Just because I happen to be eating Paleo right now doesn't mean I don't appreciate the hell outta some Doritos. In fact, as soon as I get the all-clear from my doctor, I'm diving face-first into a Doritos and pimento cheese omelet and some Doritos breakfast casserole and not coming up for air until I finish. But that's a few months off, so I took it upon myself to make the next best thing: a Paleo-friendly Doritos seasoning (a.k.a. Fauxritos or Paleoritos—you decide) that's perfect on sweet potatoes, squash, plantains, flax crackers, or however I happen to be getting my smart starches on these days. It's also madly great on eggs and dusted atop roasted cauliflower and even when I'm out of Paleo jail, I have a feeling I'm gonna be sprinkling this all over my wheaty carbs. (I miss carbs. So much. But this helps.)
The secret to a respectable Paleo Doritos flavor is in the combo of nutritional yeast—which stands in for the Parmesan included in most copycat Doritos recipes—and a DIY tomato powder made by baking store-bought tomato paste at a low temperature for a few hours. (I just make sure that the brand I buy is organic and not made with any ingredients other than tomatoes and possibly salt.) Feel free to adjust the chili and garlic powders to your liking, play around with the salt, or add a bit of acid for that cheesy tang—these are are just the measurements that have worked well for me. If I'm feeling especially ambitious, I add a pinch of annatto for an extra-golden Doritos-y hue, but that's just showboating.
For an easy way to start my day with a merry blast of Doritos-ish delight, I've been digging sweet potato or squash toast. I toast thick-ish slices in a toaster or 400°F degree oven, brush them in the Paleo-friendly fat of my choice (usually avocado oil), and dust them with Fauxrito powder to my heart's content. It's not the real thing, but it'll more than do for now.
Paleo Doritos Toast (a.k.a. Fauxritos Toast)
For the seasoning
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon tomato powder (recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (OK, I got fancy and used Aleppo pepper)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon citric acid (optional) or several drops of lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon annatto (optional)
For the tomato powder
6 ounce can tomato paste
For the toast
1 sweet potato or winter squash (kabocha is especially great)
Ghee, avocado oil, or olive oil
How to Make It
To make the tomato powder: Using a rubber spatula, spread tomato paste onto a baking sheet as thinly as possible. Bake in a 200°F oven for 2-3 hours, checking every 20-30 minutes to make sure that the paste isn't burning. Scrape and re-spread paste to hasten the drying process. When the sauce is thoroughly dry and crumbly, remove from heat, cool, and grind to a powder in a food processor or a spice grinder. Store leftover tomato powder in a sealed container.
To make the Fauxrito powder: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or sealed shaker until thoroughly combined. Note: Some citric acid is not technically Paleo since it's made using corn, so make sure to do your homework, or just add a few drops of lemon juice.
To make the toast: Cut the sweet potato or squash into 1/4 inch slices. Toast the slices in a slotted toaster, toaster oven, or in a 400°F oven until cooked through, about 7 minutes.
To assemble: Brush the slices with the fat of your choice and sprinkle lavishly with the seasoning mix. Serve warm. Save any leftover powder in a sealed container in the refrigerator.