Vegetarian meals can be a good way to keep that New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. This veggie tostada is no exception. Weighing in at just170 calories, this Mexican dish will fill you up without filling your calorie allotment.
Last year was all about losing weight in our household. My wife and I were very successful at the losing part with a combined 150 pounds down. What we weren’t so good at was keeping it off. Before becoming pregnant, she had put 30 of her pounds back on, and I yo-yo’ed all the back the 30 I had lost. So this year is about losing the weight again (well, after the baby is born, for her). And keeping it off. 2014 was the year of the diet. 2015 is going to be the year of the lifestyle change.
I know I’ve made poked fun at vegetarianism a bit. But vegetarian meals have as much place in a well-rounded diet as meat-based ones. Everything in moderation, as they say.
So just what is a tostada?
The way I like to describe it to people is that it is a Mexican Pizza. Everybody knows what a pizza looks like, and knows what kind of ingredients to expect in a Mexican dish, so it gets the point across. As a definition, it’s quick and dirty if not entirely accurate.
According to Wikipedia, a tostada is a deep-fried tortilla topped with things such as shredded chiken or beef, refried beans, and traditional taco type toppings such as lettuce, tomato, and cheese. So one way of looking at it is a flat taco. Or rather a flat taquito or deconstructed chimichanga since the tortilla is supposed to be fried.
Of course, that seems to be a little off to me. Tostada is Spanish for “toasted.” So it doesn’t make sense to me for it to be fried. Lucky for me, I’m no purist when it comes to my food and recipes I’m a big fan of fusion cuisine and breaking the rules to make something I like instead of what tradition says a dish is supposed to be.
That’s why this why this veggie tostada is baked. Who needs all the extra work and empty calories (along with triglycerides and everything else bad for you) just to fry a tortilla?
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 small yellow squash, diced
- 1 cup diced sweet potato (about one medium sweet potato)
- 1 tsp Let's Get Cooking taco seasoning
- 2 medium size tortillas
- ½ cup shredded lettuce
- ½ cup diced tomato
- ¼ cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp sour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high until lightly shimmering. Dice zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet potato. Add to skillet with taco seasoning. Cook until moderately soft. Remove from pan and rest on a plate covered with a paper towel to soak up some of the oil.
- Split vegetable mixture between two tortillas. Place directly on middle oven rack. Bake for 5 minutes until tortilla is crisp.
- Top tostadas with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.
Lately, I’ve switched from regular shredded cheese to shredded cheese made from 2% milk. I buy the Kroger brand from King Soopers, but I believe that Kraft makes it as well. Using 2% cheese in this recipe would saves about a gram of fat and saturated fat and tastes the same.
You can put anything you want on your tostada, but in terms of a vegetarian dish, firmer vegetables such as squash and sweet potato work best. This baked veggie tostada doesn’t include beans like most veggie tostada recipes. Why? Because my wife isn’t a big fan of beans. Me, I love beans.
Instead, this veggie tostada features zucchini, and yellow squash as well the sweet potato you will see in most recipes. Other vegetables you could try include carrot or their more spiced cousin, parsnip.
Where do stand on tostadas? Toasted or fried?