No need to adjust your screen. You read it right: Lunchbox Nachos.
Yes, it is indeed possible to send your kids to school with nachos in their lunchboxes.
But be warned, you may find this recipe a little controversial for a couple of reasons.
First, the salt content of the corn chips. Yes, okay, most corn chips wouldn’t satisfy the healthy test for a school lunchbox, but if you avoid supermarket corn chips and buy the ones from a health food store or supermarket, you’ll cut down a bit on the salt and additives. I use organic corn chips from my local green-grocer. They’re still salty, but, hey, it’s not like I serve this stuff to my kids every day. It’s an occasional treat and everyone deserves a lunchbox treat every now and again, don’t you think?
You could always try making your own (just make sure that you use gluten-free flour in this recipe), but that tends to defeat the purpose of this being a quick bash ‘n’ bake kind of recipe (and a big thanks to Jamie Oliver for that term).
To cut back on the additives, I used a can of kidney beans rather than refried beans. The beans and the cheese give the protein hit, so be liberal!
The second reason that this recipe may be a little controversial is that your kids will need to be happy to eat them cold. But isn’t eating cold nachos one of life’s great joys? (That, and cold lasagne). If you need more information on getting your kids to eat cold leftovers, check out this post by The Root Cause. There’s some great ideas. And serving cold leftovers really opens up the lunchbox options for you.
Just be sure to cool the finished product on a wire rack to keep them crisp.
I send two nachos each with my kids to school and that’s all they need for lunch. They’re filling and give a good dose of fibre, calcium, carbohydrates, dairy, fats, cereals, protein (and probably more).
I think these nachos would also make fantastic party food – everyone knows about nachos, but the novelty of little individual serves makes them just a bit more exciting.
This recipe is a bit approximate as it really depends on how you like your nachos. But I’m sure you’ll work it out!
400 g can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
200 g mild gluten-free taco sauce or salsa
110 g gluten-free plain corn chips
175 g grated tasty cheese
Preheat oven to 180° Celsius (conventional oven) or 160° Celsius (fan-forced oven). Grease and line 8 cavities in a half-cup (125 ml) capacity muffin tray.
In a large bowl, blend or roughly mash the kidney beans with a fork. Stir the taco sauce through the beans.
Put 2 or 3 broken corn chips into each cavity. Put 1 or 2 tbs of the bean mix on top of the chips. Top with a small handful of cheese. Gently press down on each cavity to ensure the ingredients will stick together. Put another 2 or 3 broken chips on top of the cheese, then 1 or 2 tbs bean mix and finish with another small handful of cheese. Gently press down on each cavity.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove nachos from tray and cool on wire rack.
Serve warm or cold.