Weekly Winner: Meatless Monday Merges with Taco Tuesday

TostadaAs a certified carnivore, it may surprise you to know that I think there are certain dishes in which meat, of any kind, just really isn’t important.  Seriously, why waste the extra calories, fat and work of having meat in a dish that truly doesn’t need it.  Case in point – Mexican food.  There’s little better than a perfectly constructed bean and cheese burrito — or in the case of last night’s dinner — a Chickpea and Chipotle Tostada.  This dish has everything a good tostada needs: a gooey base, shredded cheese, avocado and a zippy sour cream-based sauce.

This tasty, meatless treat comes from Taste of Home magazine, which surprisingly has a great collection of vegetarian recipes.  These are a bright, fresh, modern spin on the usual tostadas.  To make this even easier, I chose to use store bought tostada shells rather than toast up the tortillas as the recipe suggests.

Chickpea and Chipotle Tostadas

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches) – [I used store-bought tostada shells]
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 medium head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Procedure:

  1.  Preheat broiler.  In batches, spritz both sides of tortillas with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet; broil 4-5 inches from heat until crisp and lightly browned, about 1 minute per side. If you use store bought tostada shells – you can skip this step.
  2. For sauce, mix sour cream and salsa
  3. In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook and stir red pepper and onion over medium heat until tender, 6-8 minutes.  Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute.  Stir in broth, chickpeas, chipotles, cumin and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered for 5 minutes.
  4. Coarsely mash mixture with a potato masher; stir in lime juice.  Cook over low heat to thicken, stirring frequently.
  5. To serve, top tostadas with chickpea mixture, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and sauce.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Weekly Winner:  Tasty Tostadas that Transport to the Tropics

I love food that transports you somewhere else.  I especially love food that makes you feel like you’re on vacation — especially if said vacation is someplace tropical.  That’s exactly what this week’s winner does.  Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Lime will make you feel like you are sitting beachside under a palapa in Mexico while sipping some cool, umbrella-laden cocktail.  In truth, I was sitting at my dinner table with a glass of wine on a crazy-hot late September Chicago night.  But hey, I can dream… can’t I?

Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Lime comes from Cooking Light Magazine and as you might suspect is quite light and healthy. It’s also a very quick, easy recipe that comes together in no time which allows you to take your imaginary tropical vacation any day you like — no passport required!

Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Lime

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Shrimp:

24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Black bean salsa:

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup chopped cilantro 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained

Avocado topping:

1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 ripe peeled avocado

1 cup chopped seeded tomato

Cooking spray

8 corn tostadas

4 lime wedges

Procedure:

  1. To prepare shrimp, combine shrimp, garlic powder, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt in the bowl.  Let stand 10 minutes.
  2. To prepare black bean salsa, combine green onions and next 7 ingredients (through beans) in a medium bowl; toss to coat,
  3. To prepare avocado topping, combine yogurt, juice, and avocado in a small bowl, mashing with a fork until smooth.  Stir in tomato.
  4. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add shrimp to pan; grill 2 minutes on each side.  Top each tostada with 1/4 cup bean mixture, 3 shrimp, and 1 Tbsp avocado mixture.  Serve with lime wedges.