Saturday 3 December 2016

Refried lentils with garlic scapes (and zucchini or pumpkin) for nachos

I had a yen for nachos.  It was a eco-friendly way to follow up a taco night where we used a taco kit.  I had leftover seasoning, leftover salsa and I had forgotten to use the yoghurt.  I also had garlic scapes to use.  And the challenge of making my favourite refried beans without kidney beans or black beans.  I was most pleased with how I rose to the challenge.

The garlic scapes were from a farmers market where it was suggested that I just fry them up.  Instead I put them in dip that I found really garlicky.  So I decided to use them instead of onion and garlic in the refried beans.  The first time I used 3 and then next I was determined to use them all and put 10 in.  It was fine.  Actually it was really good!

I tried making the nacos differently to my usual.  I have often layered a bean mixture and cheese and salad between layers of tortilla chips.  This time I looked at photos of nachos in favourite restaurants and online.  I decided just to layer cheese and tortilla chips and then once cooked I piled on topping, making sure to have the refried beans heated.  Delicious and pretty!

The refried lentils were both quick and tasty.  I made them to use up what was in the kitchen rather than shopping while we had lots of food.  I had 20 minutes to make the refried lentils and got it done.  Which means that I could get home from Sylvia's swimming lesson, knock up some guacamole and put together nachos quickly.

This could change the way I do nachos and open me up to trying new vegies and pulses in making refried beans.  And while we don't usually do nachos often, I could do with more quick meals like this.  Life has been so busy that I have been having some very simple dinners.  I finished making 3 small gingerbread houses yesterday but with Christmas looming, I am not sure life will be throwing lots more time my way!

I am sending this to Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays, to The Veg Hog. for My Legume Love Affair and to Elizabeth's Kitchen for No Waste Food Challenge.

More Mexican-inspired meals on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Borlotti bean mole with roast pumpkin and silverbeet (gf, v)
Haggis tacos (and nachos)
Kale, cheese and mole quesadillas (v)
Mexicale pie 
Oaxaca tacos (with potato and cheese) (gf)
Potato and kale enchiladas (gf, v)
Tex Mex Pizza with sourdough base (v)

Refried lentils with garlic scapes
Adapted from Alison Holst via Green Gourmet Giraffe
Serves 2-4

1 tbsp oil
3-10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped or 2-3 cups roasted diced pumpkin
2-3 tsp of taco seasoning
400g tin of brown lentils, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp tomato paste

Fry garlic scapes and zucchini in oil until zucchini is cooked.  (Or if using roast pumpkin, cook garlic scapes until starting soften and brown and then stir in pumpkin.)  Add taco seasoning and stir through.  Add lentils and tomato paste.  Warm though and remove from heat.

NOTES: Great for tacos and nachos.  You can mash with a fork or potato masher but it is optional.  If you don't have taco seasoning, add 1/2 tsp each of cumin, dried oregano, sugar, salt and chilli paste.  

For nachos I used 100g tortilla chips, 100-200g grated cheese and put together in 2 layers.  I heated it at 200 C for 15 minutes (but I think I could have done it either shorter or in a 180 C oven.)  I heaped it with refried lentils.  Then guacamole (1 avocado, squeeze of lime, pinch of salt, drizzle of srirach and 2 tbsp of garlicky green dip), about 1/4 cup plain yoghurt and 2-3 tbsp of salsa.

On the Stereo:
Dr Demento presents The Greatest Novelty Christmas CD of time - Various Artists


  1. I've been cooking vegetarian quite a bit lately as my daughter is now vegetarian. I even made nachos! I didn't use garlic scapes as I've never been able to find them and only heard of them through Chgo John's blog. That's a very pretty nachos. I'm going to look up some of your nut loaves for Christmas xx

    1. Thanks Charlie - hope you are enjoying cooking vegetarian - so many great meals you can make - I think this might be the first time I have found garlic scapes but have read about them quite a bit. Enjoy the nut roasts (I love the cottage cheese and walnut one I make every christmas)

  2. Gotta love making the most out of leftovers!

    1. Thanks Caeli - yes, I always feel good when I use up leftovers

  3. I should try cooking with garlic scapes more! I really love the flavour of them and they're so versatile too!

    1. Thanks Lorraine - I really loved them in cooking but found them surprisingly strong when raw - but I should try as advised at the market and just fry them up as a side dish

  4. It's the first time I hear about garlic scapes and the dish sounds fab.

    1. Thanks Anca - I always think garlic scapes are more common the northern hemisphere as I have read about them being bought there (maybe it was america)

  5. This looks divine! I've pinned it to my "Vegetarian Recipes" board so that I can make it in my own home kitchen soon. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  6. I absolutely love veggie nachos and these just look fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing with MLLA!

  7. Ooh what a delicious twist on nachos. I shall be trying these. Thank you for sharing.


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