Arrow-right Camera
A&E >  Food

Winning healthy nachos made with salsa verde, ground buffalo

Ground buffalo meat, jalapeño Gouda and homemade salsa verde play a starring role in the winning recipe in the seventh annual Inland Northwest Healthy Nacho Recipe Contest, held April 18 at the Downriver Grill in Spokane.

Sherre Copeland serves her nachos in small cast-iron skillets to help keep the nachos warmer and the cheese melted. She turned to buffalo meat because it has less fat and cholesterol than beef, she said in a news release.

Copeland beat out fellow finalists Eric Olson, 2008’s winner, who served up Pacific Northwest Nachos with salmon, cucumber sauce and havarti cheese, and Linda Griffiths, who entered her Horseradish Nachos, using horseradish cheese. Copeland’s nachos are on the menu at Downriver Grill, 3315 W Northwest Blvd., through Cinco de Mayo.

For recipes from these entries and previous contestants, visit

Sherre’s Green and Black Bean Buffalo Nachos

Recipe by Sherre Copeland

1 large package fresh corn tortillas, sprayed with olive oil, lightly salted, cut into triangles

1 pound ground buffalo meat

1 15.5-ounce can black beans

½ pound grated sharp cheddar cheese

½ pound grated jalapeño Gouda

2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 4-ounce can black sliced olives

1 8-ounce container sour cream

Seasonings to taste: chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt and pepper

Toppings: Sherre’s salsa verde (see recipe below), low-fat sour cream, lime wedges and cilantro sprigs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Layer the cut tortillas in a shallow metal baking dish. Bake until crisp, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown the buffalo meat and generously season to taste with salt, pepper, chili powder and ground cumin.

Drain black beans and place in saucepan; generously season to taste with salt, ground coriander and ground cumin.

Place crisp chips on an oven-safe serving plate. Sprinkle hot meat mixture, beans, grated cheeses, tomatoes and olives evenly over the chips.

Cook nachos on the middle rack of the oven until the cheese melts and the chips start to brown (about 10 minutes).

Remove nachos from oven, top with salsa verde, low-fat sour cream, lime wedges and cilantro sprigs and serve immediately.

Sherre’s Salsa Verde

1 large bunch fresh cilantro (stems and leaves), washed

Juice of one lime

15 fresh tomatillos, husked, washed and halved

1 large or 2 small jalapeño peppers – stemmed, seeded and washed (leave the seeds if you like it hot)

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Dry spices: chili powder (chipotle if you have it), ground cumin, salt, ground coriander

Place all ingredients except dry spices in food processor – process until salsa is thick and tomatillos are in very small chunks. Add spices to your liking, mix, taste and adjust.