There is a fine line between those of us who can wear denim hot pants and those of us who can’t. I’m sure you can guess which category I fall into.
So, there I was, bending over to tie up my shoelaces, when I catch sight of what looked like the back of a large rhino. No, there must be some mistake, that cannot be MY arse?! I bolt upright only to see the cellulite on my thighs dimple even harder. ARGH! I quickly bend back over and stare at myself upside down, then from all angles. Three mirrors?! Three f***ing mirrors!!!! No one needs see their arse from that many angles. But the blood has started rushing to my head, so I decide to stand up and face the music.
I’m wearing what can only be described as a giant adult nappy made of denim. It’s high-waisted, and so short you can see my bum cheeks. When did denim shorts become so short? With only two weeks to go until my holiday, I decided to whip off the hot pants and do what any self respecting thirty-something would do in this situation.
Angrily drink three gin and tonics in quick succession at the nearest Weatherspoon’s. So what if my hot pants days are numbered? I hear culottes are back in fashion – a rather snazzy combination of the skirt and a short… Yes, they are as awful as they sound.
Failing that, I could try and just eat a little healthier. So, instead of fully loading my nachos with mountains of refried beans, guacamole and sour cream, I created this rather tasty, lighter version. Swapping shop-bought salty tortillas chips with my homemade version was surprisingly easy and delicious. I’ve favoured fresh avocado slices over guacamole and low-fat yoghurt instead of sour cream. To be honest, it felt just as indulgent, and has given me a good chance of squeezing into my snazzy new culottes. Well, it’s got to be better than wearing a denim nappy, right?
Healthy-ish loaded nachos
Serves 2 or 4 as a starter / Hands on time 40 mins / Total time 40 mins / V🌶
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ 400F/gas mark 6. Stack the 4 tortillas on top of each other and cut them in half across the middle, then into quarters and then into eighths. Spread them out, onto 2 deep baking trays, trying to overlap them as little as possible.
2. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, season with salt and pepper and spray with oil (I bought an empty spray bottle and filled it with oil myself but don’t worry if you don’t have one, just drizzle with oil). Bake in the oven for 5 mins, before flipping them over and cooking for a further 5 mins. Remove and put to one side. Turn the oven off but turn the grill on a medium to high heat.
3. Sweat the red onion and the garlic in a little oil in a large pot. Add a bit of water to help the onions steam and to cook them faster. Once softened, add the cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and cook for a further 2 mins. Add the drained black beans, the sweetcorn kernels*, a drop of water and give it a good stir. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. *To remove the sweet corn kernels, simply stand the sweetcorn on it’s head and run a sharp knife carefully down the sides to remove them slowly (they tend to go everywhere so proceed with care).
4. Meanwhile, chop the spring onions, the tomatoes and grate the cheese ready for sprinkling.
5. Tip the tortilla chips into one baking tray and top with the cooked beans. Scatter with the tomatoes and spring onions and sprinkle with cheese.
6. Place under the grill for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Meanwhile, roughly chop the coriander, slice the avocado and quarter the lime. Remove from the grill and top with the avocado, coriander, a good squeeze of lime. Serve scattered with jalapeños and with a side of yogurt.