Friday, April 28, 2006


Now tostadas are simply terrific because they can be made in 15 minutes or less and they are so tasty. The mixture of crispy crunchy tostada with beans, cheese, and other condiments is delightful, like a taco only better because your shell is less likely to split in half and dump everything on to the plate below. After a long day at work, I prepared and ate these a lot. The most basic recipe calls for ingredients that you're likely to just have around in the back of some cabinet or can be purchased ready to go with so very little preparation.

Serves 2
Time: 15 minutes

-A can of your favorite beans
-Baby spinach, chopped
-A juicy tomato (skip if not in season)
-A bit of grated cheese
-Fresh salsa
-Sour cream (optional)
-Avocado (optional)

If I'm super busy or just plain lazy, I use low-fat refried beans that are spiced with green chilies (7 g of fiber per 1/2 c serving) this way I don't have to use any brain cells thinking about what spices to add to my beans. If I'm feeling a bit more creative than I'll use pinto or black beans, add a bit of cumin, chili powder, etc. or dump some salsa into them while heating them up or nothing at all because I think they taste good as is.

I prefer spinach over lettuce because it has much more nutritional value such as beta-carotene and lutein, and quercetin which has antioxidant properties. It's also rich in vitamins and minerals such as folate, vitamin K, and magnesium. Cooking spinach makes it easier for our bodies to absorb. For tostadas, do not cook the spinach. Have you ever noticed that in the days and week after eating green vegetables, your skin looks better? It's because of all their great properties.

Heat toaster oven to 350 degrees and bake tostadas until you hear them sizzle a bit. In microwave or stove top, heat beans. Chop up spinach, tomatoes, and grate cheese. Layer tostada with beans, cheese, spinach, tomatoes, and salsa.

Now how easy is that?

If you want a little fancier preparation (aka you have more time), saute some frozen green peppers, and fresh mushrooms and onions together in a bit of olive oil. Add small amount to top of bean layer.

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