Is there anything in this world more tasty than nachos? Seriously. I would give up sweets in a heart beat as long as nachos still existed in my life. I wouldn’t even shed a tear.
Being a health teacher and intense lover of nachos is a really straining relationship. Nachos are my spirit animal, and yet so far from a nutritionally sound meal choice. Thus- nacho flatbreads.
From a health standpoint, I’d say the tortilla chips and cheese are the worst parts of nachos. They offer little nutritional benefit and quickly up the calorie, salt, and fat content in the dish
(from a flavor standpoint, however, they are the champions). By replacing the tortilla chips with a sole baked tortilla and minimizing the cheese to a light sprinkling, these flatbreads are far less sinful than their traditional nacho counterpart. Plus there are more beans, and beans have protein. So that’s a healthy excuse, too. Right?
I think nacho flatbreads are an acceptable weekend dinner. There, I said it.
They also are a huge party appetizer hit. Presentation on these can be far more impressive than on standard nachos, not to mention they are far less messy to eat in front of a crowd of people. The best part? Every bite has a perfect distribution of toppings. No more hunting for the perfect chip!
- 2-3 tortillas (whole wheat would be healthier)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 can black beans
- 2-3 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- chopper olives
- guacamole/salsa/sour cream for topping, as desired
- cooking spray
Start by setting the oven to preheat to 350. As I’ve mentioned, my oven is on its last leg and takes its sweet time.
Brown hamburger in a large skillet and drain off the grease. Add in chopped peppers and onions, and cook until soft. Add garlic, about 1 cup of water, and taco seasoning. Cook until the liquid evaporates. For a full recipe, check out this post on how I make my taco filling. Pat yourself on the back for bulking up your Mexican food with veggies, job well done.
Lightly spritz 2 or 3 tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, and then flip and bake for 5 more until crispy. NOTE: if you get a giant air bubble, use a fork to pop or suffer the consequences of a painful steam burn through your ‘ove glove’ (personal experience).
In the meantime, rinse and drain black beans. Put in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 2-3 minutes. Smash into ‘refried bean’ consistency, adding water and salsa as needed. For a more detailed explanation of this, check out my skinny refried beans recipe here… or just buy canned refried beans.
Time to assemble. Spread a layer of refried beans on your now crisp tortillas. Top with a generous spread of taco filling mixture, a sprinkle of cheese, and olives. Return to oven until cheese has melted.
Slice with a pizza cutter and enjoy your nacho goodness in a tidy and slightly more healthy fashion.