|Buffalo Tempeh Nachos|
Everyone has their food thing. My food thing is underbaked chocolate...anything. Give me chocolate and descriptions like "molten", "fudge", or "lord have mercy", and chances are I'm a huge fan.
For my fiancé, it's aaaall about nachos. Max will find nachos where nachos might not meet the eye. And every Monday night, our regular ole' fajita order somehow transforms into a DIY nacho platter.
Who can blame him? Nachos are spectacular.
However, as we approach football season, it is my health foodie-duty (??) to provide him with an LL Balanced version of his favorites that are crazy delicious and totally satisfying.
To healthify nachos for my guy, I immediately tackled the primary nacho offenders—ground beef and dairy (cheese, sour cream). Tempeh, a fermented form of soybeans, is my go-to as a meat replacement, and I've used it several times before on this website. It soaks up whatever you throw it in, and I decided that buffalo sauce was a perfect extra layer of football-appropos flavor. This buffalo tempeh has such a tasty punch, you won't miss the fat from greasy, poor-quality ground beef.
Dairy was a little trickier, but I used an age-old method from the vegan world and created a cheesy flavor using soaked and pureed nuts, plus a generous scoop of salty nutritional yeast. When I combined this "cheezy" base with leftover Buffalo Marinade, it became an addictive, umami-packed sauce that you can drizzle daintily over your nachos, or use as a straight-up dip.
Although, you can definitely grab store-bought pickled jalapeños, I thought it would be fun to flex my quick-pickling muscles. They take absolutely no time to make, and you can customize the spices to suit your liking.
If you're looking for healthy game day recipes that won't leave you or anyone else clutching their belly and scrambling for alka-seltzer, this is your new best friend. Don't be off-put by the number of moving parts here. There are a few pieces to put together, but it's a all super easy and comes together quickly.
This recipe is also fun because you can use the different elements in various recipes. The Buffalo Tempeh would be great in tacos, over a salad, stuffed into a squash, or even mixed with the Cheezy Buffalo Sauce and used as a dip for crudite. The Cheezy Buffalo sauce would be fabulous tossed over pasta into vegan mac and cheese.
What is your y'alls food "thing?". If it's something you'd like a healthier version of, email me and I will do my best to create it for you!