There’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t crave Mexican food. I could eat tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and never tire of it. Even though Mexican food isn’t known for being particularly healthy, I believe everything is OK in moderation. The problem with that: I just can’t control myself! I’ll eat several veggie tacos and an entire bag of tortilla chips and still crave more. And don’t even get me started on the guacamole….
It’s for that very reason that I like to make my own Mexican-style meals when those pesky cravings strike. That way, at least I know all of the ingredients that are going into my food and I’m able to cut out as much of the unhealthy and fatty elements as possible. Yes, I still eat a lot, but it’s a lot of healthy, whole foods.
Since I eat Mexican food so often, variety is key. It was while searching the web for some recipe inspiration that I stumbled upon this wonderful recipe from one of my favorite health-food bloggers. I made a few changes and viola! These delicious Butternut Squash Tostadas were born! Be still my heart…
*Even though I opted to use my fave brown rice tortillas (which are pretty large) you could also use smaller corn tortillas, although I always suggest using organic corn products when possible to avoid anything that has been genetically modified. Either way, you can’t lose.
1 small to medium butternut squash, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. sea salt
pepper, to taste
To make the Avocado Crema
1/2 large avocado or 1 small, pitted and skin removed
1/2 cup almond milk
1 lime, juiced
2 tsp. fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, diced
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika
pinch of sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper
For the tostadas
2 Food For Life Brand brown rice tortillas (or up to 8 small corn tortillas)
1 cup cooked adzuki or black beans, heated*
1/4 cup diced red or white onion
1/3 cup diced red pepper
chopped fresh cilantro, for topping
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the cubed butternut squash in a large mixing bowl. Add the melted coconut oil and seasonings and toss until the squash is evenly coated. Spread the squash out over the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, tossing halfway through to ensure even cooking.
Cook the tortillas while the squash is baking: spread the tortillas apart on an unlined baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the edges begin to turn a golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the tortillas to cool to room temperature. The tortillas will harden as they cool.
To make the avocado crema, add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and pourable. Add more almond milk if necessary to get the crema to the right consistency.
To assemble the tostadas, top tortillas with butternut squash, adzuki/black beans, onion, and red pepper. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and a drizzle of avocado crema.
Serve and enjoy!
*I always prefer to use dried beans that I cook on my own, but canned beans will also work in a pinch.
February 21 is a special day in our family: it’s the birthday of my mom, my stepson Kaden, and Kaden’s stepdad! Since this special day happened to fall on a Friday this year, we decided to turn the entire weekend into one long celebration, complete with tons of food, family time, and even paintball.
I firmly believe that such a special day also deserves an equally fantastic dessert, but then, I usually go out of my way to come up with excuses to make dessert. As much as I love birthday cake, I wanted to prepare something a little different. It didn’t take me long to come up with these amazing No-Bake Nutella Pies. Now, I honestly can’t imagine life without them!!
After the gorgeous and eternally young Christie Brinkley recently shared with People magazine that she snacks on melon and walnuts and eats beans and veggies for lunch and dinner, I was compelled to do the same. Do I expect to wake up one day looking like Christie? Of course not. But I love that the model, who’s been a vegetarian since the age of 13, is extremely health conscious and opted to share her ‘secrets’ with us. Besides, if it’s good enough for her, it’s certainly good enough for me.
So, in an effort to include more beans and veggies into my meals, I’ve been going through old recipes and coming up with some clean and simple new ones–like this Arugula, Lentil, and Sweet Potato Salad. Not only is this salad extremely tasty, it’s also unbelievably easy to throw together, making it the perfect on-the-go meal. I’ve taken it to work with me nearly every day for the last week and it always leaves me feeling full and satisfied. I think Christie must be on to something…
With Valentine’s Day only a couple of days away, I can’t seem to think about anything but chocolate!!
I won’t lie, the way to my heart is most certainly through my stomach. I’ve been dropping some not-so-subtle hints to my husband for a week now about where we should go out to dinner. Since we both have crazy schedules, we decided it would be best if we do our Valentine’s dinner tonight rather than on the big day–and you better believe I’ll be getting something chocolatey at the end of the meal to satisfy my craving. Even though we’re celebrating early, I’ve also made up my mind to celebrate on Friday with another special dessert–this time homemade. Two Valentine’s Day desserts in one week….yes, please!!!
While looking through some older recipes and thinking about what to make (which only made my chocolate cravings worse), I quickly realized that there are far too many to choose from! I also realized that I should share some of my absolute favorite guilt-free and easy-to-make indulgences (and one Valentine’s Day-appropriate salad) with you.
I had been dreaming about these blondies for days–maybe even weeks–before I finally made them. I keep a list in my phone of foods I want to prepare and recipes that I think might work. These Protein-Packed Chocolate Chip Blondies were at the very top of that list, just staring me in the face every time I would turn on my phone.