I watched a show on TV last week about celebrity diets. Of course I know that extreme diets and crazy fads are, well, extreme and crazy.

But a diet based on cookies – even if it’s promoted by a certain train wreck from the Jersey Shore – does sound a tiny bit appealing.

Although, if I had to choose one food to eat all the time, it would definitely be nachos. I love nachos! And it’s a good choice for a full-time food, because you can mix it up. Beef one day, chicken the next day, black beans, refried beans, all of the above.

[In my fictional world of forced food limits, I want variety, you know?]

The problem with my beloved nachos, though, is the fat factor. They’re not so hot as a diet food, even if I eat them exclusively. (Okay, probably especially if I eat them exclusively.) No matter where I get them, nachos are full of cheese, sour cream and crispy, fried tortillas.

I know, those are all the good parts about nachos, right? Mmmm . . . But let’s face it. They’re full of fat and calories that my it’s-January-time-to-be-healthy body just does not need.

These chicken nachos, made at home, are a quick and easy solution. Not to mention, they’re just as budget-friendly as they are diet-friendly.

Chicken Nachos

2 cups (or handfuls) of Mission tortilla chips
8 oz. shredded chicken
Taco seasoning
½ cup black beans, rinsed
1 cup shredded cheese (lowfat, if you want)
¼ cup red onion
1 small tomato, chopped
1 cup lettuce, shredded or chopped
½ cup sour cream (light or nonfat, of course)
Sliced jalapenos

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chips on plate or other baking dish. Make sure you use chips thick enough to hold a good scoop of your favorite toppings, like Mission rounds or triangles.

Season chicken and beans with taco seasoning. Spoon onto chips, then sprinkle with cheese. I’ve used cheddar, but I think monterey jack would be really good, too!

Bake for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Garnish with onion, tomato, lettuce (ahem! Veggies!), sour cream and jalapenos. Try not to lick your fingers – and remember to share.

Last Friday night, I made nachos for Mark, Annalyn, Smitty and myself. It took about 15 minutes from start to table, and we were all stuffed afterward! We eat out on Friday nights a lot, and this was a great alternative to stuffing ourselves with greasy restaurant food – and it saved us money. Homemade chicken nachos are SO my new favorite thing!

What restaurant food do you make at home to save calories and dollars? Or, what food would you choose to eat every day for the rest of your life?

This post will be linked to Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Foodie FridayFriday Firsts and Food on Fridays. It will also be linked to Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home.

This post is sponsored by Mission Foods, one of the largest producers of tortilla products and a dedicated supporter of Share Our Strength and its goal of ending childhood hunger in America through employee volunteerism and nationwide fundraising efforts. However, the experience and opinions are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

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