Spectacular Nachos feat. cabbage

 Nachos are good. They may not be the healthiest option, however, what I tell you there is a way to make them more healthy, but not entirely so (disclaimer.) The key is red  cabbage, and of course, beans. I found this recipe on Serious Eats, which is written by Carolyn Cope, author of Umami Girl  blog.I made it once for my parents, and it was a success. So, I made it again. Once I feel confident about a recipe,  I take the said recipe and modify and experiment with different flavors. It is a chance for me to expand my culinary knowledge. If is not a success, then I learn.  Making mistakes in cooking/baking is how you learn.

Serves 4-6


For the Cabbage:

  •  1 heaping cup of red cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp malt vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar

For the Beans:

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely diced (and/or red onion)
  • 1  bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (Ketchup will do fine)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 15-ounce cans pinto, black, or kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
  • Salt, to taste

For the Cilantro Sauce:

  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Pinch of lime zest for an extra kick!
  • Pinch of salt

Cheddar cheese or any other, depending of one’s preference


For the Cabbage:

Combine the cabbage, vinegar, and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well. Let sit for at least 1 hour.

For the Beans:

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add salt, onion, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for 1 minute more. Add beans and cook, until starting to break down, about 10 minutes.Stir frequently. Cover and keep warm.

For the Cilantro Sauce:

Combine cilantro, garlic, lime juice, zest, olive oil, and salt in food processor. Mix well.

Set aside.

In a double boiler, melt the cheese until it is a thick velvety texture.

Assemble Nachos. Place tortilla chips or toasted corn tortillas on a large platter or casserole dish. Spread the beans over the chips. Pour the cheese sauce over the beans. Sprinkle the cabbage on top and lastly sprinkle the cilantro sauce over everything.


~Abby B.

photo credit: Serious Eats and Carolyn Cope.

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