vegan camping food: mexican nacho pasta
AfrikaBurn has been and gone, and with it the dust, dust storms and dusty faces, and fancy dress.
I loved and didn’t love my experience in the Karoo desert. Spending time with some of my closest people, living like a little tribe in the middle of nowhere, washing each other’s hair, making music, dancing to music, and riding bicycles in weird and wacky attire across the desolate land is something never to be forgotten. However, I found myself question what on earth I was doing. I felt like I wasting my time, sitting in the middle of the dust, with thousands of people getting lost and skyrocketing out of our stratospheric reality.
On the one hand there is the art, the creativity and radical self-expression. People are beautiful, open and loving. And then on the other hand, there is a lot of peacocking and showing off, carelessness, wastefulness and over-indulgence.
It's a confusing place. Messy. It is unexpected, captivating and surprising yet totally predicable too.
AfrikaBurn is everything and is nothing.
Inspired by recent AfrikaBurn trip in the desert, here is an everything-and-nothing recipe that is perfect for when you're camping or not. It's pasta but not. It's nachos but not. It's Mexican but it's not.
This was my second year at AfrikaBurn as a vegan and I didn't struggle once. In fact, I was the designated chef for our little camp of nine people, and everyone ate vegan - and loved it! I'm proud to say that I made poke bowls with marinated tofu, pineapple, sushi rice and more. It was a meal worth remembering. One person in the camp said it was the best meal he had eaten - ever. He may or may not have been on acid. Recipe to follow soon.
In the meantime, onto this recipe: Mexican-inspired nacho pasta!
I love this pasta dish because it takes about 15 minutes, packed with simple but delicious flavours, it's high in protein and fibre, and super comforting too! It's gluten-free, if that's your vibe. It keeps well for a few days and is a super yummy vegan lunch or dinner option. It comes with black beans salsa and guac. Let's get cooking!
Mexican Nacho Pasta
Serves: 2 hungry pasta nommers
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 8 mins
250g pasta of choice (I used the delicious red lentil pasta from Happy Earth People)
for the pico de gallo
A handful of cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 spring onions
A small handful of fresh coriander
for the beans
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp dried coriander
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili flakes
for the guacamole
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a pot filled with boiling water, cook the pasta for about 8 minutes, or according to packaging instructions.
2. For the pico de gallo: Dice the tomatoes. Chop the spring onion. Destem the coriander and chop finely. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix together. Set aside.
2. For the beans: Drain and rinse the black beans. Slice the peppadews. Add beans, peppadews, herbs, lemon juice and tomato paste to a bowl and mix together.
3. For guacamole: Mash the avocado. Add the rest of the ingredients. Taste as you go, adding more salt, pepper or chili. Add a few drops of water if you want to thin it out.
4. Once the pasta is ready, drain the pasta.
5. Pour the pasta in a bowl, top with the beans, pico de gallo and guac!
6. Go the extra mile and add crushed nachos on top :)