Whenever I get really hungry and find myself tempted to indulge in something decidedly un-paleo, the first thing on my mind is loaded nachos. This kind of hunger doesn’t occur often; it’s only when I become too strict about my food choices—stressing about FODMAPs or nightshades, for example—that I end up consuming too little and become crazy hungry (read: stark raving “get out of my way kids, mommy is STARVING!” lunacy.)
It’s a challenging balance to strike when you adopt a primal lifestyle—eating the kinds of foods your body thrives on and eating enough of them to keep you thriving. However, the balance becomes easier as you find what foods are best for your body, discover recipes you enjoy, and find time-saving methods for preparing them.
I'm slowly adding to my repertoire of paleo recipes and Juli Bauer's recipe for nachos from The Paleo Kitchen: Finding Primal Joy in Modern Cooking is good enough to make again and again. Here's my take on her version.
As a side note, I typically don't care whether something is vegan or not, but I do respect people who choose a vegan diet and am happy to offer recipes that please everyone. If you're sharing this meal with meatless friends, swap the chicken for black beans or simply skip it altogether.
Loaded Paleo Nachos
Serves 2 to 4
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
16 ounces cooked chicken, diced
1 cup guacamole
1 cup pico de gallo
1 cup homemade paleo barbecue sauce, see below
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the sweet potato in ultra thin slices with a good chef's knife or a mandoline.
- Toss the sweet potato slices together with the coconut oil and sea salt.
- Arrange the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet being sure not to overlap. You may have to roast them in batches.
- Bake for 15 minutes. After the 10-minute mark, remove any that have browned and allow to rest on a cooling rack. Cook all of the sweet potatoes this way.
- To serve, top the freshly-baked sweet potato chips with chicken, guacamole, pico de gallo, and barbecue sauce. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately.
Homemade Paleo Barbecue Sauce Recipe
yields 2 cups
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
juice of 1 lime
- In a small sauce pan, cook the onion in oil for 5 to 7 minutes, until slightly softened.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Pour in the tomato sauce, vinegar, spices, and salt.
- Simmer on low for 15 minutes uncovered.
- Finish with lime juice and adjust the seasonings.