When my husband and I first started dating, we’d spend every weekend together watching marathon viewings of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and ordering in food for delivery. We’d get pizzas, which we’d then top with chips for our own impromptu taco pizzas (since taco pizza isn’t sold in the Southland), Thai stir-fries, Mediterranean platters, and Indian curries. However, unless we wanted to cook, there was one meal where we were forced to go out into the world – breakfast.
Every weekend we’d lament that there was no available Breakfast Delivery Service. (Breakfast is the time people really don’t want to get up and showered and out of the house before coffee and food. With a breakfast delivery service, you’d just have to make it as far as the front door, hand off some cash, and say good morning to biscuits and gravy.)
So at least once every weekend and sometimes twice, we’d head to our favorite diner for breakfast and slide into one of their big, cozy booths. The diner was really old school with swivel stools around a counter, someone walking around with a pot of coffee to give your cup a “warm up,” and a server who already knew what our order would be because it was always the same.
This was before either of us had gone vegan, and after discovering it on the menu, every time I’d order the huevos rancheros. They made their huevos rancheros with a double layering of tostadas. There was one crisp tostada slathered with refried beans, which was then topped with another tostada, scrambled eggs, salsa, and cheese. As I broke my fork into the crisp tostadas with a crack, it made a terrifically satisfying crunch. I liked how there was a combination of hot and cold, soft, smooth, creamy and crunchy.
During the week sometimes I’d pick up a bag of tostadas at the grocery store and make my own version. The tostadas were easy enough to find in Southern California and pretty widely available. Where I live now, they’re less common. Plus, nowadays I like to choose organic corn products as much as possible, because they’re a common GMO crop. Finding organic tostadas is even trickier. (I did make a baked version of the crisp tostadas for this Southwestern Tofu Tostada recipe a couple of years ago using organic corn tortillas.)
Vegan breakfast nachos
These days when I make my own version of the diner’s huevos rancheros, first, I veganize them with creamy cashew queso, easy refried beans, tofu scramble, tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, chunks of fresh avocado, and a smattering of hot sauce. And instead of round crisp tostadas, I use organic tortilla chips. I call them Lazy Rancheros, or more accurately, breakfast nachos.
(Note: I call for Ancho Chili Powder in the recipe, because I think it has a much better depth of flavor than your average chili powder. It’s the only chili powder I use these days. However, if you can’t find it in your area, feel free to swap it out with your regular chili powder instead.)
This recipe has endless options. If your early morning energy fights against you making cashew cheese, refried beans, and a tofu scramble, by all means just pick two. Or make it as breakfast-for-dinner, or swap out the refried beans or tofu scramble for black beans instead. Or use these ingredients for a breakfast burrito! Stuff a tortilla with the scramble, beans, tomatoes, and onions, and then smother it in the cashew cheese sauce.
I am very heavily in the savory breakfast camp, and this platter of breakfast nachos is nearly perfection for me. A spicy scramble with hearty refried beans and creamy queso is a beautiful way to start the day. So what is it lacking? Well, if I could just find a way to have it delivered to me while I’m in my pajamas, now that would be heaven.
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