Wednesday, April 25, 2012

*Improved* Sweet Potato Nachos

A few months ago I tried my hand at making nachos based upon a homemade sweet potato "chip." Based on Google Analytics and Pinterest, Paleo nachos is definitely a concept that interests and intrigues followers! As I originally confessed, the taste of the meal was fantastic, but my chips got a bit soggy once they were topped. I knew I had to tweak my method, and it was worth the effort to do so.

Tonight I think I definitely improved on the concept. Other than the occasional "mug muffin," I don't tend to be one to endorse microwave cooking. To help yield a crisp sweet potato chip, though, it came in very handy. While I had to watch each batch closely to prevent overcooking, this method was much easier and less messy than frying the potato slices in oil.

I kept things pretty basic with the toppings. I let the kids have their choice of protein at Whole Foods and they opted for ground beef. I did use Daiya cheese on the kids' portions, and kept their toppings to meat, cheese and olives. I got a bit more adventurous with jalapeno, avocado and cilantro.

Sweet Potato Nachos

2 sweet potatoes, cut thin with a mandolin
salt, to taste

Working in batches, spread potato slices in an even layer on a piece of parchment paper. Do not overlap! Sprinkle with salt and microwave until the edges begin to curl and the potatoes get crisp. In my microwave this was about 3 minutes. Allow chips to cool; they will crisp up further sitting out.

1 shallot, minced
1.5 lb. ground beef
2 tbs. chili powder
2 tbs. cumin
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tbs. paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 cup salsa (plain diced tomatoes would work too)

Combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and paprika in a small bowl.

Add a little olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Cook beef and shallots for about five minutes, then add seasoning mixture. Stir to thoroughly incorporate. Continue to cook until meat is no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in salsa.

to make nachos:
Turn on broiler. Spread chips in an even layer on a foil-coated baking sheet. Top with ground meat mixture. Sprinkle with dairy-free cheese, if using. Place under broiler until cheese is melted, then sprinkle with additional toppings of choice. Serve immediately to avoid soggy chips!

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