Back in June, I traveled down to New Orleans to work with Laura on a book project. I was fortunate enough to stay in her home during my visit. We spent some great evenings in the kitchen preparing meals. I’m sure you can guess that two food bloggers in the kitchen, just about always adds up to goodness. However, it wasn’t the recipes that blew me away (although everything we ate was amazing), it was the way she made use of everything she had on hand. Even the smallest amount of left over ingredients from a recipe was saved to be used for another. It was an incredibly simple idea, and I loved seeing how she did it. Nothing wasted, everything used.
I came across this idea again when I participated in a summer book group that read the book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. A book by Jen Hatmaker, she writes of her personal experiment to eliminate the excess in her life, using what she had to live more simply. She choses 7 categories to focus on, giving each it’s own month…Food, clothes, spending, waste, media, possessions, stress. Nothing wasted, everything used. If you haven’t read this book, I would definitely recommend it. Although the author admittedly states that parts of her experiment were extreme, the thoughts behind it are inspiring.
That brings us to the recipe (of sorts) for this post…nachos. One of the nights, during my stay with Laura, we had nachos for dinner. She pulled out all the leftover beans, veggies, cheese and chicken from the week’s meals and made the most amazing pan of nachos. Along with tortilla chips she loaded up all the ingredients on a baking sheet, placed it under the broiler and we ate them straight off the pan at the table. Amazing. Since coming home, I’ve made my own version several times for the boys and it is always a hit. Always.
When it comes down to it, this isn’t exactly a recipe. It’s more of a use-up-any-leftovers-in-your-fridge kind of idea and method. This is a great Friday night meal when you need simple and easy after a long week. I’ve been loading our most recent nachos with goods from the garden….fresh corn, poblano peppers, onions and tomatoes. Delish.
- 1 large bag blue corn tortilla chips
- 2 cups shredded cheddar (we use a mild, white cheddar)
- 2 cups black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 cob of corn, cut from the cob
- Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- In a medium skillet, warm olive oil.
- Add corn, poblano pepper, onion, garlic, cumin and paprika.
- Saute until spices are fragrant and onions are translucent.
- Remove from heat.
- Turn on oven's broiler while preparing nachos on baking sheet.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Cover parchment evenly with tortilla chips.
- Distributing evenly, add beans, pepper/onion/corn mixture and top with cheese.
- Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly, remove from oven.
- Top with cherry tomatoes.
- Serve warm.