Herbivore Festival – Celebration Nachos

picture of Celebration NachosI created this recipe especially for a cooking demo I did at the second annual Herbivore Festival at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, CA. Since the festival is held the first week of May, and very close to Cinco de Mayo, I offer this variation on the traditional nacho.

This variation is inspired by the history of nachos which originated from the city of Piedras Negras located in Coahuila, Mexico around 1943. According to the “The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink”, the wives of U.S. Soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in the Texas border town of Eagle Pass, stopped by the Victory Club, a popular restaurant, for a bite to eat. While happy to receive business, the maitre d’ who greeted the women, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, could not locate the cook, so he looked around the kitchen and threw together what he had, and created little bites of tortilla chips, cheese, and jalapeno peppers. Word spread fast and Nachos, Anaya’s nickname became Tex-Mex history.

Celebration Nachos

There are three steps to creating these delicious nachos. First you prepare the nacho cheese, then the taco seasoning and lastly the garbanzo bean taco meat.

Nacho Cheese


  • 2 cups potatoes
  • 1 cup carrots
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Dash of cayenne


  1. Boil the potatoes and carrots for 20 minutes or until soft.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Taco Seasoning Mix


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.

Garbanzo Bean Taco “Meat”


  • 15 oz can garbanzo beans; drained, rinsed and dried
  • 1 tbsp tamari (soy sauce or Bragg’s Amino’s can be used as well)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice – Cut and Squeeze
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning (see recipe above)


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan to 350 degrees
  2. Fry the garbanzo beans for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Make sure the beans a dry or they will splatter when you put them in the oil. Use a pan splatter guard on top of the pan as well.
  3. Carefully remove the beans from the oil and place on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle with the prepared taco seasoning.
  4. Place the beans in a food processor and add the tamari and lemon juice and pulse to a course “shred”.


I like to serve these in tortilla “Scoops” which are little tortilla bowls. You can find these in the snack aisle of most grocery stores. I start by putting a little of the Nacho cheese in the bottom of the scoop. Then I add a small spoon of the garbanzo bean taco meat and finish with some fresh Pico de gallo. You can prepare these as a traditional nacho and pile on any toppings you like – enjoy!



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