Thursday, June 28, 2012

Black Bean Tostadas

Back when school was in session, I had a very insightful conversation with my colleagues about what recipes work best for them and inquired about any requests.  My brief survey concluded that people love recipes that are not only budget friendly, but also belong to one of three different categories.  The first category falls into the amount of preparation time and skill level a recipe requires.  This is understandable, as many of us have other demands that oblige more attention than putting dinner on the table.  Let's face it, we are not five star chefs.  We need food that can be prepared with ease and assembled quickly.  The second category was versatility; meals that can be used in more than one way or that are freezer friendly.  Versatility, also allows for individuals to meet the requirements of the first category.  A versatile meal can be made and assembled one night.  Then pulled out of the freezer or fridge in the future for another easy meal.  The final category is my most favorite, health.  Above all, people want to serve their families healthy meals.  Making healthy meals can be difficult due to time demands, skill level in making healthy food taste good, all while trying to maintain a budget.

This recipe tonight falls into most, if not all of these categories.  I used my left-over Black Beans I prepared earlier in the week and added some healthy and tasty toppings that can be made ahead or prepared in very little time.  If you did not make the Black Beans earlier in the week, no problem!  You can substitute regular refried or black refried beans.  You can also save time by purchasing tostadas instead of making your own; however, it is far more cost effective to buy the tortillas and make your own.  Besides, you might want to make these Black Bean Tostadas again in the very near future:)  

Black Bean Tostadas

For the tostadas:
Non-stick cooking spray
8 corn tortillas
2 cups Black Beans
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup peacamole (recipe below)
1 cup pico de gallo (recipe below)

For the peacamole:
1 cup thawed frozen peas
1/2 cup fat-free or light sour cream
1 avocado
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 of a lime
Salt & pepper to taste

For the pico de gallo:
1 cup chopped tomato
1 seeded and finely chopped jalapeno
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1/2 of a lime
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients for the peacamole in a food processor or blender and process or blend until smooth.  Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the pico de gallo.  Toss until incorporated and set aside.

Set a medium sized skillet or griddle over medium high heat.  If you are using a skillet you will only be able to heat the tortillas one or two at a time.  If you have a pancake griddle, you can heat several at a time.  Spray on side of the tortillas with non-stick cooking spray and place the tortilla(s) spray side down on the skillet or griddle.  Spray the top of the tortilla(s) with non-stick spray.  The non-stick spray will allow you to "fry" and crisp the tortillas without the additional fat.  Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the bottom begins to turn lightly brown.  Flip the tortilla(s) and cook the other side until golden brown.  Remove from the heat.  Layer the beans on top of the tortilla(s).  Then sprinkle the cheese on top of the beans, followed by the lettuce, peacamole, and pico de gallo and serve.  This recipe allows for two tostadas per serving.  Each serving is around 300 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 10 grams of protein according to the My Fitness Pal app.  Ole!

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