A super easy and healthy lunch, snack, or appetizer using pantry staples.
One of my goals last year was to be more frugal and mindful with my grocery store runs. I wanted to make sure I planned meals ahead of time that would use all of the ingredients I bought and leave nothing to go to waste, as well as limit the amount of trips I made to the store. Always having pantry staples on hand like organic cheese, jarred organic olives, organic tortilla chips, organic grass-fed beef in the freezer, and frozen organic veggies are the things that even when you’ve made and eaten all the planned dinners, you still have enough to use up that will make a pretty delicious and satisfying meal in and of itself!
During our stay in Ohio recently, my mother in law whipped up a lunch of pantry staple nachos. Always a fan of any Mexican-inspired dish, I was more than delighted when she suggested this! She used taco-seasoned lentils instead of beef, and made a pit-stop at a local farm stand for some fresh tomatoes to go on top. As soon as these came out of the oven, we tucked in, and boy were they good! So good, in fact, that I planned a very similar dish for one of our lunches just a few days after returning home. As my pantry was still a bit bare from being out of town, I used some of the pantry staples listed above and created my own version of my MIL’s pantry staple oven baked nachos. Keep scrolling for this super simple recipe, and some tantalizing photos!
1 lb organic grass-fed beef (grass-fed is a cows natural diet – full of antioxidants, nutrients and good fatty acids)
1 taco seasoning mix recipe (below)
2 cups shredded organic Mexican cheese blend, or organic Monterey jack
1/4 large red onion, small dice
1 small organic ear of corn, kernels removed
1 cup organic cherry tomatoes, approx., halved
1 cup organic black or kalamata olives, halved
Organic tortilla chips, enough to fill an 11×14 sheetpan plus a little more.
Additional optional toppings to add after baking: Avocado, plain Greek yogurt (healthy alt. to sour cream), fresh cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, scallions.
Taco Seasoning Mix (I use organic spices)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika or smoked paprika (or half-and-half)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Begin by cooking beef.
If previously frozen, make sure it’s completely thawed before cooking, to ensure even cooking through. Set skillet with preferred organic cooking oil over medium heat, then add beef when oil begins to shimmer and skillet is hot.
Season with about 3/4 of the taco seasoning blend, and use spatula to break beef up, mixing in seasonings.
Once beef is completely browned and cooked through, turn off skillet and prepare nachos.
Prepare 11×14 sheet pan with unbleached parchment paper. Layer chips on prepared pan, filling in gaps with smaller chips so that there is an even, solid layer. Top chips with about half of the cheese to act as a “glue” of sorts, then add beef and veggies. Top with remaining cheese then bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and melted and veggies are toasty. Top with optional toppings then enjoy! Can also be refrigerated and reheated in oven, or toaster oven the next day.
Taco seasoning mix recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven.
Can you think of a tastier way to get protein, veggies, and that satisfying cheesy crunch we all know and crave?! Me neither. Leave a comment below if you try my Pantry Staple Healthy Oven Baked Nachos!