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Black Bean Nachos with South of the Border Seitan

 Black Bean Nachos with South of the Border Seitan
Apart from celebrating my husband Toby’s birthday, which was incredibly chilled out and fun, I had a pretty clunky week. If you haven’t read my About Me page, it has to be said that I did not win the Lottery when it comes to having normal family members (a few of us are cool, but we are outnumbered). Arguably, anyone can say this about their family. While this may be true, there are those days when I feel incredibly alone in the midst of my family’s dysfunction. It’s not almost comical. It is comical. How I wish that I could be like some food bloggers who take pictures of their children riding horses on the range (sigh), cooking beautiful meals step by step, then sitting down for supper with loving, supportive parents that cheer them on better than the cast of Glee. It ain’t me babe. 

Taking this into consideration, I have built an arsenal of peaceful weaponry. When I am faced with my badass nemesis, Negativity, I bring out the big guns: My Buddhist paractice, ashtanga yoga four times a week (contemplating five), support from dear friends, the love from my husband Toby, his family, my son Jake, and good ‘ole healthy food. Of course, I wasn’t this centered ten or twelve years ago. Back in the day, I was only too happy to let loose, have a few drinks, swing from the rafters, and pull my top over my head. Thankfully, maturity has entered  my life. You can only wake up saying, “OH MY GOD” for so long.

As it is Friday, I wanted to make something celebratory. Hell, we made it through the week, didn’t we? The clever bit is that it’s not bad for you. We’ve all suffered through”nachos” that they serve at movie theaters (I refuse to capitalize the letter N here): Tortilla chips drizzled with industrialized cheeze whizz, that comes out like soft serve ice cream. Trust me, you’ll be sneaking yours in from now on. Hell hath no fury than a woman armed with a sleek stainless steal container hidden in the depths of a cute Target bag. I am now getting a bit creeped out by the idea, so I will make an immediate U-turn: Please enjoy your Black Bean Nachos in the comfort of your own home, with a glass of wine, then go out to your movie. 
So now you want to know what that Seitan stuff is, right? Well, it is wheat meat, which is made from the gluten of wheat. I could go on, but seriously, it’s boring. What matters is that it taste’s great, it’s good for you, and it isn’t mystery meat. Seitan has a meaty texture which makes the transition to a meatless diet much easier. Oh, I’m yawning. Let’s get this chuck wagon movin’.

This is perfect comfort food. Forgive me for sounding like a dork, but you’ll take a bite, and say, “ummm, nummy nummy.” In case you forgot, I am not Nigella Lawson. If I were, I would say,”ooohhhh yahhmee mummy.”  I really should quit while I’m ahead. Especially as I am one of Nigella’s biggest fans. Seriously, It’s a “Forget about your troubles, C’mon, get happy”moment. Absolutely yum. 

My advice today is to read through the recipe, then prep all the vegetables to ensure an easy flow of cooking. Let’s charge on to the recipe, shall we? 

Black Bean Nachos with South of the Border Seitan

2 cups salted tortilla chips
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated

South of The Border Seitan
1 packet Seitan (in the cold section of your health food store next to tofu products) cut into cubes
4 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 cup onion chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper deseeded and chopped
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) choppped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp unbleached granulated sugar
fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Refried Black Beans
1 can black beans
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup white onion chopped
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil

Salsa Fresca Recipe

Holy Guacamole
1. On medium heat, warm the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add the cumin powder, jalapeno, and fry for 2 minutes. Add the seitan and fry for another two minutes. Remove the seitan and set aside.
2. Add the fresh cilantro and diced tomatoes to the garlic mixture and cook for five minutes. Allow to cool, then pour into a blender. Whizz until it becomes smooth.
3. Return the sauce to the pan and add the cubed seitan. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce begins thicken. It should look a bit chunky. Cover and set aside.
4. While the seitan is simmering, move on to the beans: In a frying pan, fry the onions and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until soft. Add the cumin powder, cook for a minute, then add the beans with a bit of the water from the can. Fry the beans, mashing some of the beans with a wooden spoon, and cook down until the water thickens. Cover and set aside.
5. Make the salsa, which takes 10 minutes. Set aside.
6. Make the guacamole, which takes 10 minutes. Seriously.
7. Heat the broiler, or oven to 400°
8. Layer the Nachos on a plate: tortillas chips, seitan, salsa, cheddar cheese, chips, black beans, salsa, cheese, seitan, cheese, and so on. Send it under the broiler to melt the cheese for a minute. You must check frequently to make sure that it does not burn. Bring the plate out of the heat. Top with more beans and seitan, then top it off with guacamole and sour cream. Enjoy.


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