Meatless Monday in Hurry


like when it’s near , say, a holiday that has a major food component, time seems scarce…..only because it’s being filled up with the Everyday as well as the Holiday….and you suddenly realize that although the food for a certain day that is not today is planned, shopped and prepped, today, TODAY is a meal short.

Right NOW.

Do not be drawn to the arches of gold.MacD archesYou will not be lovin’ it.

You will add guilt and indigestion to an already full week.

INSTEAD do a really jiffy quick trip to the store to pick up a few pantry staples. Staples that can also be on hand for the later then last minute eats to take or serve, will also serve you. Soon.


This is the sort of glop that often passes for nachos. Do not be fooled - this is not nachos.

This is the sort of glop that often passes for nachos. Do not be fooled – this is not nachos. These are not nachos? Ponder the singular/ pleural conundrum that is nachos. Or not.

Nachos Now with Beans

8 ounces tortilla chips (you could make your own, which are zippy fast and really good, but this is not the time for that. Somebody’s hungry!)

1 pound shredded cheddar cheese (4 cups)   (The bag sort is fine here because of everything else going on)

2 large jalapeño chiles (3/4 ounce each), sliced thin (about 1/4 cup) (or a can of chopped green chiles, with jarred jalapeño slices on the side)

Refried beans, a can

2 scallions, sliced thin

1/2 cup sour cream (4 ounces) and/or an avocado or packaged guacamole

Jar of Paul Newman Salsa ( my favorites are Pineapple and Tequila Lime)

1 lime cut into 6 wedges

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 °.
  2. Grate or shred the cheese if you bought a block and not a bag.
  3. Slice the jalapeno chiles and the scallions separately – tiny pieces!
  4. Spread half of chips in even layer in 13- by 9-inch baking dish
  5. Sprinkle evenly with 2 cups cheese and half of jalapeno slices.
  6. Drop about 6 oz of the re fried beans by spoonful across the cheesy landscape.
  7. Repeat with remaining chips, cheese, beans and jalapenos.
  8. Bake until cheese is melted, 7 to 10 minutes.
  9. Remove nachos from oven, cool 2 minutes, and then sprinkle with scallions.
  10. Along edge of nachos, drop scoops of sour cream, avocado, guacamole and salsa.
  11. Cut the lime into wedges.
  12. Serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately to squeeze on top.
  13. I have been know to make this in my little Pyrex baker for one…it breaks down. The trick is to not eat the chips alone. I look for unsalted chips or low salt. There’s plenty of taste in the cheese and the salsa and the jalapenos….

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated July 2002

CI ja02_nachos_article

Nacho done right Cook’s Illustrated style – they make their own guac and salsa, which can be done speedily IF you have a good avocado and good tomatoes – it’s the shopping time the prepared stuff saves you. Everyone should a 15 minute meal or 2 up their sleeve. One that isn’t a bowl of cereal, that is.

CI jul02

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