Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tostadas -- adding crunch to lunch!

Mexican Tostada

I recently felt the need to break out of our salad or wrap or sandwich or soup lunch rut and try something new. Wandering down the ethnic food aisle at WalMart I saw a woman nudging her husband to reach up on the top shelf for a package of Tostadas -- crisp corn tortilla rounds. Once they moved away I stood on my tippy toes and snatched my own.

What a revelation!  Oh, I've had tostadas before --my first way back in the early '70's while visiting Mexico. On a road trip with my host family we pulled into a dusty gas station and everyone headed for the cashier. There on the counter was a tray of tostadas. I don't remember the ingredients, but I do remember the mix of flavors and the crispiness of the shell. Even though I have enjoyed them in restaurants ever since, I have never made them for myself or my family.  Boy have we been missing out. The tostadas have proven to be the perfect vehicle for serving leftovers in a new fashion, adding some crunch to lunch!

Here are some of the ways we have enjoyed them:

Traditional: A smear of warm refried beans, a layer of shredded chicken, chopped tomatoes and green onions,  salsa, shredded cheese, shredded cabbage

Middle Eastern:Warmed cooked  lentils, sliced or shredded chicken, crumbled feta, tomatoes, onions, chopped kalamata olives, shredded lettuce

Pescetarian: Thin layer of Artichoke-Parmesan dip, canned salmon (or tuna), chopped tomatoes and green onions, shredded lettuce or cabbage

BBQ: Thin layer of BBQ sauce, pork (sliced or shredded), sliced onion, shredded cheddar, coleslaw (dressed or undressed)

Spicy Vegetarian: Smear of Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Dip (from Costco), assorted chopped vegies, crumbled feta, shredded lettuce

The possibilities are endless. All you need is something "wet" to act like glue on the bottom and then start the layering. A delicious and different way to use leftovers, an easy way to get your vegies,  -- and a fun interactive meal, be it lunch or dinner . Just line up what you've got in the fridge and let the family do it themselves.

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