I love finding a recipe that’s a hit with everyone and provides some flexibility in the way it’s served and received. These tostadas are a good example. You have free reign to prepare the vegetables you like and the ones, presumably, your family will eat! Additionally, you have options when it comes to any toppings you may want to use (or not). See? Flexible at its best.
For example, I am not a huge red pepper fan (depends on the day), and the original recipe called for some, but I opted out. Also, the original recipe suggested using cheese and sour cream as toppings, but since I don’t consume dairy products of course I didn’t use those. I did, however, slice up an avocado and sprinkle it on top of the cilantro and that made for a happy tostada, indeed.
These are a great meal to fix on a busy evening. Use whatever vegetables you’ve got on-hand. The kids will love them and you’ll be happy to offload that zucchini you’ve been wondering what new form of creative you can try to sneak it past your family’s lips. Win-win!
The original recipe is non-vegan and comes to us courtesy of Real Simple’s May 2012 issue.
I made these again, but wanted to improve on my first go-round. While I thought they were good, and my family gave them high reviews, I thought they lacked some umph. Here are the updates I made on round 2 and they’re definitely worth sharing here.
- My vegetable mix included button mushrooms, asparagus and zucchini – oven roasted with just a hint of olive oil, fresh pepper and my favorite french grey sea salt from Williams Sonoma.
- To enhance the refried beans, I mixed them with 1.5 – 2 tsp of smoked paprika, giving the foundation of these concoctions the slightest hint of kick, but more like a flavor that will hit you and have you wondering, “Where did THAT come from?!”
- I exchanged the non-dairy cheddar cheese with non-dairy mozarella (I always use the Daiya brand) and definitely recommend the switch.
- I was much more liberal with the refried beans on the tortillas. Don’t be stingy. Also – there’s no need to use more oil on the tortilla before spreading on the beans.
- I used the broiler on low for the whole deal, from roasting my veggies to warming the tortillas long enough to melt the cheese.
- For my toppings I left off the chili paste, but still generously sprinkled with chopped cilantro and avocado, but added freshly-squeezed lime juice and wow. The lime juice kicks the whole meal into 5th gear, and will have you coming back for more.
Enjoy the changes – kind of looks like I just need to rewrite what’s below, rather than all these addendums! Definitely an improvement over my original recipe!
If you have picky eaters or eaters who don't like a lot of spice, then this is the perfect recipe for you to prepare! You can add flavor through heat, to taste. Again - flexibility to the personal preference of each eater!
- Button Mushrooms - 10 oz, trimmed & quartered
- Zucchini - thinly sliced
- Yellow Squash - thinly sliced
- Olive Oil - 3 T
- Sea salt - pinch
- Corn Tortillas - 8
- Refried Beans - 1 15oz can
- Vegan Cheddar Cheese - to taste, grated
- Avocado - sliced
- Cilantro - chopped
- chili paste - to taste
- Heat oven to 450° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together whatever vegetables you're using with 2 tablespoons of the oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Roast, tossing once and rotating the sheet halfway through, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Place the tortillas on the baking sheets. Dividing evenly, brush with the remaining tablespoon of oil, spread with the refried beans, and sprinkle with the vegan cheese. Bake until the beans are warm and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Top with the vegetables, cilantro, avocado and hot sauce.