Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tofu Nachos

Tonight's dinner is a big, goopy, sloppy, messy, high-calorie, kid-friendly pig-out. I make no apologies for the shortcuts or fat content of this meal. Every once in a while, I make my family a big platter of nachos, and we sit around the ottoman on the living room floor and eat together while we watch a favorite family movie. Tonight, we're back from soccer tournaments, and we watched "Bibleman vs. The Cheater" - oooh, watch out! Also, an entry on my nachos would not be complete without one of my family's favorite food stories. About a year and a half ago, before I really mastered how to melt vegan cheese, I made a platter of nachos. I turned on the broiler and put the platter on the top rack. In a few moments, smoke was billowing out of the oven, and my girls were shouting, "The nachos are on fire!" Thinking they were exaggerating, I opened the oven door and real, live flames came bursting out! Completely surprised, I hollered for my husband who came into the kitchen staring at flames licking out of the oven. He quickly pulled out the dish, set it on the stove and put a large lid on it to smother the flames. When we took off the lid, everything was burned, the chips were completely black, but our "meltable" cheese was wholly unchanged. The orange-colored shavings just leered back at us, challenging us to try and melt them in any dish of our choosing. Since then, I have learned to conquer this valiant opponent, and once again, I will share my way with you. Also, if you notice in the picture that the back of the nachos looks different from the front, that's because one of my daughters doesn't like cheese, tomatoes or chunky salsa. Soon, I will learn my lesson and create a kids' platter and an adults' platter where I can really spice it up. (For my gluten-free friends, this is a treat you can enjoy, as well.)

Tofu Nachos


1 Tbs. canola oil
1 package extra firm tofu, drained
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 30oz. can vegetarian refried beans
Corn tortilla chips: 5 handfuls, 3 handfuls, 1 small handful, 1 large bowl-ful
1 and 1/2 cups Vegan Gourmet cheese, cheddar style, finely grated
1 can olives, drained and sliced in thirds
1 tomato, diced
1 package Tofutti Better than Sour Cream
1 package guacamole
1 cup of your favorite salsa (we used Herdez, medium)
Sliced peperoncini - the amount is your choice (we used Mezzetta brand)


Make sure your oven rack is set from the second position from the top, and turn the broiler on. Heat the oil on medium-high heat in a non-stick pan. When hot, add the tofu and mash with a potato masher into pretty small chunks. Cook the tofu until it begins to brown, stirring frequently, about five minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion powder, ground cumin and garlic salt. Stir well, and continue cooking for another five minutes; then turn it off. In a small saucepan heat the refried beans. In a large platter, take the five handfuls of chips and cover the bottom. Add the beans then the tofu on top. Sprinkle the cheese over this. Broil for four minutes to melt the cheese. Take out of the oven and add the olives, tomato, vegan sour cream, guacamole and salsa. Sprinkle the peppers over all. Take the three handfuls of chips and line the outer edge of the platter with them. Take the small handful of chips and garnish the center of the nachos with them. Take the spare bowl of chips and the platter of nachos and dig in. We start with the outer chips and the garnishment then work our way down to the soggy delight beneath. The chips in the bowl are to assist you with your digging efforts. Feeds five hungry vegans. Enjoy!


  1. I would not have thought to add crumbled tofu to the nachos but it is a great idea. I love that it adds protein to the dish.

    Your recipe is very different from mine. Thanks for posting it. You have given me a few ideas of things to incorporate into my next batch of nachos.

    BTW, we do the same thing and eat nachos while we watch a movie. There have a been a few times where nachos have been dinner.

    have a great Sunday,

  2. Thanks. Tofu is so versatile that I try to work it into several unorthodox dishes. And, this is dinner for us when I make it. The children cheer when it's nacho night. :)

  3. Nachos is one of the top omni dishes I miss. I only eat them during the Super Bowl, but they sure are good.

  4. Absolutely. Nachos is something we all can enjoy, so it's good to have animal-friendly options.