Middle Eastern pita nachos

Middle Eastern pita nachos
Middle Eastern pita nachos
Middle Eastern pita nachos

Sometimes when I don’t know what to write about, I refer to a list in my iPhone Notes that is inventively called ‘stories to write about’. This list is made up of a collection anecdotes, stories and quotes that I feel are noteworthy, funny, or just outright weird. The list is ongoing, but I rarely look at it, let alone read it as tend to add to it after I’ve had a few wines. Anyway, after an uncharacteristically dull week, I thought I’d rummage through the archives and found this little gem…
“Jamie ate a woodlouse off his chest after mistaking it for a beansprout.” That was all it said. Not context, no backstory, no nothing… Still, it did the job.

Anyhoo, let’s move on to some beany deliciousness. Inspired by Nigella’s beef and aubergine fatteh recipe I thought I’d have a go at making my own vegetarian equivalent. I loved the idea of using pitta chips as a base and topping them with gorgeous Middle Eastern ingredients and flavours. The result was hearty, wholesome and pretty as a picture.

Middle Eastern pita nachos
Serves 2 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 40 mins /
1 tbs rapeseed oil
2 wholemeal pita breads
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
Pinch chili flakes
1 medium sized aubergine, cut into small cubes
1 tbs tomato puree
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans (you can use any can of beans), rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, sliced
To serve
80g vegetarian feta cheese
Pomegranate seeds
Handful, chopped fresh mint
Sumac (optional)


TIP: The bean mixture actually makes enough for four people. This is suitable for freezing once cooled fully and stored in an airtight container. 

1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut the pita bread into triangles and place on the baking tray. Add a tbs of rapeseed oil into a small dish and using a brush, paint each piece with oil on both sides, before seasoning well with salt and pepper. Bake the pita in the oven for 5 mins before flipping each pita triangle over and baking for a further 2 mins. Remove from the oven and put to one side.
2. In a large saucepan or cooking pot with a lid, add a drizzle of rapeseed oil over a medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onions, garlic and aubergine cubes and stir well. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for 5 mins.
3. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and drain and rinse the beans. Once softened, stir in the cumin, coriander, salt and chilli flakes. Add a dash of water and stir again, cooking for a couple more minutes.
4. Mix in the tomato puree before adding the tinned tomatoes, cannellini beans, sliced tomato and 3 tbs of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat slightly and simmer uncovered for 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, chop the fresh mint and prepare the pomegranate seeds.
5. Once cooked, take off the heat and divide the pita chips onto 2 plates. Top generously with the bean mixture and crumble over the feta and sprinkle with mint and pomegranate seeds. Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a dusting of sumac.

Middle Eastern pita nachos
Middle Eastern pita nachos

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian – The bean mixture is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.

Healthy-ish loaded nachos

Healthy-ish loaded nachos
Healthy-ish loaded nachos
Healthy-ish loaded nachos

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 tsp rapeseed oil (preferably in a spray bottle)
4 soft tortillas cut into eighths
Smoked paprika, to sprinkle
½ red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 sweetcorn, kernels removed (or 1 small, drained can)
8 cherry tomatoes, quarters
2 spring onions, chopped
100g vegetarian cheddar, grated
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1 lime
To serve
Natural plain yogurt
Handful of jalapeños (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ 400°F/gas mark 6. Stack 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.
Healthy-ish loaded nachos
Healthy-ish loaded nachos

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian    🌶– Spicy