Most of the cooking I do is with others in mind. My boys, my husband, you get the gist. This one, however, is for me. It’s all for me I tell you!
I have strong feelings for tostadas. We go way back. This recipe came about years ago in my quest to continue this long standing relationship but stay in the same size jeans. The no-oil cooking method results in tortillas just as crispy as if they were fried. Load them up with some refried beans and lots of sauteed veggies. You can add a touch of cheese and light sour cream and still have an extremely lightened up version of the classic.
I’m dreaming of simple, healthy food like this right now as I’m in the midst of chaos, running from thing to thing to thing and then back to the first thing. We have a cabin in the mountains waiting for us and we are trying to do the impossible – get all of our boys together for a vacation at the same time. As they get older, get jobs and lives of their own, it is harder and harder to make this happen. It has taken a huge amount of coordination, planning, negotiating, prodding, begging, cleaning, shopping, and packing. Before we leave, we will squeeze in a 2 day water polo tournament and watch Boy #4‘s team vie for a spot in the upcoming Junior Olympics. After his last game on Sunday we are off! I’ve also managed to get a cold to make it just a bit more challenging. The housesitters are arranged, the instructions have been typed out and the Nyquil is by my bedside.
Let’s get this show on the road.
The grocery list – corn tortillas, refried beans, a small zucchini, an ear of corn, red bell pepper, onion, cilantro, avocado, shredded cheddar/jack cheese, salsa, and light sour cream. You’ll also need some non-stick cooking spray to prepare the tortillas.
Cut the kernels from the ear of corn on to a cutting board. Transfer the corn kernels to a small mixing bowl.
Add the diced red bell pepper, zucchini, and thinly sliced onion. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the veggies and mix to coat them. Season them with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Lightly coat the bottom of a large pan with olive oil and saute the vegetables over medium heat for a few minutes until just fork tender. Remove from heat. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Get the refried beans into a small pan over low heat and let them simmer. I didn’t think you needed a picture of that – it’s just refried beans in a pan. Simple. Let’s move on.
Time to prepare the tortillas. Turn your oven to broil and move the oven rack to one of the higher positions – whatever you use for broiling. Grab some foil and cover a baking sheet. Coat the foil with the non-stick cooking spray.
Coat both sides of 4 tortillas with the non-stick cooking spray and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Pop them under the broiler and watch closely. Pull the baking sheet out of the oven and flip them over as soon as one side is nicely browned. Remove from oven when golden and crispy.
Time to put them together. Start with a little refried beans and a good spoonful of the veggies. The refried beans provide a nice base for the veggies.
How about a little salsa? Why, yes, I will.
Maybe just a touch of cheese. Surely.
Some chopped avocado, cilantro and a touch of light sour cream. Thank you very much.
This is a fantastic way to satisfy that craving for Mexican food with no regrets.
I will be back from vacation, healthy (hopefully), refreshed (am I dreaming?), with lots and lots of new recipes very soon.
Yield: 4 tostadas
- 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
- 1 ear of sweet corn
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional to coat pan
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Corn tortillas
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Shredded cheddar/jack cheese
- Light sour cream
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
Place refried beans in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Allow to heat while you prepare veggies.
Remove the husk from the ear of corn and using a sharp knife, remove the kernels from the cob. Place the corn kernels in a small mixing bowl. Add diced red bell pepper, zucchini, and thinly sliced onion. Drizzle veggies with 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix until all the veggies are lightly coated with oil. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and salt and pepper, to taste, over the veggies and mix well.
Pour just enough olive oil into a large frying pan to lightly coat the bottom. Place over medium high heat and when oil is hot, add the veggies. Cook and stir for about 3 or 4 minutes until veggies are just fork tender. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Remove from heat and set aside.
Set your oven to the broil setting. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat it with non-stick cooking spray. Place 4 corn tortillas on the prepared foil and spray them generously with the non-stick cooking spray. Flip them over and spray the other side. Place baking sheet under broiler and watch closely. Flip the tortillas when they have browned on one side. Remove from oven when both sides are nicely browned and tortillas are crisp.
Assemble the tostadas by placing 1/4 of refried beans on one tortilla. Add a heaping spoonful of the cooked veggies and garnish with salsa, avocado, shredded cheese, light sour cream, and cilantro. Repeat with remaining tortillas.