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Israeli Nachos

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was quiet and filled with lots of delicious food. Couldn’t have asked for more.

For as long as I can remember, New Year’s Eve has meant a dinner of appetizers. As a kid, I loved that. We got to eat in front of the TV, which never happened. My husband and I have continued the tradition, although our selection is pretty different from what I had growing up. We vary some items, but some sort of chip/dip/nacho combo is always in there.

These are what I loosely call “Israeli” Nachos. They were originally inspired by nachos my husband got at Middle Eastern restaurant and then riffed off of this online recipe. I like that there is some substance, but easy on the cheese. The hummus kind of acts like the guacamole, the Israeli salad like the pico, and the yogurt sauce like sour cream. Whether you could find anything like this in Israel, I don’t know. But I’d eat it if I did.

If you are looking for other appetizer ideas for your New Year’s celebrations, look here.

Israeli Nachos (Serves 4)

Israeli Nachos

½ tablespoon olive oil
¼ red onion, diced
½ jalapeno, diced small (seeds and membranes removed if preferred)
1 clove garlic, mincedd
1 can reduced sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon curry powder (to taste, based on heat of your curry)
Tortilla chips
Shredded mozzarella cheese (about ¼ cup per person)
1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tomatoes, chopped
½ cucumber, chopped
¼ red onion, diced
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 recipe hummus

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion and jalapeño until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add 1 clove garlic, cooking 1 minutes. Add chickpeas, garam masala, and chickpeas. Saute until combined and heated through, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

3. Spread tortilla chips evenly over baking sheet. Sprinkle chickpea filling evenly over the top. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted.

4. While cooking, prepare yogurt sauce by coming yogurt, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and tahini in a blender until smooth.

5. Also prepare salad: combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and remaining olive oil and lemon juice.

6. Serve nachos with hummus, yogurt sauce, and salad.

Recipe notes: Pita chips seem like the logical choice here, but I remember them being tortilla chips at the restaurant. Either would work of course. You notice I didn’t put nutritional information on this one. This one is a little complicated, since it is very variable on how many chips you like and how much of the dips you use. You will have a lot more dip than bean topping. So, you could double the topping. I didn’t have any, but I think some chopped flat leaf parsley in the salad would be really nice.

Source: adapted from memory from Laffa restaurant in Tulsa (If you are ever in Tulsa, go there please. Yum!) and here

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Curry Chickpea Nachos with Mango Salsa and Raita

Lunch is a really difficult meal for me. I don’t want to expend much effort, but I want something delicious. Sometimes, a pb&j is that sweet spot. I find on the weekends, however, a simple lunch just won’t cut it. Weekends feel like they should have special, slightly more indulgent meals to me.

These nachos seem like a bit of work, but they come together fairly quickly. And the reward is huge. Most things taste better on a chip with dip, don’t they? Don’t skip the salsa or the “raita” like sauce. Both make this dish even more special.

Enjoy!

Curry Chickpea Nachos with Mango Salsa and “Raita” (Serves 6)

Curry Chickpea Nachos

1 cucumber, grated (peel half of the peel if regular cucumber, can leave peel on if English cucumber)
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
5 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 tomatoes, diced, divided
1 red bell pepper, diced, divided
1 red onion, diced, divided
½ cup lightly packed coarsely chopped cilantro, divided
1 avocado, diced (optional)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sriracha or hot sauce
½ large bag baked tortilla chips (basically, enough to make a good layer on a baking sheet)
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1. For the raita, squeeze out and discard the excess liquid from the cucumber. In a bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and mint. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Can be done up to 24 hours in advance.

2. For the mango salsa, combine mango, ½ the bell pepper, 1 diced tomato, ¼ cup chopped onion, ¼ cup cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and avocado if using. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Can be done up to 24 hours in advance.

3. Preheat oven to 375.

4. Heat a olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute remaining onion until translucent. Add beans, remaining pepper, remaining tomato, curry powder, garam masala, and cumin. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat. Stir in sriracha, remaining lime juice, and black pepper.

5. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange tortilla chips in a single layer on baking sheet. Top with mozzarella, followed by curried beans and feta cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and chips are hot and crisp, about 12-14 minutes. Top with remaining cilantro. Serve with mango salsa and raita.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories:  403
Protein:  21 g
Fat:  15 g
Saturated Fat:  6 g
Cholesterol:  33 mg
Carbohydrates:  51 g
Fiber:  9 g
Sodium:  527 mg

Recipe Notes: I kind of chop all the ingredients at once, and even have made the dips as the beans cook. It works just fine that way, you are just very busy right then. The original recipe called for ground turkey or lamb, which I’ve subbed beans for, but I like going the vegetarian route. It also says to drain all the liquid from the salsa and pour it over the top. I kind of like the liquid in the salsa since I prefer to dip it. Draining the liquid means draining flavor to me, but you can try that if you prefer a “dry” salsa.

Source:  adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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