Irish Nachos (Healthy…I promise!!)…

I’ve been up at the cabin all week working on a research paper, while J (very generously) covered our classes in town. It’s been blissfully quiet up here…and very cozy in front of the wood stove, but definitely frosty when you step outside.

A day or two after J went back to town, I noticed that we had exactly three wooden matches left. I called him in a panic, and he suggested various places I might look for the Bic lighters he uses to light his pipes. Alas, there were none!

“What should I do?!” I asked him.
“Well, I guess you’d better not let that fire go out,” he said (and I could just hear the faintest bit of a smirk in his voice).

The fact that I had no vehicle and a walk to the store and back would have been a ten-mile hike exacerbated my panic. I could have borrowed a match from one of the neighbours, buuuut I didn’t want to out myself as a complete doofus, so I determined that I would not let the fire go out. On Wednesday night, I stayed up until four AM writing my research paper and awoke at five thirty AM to barking dogs (because they’re both little a-holes with no regard for my sleep). My first thought was not (as one would think), “Holy crap, I’ve had only ninety minutes sleep!” It was, ” THE FIRE!!” I sprang from the bed into the living room, and the fire, she was a-burning still. Such triumph felt I. This is the picture I immediately texted J, with the (obvious) message: I RULE!!!!


I also took this week as opportunity to start afresh on the vegan plan. On Monday, I made lentil stew, black bean soup,  whole-wheat beer bread, hummus, a vat of low-fat peanut sauce, and a big pot of brown basmati rice. Then, I cut up a truckload of vegetables. I lived on these dishes for five days while I was doing my research, but by Friday, I was feeling a bit tired of the same old thing.

This evening, J, who arrived back at the cabin last evening, reminded me that he’d brought me some commercial guacamole, so I made a healthy version of nachos, and it was delicious!


My inspiration was the McDougall recipe website, which relies on potatoes as a base for many of its vegan recipes.  The central difference between Joel Fuhrman’s vegan Eat to Live plan and John McDougall’s vegan Starch Solution is that Fuhrman relies more on nuts and restricts starches and McDougall relies more on starches (potatoes and grains) and restricts nuts and avocados.

And being an Irish hillbilly at heart, I loves me my potatoes.

The “Irish Nachos” I had for my dinner is more of an assembly than a recipe:

  • a cup or two of boiled nugget potatoes

Topped with…

  • black beans
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped yellow onion
  • chopped jalepeno peppers
  • a generous dollop of salsa
  • a generous dollop of guacamole
  • a sprinkling of fresh cilanto
  • slices of fresh lime

It was delicious!

I have to admit, however, that I could only eat about a third of the bowl pictured above….which brings me back to the reason McDougall’s plan might be more suited to my particular gustatorial  sensibilities than the Fuhrman plan: I can only eat so many potatoes, but I can eat a truckload of nuts.

As an aside, J and I used to frequent an amazing Irish pub on West 10th called Dentry’s. They had Van Morrison on an endless loop and, on Sunday nights, wine was half price! In other words, a bottle of Copper Moon (yeah, yeah, like you‘d turn it down for this price) would run you TEN BUCKS. We’d order a bottle of Copper Moon red (I think the choices were “red” and “white”) and a big plate of Irish Nachos to share. Holy crap, were they ever good…but nothing like the recipe I outline above. They were waffle-cut fries layered with cheddar and monterey jack and topped with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and all the trimmings.

Jaysus H. Christ, no wonder I’m fat!

Photo 6 Irish Nachos2

And my darling Jamie-boy arrived back home last evening, and we’re all happy again…


And listening to Van Morrison’s Inarticulate Speech of the Heart.

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