Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


Tostada, o nada

Almost a week since my last post. Shame! But I have a good excuse. I've had a million and one non-cooking things to do. You know how life goes sometimes -- no matter how many things you get done, the to-do list keeps getting longer.

To top off the madness, I bought a new computer system while the Memorial Day sales were on and it took me a almost a week to find time to set it all up, get connected to the wireless network, etc. Now that the busyness has slowed down just a bit, I'm back in business and loving the new set-up!

In the midst of all this, my eating plan got very simple. Didn't want to further complicate my life with elaborate cooking -- too many ingredients or too many steps in a recipe would have made me feel just that much busier.

So here's an example of the kinds of meals I create when I'm super-busy, and the kind of cooking that led to my latest book, 15-Minute Vegetarian. Grab a few things out of the fridge, spend a few minutes putting them together, and get out of the kitchen -- fast.

Did you know that plain corn tortillas become deliciously crispy tostada shells when baked at about 375 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes? (Exact time will depend on your particular oven.) Lay them out in a single layer and, not touching each other, on a baking sheet(s). You can spritz them with oil if you like, they it isn't necessary. Of course, you could also deep fry the tortillas, which is the traditional way to make them crisp. Delicious but not ideal, for obvious reasons. (Okay, in case it's not obvious: not to mention more calories, frying is a trans-fatty thing to do, and trans fats are a no-no for heart health.) You can bake up a dozen tortillas and store them in a tightly closed plastic bag at room temperature for a few days.

Once the tortillas are ready, it's just a matter of spreading on some refried beans (any color, canned or homemade), then putting on any other ingredients you like. I love the sweetness of cabbage with Mexican flavors, but shredded lettuce is fine. My version, pictured, also has some feta cheese, chile sauce, and toasted pumpkin seeds. If I'd had an avocado in the house, I would have used it. Ditto tomato. Ditto radishes. Anything you like in a salad can go on a tostada.

I bet many people consider a squeeze of lime optional, but I don't. That fresh, tart flavor note brings it all together somehow.

Blessings and bon appetit!


At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yum...I love tostadas. I recently discovered that you could crisp up corn tortillas in the oven. I love them!

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Geraldine said...

This looks and sounds yummmmmmy...thanks for sharing.
G :)


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