In my opinion, both Mexican and Italian cuisine are the best options when going meatless. Freshly made guacamole with lemon juice, parsley and garlic add so much flavor to Mexican dishes that you don’t need to pile on calories for taste. If using the store bough kind, freshen up the recipe with the ingredients I mentioned above. Now…in terms of health, I’ve posted before on good fats you can obtain from the avocado. But did you know that black beans are a heart healthy food? They are rich in folate, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants. Which can help you control both cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. And cayenne chili powder – well some studies have shown that adding a dash of this powder to your meals can help prevent insulin spikes afterwards. Which can help you prevent developing diabetes type II in the long haul. However if you are diabetic try adding cayenne powder to smoothies, poultry or fish, soups, salad dressings..you name it! Did you notice that this dish is also gluten-free? Now I do not regularly eat a gluten free diet but I do like to incorporate some gluten free dishes into my diet just to add variety. My family has a long history of developing food allergies or intolerance after they eat too much of the same thing…so just in case…I like to mix it up. I will write a post on food allergies soon because autoimmune diseases and allergies are becoming more common in our society and it is important to asses the root of all of this.
Yield: 2-3 portions
1 (15.50z) can of black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup coarsely chopped bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
1 tsp olive oil
dash of cayenne chili pepper – to add spice/hotness to the dish
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt, add more if desired
gluten free yellow or black corn chips
2 tbsp sharp yellow cheddar cheese, optional
reduced fat sour cream, optional
GUACAMOLE – use the store bought kind or make it yourself – for my recipe click here.
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. PREPPING THE BLACK BEANS:
Saute the onions, peppers, half of the parsley and garlic n the olive oil for 2-3 minutes at medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp of water so the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the beans and mix well. Remove from the heat. Add the seasonings and toss well. Adjust by adding more salt or cayenne (to make it spicier).
3. NACHO ASSEMBLY:
Place 2 oven safe dishes on top of a cookie sheet. Distribute nachos between the plates. Now add a dollop of guacamole on top of each nacho layer.
Add a scoop of the black beans.
Finish off by adding 1 tbsp of sharp cheddar per plate or skip this step and keep the dish vegan.
4. Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. CAUTION: the dishes will be very hot – use mittens to remove the cookie the sheet & plates from the oven.
Remember to keep this dish healthy – control your portions!! You can use real cheese instead of the diet kind if you use it in small quantities. But if you prefer you can also use the reduced fat version. However, a small amount of real sharp cheddar cheese can really boost the flavor of this dish.