He had me at “What are you doing for Cinco De Mayo?” I knew he was the one and I would bore little Bumblebees after that question. We would be together forever living a margarita filled happily ever after. Don’t look sideways at that, the Gates take May 5th SERIOUSLY.
Did you know Cinco De Mayo is not Mexican Independence day? I know right?! Since I’m an “adult” (sometimes), it’s my responsibility to look up what I’m celebrating. According to Wikipedia, May 5 is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 and Mexico’s independence day is actually September 16. But of course, here in the U.S. we have taken it beyond that and the date somehow became associated with freedom and food. Ahh yes the food: F#$k that’s delicious, tempting Mexican/Latin inspired food. If you know someone who doesn’t love tacos, nachos, hell anything Mexican inspired, disown them now and question why they’re in your life to begin with. I base my friendships on the person’s love for tacos and Chicago house music.
I won’t bore you with a long post about how Cinco De Mayo is one of my favorite cooking times of the year or how I literally try to cook everything to the point I don’t want to see a lime for at least a month. Or how we meticulously plan what we will eat and try to top each year with the one before. Or how we pick a signature drink like Natural Margaritas or Spanish inspired Tempranillo, and although not Mexican, we listen to Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, and the Buena Vista Social Club and sit on the patio, let the breeze wash over us and vibe. No I won’t elaborate on that, I’ll get right to feeding you.
So how can I top last year’s braised beef tacos with pickled red onions and not get my fit card revoked? Bison Nachos! Umm…Yes please!
As a kid I remember the neighborhood basement store ran by Ms. Lily. My purchase of choice was 100 sour patches, no green ones, a snow cone, and now called walking nachos, in my day they were Doritos w/ cheese sauce. If you had an extra dollar, you could get ground beef on it and REALLY make the other kids jealous. Walking down the block like “I got some nachos, I got some nachos, want some? Sike!” Yep, the simple pleasures, no one could tell me a thing, I was in pure sugar and beef heaven.
I love Bison because it’s a lean, grass fed, beef. I respect the Bison, because they won’t even let you feed them corn, and any other unnatural food. Ground beef might be its counterpart, but the taste is unmistakable, bison gives pure beef flavor. Bison combined with crispy baked tortilla chips, fresh veggies, plump black beans, and fresh roasted salsa, you will rethink your nacho game. The secret to the chips is mixing fresh lime juice with evoo to get that crunch as if they were fried.
So here’s my adult take on the neighborhood basement store ground beef nachos and to Ms. Lily who always made a kid smile and got me chased up the block for teasing.
Clean ChEATer’s Loaded Bison Nachos
Calories 424 /Carbs 43g/ Protein 32g /Sugar 3g/Fiber 9g
Juice of ½ lime
1/3c. Extra Virgin olive Oil
1 lb. bison
½ white onion, diced
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 can 14.5oz. black beans, drained
½ c. cotija cheese
1 whole jalapeno, cut in slices
½ bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
green onions to garnish (scallions)
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. salt
6oz. plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. honey, agave, or stevia
1tsp. liquid smoke
1 tbs. Sriracha or adobo chipotle sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- Cut tortillas in quarters
- Mix ½ lime juice & evoo
- Brush each side of tortilla quarter and place in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 min.
- Remove from oven, let cool.
Combine ingredients. Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, add bison and onion. Saute until it onions soften and bison is browned. Add spices and stir to combine. Add the beans and stir. Reduce the heat to low.
- Build the nachos by placing a layer of tortilla chips on a platter or plate. Top with alternating layers of the bison/bean mix, cotija, roasted salsa and jalapenos, cilantro/scallions. Drizzle chipotle crema and slices of avocado. Devour.