kale “nachos”

Alright, so I’m not a deeply religious person (I can’t remember the last time I went to church, but I know I didn’t go on Christmas. Or last Easter. What’s a step down from an Easter/Christmas Christian??) but every year I give something up for Lent. I like the challenge and also how awesome it makes Easter seem. Gorging on chocolate is definitely more fun if you’ve been chocolate-deprived for the previous forty days. Am I right or am I right?

So Ash Wednesday was last week and, right on schedule, I decided to go vegan.

I realize this sounds a little extreme and quite honestly it feels extreme to me right now, too. I have been a vegetarian for ages and recently cut back on dairy so I didn’t think it would be a huge step going “full vegan.” But I can honestly say, four days in, that I was totally wrong. I can’t eat (most) chocolate, I have to ask for soy milk for my coffee at Starbucks (yes—I’ve become THAT PERSON) and I also found out that most alcohol isn’t even vegan (which is kind of disturbing and also incredibly relevant because I’m turning 21 in less than a month!).

So I decided that cookin’ up something totally delicious and vegan would make me feel a little better. And it totally did!

To preface, these nachos aren’t… really… nachos. By which I mean that the kale chips are more of a base than chips you could actually pick up with all of the stuff on top of them. Unless you have super strong kale or something. Which I don’t.

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I started off by making the kale chips- just olive oil, salt, and kale baked for about 20 minutes at 400.

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While they were baking I chopped up a mango and a sweet potato

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And put them each in their own lil pot/pan with a teensy bit of oil (I only have one pan so the mangoes got a pot. They survived but, uh, if anyone’s got an extra pan I’m, you know, in the market for one. Just sayin’)

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When the mango was slightly browned I combined it with my salsa… yeah that’s right. I MADE MANGO SALSA (okay, someone else made the salsa part but seriously I put it all together and I think that counts).

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The sweet potatoes took awhile to cook but by the time they were done, so were the kale chips.

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And then it got fun!

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black beanz

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I’m not a sour cream person but I guess that’s a good thing because vegan sour cream sounds terrifying. Plus these were so healthy that I saw absolutely no problem washing ‘em down with five [servings of] ginger snaps. Us vegans have to get our sugar from somewhere…

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