Nacho and Rice Bowl with Cheesy Cauliflower Sauce

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I’m very excited about this recipe; nachos are one of my ultimate favourite foods. I know nachos are meant for sharing, but in our house they’re a main meal! However, since I need (read: want) to lose a few inches off my waist before my wedding dress fittings I set out to make a nacho recipe that accomplished three things:

  1. A nutritionally balanced main meal.
  2. A lower fat, healthier version.
  3. Exactly as delicious as my usual nachos!

As it turned out, I only needed two ingredients to achieve all three goals. Firstly, rice; rice is the base of this dish, meaning that instead of filling up on piles and piles of tortilla chips, you’ll only need a handful of chips to round off the meal. So, you still get some tortilla chips, but you get the addition of a big pile of lovely rice to enjoy too. If that’s not a great compromise, I don’t know what is!

The second awesome ingredient is cauliflower! With this nacho bowl you can still enjoy all your favourite toppings, however, I’m very partial to a cashew-based cheesy sauce on my chips. For this meal, I’ve created a delicious low-fat cauliflower-based sauce with all the flavour of a cashew queso. The cheesy cauliflower really is the star of this nacho bowl!

Don’t be put off by the long ingredients list and many components to this recipe; the whole thing comes together in under an hour. It’s ridiculously easy and amazingly delicious!

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Nacho and Rice Bowl with Cheesy Cauliflower Sauce

Serves 4


For the rice: 300g basmati rice

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp turmeric

For the Pico de Gallo: 460g ripe tomatoes, chopped

½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Handful fresh coriander, chopped

Juice 1 lime

1 tsp red wine vinegar

¼ tsp sea salt

Black pepper to taste

For the guacamole: 2 large ripe avocadoes, flesh only

½ red chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

Handful fresh coriander

Juice 1 lime

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the cheesy sauce: 130g cooked cauliflower

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

½ clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp bouillon powder

½ tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

For the refried beans: olive oil spray

1 onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 x 400g cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp liquid aminos or soy sauce

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

Tortilla chips

  1. Place the rice and spices in a saucepan and add 800ml water. Stir, cover partially and bring to the boil. Reduce to the lowest heat and leave to simmer until all the water has been absorbed. Cover tightly with a lid and turn off the heat. Fluff up quickly with a fork before serving.
  2. To make the pico de gallo, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Stir before serving.
  3. To make the guacamole, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  4. To make the cheesy sauce, combine all the ingredients in a blender along with 380ml water and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  5. To make the refried beans, place a large frying pan over a medium heat and spray with olive oil. When hot, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the remaining ingredients and a splash of water. Mix well and cook, stirring occasionally for about five minutes, adding more water as necessary. Partially mash the black beans with a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
  6. Transfer the cheesy sauce to a medium saucepan and place over a medium-low heat. Cook gently until heated through.
  7. To serve, divide the rice between serving bowls. Add a portion of each topping, plus a handful of tortilla chips, and pour on the cheesy sauce.

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