“It’s an adventure, not a vacation.” This is the phrase we kept repeating this May when we traveled to Glacier National Park in Montana. At 4 months old, it was the first time our son Larson had been on a plane. While I’d rate myself as a moderately adventurous person, I’ll admit that an adventure with a 4-month-old was a bit outside of my comfort zone. Alex and I spent weeks reading up on baby travel. Did we need a travel bottle brush set? A car seat luggage clip? In our Airbnb, where would Larson sleep? And my biggest question, will he cry the entire way there? We had not one but two plane rides each way where he had the potential of disturbing the peace. The thought of my child annoying innocent bystanders made me want to weep. But repeating our mantra, we loaded up our bags (and bags and bags) and boarded the plane.
Once we got to Montana, we learned something new about this 4-month old babe: he’s an adventurer at heart, too. Larson absolutely loved being on an adventure. He slept most of the plane rides without making a scene (phew!). And when we strapped him to us and ventured out for hikes, he was smitten. His eyes would light up watching the trees go by on the paths. When we’d stop for a view of the snow-capped mountain peaks and glassy lakes, he would look around in awe. We even stopped to feed him while hiking and he refused to eat, he was so captivated by the swaying trees in the mountain air.
The house where we stayed in Montana was near a restaurant called Last Chair, and we went there on our last evening in town. My sister and her husband had traveled all the way from Southeast Asia to join us for the vacation. Along with his parents and my parents, we enjoyed a farewell meal. It was here that, around a table with mugs of microbrew, we experienced the magic of tot-chos. Tot-choes? Yes, tater tot nachos, crispy fried potatoes topped with black beans, avocado mash, and a magical white queso sauce. Between the “Mmmm’s”, Alex and I caught each others’ eyes. We’ve got to try this at home.
This is our healthier, whole food take on tater tot nachos. The tater tots are homemade, oven baked with a little olive oil to make them crispy. Instead of queso dip, are tater tot nachos are vegan using cashew cream. With some spiced black beans, mashed avocado, tomato, and cilantro, the toppings are clean eating but incredibly flavorful. I can’t quite remember the exact tater tot nachos of our Montana vacation, but looking back these taste extraordinarily close. We like to eat them as a main dish, but they’d also be perfect for a gameday snack or appetizer.
These tater tot nachos are a bit of project. They take about 1 hour to put together, much of the time consumed with baking your own tater tots. But why not jump in to an adventure, right? Adventures take us out of our comfort zone (like traveling with a baby), but in the end they are always worth it. Venturing out of your comfort zone provides space to experience new views, new flavors, and learn more about yourself and the world. For us, every time we take the plunge into an adventure instead of playing it safe, we’re glad we did. Even if it involves changing diapers in a cramped airplane bathroom.
What’s your next adventure?
Looking for vegan recipes?
Vegan recipes are becoming part of our everyday, though we typically eat vegetarian. Here are a few of our recent vegan recipes:
- Creamy Vegan Pasta Marinara
- Homemade Sopes with Black Beans
- Simple Chickpea Curry with Tart Cherries
- Greek Nachos with Cilantro Drizzle
- Refried Bean Tacos with Chipotle Cashew Cream
- Chocolate Brownie Spelt Vegan Pancakes
- Tart Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal
Looking for healthy dinner ideas?
Who isn’t looking for healthy dinner ideas, these days? A few of our top healthy dinner ideas:
- Spinach Artichoke Red Rice Casserole
- Vegetarian Spinach Meatballs & Spaghetti
- Raw Falafel Buddha Bowls
- Southwestern Bowl with Green Chile Vinaigrette
Did you make this recipe?
If you make our loaded tater tot nachos recipe, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.Print
- Make the tater tots.
- Drain and rinse the beans. In a small bowl, mix them with the olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, and kosher salt.
- Seed and dice the tomato. Mince the red onion. Pit the avocado, and mash it in a small bowl with a few pinches of kosher salt.
- To serve, place the tater tots on a plate. Top with black beans, tomato, red onion, dollops of avocado and cashew cream, and torn cilantro.