Healthy Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos…yum. The title is quite a mouthful, but so are the nachos so it all works out.
Isn’t it funny how words, smells, songs and/or foods can remind you of a specific event or memory in your life? Any time I hear the word “nachos” I immediately think of a Jazz (basketball) game I went to in high school. My friend Emily had a season’s pass with really great seats, so when she invited me to come with her, of course I said yes. And then of course we had to buy some nachos to snack on while we watched the game. You know, that warm, gooey, is-this-even-real-food kind of cheese they drizzle over chips…
So we got our nachos, and as we were walking back to our seats, Emily tripped down some stairs and her paper bowl full of nachos hit the front of her shirt and smeared all the way down to the ground. Emily was covered in that ooey-gooey-is-this-even-real-food cheese for the rest of the night.
Now don’t get the wrong idea of what to expect when you make these Healthy Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos. They are a far cry from Jazz-game nachos. But, you feel much better about eating these, because they’re actually really healthy for you! The “chips” are roasted sweet potatoes, and then you top them with all sorts of glowing, good-for-you toppings like roasted corn, sweet peppers, green chilies and fresh avocado. And don’t forget the sauce! Instead of that scary cheese from a bottle, you drizzle on a creamy cilantro and salsa verde sauce. Mmm mmm yum, nachos without the guilt. (Unless you eat the entire pan like I did.)
- Warm water
- 1 Tbsp. corn starch
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (I like to buy the pre-roasted ones to save time)
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 1 (4-oz.) can green chilies
- 1/2 can refried beans
- 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled
- 1 avocado
- 3 large handfuls of fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup salsa verde sauce (can substitute 3/4 cup tomatillos if preferred)
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice the sweet potatoes into very thin slices using a mandolin or very sharp kitchen knife.
- Place the slices in a large bowl and cover with warm water and corn starch. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. This step is very important because it removes the excess starches so the potatoes will get crispy in the oven. If you skip this step, you may have soggy sweet potato chips. Eeek!
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Once the potatoes have soaked, remove them from the water and dry well with a paper towel.
- Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Lay flat on a baking sheet and roast 15 minutes, then flip each chip over. Continue roasting until crispy, about 25-30 minutes. (To get them even crispier, it can help to put them on an oven-proof cooling rack and place the rack on the baking sheet.)
- While the potatoes are roasting, prepare the toppings.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn and allow to cook until you can see little brown roasted marks on them. Stir occasionally so they don't burn.
- Chop the roasted peppers and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and open the green chilies and refried beans.
- In a food processor or blender, mix the cilantro, salsa verde and Greek yogurt until smooth and creamy.
- Spread the refried beans onto the sweet potato chips (that are still on the baking sheet!)
- Add the corn, tomatoes, peppers, chilies and crumbled queso fresco.
- Broil for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and everything else is warm.
- Remove from the oven and top with cilantro and avocado slices. Drizzle with creamy sauce.
*These amounts can be adjusted based on your preferences. Also, get creative with toppings! Use whatever you have on hand.
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