My husband’s allergies to additives and preservatives, artificial colours/flavours mean that many restaurants – and all fast-food places – are off limits.

But we love Mexican food and I often whip up a plate of nachos for a quick and tasty lunch.

These nachos are ready in five minutes

This vegetarian version includes just five ingredients – tortilla chips, red onion, jalapeno peppers, salsa and cheese. You could certainly add refried beans, cooked chicken or other toppings. We microwave our nachos, but they could also be baked in a 350-degree oven until the cheese melts.

We make our own salsa, but you can find brands that are all-natural. Look for tortilla chips made from organic corn with only salt and oil added. Many brands do contain a trace of calcium hydroxide (slaked lime). This does not bother my husband and the online guide to food additives that I consult ( indicates that calcium hydroxide causes no adverse side effects in small quantities. We use Que Pasa organic corn tortilla chips and Tostidos organic yellow corn tortilla chips.

When buying cheese, be sure to check the label to ensure it does not contain colour.


Tortilla chips (enough to cover a microwave safe plate or platter)

Salsa (mild, medium or hot)

Chopped red onion – ½ cup

Jalapeno pepper – 1, chopped (remove seeds and ribs if you want to reduce the heat; wear gloves to chop if your skin is sensitive to the heat from the peppers)

Monterey Jack cheese – 1 cup, grated


Spread chips on plate. Dot with spoonfuls of salsa. Sprinkle with chopped onions and jalapeno. Top with grated cheese. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until cheese has melted