I’m not sure how it started, but at some point during our 25+ year friendship, my dear friend Jenny and I became fully obsessed with nachos. If I had to guess, I’d blame Beavis and Butt-Head and the fact that we became friends in the 90s. However it happened, our never-ending pursuit of vegan nachos has led us to a tradition hereby known as Nacho New Year. Every New Year’s Eve, whether we spend it together or not, we eat nachos. So, on the final #FridayFive of 2017, I thought I’d show you how to have a Nacho New Year in just five steps.
How to Have a Happy Nacho New Year:
1. Base It, Nachos Rule
Nachos need a base, otherwise they are just a mess of cheese, sour cream, and random vegetables. Most people opt for tortilla chips, although in my world there are a few other acceptable options. For instance, tater tots. However, if you use tater tots as your base you are required by law to refer to your nachos as totchos. Failure to do so will result in you sucking. If you want to keep it classic, I ask you to please seek out legit tortilla chips and do not buy Tostitos as they are a crime against nature. Nacho cheese and toppings are also a great addition to, well, literally everything. For instance:
- Vegan Taco Lasagna (this is basically just
one huge nacho)
- Nacho Quinoa Casserole
- Nacho Pizza – smother your favorite par-baked crust in nacho cheese, top with black beans and pop into the oven – top it with olives, jalapeños, sour cream, etc and slice
- Nacho Tofu Scramble – make tofu scramble and then pretty much do what I just described for pizza. See how easy this is?
2. Cheese Louise, Nachos Are Swell
I have known two types of nacho lovers, the sauce people and the shreds people. Shreds people top their chips with shredded cheese (Follow Your Heart makes tasty vegan shreds) and pop the whole thing into the oven until the cheese melts, then they add the cold toppings. The result is warm chips (bonus) and stretchy cheese that reminds me of pizza (also bonus). This is typically the most attainable type of nachos to make at home, so it’s probably a little nostalgic for those of you who enjoyed nacho night as kids. Cheese sauce people tend to prefer the bright orange sauce one might find at a carnival, baseball game, or you know, 7-11. I am one of those people. Luckily, it’s really easy to make vegan nacho cheese sauce at home. Here are a few favorites:
- Nacho Chee-Zee Sauce – mostly nutritional yeast based, with a small amount of cashews for fat, and a chipotle pepper for spice
- Nacho Cheese on the Cheap – This one skips the cashews and uses less nutritional yeast, leaning more on carrots and potatoes for texture and color
- Mild Chee-Zee Sauce – If you love nachos, but can’t handle the spice, try this nut-free, nooch-based cheese that gets its tang from yellow mustard
- Spicy Quinoa Queso – OK listen, queso is not nacho cheese, it’s more like a cheese dip. People get really weird about queso so I just wanted to make that clear. This one has quinoa in it so it is the most vegan thing on the god damn earth
- Butternut Squash Queso – Also not nacho cheese, and actually a bit to thick to pour so bust this one out if you have any super healthy werido vegan friends coming over for nachos
3. You Can’t Top Nachos (But You Totally Can)
A few years ago, Tony got me a three-compartment crock pot that Jenny and I have dubbed the Nacho Machine because it has only ever been used for our build-your-own nacho parties. I fill one compartment with cheese sauce, one with beans or faux meat and the third usually stores some guacamole (not hot, obvs). If you’re hosting a nacho party, prep all the toppings and have them out with spoons so your guests can go to town. My favorite part is the end of the night when Jenny and I are literally just dipping chips into the cheese and eating olives with our bare hands. If you like your nachos meaty, here are a few ideas:
- Oat Crumbles – These are easy and inexpensive to make, and you can swap seasonings to make them more or less “nachoy”
- Walnut “Meat” – This is a raw option, and yes, you can totally make raw nachos with dehydrated flax chips
- Jackfruit – A little fancier, but upon special request (from Jenny) I have been known to make a batch of smoky jackfruit for Nacho New Year
Sour Cream Rules Everything Around Me. If you can’t find vegan sour cream in the store (or, like me, if you think all the store-bought versions are barftastic) I will share with you the greatest vegan sour cream I have ever made. It’s so good, I’ve actually packed it with me when I knew I was going somewhere to eat pierogi or tacos.
5. Keep That Chip On Your Shoulder
Nacho New Year may only come once every 365 days, but you can keep the spirit alive with the following nacho items:
- Nacho Soap – Nachos. All over your body. All up in your hair. Nachos.
- Nacho Butt-Head – The enamel pin that sums me up as a human
- Nachos t-shirt – Sports are dumb, but nachos are forever
- Nacho Key Ring – If the key to your heart is nachos
- Pet Nachos – Nachos > People and Animals > People therefore, buy nachos for animals
Have a safe & happy Nacho New Year!