVP is a product that I refused to use for a long time thinking that it was a speciality product that I’d have to go to some hippy-dippy natural food market to find.
Nowadays in Canada you can get it in the bulk foods section of large supermarkets. Too bad I don’t live in Canada anymore. I didn’t think it existed in Spain except in the hippy-dippy organic food markets until I found it in my favorite Asian supermarket (actually my favorite supermarket ever anywhere).
So I finally caved and bought my first package of TVP, and am I ever glad I did.
It turns out that TVP makes really great taco meat and bolognese sauce (I’m sure it’s good for other things too but I haven’t made it that far yet). You could cut corners and get some of that Mexican-style veggie ground round, but by using TVP you can adjust all the flavours and seasonings to your liking.
Plus it’s cheaper. I like it with a bit of cumin, herbs, smoky paprika and chili powder. I’ve been conservative with the chili powder in this recipe, but if you really like it spicy then double it or add a few drops of Tabasco.
So now that you’ve got your smoky, spicy taco “meat”, pack on the veggies. You can use whatever veggies float your boat, for me that means all of them. The more variety of flavours and textures you have the better.
Finally, choose your sauce. If you’re lazy, go the easy route and get a jar of salsa. If you really want the full nacho experience, make some vegan sour cream. In that case, it’s better to plan ahead. The sour cream thickens and develops more flavour if you leave it in the fridge for a couple hours.
If you’re even more ambitious than me, you can also make guacamole to complete the holy trinity of nacho sauces.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- A quarter of a medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 cup TVP
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoky paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bag (200 grams/7 oz) tortilla chips
- A quarter of a red onion, diced
- A quarter of a red pepper, diced
- Two green onions, sliced
- A handful (about 125 grams/4.5 oz) of cherry tomatoes, quartered
- A handful (about 75 grams/2.6 oz) black olives, sliced
- Half an avocado, diced
- Sliced pickled jalapeños (as many as you want)
- Fresh cilantro
- Sauce of choice - salsa, guacamole, vegan sour cream (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine the TVP and water in a small bowl. Fry the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. If your tomato sauce has a lot of water, simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. You can use it right away but it’s better to let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours to thicken and for the flavours to develop.
- Put the tortilla chips on a serving plate and pile high with the taco meat and veggies. Top with some fresh cilantro and serve with your choice of salsa, guacamole and/or vegan sour cream.
This post contains affiliate links which help offset the costs of running this website without any additional cost to you.