The latest in my sneaky vegetable arsenal, My Super Sneaky Potato Nacho Bowl is packed with goodness; cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, avocado, corn, peas, black beans, spinach, garlic and of course potato. It’s a vegetable fiesta and the kids will never know. This bowl tastes awesome.
I lie to my daughter pretty much every day. There, I said it. The votes are in and I am not mother of the year.
While I don’t think the universe will punish me too harshly for my dishonesty, she may raise an eyebrow at my creativity. “Kiddo, zucchini makes the brownies extra chocolatey and gooey.” “Scrambled eggs are always green.” “Mummy has to put spinach in your toasted sandwich or it doesn’t hold together.” Yup, I totally said that. The thing is though, the Elf is three and less and less inclined to believe every ridiculous word that spills from my lips like dribble. Six months ago, no problem, but today…I blame her peers.
What’s more, her new found skepticism arrived with a friend; suspicion. Once coveted fried rice is now picked apart for signs of vegetable infiltration, bread slices are pried open in search of tampering and sweets are examined microscopically. All the while, I chew my nails nervously trying to remember whether I chopped the spinach fine enough. My beautiful beloved is becoming a beautiful pain in my loins.
In the face of such adversity, I did what any self-respecting parent would do, I got even sneakier. My Super Sneaky Potato Nacho Bowl contains six vegetables not counting tomato and avocado, they are fruit after all, garlic, a mess of fresh herbs and black beans for protein.
The trick to this super sneaky potato nacho bowl is that every component, from the potato chips to the guacamole, contains finely chopped goodness. The warm salsa is loaded up with tomatoes, corn, black beans, garlic, coriander and finely chopped spinach. The “cheese” sauce is made with cauliflower, carrots and potato, miso paste, dairy-free milk and nutritional yeast for its cheesy flavour and nutritional punch. Even the guacamole is blended with a quarter cup of blanched peas. Adding to each component means that no one part of the dish tastes out of place.
Confession number two; this bowl makes me want to rub my hands together and practice my evil laugh. Don’t judge me.
I know the day will come when the Elf and I will call a tabletop cease fire. She will eat a more balanced diet and I will stop planning meals like I was staging a coup but for now, I improvise. My Super Sneaky Potato Nacho Bowl is devilish in its subterfuge but it is also completely delicious. The cheese sauce is creamy and full of cheese flavours and it’s nut-free. The warm salsa is full-bodied and tangy; I haven’t added chilli here but a good hit makes it more adult-friendly. Peas in the guacamole? Why not. They only get blended up anyway and the zesty lime and coriander cleanly cover all evidence.
While much of my cooking is aimed at making sure my family eats well, my eating is all about flavour and this super sneaky nacho bowl has it in spades. None of this dish’s goodness diminishes its deliciousness. It is cheesy, zesty and completely messy to eat. It is nachos after all. Enjoy.
My Super Sneaky Potato Nacho Bowl
- 800 grams potatoes 3 large, washed and cut in to wedges
- sea salt
- dried oregano optional
- 1 medium potato peeled and chopped
- 3 small dutch carrots washed and chopped
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- .5 cup 125ml non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Shiro or white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- .25 cup nutritional yeast or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- .5 teaspoon smoked paprika
- sea salt to tasteSalsa
- 1 400 ml can chopped tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes chopped in to cubes
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans
- 1 cup corn kernels optional - I used white corn here but yellow is fine
- handful fresh spinach finely sliced
- handful fresh coriander finely slicedPea Guacamole
- 2 ripe avocados
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup blanched fresh or frozen peas
- handful fresh coriander
- sea salt
- To make the cheese sauce, place the potato, carrots and cauliflower in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Put the pan on medium heat and cook for 15 minutes or until a knife slices easily through the carrot.
- While the vegetables are cooking, heat a small amount of oil in a small saucepan and sauté the garlic for the warm salsa. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds before adding the tomatoes, corn and black beans.
- Add the stock to the salsa pot and season with a small pinch of salt. On low heat allow the tomatoes to cook down for twenty minutes.
- When the salsa has cooked down, add the finely chopped spinach and coriander. Taste and season before setting aside.
- Drain the cheese sauce vegetables and place them in a blender with the other ingredients. Blend until smooth and silky, adding a small amount of water if needed. Taste and season.
- To make the potato chips, put the potato wedges in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees C
- Drain the potato wedges and lay them on a roasting tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and dried oregano (optional)
- Roast the potatoes for 20 minutes or until crispy.
- To make the guacamole, quickly blanch the peas in boiling water before rinsing them under cold water.
- Add the peas, avocado, lime juice and coriander to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add a little water if needed.
- To assemble the nachos, arrange the roasted potato wedges in a bowl or on a plate. Spoon a good amount of warm salsa in the middle followed by dollops of the "cheese" sauce (I put my cheese sauce in a sauce dispenser to make life easier). Serve with a spoon of guacamole and a squeeze of lime juice. Add sliced chillies if desired.