Fork Worthy Nachos

So…I’m officially an adult! I made it through my first full, 40 hour work week.  Part of me feels like I’m still a (semi) irresponsible college student just doing a summer internship. It still doesn’t feel quite real, but I’m sure it will very soon. Possibly as early as tomorrow, when I have to forgo a day off to go into work to help cover severe weather. That’s exactly what I hope to be doing with my career eventually, though, so I’m excited. And at least I get to sleep in!

Nachos aren’t totally a kids-only food, are they? If so, then I guess I’m technically a kid because I love ’em.

Hold on. Aren’t nachos like the exact opposite of healthy vegan food? A pile of fried corn chips smothered in (usually) super fake and gooey cheese sauce, and topped with greasy ground beef and too much sour cream…not exactly my kinda fare. But I’m not talking about baseball game or Taco Bell or even Qdoba-style nachos. No, I’m talking about fork-worthy nachos — ones with plenty of veggies, fresh guacamole and salsa, aka adult – appropriate nachos.

These are those nachos. These are the nachos I choose to eat. Maybe they’re not technically nachos, because they involve no cheese at all (real or vegan) and you kinda have to eat them with a fork. Because they’re messy. And they’re mostly toppings. And sure, nachos aren’t nachos with a chip of some sort, but let’s be real, it’s all about the toppings. Because who wants a big plate of corn chips? Not you…because you’re an adult. You eat your veggies willingly, and you utilize silverware as needed.

But I promise I won’t tell your mom if you eat these with your hands…

Here’s to being an adult!

A beautiful mess.

A beautiful mess.

Fork Worthy Nachos (vegan, gluten free)

  • tortilla chips (I use Way Better Snacks sprouted sweet potato tortilla chips)
  • veggies, sauteed or raw (I used spinach, orange cauliflower and bean sprouts here)
  • spices (I used cayenne, onion powder and a little pink sea salt)
  • coconut or olive oil, to saute
  • beans (I used chickpeas, but black beans would be great too)
  • extras (pico de gallo, avocado/guacamole, pumpkin seeds, etc.)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat up coconut or olive oil. Add in veggies and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add in beans and spices and continue cooking. Add in more veggies, if desired. Remove from heat and pour over tortilla chips. Top with salsa, guacamole or whatever you like. Makes 1 serving.

Do you like nachos? 

 

 

Stocking Your College Kitchen the Healthy Way

Fridge food.

Fridge food.

College doesn’t have to be about all-you-can-eat dining halls and weekends spent playing beer pong. In fact, it really shouldn’t be about either of those! Yes, it is possible AND easy to eat healthy as a busy college student–it’s all about stocking your kitchen right and prepping when you have time.

A lot of these tips are best for college students with an apartment and access to a kitchen because that’s my current situation, but if you’re a dorm-dweller you can still give these a try or keep them in mind for your first apartment experience.

Produce is the best thing you can spend your money on.

Produce is the best thing you can spend your money on.

Produce may be expensive but it’s one of the best investments you can make in your health. The best part is you can save money on it. Some stores discount their fruits and veggies when they’re about to go bad so you can get a ton of produce and save it for later. Or you can buy produce in season and freeze it it to have year round. Sprouts is my go to store for cheaper produce and they have organics at reasonable prices. Whole Foods is great for specialties and exotics and they’re not always outrageously priced.

Pantry staples.

Pantry staples.

Having plenty of nonperishables on hand is key to saving time and money.  Canned beans (no salt added, just beans and water), nut butters, plant-based protein powders,  dried fruit (no added sugars), no salt no oil microwave popcorn, spices, stevia, dried grains and legumes, tomato paste, coconut oil and almond meal are all things that I keep on hand most of the time. They’re all super simple to prepare and have ingredients I feel good about eating.  They also keep for awhile so they’re worth buying, and anyway,  they’re a lot cheaper than prepackaged stuff!

A typical college food gone healthy!

A typical college food gone healthy!

You can still indulge in college student favorites without compromising your healthy standards. I used to avoid most cereals because they were too sugary or had questionable additives, but once I discovered One Degree Organic Foods there was no turning back. They use sprouted grains (easier to digest than regular ones), coconut sugar (unrefined and low glycemic) and organic ingredients,  among other healthy business practices. Their cacao crisps are way better than cocoa Krispies!

You can still enjoy tthe sweet stuff without a sugar hangover.

You can still enjoy the sweet stuff without a sugar hangover.

If you know me at all, you know I have a MAJOR sweet tooth! But…refined sugar isn’t the best for you. That doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to desserts forever,  you just have to do them smarter. Dark chocolate (the darker the better), Larabars (I looove the chocolate chip ones and the cappuccino flavor), dates with coconut oil and fruit are what I rely on for daily desserts. For more more special occasions (aka the weekend), I make vegan and gluten free desserts made with honey or maple syrup,  oftentimes raw or protein packed and with whole foods ingredients. That way, I satisfy my desire for desserts without feeling bad later!

Eating healthy in college shouldn’t be expensive, boring or hard–just do your healthy eating homework ahead of time, shop smart, prep when you have time and enjoy what you’re making!