I have many friends who have special dietary requirements; mostly they are vegetarians. So whenever I’m organising a dinner party, it has became a second nature that I make sure everyone’s dietary requirement is catered for. I remember my beloved brought a friend home not too long ago.
As soon as they walked through the door: “Hey Hun, I forgot to tell you that A is a vegetarian”, he said as-a-matter-of-factly.
And there I was, spending a couple of hours before cooking chicken curry and a small side dish of eggplant curry. In that minute, my small amount of eggplant curry has elevated to the main dish status. I downplayed my chicken dish with a side of disapprovingly look at my beloved.
Ever since then, I have made a point that I have a vegetarian main in addition to other dishes in my dinner parties, just in case. It also got me thinking about tweaking my favourite dishes which contained meat products to the vegetarian version. I refuse to believe that vegetarian version will be less flavourful than the meat ones. From the vegetarian dishes that my friends have cooked for me, I am convinced that vegetarian dishes can be delicious, flavourful and, best of all, not restricted to just salads.
With that said, please enjoy my twist of vegetarian nachos. I feel this is THE dish that re-introduces cauliflowers to those who dislike them. I’m all for deliciously sneaking vegetables into my diet. This could be THE DISH for you to try to impress your vegetarian friends.
What you’ll need for 4 people:-
- 1/4 cauliflower, cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp **Fajitas seasonings + 1 tbsps cooking oil
- Cooking oil
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper (capsicum), diced
- 1/2 ***chipotle chilli, finely chopped
- 1 x 439g (15.5 ounces) canned black beans
- 1 + 1/2 cups of passata
- Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 x 200g bags of corn chips (preferable low salt version)
- A handful of grated cheddar cheese
- Fresh coriander, chopped *which I’ve omitted*
** I used the Old El Paso brand
*** I used chipotle in adobo sauce which came in a canned which I got it from Harris Farm Markets in Orange, or you can get it online here. Don’t use the whole chilli as it is very hot! Deseed the chilli before using to reduce the spiciness.
Marinate cauliflower with fajitas seasonings and cooking oil. Set aside while prepping other ingredients such has dicing the onion, capsicum, finely chopped the chipotle chilli, drain and rinse the black beans.
In a large pan with a little oil, sauté onion until translucent over medium flame. Add marinated cauliflower and sauté for a minute or two. Then add diced capsicum and sauté for another minute. Stir in chipotle, black beans and passata until well combined. Turn the flame to low- medium and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender (melt-in-you-mouth) and the sauce is well-infused into the vegetables. Add water if the mixture appears a little dry. 10 minutes later, season with salt and pepper.
To serve, scatter the corn chips on a parchment paper lined baking tray and spoon the cauliflower-bean mixture all over. Finish off with some grated cheese on top, blistered in the oven using the grill function. Scatter with chopped coriander and a drizzling of avocado-yoghurt sauce.