Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dinner Tonight: Vegetarian Tostadas!

I love to cook. I love love love to cook! We also have a love for fresh, whole, and organic (when possible) in our family. And on the other hand? We are the comfort food type. Cheesy, creamy, fluffy type of food! That being said, I rarely re-use a recipe. I am constantly trying and tweaking new recipes, and once I get them right, they pop into the cookbook I have for my daughter and are generally never seen again (unless asked for!). I love constant evolution in my kitchen. I love sharing and showing and helping those who don't enjoy fun, real, and new foods. And so, with that as an introduction, let's see what we had for dinner tonight!

Refried beans in a can are far from "real" - for example, the ingredient list includes "Lard (Partially Hydrogenated Lard With BHA And BHT Added To Help Protect Flavor)" and don't taste very authentic. Here's a simple fix for that - 

Homemade Re fried Beans:

  • 2 cans Organic Pinto or Black Beans (one drained, one undrained)
  • 3 Cloves Minced Garlic 
  • 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 2T olive oil 
  • Lime Juice to taste


  1. Sautee garlic in olive oil over medium heat. 
  2. Add in the cans of pinto beans (one drained, one undrained) and the spices and allow to heat for two minutes
  3. Turn heat down and let some liquid cook off  while spices blend (move the beans around here and there to prevent sticking) for about ten minutes
  4. Mash with a potato masher, adjust spices as desired, and top with some lime juice! Yum!

Tostada Recipe:

On a typical night, I would pop some corn tortillas in the oven at 425 for about ten minutes to create a baked tostada shell. On this night? We went authentic, baby :)

What I love about this recipe - options! My kids do so much better with OPTIONS. While I require that they choose some toppings, they choose how much, what colors, and "decorate" their own tostada shells. 

To match the amount of beans in the recipe, you will need:

  • 10 corn tortillas, plus oil of your choice for frying* 
  • Bean recipe, listed above, or 1 can refried beans
  • 1/3 block monterey-jack cheese**
  • cilantro
  • Various toppings of your choice (we use avocado, tomato, sour cream, lime wedges, onions, etc.)


  1. Over medium high heat, fry each tortilla about 30-45 seconds per side in 1/4 inch of oil. Oil should SIZZLE when your drop tortilla, and tortilla should bubble. Remove and let drain on paper towels.
  2. Line tostada shells on a baking sheet and spread with beans
  3. Grate some fresh cheese on top of each 
  4. place in your oven broiler 30 seconds/1 minute - watch CLOSELY! 
  5. Pop on some cilantro, top as desired, and serve immediately

*Why don't I buy store bought tostada shells? One of the most common homes of GMO's is in cooking oils. I try to fry with my own oil. And just so there's no confusion: I am not above the fryer! 

**Why not use shredded cheese? Cellulose, the anti-caking agent used in bags of shredded cheese, is made from wood pulp. And though it is declared a "safe" ingredient for consumption, I try to avoid added, um...agents...when it's just as simple to make it myself.


  1. Hey there...I saw your vid on youtube and just wanted to let you know I also grind my grains and bake at home. I don't know what kind of mill you have but wanted to let you know about this recipe for homemade refried beans so you can ditch the canned (lol). Here is the link.

    Thanks for sharing your meals! Do you end up having to give your children snacks during the day when they eat the snack lunches? And what protein powder do you use for smoothies, if you use it? Blessings!

    1. What on earth? I never knew I could grind beans! That's awesome, thanks :) And we use hemp hearts for protein, just the whole shelled heart, no powder. And yes, my kids have all day access to cut veggies and fruits, and on occasion they eat granola bars, but usually go for a banana or some pineapple or something along those lines. If I let them snack too much then they don't eat a ton at mealtime which is where the "good stuff" is.