February 25, 2010

Bean & Vegetable nachos.....with meat

 Wednesday nights dinner is a win, win in our house. I just have to mention the word nacho and the kids start drooling, I mean what's there not to like about crunchy corn chips drenched in a delicious tomato sauce infused with vegetables, beans and in our case left over minced meat, all smothered with melted tasty cheese?
I do think beans are under rated in Australia and not enough people use them in their everyday cooking, especially families. Whenever I have a friend of Maxes over for dinner and I have some type of bean on the menu it gets met with 'yuck' or 'what is that?'. I really don't understand why you wouldn't introduce beans to kids at a young age. The are packed full of proteins, really easy to chew and swallow and mixed with the right ingredients, taste delicious. Anyhow that is my rant for the humble bean- eat more fellow Australians!
Now, when living in the States I had dried chilies at every port of call, it didn't matter if I walked into a tiny corner store, you'd still find some sort of dried chilli to pop in your tomato sauce and make it a smokey, rich flavour. Sadly I am not having so much luck here in Sydney. I know I can special order them on line or drive 30 minutes away to a specialty shop but let's get real. I am cooking a family meal and not really thinking about it until I get home from work and the last thing I am going to do it drive for 30 minutes to grab some dried chilies on Wednesday.

I have moved back to my favourite spice combo. 1 part turmeric powder, 2 parts paprika (smokey or sweet), 2 parts ground cumin, 1 part ground coriander, salt and pepper. When frying this with a little oil and onions it is the most wonderful smell and always sends the kids into the kitchen asking what's for dinner.
This is pretty much my base flavour for nacho sauce, then I add what ever vegetables are around the house, pop in a tin of tomatoes (drained), add a tin of beans and then leave it to simmer for about 40 minutes.
Once all the liquid has thickened all you are left with is a thick vegetable (and in my case meat) base that gets scattered around some corn chips, cheese on top and then into the oven.

We all love nachos in our house, and it is the perfect way to load the kids up with vegetables they would not usually eat or have a song and dance about eating. For an adults boost I usually have some hot sauce on hand or jalapenos and lets not forget the guacamole (my kids still wont eat avocados!).
I would have to mark this one down as an all time favourite and very little stress in the kitchen, I even managed to help Max with his homework while cooking!


Mal Streeter said...

That sounds just right for tonights dinner, thanks for that.

Bryan said...

Looks good, I still have a little trouble with nachos with Miss Lu but we are almost there. Your spice blend sounds great, I will have to give that a try.