Perhaps many of you are wondering what a tostada is?
Living in the southwestern part of the U.S., tostadas are as ubiquitous here as clam chowder and lobster tail are to Maine.
Typically, tostadas are made by taking a corn tortilla and deep-frying it in oil until golden and crisp. It's basically like a giant tortilla chip, only about four times the size.
Once you have your crunchy base, you can top it with just about anything you like, including meat, beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, avocado...the list is truly never-ending.
Cooking for a family of four is never easy, as we all have different tastes and allergies, but the one thing we ALL enjoy (and tolerate) is Mexican food! Given that fact, I can never go wrong by whipping up a batch of Spanish rice, Skinny Refried Beans, tostada shells, and a smorgasbord of toppings.
(I added a tablespoon of chia seeds to the above, so feel free to add that in to the recipe if you like.)
I'm always on a mission to give my family the healthiest food, so I avoid buying the store-bought corn tortillas because many of them are filled with gums and preservatives...
...and instead of deep-frying them, I use my Misto (cooking spray would work too) to spray a thin layer of olive oil onto each tortilla, and then I bake them until they are nice and crispy, saving calories and feelings of lethargy.
Over the years I've gotten really into making my own tortillas, so I've invested money in a tortilla press, which helps greatly in making the rounds equal size and thickness.
My whole family just loves these! Some topping ideas might include:
- beef or chicken
- your favorite beans
- brown rice
- lettuce or another leafy green
- chopped tomatoes
- shredded cheese (dairy or a vegan alternative)
- diced onions
- Homemade Salsa
- roasted corn
- roasted sweet potatoes
- olives (I like Kalamata, as they have more flavor)
- diced avocado
- sour cream (yogurt makes a great alternative)
Naturally gluten-free and easily made to accommodate whatever type of diet or allergies you have! You could even set up a 'tostada buffet' if you're having a party for the Super Bowl, and everyone could easily serve themselves.
Healthy Tostadas (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- 1 c. masa harina this isn't cornmeal, but rather corn flour; Bob's Red Mill sells a great brand for about $4
- ½ t. sea salt plus a bit more for sprinkling
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1/2-3/4 c. warm water
- cooking spray or Misto
- In a medium bowl, mix together the masa and salt.
- Stir in the oil (this will cause some small pebbles of dough to form).
- Add in water just until the dough comes together. It should all hold together, but not be too sticky to touch.
- Knead the dough so that everything is well combined.
- Form a large ball, set the dough in a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap for 30 minutes.
- Preheat a cast iron or non-stick skillet.
- Divide the dough into six equal balls.
- Using a tortilla press, a rolling-pin, or your hands, press each ball of dough flat between two sheets of plastic wrap.
- Place tortilla into preheated pan and cook for about 30 seconds each side, or until lightly golden.
- Repeat this step with each ball of dough.
- Keep tortillas in a bowl covered with a towel to stay warm and pliable until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Lay the tortillas out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Lightly spray or brush each side of each tortilla with a bit of olive oil.
- Sprinkle on a bit more salt, if desired.
- Bake the rounds for 10 minutes.
- Bake 5-10 more minutes until golden and crispy.
- Cool and use.