Nachos are a fun food made fast with tortilla chips and covered in cheese to serve as a quick snack or created with a variety of good-for-you foods to make a meal. Around the lake, these can be found at Mexican-style restaurants, Taco Bell, 7-11 stores and you can do it yourself. This popular food takes me back to 1999 before Y2K. I remember working on my first real book, “The Healing Powers of Vinegar.” While learning about healing vinegars and other superfoods (functional eats for health) I was mentally consumed with the big scare that our world would change as we knew it. So, before New Year’s Eve, I overstuffed my pantry, begged my editor(s) to pay me before the world ended, and upgraded my computer. Early on Dec. 31, I made simple nachos with corn tortilla chips (crunchy foods help you to de-stress), grated cheddar cheese (creamy dairy is comforting and calcium can soothe your nerves). I retired to the big, cozy sofa bed complete with comforters in the living room in front of the fireplace — and my two late senior companion animals, an orange-and-white cat and dog, Dylan and Alex cuddled up with me. I munched on nachos and turned on the TV to watch the world collapse like in a sci-fi film. But it didn’t happen.More than a decade later, I ponder about Dec. 21 — the pinpointed end days. When the movie 2012 hit our local theater, I paid to see the world self-destruct. I confess that while munching on movie nachos, parts of the doomsday images did grab my attention and had me on the edge of my seat. The happenings are based on the Mayan Calendar, predicting that in 2012 the world would come to a halt. But this time around I’m not going to fall for the media hype. Instead, I will make a batch of DIY super nachos with immune-boosting superfoods to stay healthy and ward off a cold or flu during our snow days in 2013.Super NachosA package of multigrain tortilla chips1 cup cheese (cheddar, jack, mozzarella), grated1 cup Roma tomatoes, chopped1/4 cup red onion, chopped1/4 cup chili or jalapeno pepper, sliced1/2 cup avocado, sliced or mashed1/2 cup sour creamParsley for garnish on sour creamSpread approximately 3 cups of chips on a plate. Top with shredded cheese. Sprinkle with a mixture of tomatoes, onion, and chili pepper. Pop into the microwave and nuke till bubbly (about one minute). Top with avocado and sour cream. 1 1/2 cup serving of chips with toppings serves two (a meal). I admit it. This week I almost whipped up double-chocolate brownies or a pecan pie. But then I thought, “I want to stay well during this season” and “I don’t want to eat high-fat fare and pack on unwanted pounds,” so I fed my cravings with healthier foods, like super nachos. The crunchy-gooey goodies taste fresh, and have layers of flavors, colors, and are easy on the eyes. Pair it with a cup of joe (I adore cinnamon spice), and a small serving of low-fat pumpkin ice cream for dessert (more calming calcium). So, come this December, if Mother Nature tosses us a snowstorm with some earth challenges like flooding or lightning around the lake, I’ll chill, cope and make a batch of super nachos to stay well. And you can do the same.Motto: You cannot control Earth changes. You can take charge of the food you eat during the best and worst of times, with respect to Charles Dickens.— Cal Orey, M.A. is an author and journalist. Her books include "The Healing Powers" series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, and Coffee) published by Kensington. (The Healing Powers of Honey and Coffee are offered by the Good Cook Book Club.) “Animal Attraction: A Collection of Tales & Tails” will be released this fall. Her website is www.calorey.com.
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