Somehow next week is Cinco de Mayo, but I’m not quite sure how that happened. I mean one minute it’s January and now May is practically here. And I started realizing that I really needed to whip up something Cinco de Mayo-worthy this week, because I haven’t done much Mexican cooking lately. And that’s exactly where this Healthy Tostada recipe comes in.
In my adventure of cooking and eating dairy free this year, I’ve steered clear of cooking anything Mexican or Tex-Mex. It all just screams “Smother me in cheese!” although authentic Mexican cuisine definitely isn’t like that. So I’ll be exploring those flavors more in the future. But I’d been wanting to make a Tostada for a while now, so it seemed like the perfect time.
Tostadas are usually created on a fried tortilla, which immediately makes it less healthy. So my first big hurtle was to figure out if I could bake a corn tortilla and get it crispy enough. Well thanks to my NuWave oven, the answer was a giant YES! I had to get a bit inventive since it’s basically a countertop convection oven, and circulates a lot air. Tortilla #1 was flying around the little oven, so that clearly was a failure. That’s when it was time to get inventive, and I grabbed a ramekin to weigh down an edge of the tortilla. #Genius Worked like a charm, and it gave me perfectly crispy tortillas without any oil!
Another challenge was the dairy factor in tostadas. Cheese and sour cream are definitely a normal topping for a tostada. I could omit them and just pretend they weren’t there or else figure out dairy free options. I opted for the latter. For the shredded cheese, I went with a cheese blend that was dairy free from Trader Joe’s and it was pretty good. It wasn’t super flavorful but it still gave a little nod to cheese, which was fine.
As for the sour cream or Mexican crema, well I decided to make my own version. Oh. Holy. Moly. Even if you eat dairy with every meal, you still MUST make this sauce. I’m literally excited to eat right now just so I can find ways to use it before it goes bad. Let’s talk about how to make it first.
Soak some cashews in warm water for about 20 minutes and drain and rinse them. You’ll especially want to do this if you don’t have a high speed blender, or you could use a food processor. Then just blend up the cashews with some coconut water, garlic, and a little salt until it’s smooth. You could just stop right there, but I was curious about what else I could do. In my mind, everything is better with either lime or basil (within reason), so I zested half a lime and stirred that into the finished crema and dear God it’s magical!
So you’ll bake your tortillas until they’re crispy. I found that with the NuWave, 6 minutes flipping them 3 times was perfect, and then I heated up some refried beans. Spread the beans over the top of the crispy corn tortilla, add some shredded chicken that I’d tossed with lime zest as well, and then top with your remaining ingredients. That includes some faux cheese, romaine lettuce, corn, salsa, guacamole, and then finally drizzle that glorious Mexican Lime Crema over the top.
One was filling enough for me, but you could easily go back for seconds or thirds, because it’s so good! I love the freshness that the lettuce, salsa, and guac added, and the corn and chicken and crunchy tortilla add great texture. The beans added a nice, smooth texture to the healthy tostada, and then that crema just sends it over the edge.
I’m considering writing a haiku for this dairy free Mexican lime crema, because it seems justified. Totally not inappropriate or weird, right?! I’ll try to restrain myself for now. Here are all of the ways I’m thinking I could use it:
- On this healthy tostada, because I’ve already proven why 😉
- Toss some pasta with it and add some chicken to it.
- Drizzle over roasted veggies
- Use it as a dressing
- Drizzle it over fish tacos (okay any tacos)
- Eat it straight – haha I’m mainly kidding on this one
So without further ado, here’s this Healthy Tostada recipe. In fact, I’m about to go make up one for myself right now. Pretty sure I hear it calling my name. So click that link for the recipe and step by step instructions! Happy tostada eating!
A look back:
One year ago: Learning to Love Salads – Part 19: Brussels Sprouts, Quinoa, Cranberry Salad
Two years ago: Homemade Cucumber Dill Hummus Makes Healthy Snacking Look Good
Three years ago: Red Chard, You Say? Yes, Red Chard and Garlic Linguine It Is!
Four years ago: Craving Muffins – Pink Grapefruit Muffins to be Exact
Five years ago: Learning to Love Salads – Part 6: Chopped Salad
Six years ago: All About Lentils