Let’s be honest, who are you if one of your favourite things to eat in the entire world isn’t nachos?
One thing that’s certainly booming in Melbourne at the moment is modern Mexican cuisine. Gone are the days of soggy fried taco shells bursting with MSG-laden seasoned ground beef, lack lustre guar (um, where’s my coriander?!) and cloudy fish bowls filled with sugar syrup, ghastly colour dyes and cheap tequila. Under-cheesed nachos were awesome in 2004 when we didn’t know any better, but with all these new restaurants boasting affordable and outrageously tasty menu offerings with funky interiors and vibes to boot, tacky Tex-Mex joints just aren’t cutting it anymore.
Of course, if you have an irritable tummy, you’ll more than likely be frightened of Mexican food, as Mexican is synonymous with onion, garlic and black beans. However, the list of restaurants I’ve compiled below are all ones that I’ve found to be quite accommodating. As long as you’re willing to pass up a few obvious options (I hate you, pre-made guac), it is possible to find something that’s tummy friendly, tasty AND relatively healthy on all the below menus!
Here’s a list of some of my favourite modern Mexican joints around Melbourne:
Mamasita – CBD
Touche Hombre – CBD (home of the best corn on the cob you’ll ever sink your teeth into)
The Black Toro – Glen Waverly
Fonda – CBD, Hawthorn, Richmond & Windsor
Because of all the different vegetables, herbs and spices that characterise the cuisine, Mexican is actually very easy to health-ify. Having said that, I couldn’t be bothered inventing a dehydrated corn chip, so here’s my healthy take on modern nachos, using sweet potato chips instead! Since my recipe is FODMAP/fructose conscious, it doesn’t include beans, but feel free to add them if you can eat them!
Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos (Vegan)
Low FODMAP Mexican Spice Mix (makes approx. 2.5 tbs):
- 1 tbs cumin
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 large avocados*, lightly mashed
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 large tomato, diced
- small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 6 spring onions (green part only), chopped
- Generous sprinkle of ‘Low FODMAP Mexican Spice Mix’ (above^)
- 2 large sweet potatoes**, washed, peeled and sliced thinly into 3mm-thick rounds
- 1 packet Celebrate Health Mexican Quinoa (available from the health food aisle of most leading supermarkets in Aus)
- 1 red capsicum, chopped
- 1 tin corn kernels (no added salt or sugar)
- 1 small handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
- 3 spring onions (green part only), chopped, to serve
- 1 red chilli, seeds removed and sliced, to serve (optional)
- Lime wedges, to serve
- Preheat oven to 220*C and line 2 large trays with baking paper.
- Prepare the spice mix by combining all ingredients. Set aside.
- To make the sweet potato chips, spread the sliced potato in an even layer on the prepared baking trays. Spray lightly with coconut oil spray and sprinkle with the spice mix. Bake the chips for 20 minutes, then flip the chips, give another light spray of oil and another sprinkle of spices, then return to the oven for a further 15-20 mins or until the rounds are beginning to resemble chips (refer to the images). Remove form oven and set aside. You may also wish to swap the position of the trays half way through to ensure even baking.
- In the meantime, prepare the Celebrate Health Mexican Quinoa according to packet instructions and set aside.
- Heat a little coconut oil in a frypan over medium-low heat. Sautee the capsicum, corn and a sprinkle of the spice mix until the capsicum is slightly tender and the corn kernels are beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To make the guac, combine all ingredients and season with sea salt.
- On a large flat serving dish or board, assemble the nachos by starting with the sweet potato chips on the bottom, then piling on the quinoa, capsicum, corn and guac. Garnish with coriander, spring onions, sliced chilli, lime wedges and a light sprinkle of the spice mix.
*Avocado contains sorbitol. Monash currently recommends that people highly sensitive to polyols should stick to 1/8th.
** Sweet potato contains mannitol. Monash currently recommends that people highly sensitive to polyols should stick to 1/2 cup.
Buen provecho, amigos!