We Went Meatless!

Pepper Jack and Black Bean Tostadas with Southwest Lime Crema and Spicy Pico de Gallo.

I am always excited for veggies and this was a chance to try black beans as the main protein! I didn’t really make any changes to their recipe except to pickle some of the red onion in the way we like them. I have since made this with ground beef but I don’t think the meat really added anything. Let’s get started!

What they send: 2 cloves of garlic, 6 flour tortillas, 1 14 ounce can of black beans, 1 roma tomato, 1 red onioin, 1 jalapeno, 4 ounces of shredded pepper jack cheese, 1 tablespoon chicken stock concentrate, 4 ounces sour cream and the spice blend Southwest Spice which is a blend of cumin, chili powder and garlic and they send about a teaspoon, maybe 2.

What you need: salt and pepper, 2 Tablespoons cooking oil and 1 Tablespoon butter. Let’s get started!

Adjust an oven rack to the top position and preheat to 450F. * My oven is crazy and I don’t set it that high so I went with 425F. Wash and dry all produce. Dice tomato. Halve, peel and thinly slice the onion; finely chop a few slices to make about 2 Tablespoons. Zest and quarter the lime. Finely chop the jalapeno, remove seeds and ribs for less heat. Peel and finely chop the garlic. *By finely chop they mean mince or very small dice and that is fine for the garlic the onion and jalapeno can be a bit bigger if you like, it is going to be the pico so chop it to your liking.

In a small bowl combine the tomato, chopped onion, jalapeno, a big squeeze of lime juice and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl combine the sour cream, the lime zest and a squeeze of juice, not quite half of the spice mix and 2 or 3 teaspoons of water and mix until it can be drizzled.

Heat a drizzle of oil and 1 TBSP butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and slightly softened, 4-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and remaining Southwest Spice; cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in beans with their liquid, stock concentrate, and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally and smashing with a potato masher or the back of a spoon, until mixture is thick and creamy, 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat.

While the beans are getting thick and sexy we can start on the tortillas. Drizzle tortillas with 1 TBSP oil and brush or rub to coat all over. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and gently prick each tortilla with a fork in a few places. Bake on top rack, flipping halfway through, until lightly golden, 4-5 minutes per side.

Once the tortillas are golden and crispy spread the bean mixture on and top with cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts, 2-3 minutes. Divide tostadas between plates; drizzle with crema and top with spicy pico de gallo. Serve with remaining lime wedges on the side. *I didn’t have any wedges of lime left so I sprinkled a little of my lime juice from the fridge over top-yes I should have used that in the pico and crema and saved the lime for serving but I wasn’t thinking! I made a package of Lipton Spanish Rice to go along side and like I mentioned at the beginning I did a quick pickle on the red onions with red wine vinegar, sugar and some of the garlic to have another layer of flavors.

I don’t have any suggestions on how to change this recipe up outside of swapping the dairy cheese for vegan cheese and omitting the bullion, it is a delightful vegetarian meal and the hubs didn’t have a single complaint about not feeling full or like I served him a snack!

Thanks ya’ll!! Happy cooking!

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