Potatoes are the base to this delicious veggie nacho dish. Pile on the vegetables, enjoy this tasty meal, and see why it will become a favorite of the whole family!
Nachos are great as a snack while watching your favorite sports or even as a main dish. Just because you are sticking to a plant-based diet, it doesn’t mean that you should miss out on this family favorite! Two types of potatoes make this dish hearty, healthy, and tasty.
Why Use Potatoes?
Potatoes have often gotten a bad rap, but they are actually a great addition to a plant-based diet. Potatoes are a versatile root vegetable and a staple food in many households. Aside from being nutritious, potatoes are also incredibly filling.
Potatoes are a good source of fiber, which can help you lose weight by keeping you full longer. Fiber can also help prevent heart disease by keeping cholesterol and blood glucose levels in check. Potatoes are also full of antioxidants that work to prevent diseases and vitamins that help your body function properly.
Why Are Potatoes Good for You?
Potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which make them very healthy. Studies have linked potatoes and their nutrients to a variety of impressive health benefits, including improved blood glucose control, reduced heart disease risk, and higher immunity. They may also improve digestive health and combat signs of aging.
Potatoes are also quite filling, which means they may help you lose weight by curbing hunger pains and cravings. One large baked russet potato has 8 grams of protein, or 14 percent of men's and 17 percent of women's daily allowances.
All in all, potatoes are a great addition to your diet in moderation. They are also naturally gluten-free, which means they can be enjoyed by almost everyone.
How you cook your potatoes matters
It probably goes without saying that frying anything, including potatoes, isn't the most nutritious cooking method. But, beyond that, you may be wondering if, nutrition-wise, it's best to boil or bake your taters.
Frying, broiling, grilling, and roasting increase AGE production in food, while boiling, poaching, stewing, and steaming limit AGE production substantially. AGE stands for “advanced glycation end-products.”
These end-products are compounds that naturally form in our bodies from the chemical reaction of sugars with proteins. The danger is when the concentration of AGEs becomes excessive in our bloodstream, they can cause damage to almost every tissue and organ in our bodies.
Steaming is the healthiest way to cook potatoes. When steaming, potatoes don’t absorb water like they do when boiled, so you’ll end up with a fuller, richer flavor. Steaming is one of the best cooking methods for preserving nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins, which are sensitive to heat and water
Boiling potatoes causes water-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin C and potassium, to leach out. This results in slightly less nutritious potatoes. The longer you boil, the more nutrients are lost. Boiling potatoes in their skin helps to retain some of the water-soluble nutrients.
Broiling potatoes is a quicker cooking method than baking and less fat is introduced during the broiling, versus frying the potatoes. Traditionally, broiled potatoes should be broiled on the high broiler setting, 4 inches under the broiler for four minutes.
Perhaps the simplest way to prepare potatoes, baking requires only scrubbing the skin clean, pricking the skin with a fork to allow steam to escape, and baking the potatoes for about an hour at 425°F. Baked potatoes retain more of the nutrients when compared with boiling or frying. They also offer more fiber, particularly if you eat the skin.
Roasting is similar to baking — some use the terms interchangeably. Typically, baked potatoes are cooked whole, whereas roasted potatoes are frequently chopped and tossed with oil and seasonings. Both are nutritious ways to prepare potatoes.
Microwaving potatoes is one of the most nutritious and fastest ways to prepare potatoes. Microwaving potatoes preserves many of the nutrients lost through other cooking methods
When buying potatoes, choose ones that are firm, have smooth skins and are without any sprouts or blemishes. Avoid potatoes with wrinkled skins, sprouted eyes, cut surfaces, soft or dark spots, decayed areas, or sunken spots. If possible, purchase potatoes that are fairly clean but unwashed. Potatoes that have been washed will spoil quicker.
Avoid purchasing potatoes with a greenish tint or cast. This indicates that the potatoes have been exposed to light during storage, which can produce a bitter taste and may be toxic to some people. Choose potatoes that have a heavy feel and are uniform in size and shape. They will cook in about the same time and will be easier to peel.
How to Store Potatoes
Store potatoes in a well-ventilated cool, dry, dark area such as a cool closet or dry basement. When stored between 45°F to 50°F, potatoes will keep for several weeks. If stored at room temperature or in a warm place, potatoes will remain at top quality for only about 1 week.
Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator. The starch will begin to change to glucose and alter the taste; the potatoes will also turn dark after cooking.
Piled High Veggie Potato Nachos
- 1 medium Russet potato thinly sliced
- 1 serving vegan cheese sauce (see recipe below)
- pinch black pepper
- 1 small scallion chopped
- 1/2 cup low sodium black beans
- 1/2 cup corn fresh or frozen
- 1/2 medium green pepper chopped
- 2 large leaves romaine lettuce shredded
- 2 tbsp sliced black olives
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 medium tomato chopped
Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 1 medium Yukon Gold potato
- 1 medium carrot chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 cups hot water (or cooking water from the potato and carrots)
- Preheat the oven to Bake at 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Place the potato slices on the prepared baking sheet. Ensure that the potatoes are laid out in a single layer. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and browned slightly.
- Heat up one serving of cheese sauce (see instructions below).
- Combine the tomatoes, chili powder, cilantro, black pepper and scallion and set aside.
- Assemble the nachos: on a plate place the potatoes and top with black beans, corn, green pepper, lettuce, black olives, and tomato mixture and serve with a side of the heated cheese sauce or pour the sauce over the nachos.
For the Vegan Cheese Sauce
- In a pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes and carrots until soft.
- Put all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Add more water one tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you wish.
- Put the unused sauce in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator.