Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chipotle Pinto Bean Tostadas

On those nights when I come home exhausted and really don't feel like slaving over a hot stove I sometimes go back to an old favorite -- tacos. Made with beans and veggies, they're pretty healthy and tasty. The ones I make are also very spicy, which automatically puts them on Austin's favorites list (when asked what his favorite food is he's likely to respond-- only half jokingly-- "salty and spicy"). This past Friday I used up all my energy getting my butt off the couch and to the gym so when I got home I wanted dinner to instantly appear on my plate (it didn't, what a shocker). I was also craving Mexican food but I didn't want tacos. In order to satisfy all my needs I decided to switch things up by -- orginality gasp!-- crisping up the tortillas and mashing the beans a bit to make tostadas. Not exactly revolutionary, I know, but it really did feel like a completely different meal. We enjoyed these so much that they'll definitely become another one of our go-to I-need-food-now dishes. Tacos can't always be the answer.

Chipotle Pinto Bean Tostadas
Makes 8 tostadas, about 2 dinner servings
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 1 15 oz / 425 g can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded if you don't like heat and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • Olive oil cooking spray or an extra 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 heart of romaine lettuce, cut into thin strips
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced or cubed
  • About 1 cup of your favorite salsa (I used Trader Joe's green salsa)
  • Optional: Lime wedges for garnish
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C. Spray both sides of the tortillas with olive oil cooking spray or brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle the tortillas with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and spread them out on a baking sheet. Don't worry if they overlap a little bit. Bake them for 8-10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. If you have extra tortillas lying around you can cook them this way to make homemade low fat tortilla chips.
2.  In a medium pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin and chili powder, cooking for another minute. Stir in the beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the chipotle peppers and cook for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Add in 2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa. Mash the beans using a fork until you have no whole beans. Remove the bean mixture from the heat.
3.  Assemble your tostadas. Spread an eighth of the bean mixture on each crispy tortilla, top with lettuce, tomato, avocado and some salsa. Optionally, squeeze a bit of lime juice over the top.

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