Above all else, my absolute favorite kind of food is Mexican. Not Tex-Mex. Not Taco Bell. Actual Mexican food from Mexico. It is simple, delicious, and typically uses just a few ingredients. Because Mexican food features so few ingredients, it’s incredibly easy to veganize.
You might be thinking “but what about the sour cream! And cheese!” For those of you who are not familiar with authentic Mexican cuisine, you might be surprised to hear dairy is actually an extremely small part of Mexican cooking. Perhaps a sprinkling of cheese here and there, maybe a drizzle of crema at a restaurant (a more runny version of American sour cream), but that’s about it. It isn’t central to any dish, and can easily be replaced by a squeeze of lime or some avocado without compromising the integrity of the dish.
And yes, I understand that sweet potatoes aren’t Mexican, but I do LOVE how they taste with black beans and they are just so good for you. How can I NOT Mexicanize them?
Tostadas are one of my favorite Mexican dishes to eat. A tostada is essentially a tortilla that has been baked until it becomes a giant round tortilla chip. They are a creative way to reduce food waste (they’re made from tortillas that are just starting to go stale). The revamp is both useful and delicious. I love tostadas because the open faced style allows you to enjoy the flavors of what’s on top in a different way than if it were wrapped up inside of soft shell tortilla. In a taco, you would taste the shell first and get the flavors of the filling on the back end. In a tostada, you get all the flavors at the same time, plus a nice crunch and a little extra flavor from the baked shell.
**Tip for the Avocado Dressing: make ahead the day before or a few hours before serving if you can. Although it tastes great fresh, letting the flavors marinade together makes them REALLY blend as one. The best part about the avocado dressing? Even if you make ahead, it stays green!
PS: this is a great recipe for meal prepping. Instead of tostadas, put the potatoes and beans on a bed of lettuce, rice, or wrap it up in some tortillas for tacos or burritos. The sky is the limit!
Sweet Potato Black Bean Tostadas
A flavorful, fun Mexican-inspired recipe perfect for Taco Tuesdays
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 small red onion
- 1 15 oz can black beans
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2-4 tbsp salsa
- tostadas (or small tortilla shells if making your own)
- oil of choice
- optional for topping: shredded lettuce, diced tomato, fresh lime, fresh cilantro
- Peel and dice the sweet potato and red onion into small pieces. If making your own tostada shells, begin pre-heating the oven to 350.
- Put 2 tbsp oil in a sauce pan and turn to medium heat. Add onion first and sauté until fragrant, then add sweet potato. Stir and cover with lid.
- While sweet potato and onions are cooking, drain and rinse the black beans and begin measuring your spices.
- Once the sweet potatoes begin to soften, add the spices, salsa, and black beans. (The salsa will help add moisture to the dish. If you don’t have any on hand, add a few tbsp water instead).
- If making your own tostadas, take out a baking sheet and either lightly brush or spray both sides of tortillas with oil of choice. Sprinkle a dash of salt on one side of tortillas. Bake for approx 10 minutes. Tostadas are ready when the edges begin to curl up and the tortillas are slightly brown.
- My favorite way to top these is the traditional way. First, a bed of finely shredded lettuce, then the protein, then some finely diced tomato, cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime. Today I made an avocado dressing that combined all of my favorite usual toppings…I have to say I HIGHLY recommend it! I will definitely be using this on many more Mexican dishes to come.
This dressing is incredibly easy. If you like cilantro, lime, avocado, and all things Mexican NEARLY as much as I do you will seriously love it!
- 1 avocado
- 1/3 cup vegan sour cream (or plain unsweetened yogurt)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (I actually just used half a bunch)
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Put all ingredients in a blender, blend until liquified.
- Add more liquid if you want a runny salad dressing, use less if you want a dip or thicker topping more like the consistency of sour cream.
What do you think? Leave a comment below if you’ve tried it or have a suggestion for something I should try!