Plan this dish for a festive evening with friends and have the beans already made. If you have the time, you can also make the salsa one day in advance. Take a casual approach and create a "tostada bar" by putting all the toppings in separate bowls. This
Servings: Serves 6
  • 1 1/2 cups pinto beans , soaked overnight in 6 cups of water to cover with 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cloves garlic , peeled
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Sprinkling chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (about 1 bunch cilantro)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cubed red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper , seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 8 corn tortillas or small flour tortillas
  • 1 cup grated jack cheese
  • 1 head romaine lettuce , washed and shredded
  • 1 carrot , peeled and grated
  • 1/2 head red cabbage , shredded
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • Fresh salsa or a commercial brand
  • Fresh guacamole or a commercial brand
  • Directions
    Add the garlic, onion, bay leaf and dried basil to the pot of beans that has been soaking overnight. Bring to a boil and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The beans should be soft and easy to mash with the back of a spoon. When they are ready, drain any remaining water, remove the bay leaf, dump in the tomatoes, and mash the beans and tomatoes with a potato masher. Add the cumin, chili powder, paprika, and the chili flakes and mash again.

    Hold the cilantro under running water, making sure that all the dirt pours off. Pinch the leaves off the stems and put them in a small bowl with the remaining salsa ingredients, mixing with a spoon until everything is thoroughly melded. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

    Lay the tortillas on a baking tray, spread 1/4 cup beans and 1 tablespoon of cheese on top, and set on the lowest rack under the broiler for 2 minutes to keep them warm until ready to serve. Put all the toppings in separate bowls so that everyone can layer their own tostada.

    Nutritional Information
    282 calories, 6.1g fat, 2.9g saturated fat (18.5% of calories from fat), 15.3g protein, 44.7g carbohydrate, 12mg cholesterol, 13.8g fiber


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