Life Hack: Vegan Nacho Cheez

Vegan Nacho Cheez Sauce | Orthodox and Vegan
Have I told you how much I LOVE tahini sauce?! It is simple to make, includes few ingredients, and is quite versatile. The variation I use for vegan nachos is my favorite. I pay about $7 for a 32oz jar of tahini, enough to make approximately 25 large plates of nachos! It doesn’t really taste like cheese*, but it does taste pretty wonderful.

*UPDATE* So a friend of mine made his own little variation based on my recipe and had some friends totally believing they were eating a very non-vegan cheese sauce! SO THERE.

Lenten Tahini Nacho Sauce
And the rest of the ingredients for the nachos are just as simple: finely chopped veggies – I prefer bell pepper, onion, and tomato, and sometimes fresh garlic. Black beans and corn would also be great. Simply drizzle the tahini sauce over the chips, add toppings…

Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce
and bake!

Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce
The sauce thickens and keeps the toppings from falling off.

Lenten Recipes: Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce
When the sauce begins to brown you know it’s done.

Lenten Recipes: Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce | Orthodox and Vegan
Tahini Nacho Cheez Sauce
2 heaping Tbsp tahini
Lemon juice, salt and garlic to taste.
1/2 tsp turmeric, for color
20-30 shakes of Frank’s Redhot Sauce (depending on how hot you want it)

Whisk all ingredients together. Add water a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Other optional seasonings:
black pepper
smoked paprika
chili powder

Now, you can use this sauce as a dip (or eat it with a spoon, I won’t judge!), but for vegan nachos:

Preheat oven to 400.
In a small bowl, stir together tahini, water, and lemon juice. Season to taste with spices and hot sauce, adding turmeric for color if desired. Finely chop toppings of choice.
On a baking tray or large oven proof plate, arrange tortilla chips in a single layer. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Sprinkle with toppings.

Bake 10 – 15 minutes, until tahini sauce thickens and begins to brown.

Oh, and this sauce is also perfect for chili cheez fries! What’s your favorite way to spice up tahini sauce???

Gluten Free Cracker Nachos with Coconut Flour

I’m so excited! I was asked to come up with a recipe using coconut flour – it’s actually an ingredient I’ve been meaning to try for a long time since there are plenty of occasions when I need to whip up a gluten free or grain free food option (and at, you can get Organic Coconut Flour for just a tad more than I paid locally for non-organic – wish I would’ve seen that sooner!) I like that it’s high in iron and protein, especially now that I’m getting back to the gym.

I used the flour in two recipes so I could get a feel for it, and I’ll be posting a nice breakfast recipe tomorrow. But for the first one, I just modified my recipe for Gluten Free Crackers. So instead of

1 1/4 C brown rice flour
1 1/4 C almond flour/meal
1/2 C teff flour,

I did
1 1/4 C almond meal
1 1/4 C teff flour
1/2 coconut flour

I also added 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika.
(Full recipe for crackers & nacho sauce below)

You don’t have to go this far, but I like playing with my food. Feel free to make the crackers any shape you want.

Bake as usual.

I thought I had a unique idea, but did you know cracker nachos are already a thing? However I have yet to see any with my almost-famous Tahini Nacho Cheez sauce! Add all your favorite veggies, maybe some beans – whatever you want. Drizzle with The Sauce. Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes,

or until the sauce thickens and just begins to brown.

Now I’m just showing off the cool plate I found at Salvation Army yesterday πŸ™‚

In these crackers, you cannot taste the coconut flour at all and there was no difference in the texture. Coconut flour is a bit drier than others, so just add a little extra water if the dough seems dry.
If you sub coconut flour for more than 1/2 C of the other flours, you may also notice a slightly sweet taste.

How have you used coconut flour?

Gluten Free Crackers with Coconut Flour
1 1/4 C brown rice flour
1 1/4 C almond flour/meal
1/2 C teff flour
6 Tbsp ground flax
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic (or to taste)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp sesame seeds
3/4 C water
1 1/2 tsp olive oil.

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, mix well with a spoon, then knead with your hands until the ingredients come together. Divide the dough into manageable balls and roll it out to 1/8β€³ thick on parchment. Cut dough into cracker shape of choice.
With the dough still on the parchment paper, carefully lift the paper and place in on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes, or until crackers are slightly golden. Let crackers cool before using. But leave the oven on for the nachos!

Tahini Nacho Cheez Sauce
2 heaping Tbsp tahini
Lemon juice, salt and garlic to taste.
Add water until desired consistency is reached.

Add to taste:
Frank’s Redhot Sauce
black pepper
smoked paprika
chili powder
Optional: turmeric for color

In a small bowl, stir together tahini, water, and lemon juice. Season to taste with spices and hot sauce, adding turmeric for color if desired. Finely chop toppings of choice.
On a baking tray or large oven proof plate, arrange gluten free crackers in a single layer. Add toppings and drizzle with nacho sauce.

Bake 10 – 15 minutes, until tahini sauce thickens and begins to brown.

2014 Lenten Potluck #4: vegan nachos

I’m so behind in posting about the Lenten potlucks! This is from last week. I basically used a bunch of leftover ingredients from Tuesday Taco Night to make vegan nachos since last Wednesday was a feast day (the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel) on which oil is permitted.

You’ve probably seen my nachos before, but if you haven’t, check THIS out. These nachos are topped with tomatoes, onion, bell pepper & cactus, and I added a little olive oil to the mix. Covered in my tahini nacho cheez sauce.

Lots of Lenten desserts last week.

When you can have oil on a Wednesday in Great Lent, you might as well go all out and just put out a bowl of it!

Of course I didn’t have room on my plate for everything, but along with my nachos I had baba ganouj, quinoa with mushrooms and asparagus, some sort of yummy blueberry-filled dessert thing with a nice, crispy top,

and a bowl of lentils & potatoes. You can’t see it, but underneath there’s also a scoop of rice with chickpeas. Everything was excellent. Tonight will be bittersweet…looking forward to seeing what everyone will bring, but it’s the last Lenten potluck of the year πŸ™

belated super bowl post: eggplant tacos & nachos

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I love the Super Bowl, basically because it’s another excuse to make a bunch of food. This year I made dinner for Amanda. When pressed about whether or not we’d actually be watching the game, I admitted, “It will probably be on in the background while we eat and talk about boys.” But you know – we actually did watch most of the game! After we finished eating. And talking about boys.

Anyway. Poor Broncos. The whole time we were watching I couldn’t help thinking, “They are getting Qrunched!” Because Denver is home to the Qrunch Burger. Oh well. On to the food.

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I was thinking of making eggplant pizza, but I didn’t have the stuff for a gluten free crust for Amanda. So, why not tacos? I cut the eggplant into strips the size of chunky french fries and cooked them with onions in oil over medium heat, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic & a little cumin. Cook until the eggplant is soft, brown if desired.

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Meanwhile I made a bowl of guacamole with three mashed avocados, a shot of tequila, a sprinkling of salt.

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Next I whipped up some extra garlicky refried beans. Cook as much garlic as you want in oil over medium heat for a minute or two to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor. I did at least 2 Tbsp, maybe 3.

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Add a can of refried beans. I seasoned mine with pepper, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and a little nutritional yeast.

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Turn the heat down to low and the let flavors cook in for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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We must have a tahini sauce, for the tacos and also to make nachos. Add tons of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and lemon, salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and onion powder to taste. Turmeric for color. Nutritional yeast optional, just for a little B12 boost. A tiny squirt of mustard is good. A little water to thin it down.

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Gorgeous. Mince some veggies for the nachos – I used bell pepper, onion, and tomato.

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Here’s our meal.

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The corn tortillas are filled with eggplant & onions, guac, and refried beans. We thought the eggplant made a great substitute for meat. I felt bad I didn’t do a big spread like last year, but we just kept eating and eating and eating until, once again, we were too full for our dessert.

And after writing about it and looking at the pictures, I’m really hungry for tacos and nachos again. Do you have a favorite food you could every single day and never get tired of?

Middle Eastern nachos

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Okay, I’m finally back, and I can’t take any credit for this recipe whatsoever. Amanda invited me over for dinner with the idea of using up some leftovers in a very creative way. But can you really put anything on nachos? Let’s take a look…

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She started by spreading a layer of tortilla chips on a platter, then added hummus –

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LOTS of hummus.

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Next, some leftover falafel is broken into pieces,

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and covers the hummus.

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The falafel is topped with lentils, cooked in the mujaddara style.

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A simple Mediterranean salad is made with cucumber, parsley, olives, tomatoes, bell pepper, and green onions, dressed with lemon and olive oil.

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At this point we’re starting to notice this is a lot of food…

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But we’re not quite finished. Top with avocado. Amanda also drizzled a pomegranate vinaigrette on our nachos.

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Gluten free beer, optional.

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The flavors came together really nicely on this, and I ate more than I meant to. The pomegranate sauce is really good, but I had a few bites without it and it was still tasty, so I wouldn’t worry if you don’t have any.
In my family, we like to mix our Syrian food together – mixing salata and hummus into our mujaddara, for example (a duke’s mixture, as Tete would say). This is basically the same thing, just eaten with chips instead of pita bread. I liked the extra saltiness and crunchiness of the chips, so I’m kinda thinking this might be a good way to eat my leftovers from Tete once in a while.

What’s your favorite hybrid meal?

girls’ night in: nachos & chili cheese fries (vegan)

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I had another wonderful Girls’ Night In last night with Amanda. The dinner is one we’ve been planning for about a month, and I’ll tell you…

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when the weather gets like this, all I want to do is fatten myself up for winter, and sleep. And certain foods make that easier. For example…

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A big ol’ pan of nachos with tahini sauce, a plate piled high with waffle fries & sweet potato fries, a giant bowl of chili, and another bowl with kale, onions, and mushrooms.

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I almost forgot the green onions.

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I skipped breakfast, so I think that made it alright to eat two plates full of chili cheese fries. Right? You can easily make this meal yourself by baking up a batch of frozen fries, whipping up the tahini nacho cheez sauce linked above, and cooking up a little vegan chili. Then tell yourself, “It is healthy because it’s vegan.” πŸ˜€ Eat up & enjoy!

nacho cheezy sandwich

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I had just under 1 C left of my chickpea puree and used it to make another great big batch of nacho cheez.

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but instead of plain old nachos…

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I put everything between two pieces of Ezekiel bread. The veggies are lettuce, onion, tomato, and bell pepper chopped into small pieces, sprinkled with salt and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice to taste.

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It was a lot easier to eat at my desk. I had some leftovers, so I just used the sauce as a dip for my chips. I am love with this sauce, I think I’ll try it with other legumes and beans and see how it goes. Any suggestions?

Wayfare Mexi Cheddar nachos

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I am all about easy late night snacks, and vegan nachos are probably my favorite. Preheat the oven to 350.

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Finely chop about 3/4 C onion, 1/4 C tomato, 1/4 C green pepper and a clove or two of garlic. Or pretty much however much you want.

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In a small bowl, add 3 Tbsp or so of Wayfare Mexi Cheddar cheese spread,

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and the chopped veggies and garlic.

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Stir it up.

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Spoon the cheesy mixture onto the tortilla chips. I had just enough chips to fill my oven-safe dinner plate, so I piled the veggies on thick. You could stretch it, though, if you needed a bigger serving.

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I added Frank’s Red Hot Sauce on top to spice it up a little.

Pop it in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes…

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until the (they can’t say it’s) cheese spread thickens, then stick it under the broiler until it begins to brown.

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Nachos. I tried half with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top and half without. I liked it better with.

Originally I baked mine at 400 for about 10 minutes, then put it under the broiler. I think it needs to bake longer to give the spread a chance to thicken as much as I like it to, that’s why I’ve adjusted the temp and time here. It really does need some kind of hot sauce, otherwise there’s no flavor pop at all from the spread. It’s like a blank canvas you get to turn into a work of art.

If you love nachos and have a few extra minutes to spare, you may also enjoy THIS RECIPE using a tahini cheese sauce.

3am. time for nachos.

Lately I have the worst sleeping habits (writing this at 4:30am, for example). It’s a hard pattern to break, and it’s possible allowing myself to make a small meal at all hours of the night isn’t very helpful…but a girl’s gotta eat.

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So, the other night I made these nachos with tahini sauce.

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I have posted about these before in more detail,

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But tonight I decided to do some googling and see what other vegan nacho recipes are out there.

Most recipes for a tahini “cheese” require a lot of work and ingredients – not great for late night snacks. The only other very simple recipe I could find is this one from brickiepedia. No blending of tofu or raw nuts here! You can save the whole recipe, complete with sweet potato chips, for a more reasonable hour.

Then I stumbled on this little gem. warning: contains profanity

This is also a bit too much to cook in the middle of the night, but the video is a great time killer and gives you something to sleep on. Like, Why go through all that and then use a canned sauce? But still, I’d like to try lasagna with tahini sauce. Great kitchen, btw.

What is your favorite quick & easy late night snack?

P.S. I sent out 2 more letters today for my summer writing project!

midnight snack: vegan nachos

I really was popping these vegan nachos in the microwave right at midnight last night. Ideally I would have baked them, but…it was midnight. I used some of my leftover beans from the Mexican pizza, and daiya cheese left from the mushroom & onion pizza.


Same onion/tomato/bell pepper toppings as I used on the Mexican pizza, too.

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Usually I am very meticulous about the beans. I spread them over each chip, one at a time, with the back of a spoon. I like them to be completely covered! It was too late for all that, though. I don’t know if all faux cheese shreds taste alike or what, but when I use the mozzarella for nachos, I can’t tell the difference. Maybe it’s because I covered it in hot sauce. One thing about the microwave, the cheese doesn’t melt nearly as well as a super hot oven.

I also see this morning that someone found my blog by searching for “how to make vegemite sunflower seeds,” and I have two hits from Australia. Haha, that is so awesome! I have no idea what vegemite sunflower seeds are, but I plan to find out. If you’re still reading, Australia, I hope I’ll have something for you soon.