Meatless Monday: Squash and black bean tostados

Quick and versatile, this recipe for tostados is really more of a guideline. Substitute in your favorite taco fixings or leftovers from the back of the fridge for an easy, tasty meal.

Beyond The Peel
Beans and squash can be combined in countless ways, including atop tostados garnished with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.

One can never have too many healthy and easy dinner ideas. As you may also know, I love flexible dinner solutions and recipes. This one uses up some leftovers from previous meals, but the variations are almost endless.

I had made this delicious soup created by Joanne Eats Well with Others (but I added roasted squash to the mix) and had beans and squash leftover that I wanted to use up. Not that I mind. There are a-million-and-one things a person can do with those beans and squash and having them cooked and ready to go is a big bonus.

Don’t worry though, if you don’t like squash or black beans or you simply don’t have them on hand, you can make this recipe with just about anything. (See below for suggested options.) The version you see in the photo is made by simply warming up the squash and beans in a frying pan, adding a few spices … and magic happens. Delicious magic!

As for my love of substituting, this recipe does not disappoint.

-Don’t have squash: Try it with roasted sweet potato or kale and sauteed onions.
-Don’t have black beans: Try it with white beans or any other kind of bean for that matter.
-Beet Bruschetta, though very nontraditional, would make a great topping on these crispy tostadas.
-Want to make it dairy free? Leave out the sour cream garnish.
-Love lots of cheese? Add feta or goat cheese.
-Don’t have sprouts: Sub in arugula or spinach.
-Do you know someone who couldn’t bare to eat these without meat? Add in pulled pork, chicken or seared Ahi Tuna.

The possibilities are endless. I’ve even made these with sautéed kale, onions, and paprika spiced crispy potatoes and lots of yummy salsa.

Squash and black bean tostadas
Makes 2 tostadas

1 cup roasted squash, cubed (pumpkin, butternut, acorn or even cubed sweet potato)

1 cup cooked black beans

1/2 tablespoon oil

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

salt to taste

1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1/4 of a lemon

2 tostadas

Optional Ingredients

1 green onion, finely sliced

sprouts

1/2 avocado, sliced or make into guacamole

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

salsa and sour cream to serve

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add oil, squash and beans. Sprinkle on the cumin and chili powder. Stir the beans and squash, being careful not to mash them up, until they are heated through and the spices have been mixed throughout. Season with salt. Squeeze a 1/4 of a lemon wedge over the bean mixture right before serving.

To serve, add sprouts or greens on the tostada and top with the squash and bean mixture. Add sliced avocado, half the cilantro, and half the green onions. Serve salsa and sour cream along side.

Homemade baked tostadas: I don’t like the kind we have available at the store so we make our own by simply baking organic corn tortillas on a baking sheet for 10-12 minutes at 425 degrees F. I’ve even found some yummy organic sprouted corn tortillas that crisp up great in the oven. If your tortillas want to curl up (as they sometimes do), place a weight on them while they bake. I use a metal jar lid filled with beans.

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