Often families I know, have either Friday or Saturday nights reserved for take-away meals as a treat and a good excuse to give mum or dad a break from the kitchen. That’s totally fine in my book but two areas of concern for our family are the cost – most meals to feed a family really are not a cheap option in my opinion and then there’s what to get to please everyone…
We all tend to agree that fish & chips sound like a great idea, until we all feel utterly sick and bloated afterwards, vowing to never eat another chip again. And then of course there’s the fact that it is all dripping in highly processed vegetable oils, who knows what’s in the fish with the state of our oceans and really, there’s nothing very nourishing in a meal like that is there? I like to eat colour!
There is of course pizza… Only wheat and I are not great friends and these days I try to avoid it, plus little R2 has never been into anything bread-like, so this is on his “won’t touch” list.
C and I agree that Thai is delicious but the kids aren’t really interested apart from perhaps a mild pad Thai noodle dish.
Chinese is something I rarely entertain the idea of due to the high levels of MSG used in the cooking. (can also be a factor in Thai) That sort of food is an instant migraine to C, tummy troubles for me, and rashes, sleeplessness and tantrums for J4.
Fast food burgers and fries… Well that’s just not food at all is it? There’s nothing in that to do any good for little growing bodies, or big bodies for that matter.
Indian, is quite a good option in terms of being real satiating food, however, locally it’s very expensive and doesn’t seem to go very far.
So… Where does that leave us?
Well, we reserve Friday nights for Friday Favourites. Basically easy meals that we all love and that I can throw together quickly and with minimal effort. But we also like them to feel like a bit of a treat too. Often they are inspired by take away style food such as crispy chicken strips and chips or fried rice in fifteen minutes.
The following recipe is definitely a favourite and a great way to bring the family together around the table and break a bit of convention. Little R2 having mastered his fork was mortified at the idea of using his hands! But really, how else are you going to eat nachos?
ADDITIVE FREE NACHOS with homemade bean salsa.
2 garlic cloves, finely diced or crushed
1/2 red onion
I capsicum (Pepper) or roughly a side of each colour- red, yellow, and green, finely diced.
400g of passata or chopped tomatoes. (I prefer passata for this but a can of organic tomatoes will do just fine if that’s what’s in your cupboard)
1 can organic cannelini, red kidney or navy beans, drained and rinsed. (In a pinch, I have actually used a can of Coles brand organic baked beans before, which were delicious though they do contain raw sugar.)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder (optional – I leave this out when I’m making this for my little ones)
Salt and pepper to season (I prefer pink Himalayan, Murray river or Celtic sea salt)
1 large packet of organic corn chips. I buy the Macro brand from Woolworths in Aus as they are free of additives and GMO’s.
1 cup grated cheese (I use colby)
Optional To Serve:
Sour cream or Greek yoghurt
Avocado or guacamole
Sliced spring onions
Sliced red or green fresh chillies
Preheat oven to 200dc (390 F)
Sauté your vegetables in a little olive oil until softened
Add your spices to the pan and gently fry until fragrant
Add your passata or tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then simmer on a medium/low heat for about ten minutes.
Divide your chips into two and place 1 layer of corn chips in a large baking dish,
Scatter with half a cup of cheese
Add the rest of the chips
Top with salsa and the rest of the cheese.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is well melted and gooey.
Now I know, you’re thinking, where’s the guacamole? I know… Sadly I am the only avocado fan here (though I do hide it in the kids’ smoothies and they have no idea!)
Next time I may even bake this in four separate oven safe bowls so that I can top mine separately with all the good stuff like guacamole and chilies! Realistically, I could also cut way down on the dairy by doing this too, which is something else I personally don’t like a lot of. Apart from some questionable ethical issues involved in modern dairy farming, it also really flares up my hay fever and sinus issues. So as much as I enjoy a meal like this, I tend to pay for it the next day.
Anyway, how nuts you go with the toppings is up to you but for an occasional indulgence, this meal is a real people pleaser!
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