This is how I throw down Mexican appies. That's right, it's plant nachos with soyrizo completely vegan and gluten-free inspired by Thug Kitchen's post about Roasted Strawberry Salad. Oh yes, that gooey melted cheese you see on the nachos is vegan. I call it Vegveeta because it kinda looks like and has the consistency of Velveeta minus all the artificial crap.
But before I get to the recipe....
I really admire the thug in the kitchen and Ron Finley the garden gangster in South Central Los Angeles. These two are connecting to people about healthy eating on a more REAL level. Yes, it would be awesome to be able to eat like GOOP, but when I say REAL, I'm talking about those who have to try eating healthy living in the hood, the burbs, where Walmart is your grocery store or where your family food gatherings usually consist of processed meat, wheat, fat, sugar, and more plates of meat, wheat, fat and sugar drowned in sauce. Sorry Lola, I love you, but your food is making me no bueno.
One of the most inspiring TED Talks about food and community you'll ever see is by Ron the founder of L.A. Green Grounds. You MUST watch his 10 minute talk! Ron is leading a transformation of South Central Los Angeles creating edible gardens for the community because drive-thrus are killing more people than drive-bys in his neighborhood.
He talks about making gardening sexy, creating gangster gardeners, and ecolutionaries. Plant some shit!
I love it!
And over at Thug Kitchen which before I go anywhere else, major kudos for winning Saveur magazine's Best New Food Blog 2013. Eat like you give a fuck! Thug Kitchen is all about plant-based eating and is one of the most hilariously fun blogs I have ever seen. You must follow!
Last week, Thug Kitchen did a post about Roasted Strawberry Salad which he said is like eating plant nachos. hmmm, plant nachos, I thought to myself. So, I created some made mostly from ingredients I found at the farmers market or stuff that could easily be grown in your own garden.
Yes, we're going from farm to fuck yeah!
For the "chips," I found these cute organic hearts of little gems that were in a perfect shape for scooping toppings. Plus, they were pre-cut and pre-washed ready to go.
Also from the farmers market is organic cilantro, heirloom tomato, mango to make mango salsa, and chopped red and green onions.
The rest of my plant nachos are topped with black olives, black beans, and Trader Joe's soyrizo which is one of the best chorizo alternatives I've ever tried.
But the BEST part is the Vegveeta. In the photo, I had already poured on a bunch onto my plant nachos, and this is what was left in the pan. Oh how it was ooey, goeey, cheesy goodness! I was so happy. Now mind you, this Vegveeta is not healthy just because it's vegan and gluten-free. It's loaded with fat and calories so treat it as a decadent food to be partaken on occasion. But seriously, we can have Queso again and that made me squee.
I don't have an exact recipe right now because I basically made this up on the fly and it came out way beyond my expectations. That always happens huh? You come up with something amazing and then don't remember the exact steps. Instead of waiting to do a proper recipe, I thought I'd share anyway.
To start, here's the ingredients with sort of what I did to make enough for about 3/4 cup:
- Daiya Cheddar Wedge
- Daiya Pepperjack Shreds
- Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread
- Coconut flour (you could use regular flour or gluten-free flour. I used coconut because I had it in the pantry)
- Rice milk (or any dairy-free milk. I like rice because it has no distinct flavor)
- Small can of Trader Joe's chopped green chiles
- Chopped heirloom tomato
- Chopped white onion
In a small sauce pan over low-medium heat, not too hot, I melted the Earth Balance and sauteed the onion, about 1 tbsp of green chile, and tomato together until the onion was soft. I then stirred in about 2 tbsps of rice milk.
I added about a 1" thick piece of the Cheddar wedge which I chopped up into smaller pieces to melt faster. Then I added about a handful of the pepperjack in along with another one tbsp of rice milk, and stirred the cheese until it started to melt.
The key was to keep stirring the cheese and slowly folding in a tbsp of rice milk here and there until you get the consistency you want. My arm got a good workout doing so much stirring. The cheese will start getting thick as you stir and that's when you add in another tbsp of rice milk to soften it up. I probably did the stir-fold-in process about 3-4 times. I added the coconut flour in after the second stir-in-fold.
My folks tried the Vegveeta and they were honestly surprised it wasn't real cheese. Oh yes, I am seeing a Mac and Vegveeta experiment in the future. For now, plant nachos FTW!