Hello thare Monday!
Today’s nacho platter brought to you by homemade enchilada sauce simmered up with a lentil and grain mixture + easy, real food, homemade three cheese sauce that will give our long-standing frenemy Velveeta a run for its money.
🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 <– how much I like these nachos.
My life was one big nacho party last week – no complaints whatsoever. Maybe it’s too obvious, but I SO love all kinds of nachos. It’s ingrained in my roots, really – sometime during my freshman or sophomore year of high school, we got an Applebees in my small town, and ooooh baby. Lots of late-night half-price activity went down there, making my adult self prone to falling in love FAST with any and all things even close to resembling nachos.
Before we go forward here, I have to ask you a favor which is please do not imagine how many plates of these nachos Bjork and I ate during the game yesterday (game meaning the time when we had the TV on and men were running around in colored suits and helmets and stuff, and one of us watched it while the other one just ate). Just don’t. It’s better for everyone if you don’t.
There are a few types of nachos in the world, so let’s break it down.
TYPE ONE: CHEAP NACHOS
These are the ones that you get at sporting events that are essentially tortilla chips with one pump of that bright yellow nacho cheese sauce. Not above it. Not gonna lie.
TYPE TWO: DRY NACHOS
“Dry” nachos are the ones that you probably get at a nicer restaurant, and they’re probably loaded with everything delicious, like pulled pork and fresh pico and radish slices and cotija cheese… which is so awesome in theory, but you are a tiny bit sad when you eat them because they’re, like, actually dry. They are missing the critical elements of saucy meat and drippy cheese and sauces of all varieties, making them just chips with delicious food on them, but still – D-R-Y. Nachos should not be dry. I feel pretty strongly about this.
TYPE THREE: REGRETFULLY GOOD NACHOS
Most often found at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant bar-type establishment, and almost always eaten after 11pm. You know the ones. These are the nachos that nail it with the saucy meat and drippy sauce and when you eat them you are in heaven. But OMG re-grrrehhht. Should you really have eaten that whole plate just before midnight? (Answer: yes. always worth it.) Please tell me you know.
TYPE FOUR: PERFECT NACHOS 👌
Which brings us to these humble “perfect” nachos. When your nachos are loaded with a lentil filling that is reminiscent of the classic saucy meat of all the best nachos, and then swimming in a homemade real food cheese sauce and topped with all the fresh things like avocados and cilantro and red onions, and equal parts good wholesome ingredients and saucy, drippy wonderfulness, THEN YOU KNOW that these are your perfect nachos.
There are two sauces you’ll need for this recipe (the enchilada sauce and the cheese sauce), which sounds like a lot, but pinkie promise it’s not even hard.
As soon as I was done, Bjork stood over this cheese sauce at the stove with a bag of chips and just went for it. It’s that dangerous.
SPICY LENTIL NACHOS for lyfe! They are meatless and made with real, whole foods, and perfect for game day which, apparently, is every day lately. Tis nacho season!
Would it be a crime to drown the whole thing in the chzzzzzzz? I dunno.
Some decisions are best made in the heat of the moment.
Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce – you will not believe how good these are! Saucy filling with a velvety homemade cheese sauce. Vegetarian.
For the Nachos
- 1 cup uncooked lentils
- 1/2 cup uncooked freekeh or other grain like farro, bulgur, or brown rice
- 4 cups enchilada sauce
- 3-4 cups broth or water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- cilantro, avocado, jalapeno, and lime for topping
For the Cheese Sauce
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (half cup of three varieties if you want to make it technically “three cheese” – I liked Monterrey Jack, Mozzarella, and Pepperjack)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Rinse the lentils and the grains. Bring the enchilada sauce and 2 cups broth to a low simmer. Add the lentils and grains and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until everything is soft and most of the moisture has been absorbed. If things are getting too dry, add some of the extra broth to the pot while it’s simmering. The sauce should eventually take on a thick gravy-like consistency (see pictures).
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour.
- Add the milk slowly, whisking to smooth out any lumps of flour. Simmer until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.
- Top the chips with a scoop of the lentil mixture, the cheese sauce, avocado, and cilantro.
The lentils and grains will absorb more liquid as they rest. Cooking time and amount of moisture needed for the lentils may vary depending on how long they’ve been in storage.
The nutrition facts listed are for 1/8th of the cheese AND lentils, but they do not include the chips since that will vary depending on your type of chips and how many you actually eat.