Nachos (dairy-free, gluten-free, corn-free)

If you love nachos like I do, you’ll like this recipe.  I spent 12 years living in the Phoenix area and our favorites places to eat were the Mexican restaurants.  Now, with my dairy, gluten and corn allergies, I don’t get to eat nachos very often.  I found using this tortilla recipe, that the nachos stay sturdier; with regular flour or corn chips, they can get very soggy after the cheese sauce is added.  These did get a little soft but they still held up and everything didn’t spill off when they were picked up, even the ones on the bottom.  This recipe makes 3 tortillas or about enough a large plate of nachos.  As an appetizer, enough for 6-8 people but as a meal, probably only enough for 1-2.

First make the tortillas.  Combine in a quart bowl:

  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour (or another dense flour such as hemp)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • dash (or two) of cumin or chili powder (optional)
  • 3/4 cup cool water

Whisk until all ingredients are combined and mixture is smooth.  Heat an 8″ skillet (non-stick) over medium heat.  When hot pour about 1/3 of the mixture into the skillet and, like a crepe, move pan to let the mixture cover the entire bottom of the pan.  Cook until small bubbles cover most of the tortilla (this will only take 2-4 minutes) and then turn over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Repeat for the next two tortillas.  Let cool slightly before cutting into eighths.

Meanwhile get the rest of the nacho ingredients started.  Combine in a small sauce pan:

  • 1 cup shredded non-dairy cheese (I really like the Daiya Classic Combo cheese for this)
  • non-dairy milk of choice just until it almost covers the cheese (about 2/3 of a cup)

Cook over low heat until cheese is completely melted and incorporated into the milk.  Whisk every few minutes.

If you like ground meat on your nachos, cook a quarter to a half pound of ground meat, seasoned with salt, pepper, and chili powder (optional).

Heat 1/4 to 1/2 cup of refried beans in a small skillet with a little oil (or if you want, a minute in the microwave).

You can use store-bought guacamole or make some.  I use a very simple guacamole recipe:

Combine in a food processor:

  • the meat from 2 avocados
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • juice of 1 lime

Blend until smooth.  I prefer a smooth guacamole but I know some people like it chunky so if a chunky one is preferred, pulse until desired consistency.  Add 1/4 cup pomegranate arils if  you like a little crunch in your guacamole (and they add a nice flavor as well).

These tortillas absorb oil like crazy so I didn’t deep fry them.  Instead, I used my air fryer and placed them in a single layer, air fried them for about 10 minutes or until crispy.  

Then it time to make the nachos.  Start with a layer of chips, cover with meat and/or refried beans, top with cheese sauce and guacamole.  Repeat until chips are all used.  Top with some diced tomatoes and scallions.

Creamed Onions and Peas (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

My mother always made creamed onions for Thanksgiving and Christmas and it was one of my favorite side dishes.  I’ve taken the fat, dairy, and gluten out of it but I think its just as good as the original.  I’ve taken it to holiday dinners and everyone always enjoyed it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a casserole dish.  In a quart saucepan combine:

  • 3/4 cups non-dairy milk (don’t use soy but any other will work but remember this is a savory dish so you don’t want a sweeter milk; hemp or rice work well)
  • 3/4 cup of the juice drained from your jarred small white onions (or if you’ve used fresh small white onions that you boiled first, use 1 cup of the boiling liquid) [if you don’t have 3/4 cup of the drained liquid, add non-dairy milk to make up the difference]
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown rice flour

Whisk into the milk and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Steam:

  • 12 ounces of frozen peas

Once you’ve drained the peas, add them along with 1 15 ounce jar of small white onions (after you drain the liquid into the sauce above) (or 1 1/2 cups if you used fresh ones) to the sauce.  Mix well and pour into the greased casserole dish.  For a topping, you can use 1/2 cup of gluten-free bread crumbs mixed into 1/4 cup of olive oil with some herbs, salt and pepper OR 1/2 cup of shredded non-dairy cheese.  Or, even better, use the onion and bread crumb topping used for the Green Bean Casserole but mix in a 1/4 cup of shredded non-dairy cheese.