This last weekend was CRAZY! My oldest child’s birthday was yesterday (12, yeesh where does time go?), and we spent the entire weekend celebrating. If you ever wondered how to pull-off an entire weekend’s worth of fun for nearly nothing, then this is your post…and also a GREAT recipe for Nachos!
Friday started with a sleepover. We had 7 nearly teenage girls at our house…that was loud! Friday night we ordered pizza (I had bread sticks and garlic ‘butter’ both accidentally vegan according the pizza places website) then watched one of MY favorite movies, Clueless. It was hilarious listening to all the girls talk about the clothes, the way they spoke, and how “all the clothes from ‘back then’ are coming back in style now”! By the time that all finished up, it was 11:30 pm and I was wiped, so we made them all go hang-out in Gabrielle’s room, where they partied until 3:45 am playing board games and giggling.
Saturday, we let the girls stay most of the day, which meant feeding them. We started with donuts for them all, and then did McD’s nuggets and fries for lunch. I didn’t eat any of these things, duh, they’re not plant-based!  The total food cost for the 2 days was somewhere around $75, so not that bad for all those girls to eat (and my husband and son too)
Sunday, Gabrielle and I took a day trip down to Bloomington where my aunt and uncle live. She treated us to a musical from a children’s theater group and lunch. I think our favorite part was just getting to spend some time with two of our favorite people we don’t normally get to see. Due to the drive-time, we just met the hubs and Braden at our favorite Mexican place on our way home. I was still fairly full from lunch (Asian buffets are the best!), so I ended up just eating some guac. and chips.
Monday was Gabrielle’s actual birthday, so I wanted it to be extra special. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra does this wonderful program a handful of Monday’s throughout the year where the tickets are free and you get to experience some topic of interest. The topic this time was “Getting the Gig” and discussed with 4 of the Orchestra’s musicians their journey and what it consists of. It was a long night for our son, but my husband, myself, and Gabrielle thought it was fantastic! I’ve already reserved tickets for the next one in May.
So it IS possible to have a fun-filled weekend for low-cost. You just have to search out some free and interesting events and be willing to expand your horizons.
Like I said, insane weekend, and wishing I could have spent it with plants (munching) not pants! It also brings me to my recipe. Last night we were in a mad-dash to get food in us so we wouldn’t be late for the ISO event. Its in these moments that I pull-out the easiest options, and Gabrielle had specifically requested this one, so it was already a done deal!
We chose to have ours over French Fries as ‘chili cheese fries’, but these dips make PERFECT Nacho toppings too!

Nacho Food…so Don’t touch!

 

White Queso Ingredients:

1/2 C Daiya mozzarella cheese shreds
3/4 C Almond milk (may use less so add a little at a time)
1/2 -3/4 C Cashews
Pepper (heavy dash)

Salt (as needed)
1-1 1/2 tsp Lime juice (I use concentrate in bottle and just add a little)
4 oz can diced Green Chili’s, drained
1/4 C Nooch (if you don’t know what this is, it’s nutritional yeast, available everywhere)
1 – 1 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
 

Bean Dip Ingredients:

1 can vegetarian refried beans or canned pinto beans (if using the whole beans drain and rise well)
1 C salsa of choice
1/2 package of taco seasoning (you can make your own, or use premade ~1 Tbsp)
dash of lime juice (I mean the tiniest amount, just a few drops)
 

Other ingredients:

Tortilla chips or French Fries (depending on your mood)
 

Optional toppings:

Daiya Cheese Shreds
jalapenos
Black beans, drained and rinsed
roasted corn
Roma Tomatoes, diced
avocado, diced
shredded lettuce
plain vegan yogurt, if you want sour cream
Boco Vegan crumbles (or other meat crumble substitute)
 

Directions:

1. Add all queso ingredients to Vitamix (or other high-powered blender), saving at least 2/3 of the Almond milk.
2. Blend queso ingredients on high power adding additional almond milk to thin to the proper consistency of white queso. You can also add additional seasonings as you see fit.
3. Blend for approximately 3 – 5 minutes until it warms and is very creamy. I will also sometimes add in a few additional chopped green chili’s or jalapenos to the cheese once it’s blended.
4. Pour finished queso into a bowl and set aside.
5. Without rinsing the blender, dump in ALL bean dip ingredients and set to high power. Blend until very creamy; about 2 – 3 minutes. Depending on your preference you can also add in some whole beans that have simply been smashed with a fork to add texture to your bean dip.

 

6. Prepare any remaining ingredients for your nachos that you prefer and layer them on up!

 


Last night making this meal to go on French Fries too less than 20 minutes. Yes, it’s vegan ‘junk food’, but when you’re making it from veggies and nuts you can feel FAR better about having a little FUN with your dinner from time to time. It also made for some delicious leftovers today for my lunch!



-Amber