this was an accidental fusion experiment that turned out to be a new favorite comfort food dinner at our house - especially when i haven't been to the store in a while.
the heart of these nachos is the lentil dish below, found in "1,000 Vegetarian Recipes" by carol gelles. i've made modifications to the original recipe to make spiced more like an ethiopian dish. you could use other types of lentils, but i like the taste and texture of french lentils in this. i've put most of the added spices 'to taste' because i tend to throw a few pinches in of each until it tastes like a good balance of what i like. you can even omit the 'to taste' spices altogether.
lentils in tomato sauce
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 medium to large chopped onions
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
1 or 2 chopped fresh hot peppers (i like jalapeños)
1/2 cup water
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon ground red pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
ground black pepper
berbere spice mix
3 cups cooked french lentils
1. in a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. add onions, garlic, and peppers, stirring until softened.
2. add water, tomato paste, salt and red pepper; stir until combined.
3. add lentils; cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes. spice it up with the 'to taste' spices until mixture tastes balanced to your palate.
4. puree until smooth.
to make the nachos, i put toasted quinoa over corn tortilla chips, and the lentils over the quinoa (i know it sounds weird, but it's good!), and then add whatever nacho toppings i have on hand, such as melted vegan gourmet cheese, soy sour cream or plain yogurt, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cilantro, chives, avocado, hot sauce, etc. sautéed greens are an excellent additional layer as well.