Vegetable & Bean Tostada’s
Whether I am going close to home or 1000's of miles away, I always scope out the food scene. It's in my blood. My parents know what they will order from a restaurant days before they even go. We talk about this together all the time. We are foodies at heart. I love to read menus from far away restaurants and I love to research what kinds of food are going to available where I'm going, so that I can prepare myself to cook wherever I am.
In this case, I am sitting on our porch in Costa Rica, feeling the warmest yet comforting breeze come off the Pacific ocean, with the jungle behind me and birds and butterflies and monkeys all around me. And all I can think about of course, is food.
Our kitchen is so small, with barely enough room to cut the vegetables, and a stovetop and refrigerator that would be perfect in a NYC apartment. There is no microwave or toaster. You do everything by the flame of the cooktop.
That's one thing that always gets me. No microwave. When I get home, I continue to not use the microwave, which is probably best anyways.
I have to hunt in several different supermarkets to find the perfect corn tortilla, but dried beans and rice are easy to come by. Vegetables and fruits can be bought anywhere, but our primary source is through Emilio, who drives through town twice a week with his truck loaded with goodies. There's a bread lady in town who makes the most incredible loaves of bread (and bagels), who you text when you want to order something and then she shows up at your house with bread on her bike just for you.
It's a really cool place. It's just one dirt road, where the people are friendly and the views are spectacular.
But getting back to my original subject, on how I am a foodie at heart, and research places before I get there. That is how this recipe, and so many others, fall into place.
Making vegetable and bean tostadas is a no-brainer around here. Every week, it's ritual to make a big pot of beans that will last for day's, and that gets incorporated into every meal.
The main vegetables for me down here are onions, carrots and peppers, which is exactly what went into this dish. You can find ground cumin everywhere, along with paprika, which is what seasons most meals.
I am sharing this recipe with you not just because I love the resulting photo's and that it tasted so delicious I could eat a hundred of them, but because this is such an easy dish to make on a busy night.
A tostada is simply a "toasted" tortilla. You make it similar to making quesadillas, but once you toast the tortilla into a crisp flat shell, you then top it with goodies and eat it like a big giant nacho.
In my case, I had the time to make my own pot of beans from scratch. If you are interested in learning how to make beans yourself, you can view my simple recipe here.
Otherwise, just grab a can of black beans, mix in some hot sauce, a sprinkle of cumin and a sprinkle of chile powder, and it will be just as good. You can even add a can of chopped green chiles to the beans too - that would be delicious.
It's delicious, simple and a perfect meal.
Click the photo below or click here to print the recipe.