Happy Thursday! Or for many of us who have the luxury of Good Friday off work tomorrow, Happy Friday! Aren’t long weekends just the best? My best friend from home is coming into town for the weekend and I couldn’t be more excited! Hilton Head is a pretty fun place to be when the weather is nice (which it’s predicted to be!) and visitors always give me an excuse to get out and about and be a tourist in my own city. It’s easy to take the fun shops, great restaurants and most of all, the BEACH for granted when you live here, so a fun visitor in town is a great reminder for me to appreciate this lovely resort island I call home Can’t wait for you to get here Caite!
Robert and I have had A LOT going on the last few weeks so I have done a lot of batch cooking. This week we’ve had several repeat dinners of salads topped with pulled rotisserie chicken (love these in a pinch) and THIS delicious BBQ chicken chili from one of my favorite food blogs. I highly recommend this recipe as it’s both easy and so tasty in a very unique way. It’s different from any other chili recipe I’ve ever tried and is full of flavor, so if you are a chicken chili chick (hellloooo alliteration) like me, give it a go!
Since I haven’t been making anything especially unique this week, I’m sharing a recipe I made a few weeks back that got the thumbs up from Robert. I have been on a roasted carrot kick for a while now. Roasting is not only one of the easier ways to prepare vegetables (besides boiling…barf) but it also really elevates the flavor. Roasting is by and large my favorite way to eat carrots and has given me a totally new appreciation for the little orange guys. Roasting made my view of carrots go from the sad, raw alternative to pretzels/chips on the dip platter, to basically akin to french fries. Talk about a 180.
At first, I was peeling and cutting up the big carrots, then I wised up and realized that although less cost effective, buying the pre-cut veggies was a HUGE time saver. Carrots in particular come in about 6 different shapes, any of which are great to roast, except maybe the shredded ones. I found that a bag of the pre-cut crinkled carrot chips was the perfect amount for Robert and I to share as a side, and also the perfect shape to dunk into yummy dips like homemade ranch or chimi churri, or ketchup if you’re Robert and you get down like that. Eating these carrots as “chips” gave me the bright idea to substitute them for actual chips and prepare some nachos. Robert and I both love Mexican food and typically eat it at least once a week so I was sure this would be a winner, and as usual, I was right
*I used a mixture of carrot chips and baby carrots for this dinner/photos because that was what I had on hand, but I suggest the chips. If I were a more legit blogger I would have gone to the store, but hey, gotta have something to aspire to!
The hardest part of this recipe is browning your taco meat and mixing up your own taco seasoning, neither of which are at all difficult. If you are short on time, you can buy the packaged taco seasoning, but it’s very easy to make your own and thus avoid any weird additives. Get creative with your toppings, my personal favorites are of course salsa, guacamole and plain greek yogurt which I often substitute for sour cream. Black olives and fresh chopped cilantro would be tasty additions as well if you have them on hand.
These are definitely fork and knife nachos, and would probably get quite messy if you tried to pick them up. But honestly, aren’t messy fork and knife nachos really the best kind anyway?
Give these a try next time you get a hankering for Mexican with a healthier twist! Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday weekend!
Roasted Carrot Chip Nachos
1 lb of pre-cut Carrot Chips (any shape will work)
Salt & Pepper
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
1/2 an Onion, diced
1 clove minced Garlic
Toppings of your choice
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp smoked Paprika
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 tsp Oregano
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss carrot chips with olive oil, salt and pepper. Distribute evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes, flip with a spatula and then roast for 10-15 more minutes until browned and tender.
2. While carrots are roasting, heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 2 tsp of olive oil. Add the diced onion and saute until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the ground beef and saute until cooked through, stirring and breaking it up often.
3. Combine taco seasoning ingredients in a small bowl. Pour seasoning onto ground beef and mix well. Add a little water if necessary (I didn’t need any). Drain any excess liquid from the beef.
3. Remove carrots from oven and distribute evenly between two plates. Top with ground beef and desired toppings. Enjoy!