|"Blue Corn Chip Salad", A.K.A. Seven Layer Garden Nachos|
I thought for sure that I was going to miss my normal fixin's such as cheese and sour cream, but let me tell you--I was wrong. Very wrong. This just might be some of the best nachos I've ever had, and that is without and meat, cheese, or dairy! Mom, you'd go nuts over these.
The first layer of the nachos is the chips themselves. Since one of the rules of the 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart is to reduce oils, I had to get baked chips. There was only one type of baked tortilla chip that Krogers carried (and this is an incredibly large and diverse store), and it was not blue. I ended up getting Baked! Tostitos Scoops.
|Layer One: Chips|
The second layer is composed of lettuce. I got red leaf lettuce, which is simultaneously beautiful and tasty. The recipe said to tear it into bit size pieces, but instead I removed the thicker stem pieces and then did a chiffonade cut. We eat with our eyes first, and just looking at those purple little swirls was making me hungry!
|Layer Two: Lettuce|
The third layer is black beans. I just got a cheap can of the store brand packed in water. I used half of a 15 oz can on my nachos.
|Layer Three: Beans|
Layer four is a fresh diced Roma tomato. The recipe called for half of one, but mine was so tiny I decided to use the whole thing.
|Layer Four: Tomato|
The fifth layer is a half cup of any type of salsa. I went with a jar of ChiChi's mild salsa, and that was quite nice. Obviously if you like it hot, go nuts. One option for the future is to skip the fourth layer of tomato and just make this layer a nice heap of fresh pico de gallo. Yum!
|Layer Five: Salsa|
Layer six is roast red pepper. The recipe called for one and a half peppers, and that sounded like an awful lot to me. I ended up opting for only one pepper, which still seemed like too much but ended up being just perfect. Make sure that these are packed in water with no added oils. I julienned them, but you can dice them however you like.
|Layer Six: Roasted Red Pepper|
The last layer is comprised of any toppings you might want. I used unprocessed pepitas, which the book suggested. I also decided to put a little fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. I'm glad I did, because I feel like it really elevated all of those already delicious flavors to another level. And, ta-da! Observe your masterpiece.
|Layer Seven: Toppings (Cilantro, Pepitas, Lime Juice)|
The menu for today also included a watermelon salad tossed with lime juice. I got the cutest little melon from the farmers' market, which is the perfect size for just me. I also got a bunch of fresh mint at the market, and decided to chop a few leaves up very finely and add that to the watermelon salad as well. Remember about eating with your eyes? Here's a close-up:
|Watermelon Salad with Mint and Lime|
This was actually so much food that I couldn't finish it. I had about half a cup of random veggies left on my plate and had to put most of my half cup of watermelon back into the container as well. That's okay though, the watermelon will be a good snack between classes tomorrow. The only hard part about this diet thus far has been eating the recommended amounts of food! They weren't kidding when they talked about "real" portions. Perhaps dinner will have to be rather later tonight... Also, if any of you readers happen to be in my neck of the woods, please stop by--there is more than plenty of deliciousness to go around. I feel bad that I keep shoving it at Helen when she's not much of an eater to being with.