In all its gooey splendor, the beloved nacho has won over the hearts of ladies, children, and beer-swilling, face-painting sports fans everywhere. Unfortunately, the average plate of nachos at a restaurant has more than 1,500 calories. Using a hot cheese sauce (which really helps you lose weight), a generous quantity of salsa, and a variety of toppings, you can create a delicious, low-calorie platter of deliciousness.
NUTRITION: 360 calories, 14 g fat (6 g saturated), 610 mg sodium
You must have
- 8 oz skirt or flank steak
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 3⁄4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1⁄2 cup bottled salsa verde
- 11⁄2 cups shredded reduced-fat Jack cheese
- 4 oz tortilla chips
- 1⁄2 (14–16oz) can pinto beans
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- Chopped fresh cilantro or scallions (optional)
How to do it
- Preheat a grill, a grill pan, or a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Season the steak with the chili powder, salt, and pepper before grilling it for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until it is medium-rare in color. Allow for some resting time for the meat.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it is completely melted.
- Cook for a minute after adding the flour, then gently whisk in the stock until it is well incorporated.
- Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes more, then mix in the cheese and salsa, continuing to stir until the cheese is completely melted.
- Chop the steak into little pieces before cooking it.
- Prepare a large cookie sheet or baking pan by spreading the chips out in a single layer.
- Distribute the beans and meat over top in an equal layer, then sprinkle on three-quarters of the cheese sauce.
- Finish with the jalapenos and onions on top.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and the crust is golden brown.
- To finish, drizzle the remaining cheese sauce over the top and sprinkle with cilantro if desired (optional).
Isn’t it frustrating when your nachos come completely covered with greasy toppings, only to discover that the toppings have all but disappeared as you work your way through the layers? The key to making a perfect nacho is to strike a balance. If you pile on too much, that small chip will become mushy and overloaded. If you use too little cheese, they aren’t truly nachos, are they? To find the sweet spot, put a single layer of chips (the larger the chips, the better) on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Beans should be the first item on the menu, followed by cheese, meats, then vegetables. Keep any cold toppings (guacamole, salsa, and so on) aside until after the nachos have come out of the oven.