Monday, May 18, 2015

the poverty luxe kitchen vol. 8: "healthy" nacho cheese.

nacho cheese. who doesnt love nacho cheese? i mean, its all hot and gooey and spicy and so, so good. but also it tends to come from a can or jar or pump and be chock-full of all kinds of nasty weird ingredients that make you feel so, so bad. 

but what if i told you that you could make nacho cheese and not feel all that bad about it? that would be pretty awesome, right? well do i have a treat for you today. i mean, this recipe isnt exactly what youd call "light" or "skinny" or "diet" or whatever (and i certainly wouldnt recommend eating it all the time...), BUT its entirely made from normal, pronounceable, real food ingredients. no hydrogenated oils or artificial flavors or scary fake orange color here, just creamy, gooey, spicy cheese sauce ready to be poured over a big plate of chips or into a bowl for dipping (actually, my favorite thing to do the night after taco night is to pile all the leftover taco fixings on some chips and top it all with this sauce, its wonderful). 

so are you ready to make some (relatively) healthy nacho cheese? 

heres what you need: 

(serves 4+ as a topping/dip)

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sweet rice flour (or regular flour if youre not gluten free)
1 cup milk
8 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup cooked black beans (or 1/2 a can, totally optional)

heres what you do: 

melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. 

stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute. (this is called making a roux, its a very important skill in fancy cooking).

slowly stir in milk, stirring constantly to make a nice, smooth sauce. 

raise heat to medium-high and cook until sauce thickens and begins to bubble, stirring occasionally. (if youre familiar with traditional cooking techniques, or my recipe for mac and cheese, you know that we just made ourselves some b├ęchamel).

remove from heat and stir in cheese until completely melted. 

if you want your nacho cheese plain, you can go ahead and stop here, pouring the cheese sauce over chips/toppings or into a container for dipping, BUT if you want to make some AWESOME dip for say, party-type situations, go ahead and stir in those black beans. 

and thats it! now you can treat yourself to "healthy" nacho cheese! (i mean, in comparison to you know, typical nacho cheese)

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