Guest post by Jenny Baker- Mom, bad ass, GF2 Crew member, first figure competition in May 2016!
Nachos; salty, cheesy, greasy goodness…And incredibly high in fat along with the carbs. Not exactly a meal you’d find in the latest diet plan.
First, let me tell you something about myself. My name is Jenny. I am a client of Get Fit. Go Figure! I am prepping for my very first Figure competition. And, I. Love. Food.
A controlled diet is the foundation for my training, so it would seem my love affair with food is counter-intuitive to my overall goal. In fact, most assume that my diet consists of endless salads, chicken, and vegetables. And while I do enjoy these foods sometimes, my goal each day is to eat food I love. As much of it as possible.
And I do.
Now back to said nachos. One ounce of tortilla chips is around 10g of fat. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but go weigh out an ounce of chips and see how many you get. I’ve done it. It’s depressing. I might have even cried a little bit afterwards.
But I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
I eat nachos anyway.
All it takes is some creativity.
White potatoes. Sweet potatoes. Carrots. Parsnips. All of these can be used in place of the traditional nacho chip. For this post’s example, I’m using sweet potatoes, jicama, and zucchini. Because of their flesh’s thick density, potatoes are an ideal candidate in pseudo tortilla chip circles (I’m sure there’s a group somewhere on Facebook). However, I opted to add jicama and zucchini due to their lower carbohydrate counts (which allows me to increase my serving size – because if you haven’t heard: I. Love. Food.).
So check out the recipe below to see how you too can have your nachos and eat them too.
Almost Fat-Free Cheesy Nachos
- Sweet Potato, Jicama, Zucchini (or any other vegetable that can be made into thin slices)
- Spray butter or non-stick cooking spray
- ½ ounce 2% reduced fat cheese
- 1 ounce fat free cheese
- Salt (optional)
Step One: Making the “nacho chips”
First, slice your vegetables. You can use a mandolin, cut by hand, or I’ve heard some say they’ve used vegetable peelers. In this tutorial, I’m using a mandolin. I peeled the jicama, but I did not peel the sweet potato or zucchini. Aren’t they beautiful?
Next, spread the chips out on a chip maker or baking sheet so they don’t overlap. I am using the Pampered Chef microwave chip maker, though you can make chips in the oven too (simply Google “how to make homemade potato chips” and a whole slew of instructions will be at your fingertips). Spray each “chip” once with spray butter or non-stick cooking spray and then sprinkle on a little salt. For a more bold flavor, you can sprinkle with chili powder or cayenne pepper – whatever your heart desires, go wild!
Now, throw those babies in the microwave (or your oven). For my microwave, it took a total of 12 minutes for the sweet potatoes to crisp, a total of 13 minutes for the jicama, and a total of 15 minutes for the zucchini (flipping once halfway in between for each). Don’t worry, I could do multiple batches at once so some of these times over-lapped. However, my chip makers can only hold so much, so I’d say I spent a half hour cooking these. Oven baking takes longer, but you can cook them all at once and have more time to go about your daily activities while they bake. Either way, they should come out looking something like this:
Step Two: Making the Nachos!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread out your now-baked “chips” on a cooking stone or baking sheet.
For my recipe, I topped with ½ ounce reduced fat cheese plus one full ounce of fat free cheese. I did this because I love the flavor of cheese, but wanted to keep the fat content low (and still feel like I was getting the authentic cheesy nacho experience). However, if you have room for a few extra grams of fat go with a full ounce of the real stuff. If you don’t have any room for fat, then use fat free cheese for the entire thing. Isn’t the flexibility of this recipe muy grande?!
Now place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Voila! Cheesy nachos!
Because I’m prepping for a contest, I stick with the basic cheesy nachos for an everyday meal. However, if it’s my refeed day, I glam them up with my favorite nacho toppings. I even mix in an ounce of real tortilla chips for an extra special splurge.
So don’t be afraid to dress up your nachos like they are going on a trip down the red carpet. Black beans, tomatoes, onions, avocado, chicken or lean ground beef – the possibilities are endless.
One more thing: I want to give a quick shout out to jicama (pronounced “he-comma”). This is a root vegetable with a neutral flavor and snappy texture that I’ve found to be delicious when eaten raw or in this case, cooked to a crisp. You should be able to find jicama in your local grocery store by the turnips or beets. Try it. It’s aaa-mazing. And you know how much I. Love. Food.