Not So Naughty Nachos

Turkey Mushroom Nachos with Fresh Quick Pico

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

When its your 15th Birthday, this is dinner!

Our oldest boy turned 15 this past weekend, and like a good mom (step-mom, in this case), I ask my boys what they'd like for their birthday dinner and I'll cook whatever they wish.   Our house is all boys, all the time.  Even the dog is a boy.  This dynamic translates into sports & snacks 24/7.   So, it was no surprise when the birthday boy requested nachos for dinner. Chips are a food group, aren't they?

These nachos aren't completely regret-free, but they are a nice balance of good and not-so- good.  There are lots of little secrets inside that do a (growing boy's) body good.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 large bag of restaurant style tortilla chips
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey meat
  • 15-20 mushrooms (I like baby bellas) chopped in the food processor
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped in the food processor
  • 1 small white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2  15 oz cans of small red beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • pico de gallo, see quick & easy recipe below
  • low fat (or not) sour cream
  • Spices:   cumin, chili powder, cayenne, paprika
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • jalepenos, canned or fresh, sliced (optional)
  • black olives, canned, sliced (optional)

For the pico de gallo, you'll need:

  • 3-4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • salt & pepper

About the tomatoes, Pam says " With authentic pico, you have to core the tomatoes!  No seeds!"

I say "I dont have time for that nonsense.  It's 'quick un-authentic pico.'"

Authentic pico de gallo also calls for fresh jalepeno.   We have toddlers, so I leave the jalepenos out of the mix and top the nachos with them.  This way, they are visible and easy to pick out by the grown-ups.

Readers, the level of pico authenticity is within your discretion.  We trust you.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl, taste for deliciousness, and then store in the refrigerator for 1 hour or longer.  The longer it sits, the better it gets.

take a yummy bite!

take a yummy bite!

For the turkey topping:  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with a swirl of olive oil.  Add the ground mushrooms, ground zuchinni and garlic to the skillet and brown.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables reduce down and are soft, about 5 minutes.   Create a circle in the middle of the pan with your spatula - a place for the ground turkey to touch the pan.  Brown the meat, tossing together with the vegetables for about 10 minutes.  Season with more salt & pepper.  Add 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp chili powder,  1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne and 1/2 tsp of hot sauce. Let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add water if necessary to keep the meat moving around. Taste for spicy flavor preference.  Add more seasoning, depending on how hot you like it.

For the beans:  Heat a smaller skillet over medium heat, add a swirl of olive oil.  Add beans and 1 glove of crushed garlic.  Add salt and pepper.  Mush with a potato masher until chunky.  Add water to gain a creamy consistency.  Heat for about 10 minutes.

Build your nachos:    Pre-heat oven 350 degrees.   Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spread the tortilla chips in an even layer over the baking sheet.   Add the turkey meat and then the bean topping.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese and place in the oven for 10 minutes.   Once the cheese is melted remove from oven and top with pico de gallo, sour cream, jalepenos and olives (optional)

I promise they'll never know they're eating something (kind of) healthy!

Are you sneaky with vegetables?  Let us know how.

xo & a pinch,