Black Bean Nacho Recipe (And Why I’m Climbing Back on the Good Health Wagon)

Loaded with veggies and just a touch of cheese, these are nachos that you can enjoy sans guilt.

The holidays are over, and Americans turn their attention to football playoffs. And Pinterest.

And shedding the holiday pounds.

Been there, done that.

Of course, if we all ate healthier year ’round in the first place, then we wouldn’t be fighting with the scale come January. There’s nothing especially mysterious about eating well, yet one does have to prepare for it, stocking pantry, freezer and refrigerator shelves with whole foods that are convenient to prepare. This is easier said than done, I know.

Oh, yeah… and don’t forget about the importance of portion sizes, which the folks at WebMD illustrate beautifully:

I thought I’d try my hand at illustrating portion sizes this January, with a dish or two from my kitchen. To be frank, I’ve fallen off the good health wagon the last year in many ways–in large part because of the stress of caregiving and managing my mother’s financial matters.

My worst health sins of 2011? Fast food, too little sleep, too much soda, and not enough exercise and meditation. Sadly, most of these poor choices weren’t driven by lack of knowledge about the short and long-term consequences of these choices. I chose poorly because I failed to plan and implement proper self care.

Believe you me, I’ve paid for this fall in ways that have nothing to do with the scale. (That, thankfully, hasn’t budged too much. Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone down either.) I’ve had more worrisome stuff pop up like a sinus infection that caused my lung capacity to go down considerably.  (Who knew that stress causes infections?!?!) An injured sciatic nerve on Christmas weekend. (Stress can cause sciatica?!?!) Yes, there are consequences to poor self care, folks.

So, I’m hoping that by talking about good health a little this month that I’ll reinforce the good behavior in my own life. I’m also trying to make up for all those sugary treats that I shared here last month.

Today’s recipe is a meditation of sorts for me. Assembling it was a reminder that I can indeed create and prepare healthful and tasty one-dish meals for myself–if I work mindfully.

It uses this site’s popular Simple Crockpot Black Beans, is one of those fast, delicious and nutritious meals that you can turn to time and time again at lunchtime and game time.

The nachos  serve one person, and the process is really a study in quality ingredients and portion sizes more than anything else. By using an extra sharp cheese, you can keep the amount of cheese (and fat) to a minimum and yet retain the flavor. I think you’ll be pleased with the taste and realize that it’s much more delicious than fast food. Even your resident football fans may discover that a leaner, trimmer plate of nachos can be downright enjoyable.

Note that this is a fun dish for the kids to help prepare.

Yields 1 serving


10 blue corn chips (or, if you’re feeling especially health conscious, try Beanitos, which are made of beans)
1 dice sized cube of extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Simple Crockpot Black Beans, drained (you can use canned beans, but it will not be the same)
1/4 cup chunky salsa


Spread chips on microwave safe plate. Top with beans and cheese. Pop into microwave and cook on high for 30 seconds, or until cheese is just melting. Add salsa.


Once you grate it, one cube of extra sharp cheddar cheese is plenty for one person. It's also about all the cheese a person needs to eat in a day.
Good cheese, good chips, and top quality beans make the dish sing.
Salsa counts as a veggie, too, making this bean dish especially veggie rich.

More recipes…

Explore More:

• We have to be careful and mindful about the goals that we set for yourself as we age. I think women have to be especially cautious about how they envision “healthy,” which is not the same as being a size 4 after a couple of kids. (Thought if you’re fierce enough to make that happen, more power to you!) Hoping to share some of the body-positive content out there, my Fit to Age Well Pinterest Board looks like this:

Buh-Bye, Food Pyramid. Hullo, USDA Food Plate

In Celebration of “Woman Food”

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