Yesterday Ryan returned to work after a full week-and-a-half off. His break was glorious for all of us. Having “Daddy’s” presence around is beautiful for our little family. We adopt a new rhythm to our days [which involves my changing less diapers: boo-ya.] The perfect moment to illustrate this was when Philomena woke up one morning whilst Ryan was still sleeping, sat up looking at him, and made her little kiss noises while saying, “Da da? (kiss noise) Da da? (kiss noise)” It melted my already melty heart.
However, yesterday was back to reality. Ryan had to face a long work day, and Mena and I had to face finding our own groove again. I knew I needed to plan a dinner that both didn’t take a lot of forethought and was a treat Ryan could look forward to all day [aka, it had to resemble bad-for-us food].
And thus, chicken nachos. While the rest of you were New Year resolution-ing it up with your salads and healthy soups and quinoa, we were enjoying bar food. Shameless, I know.
Here are the ingredients:
I forgot to take a picture of the tortilla chips, oddly enough. When I don’t make my own (which I didn’t this time), my all-time, hands-down favorite brand is On the Border “Cafe Style.” Every once in a while, I’ll be self-guilted into purchasing some organic chips with ingredients like millet or flaxseed, but I usually regret the purchase. I figure since we only buy chips once every few months, might as well get the delectable ones. I wish OTB was a little more specific in their ingredient list as to what type of oil they use for the chips, but heck, these are freaking nachos, I need to get over it.
After a couple bites I asked Ryan what he thought of the dish. He responded, “This is the kind of dish that from the beginning you are sad that it will be coming to an end.”
[Note: this is definitely more of a “method” than a specific recipe. It’s highly adaptable.]
2 cups shredded chicken
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1/2 teas garlic powder
1/2 teas cumin
just a pinch of chipotle powder [totally optional]
1 cup black beans
tortilla chips [On the Border “Cafe Style” recommended]
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese [I used a mixture of colby-jack and pepper jack]
chopped green onions, to taste [I used about two]
black olives, to taste [I used maybe a 1/4 cup or so?]
chopped cilantro, to taste [maybe a loose 1/4-cup?]
sour cream, to garnish/slather all over
1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with foil [*very important, if you don’t want to be scraping hardened cheese off of your pan!].
2. Mix together the chicken, salsa, seasonings, and beans. Heat in a skillet on medium until warmed.
3. Take about three good handfuls of chips and spread them on the cookie sheet. Layer half of the chicken/bean mixture on top, then sprinkle half of the cheese on that.
4. Cover this with more chips, then the remaining chicken, then the remaining cheese. Sprinkle the green onions and black olives on top.
5. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the cheese is melty, but not hardened. Garnish with cilantro and sour cream. Guacamole would also be an awesome addition, if avocados weren’t so expensive nowadays.