October 10, 2012

Oil-Free Loaded Tostadas

So we're a family of Mexican food lovers ... all the boys including 3-year old li'l Nik Coder love tortilla chips with salsa and when asked, each one of us, will prefer to eat at a Mexican restaurant than any place else. Tacos are on our regular dinner rotation and everyone enjoys them immensely. Over the last several months, Tony has moved from making beef tacos to using ground turkey and recently even grilled chicken (the kids all still eat meat).

Since I went plant-based 9 months ago, I've tried TVP tacos, chick pea tacos, portabella mushroom tacos, squash fajita burritos and even just bean burritos. While I've always been a soft taco kinda gal ... the boys all seem to prefer crispy shells. Tony is especially fond of tostadas .. although it always bothered me to see him deep frying flour tortillas (not a very healthy option I must add!!). Now that Tony is going plant-based with me (yayy!) ... and his repertoire of plant-based foods is still somewhat limited, we've been trying to explore new foods and today was the day to try some new taco toppings. As I was getting dinner ready, he mentioned tostadas ... just in passing .. and I remembered reading this blog post a few weeks ago (I can't recall where) which talked about making baked tostadas and taco shells. And so ... taco night quickly transformed into Loaded Tostada night :)

Oil-Free Loaded Tostada
It was so superbly satisfying for me to able to serve Tostadas without even a trace of oil. All in all tonight's dinner took about 20 minutes to prepare (I multi-task well and used a combination of appliances - pressure cooker, microwave, oven and the stove). This was one of the more enjoyable dinners we've had in a long time.  Preheat oven to 375 F. Drape store-bought corn tortillas/soft tacos over an inverted muffin pan and bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes (to allow them to crisp up a tad more) and serve warm. ... super simple and not fried or dripping oil!!  

Here's how I went about preparing each of the toppings -

Southwestern Quinoa - I use an electric pressure cooker for making Quinoa, and follow Chef AJ's technique. 1 cup Quinoa + 1.5 cup water - Cook under high pressure for 2 min, let stand for 10 min and release the steam immediately for fluffy perfectly cooked quinoa - every time. Today, I simply added 2 tsp of Taco seasoning mix to give it the southwestern kick. Or you can make Quinoa is a sauce pan too (simply use 2 cups of water for every cup of Quinoa). 

Sautéed Mushrooms - Slice 1 cup mushrooms and sauté in a skillet lined with water (or vegetable broth), with 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp soy sauce and salt (to taste) until mushrooms are tender and all the water has evaporated. 

Sautéed Corn - Thaw 1 cup frozen corn and sauté in a skillet lined with water (or vegetable broth), with 1-2 tsp Taco seasoning until all the water has evaporated. 

Refried Black Beans - Drain 1 can of plain black beans, add 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 2-3 tbsp mild salsa and microwave on high (uncovered) for 5 min. Remove, mix well with a spatula making sure to smush some of the beans while doing so. Microwave on high for another 2-3 minutes, uncovered. Or you can also do the same thing in a skillet. 

Serve with fresh salsa, freshly diced tomatoes, black or green olives, avocado and lettuce (we didn't have any today). Um mm good! 

My Assessment: I am a convert. I can most definitely say that these were so much better than soft tacos. The crispy shell adds so much more to the overall gustatory pleasure of tacos :) ... I hate to admit it ... but Tony was right all along! Tostadas are so much better than soft tacos. One more lesson I learnt from Tony today (after my tostadas were already loaded), spread the beans first then add the rest of the toppings - that helps all the other toppings stay on so much better!! Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment