Thursday, January 17, 2013

Healthy Gameday: Sweet Potato Nachos

Football. Healthy? Not usually. The usual game day fare is made up of nachos, wings, fries, and all sorts of artery clogging deliciousness. To try and capture the flavors of gameday without incurring the post eating guilt, I decided come up with a series of healthy versions of football classics. The first in the series of healthy bar food alternatives replaces pulled pork nachos in the form of sweet potato nachos.

While normal pulled pork nachos are generally unhealthy in almost every way, the version I came up with makes some clever switches that make this classic a healthy treat. I replaced the tortilla chips, which are usually made with corn or white flour and loaded with salt, with roasted sweet potato chips. By slicing the sweet potatoes thin and roasting them in the oven, I got a nice crispy chip that was actually healthy. To go with the chips, I made salsa and guac, and to top it all off, I made pulled chicken. With a good BBQ sauce and chicken thighs, you can get the texture and flavor of pulled pork without the fat of a pork shoulder in a fraction of time. Also, because the sweet potatoes weren't cut too thin, their sweetness and softness meant that you didn't even need any melted cheese like you would on normal nachos. Topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt, this will be a dish that not only impresses your football viewing party, but it will leave your guests satisfied and feeling good about themselves.

2 sweet potatoes (the thinner, rounder, and most symmetrical make the best chip)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 medium tomatoes - diced
1 medium red onion - diced
1 jalapeno - diced (I keep half the seeds to keep some heat, but not turn off anyone who is averse to spicy food)
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
2-3 avocados
1 bunch cilantro - chopped
1/2 lime
3 cloves garlic - diced
4 skinless chicken thighs
1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce
1 can of light beer
Greek yogurt

To Cook:
The Pulled Chicken

  1. Put chicken, BBQ Sauce, and beer in a heavy bottomed pot, cover and cook on medium for 30-40 minutes until chicken in easily shredded with a fork
  2. Remove chicken from pot to cool, and then shred with a fork
  3. Discard bones and mix chicken back in with the sauce

The Chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Slice potatoes thinly using a mandolin or knife
  3. Toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and lay on baking sheets in one layer
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through until brown and crisp, but not burnt
  5. Remove from pan and set aside to cool
The Salsa
  1. Mix tomatoes (reserving 1/2 of one tomato for the guac), half of red onion, half of jalapeno, half of garlic, and half of cilantro in a bowl with some salt and pepper and the sugar and set aside
The Guac
  1. Halve and scoop out the avocados into a bowl, discarding pit and peel
  2. Mash avocados with a little salt using a potato masher to desired smoothness
  3. Add remaining tomato, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro
  4. Squeeze the half lime, add some pepper and mix thoroughly

The Nachos!

  1. Layer the potato chips on a platter
  2. Add the pulled chicken, then salsa and guac
  3. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt on top, hand out forks and enjoy!


DCL913 said...

These nachos were SOOO good and they didn't taste healthy at all, which I think is a good thing! There was so much flavor and the sweet potato chips didn't get soggy at all.

I highly recommend this dish!!

DLaRG said...

One order please!