From the Kitchens of Cheesecake Farms
Everyone has a favorite nacho recipe and here's mine.
It's extra easy and you can mix or match the ingredients however you like.
Start by putting a layer of restaurant style tortilla chips in the bottom of your pan then the sky's the limit!
All ingredients are approximate. Use more or less as you like.
Don't like a particular ingredient? Leave it out.
Make sure you have plates and forks for these nachos.
Makes 1 (9 X 13 inch) pan
1/2 (13.5 oz) bag restaurant style tortilla chips
1/2 pound ground beef (or vegetarian ground beef - cooked, drained and crumbled) or sausage
1 (16 oz) jar marinated artichokes (drained, reserving juice)
2 (15 to 16 oz) can light red kidney beans (drained, rinsed and drained again)
1 cup corn (fresh and cut from the cob, frozen and thawed or canned and drained)
1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (drained)
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno pepper rings and 2 tablespoons juice (to taste - optional)
8 oz sour cream (reduced fat or fat free not recommended)
3 to 4 oz easy melting cheese (like Velveeta - cut into 3/8 inch cubes)
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup lemon juice (bottled is OK)
2 cups shredded ice berg lettuce
1/2 cup ranch dressing (or to taste)
1 (2 .25 oz) can sliced black olives (drained)
Position oven rack so nachos will bake in center. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat pan with cooking spray.Place a layer of tortilla chips into the pan. Top with ground beef.
Mash beans and mix with juice from the marinated artichokes until it makes a consistency similar to refried beans. Dollop mixture over beef.
Top with artichokes (and any remaining juice), corn, drained tomatoes, and if desired, optional pickled jalapeno rings with juice.
Dollop sour cream over all. Sprinkle cheese over top.
Bake in a preheated oven about 20 minutes or until toppings are hot and cheese has melted. (Chips will not feel hot.)
While nachos are heating, cut avocado. Remove pit and scoop out pulp. Mash pulp with a fork and mix with lemon juice. Dollop over hot nachos and sprinkle with lettuce. Drizzle ranch dressing over all and sprinkle with olives. Serve hot. YUM!!!
Think nachos are fattening?
They are but minimize the damage by using baked tortilla chips instead of regular. With all the toppings, you'll never know the difference.
Other tricks to curb the blimp monster:
1. Skip the refried beans (they're loaded with fat) and use plain, mashed beans instead.
2. Use fresh, ripe, mashed avocados mixed with lemon juice instead of prepared guacamole. You'll save a ton of fat and calories. Add lemon juice till you get the consistency you like.
3. Use real sour cream - not fat free or reduced fat. OK, real sour cream has a lot of fat but a little goes a long way in adding good taste and creamy-ness that the fat free or reduced fat can't match. Also, fat free or reduced fat sour cream are higher in carbs.
4. Pump up the volume of your nachos by adding a low cal veggies to the mix - like lightly steamed broccoli, zucchini, carrots, corn or yellow squash. Shredded lettuce works well, too, to lighten the caloric load.
5. Use an easy melting cheese like Velveeta. It melts better so it goes farther and tastes cheesy-ier than cheddar. You'll actually need less for the same taste effect.