Yesterday I was at a total loss about what to make for dinner. That rarely happens, as usually I'm tearing through cookbooks and websites searching for my perfect version of a certain dish. It could be pot roast, chili, pasta, if doesn't matter; I've got a vision for it and will know it when I see it.
No such luck yesterday, so Bryan recommended that we just "go with our gut" at the grocery store and see looked good. We went to Trader Joe's (shocking, I know) and I looked at the "Fearless Flyer" for inspiration. I turned to the first page and there it was: TACO NIGHT!
I was immediately reminded of one of our favorite dinners, but one that I hadn't made in a long time. Instead of tacos, I make great turkey tostadas. They're healthy, full of flavor and packed with nutrients from tons of brightly colored veggies. I don't have a specific recipe; instead I just throw in whatever flavors feel right to me on that specific night. It's basically ground turkey and black beans cooked (separately) with diced onions, peppers and spices, then topped with lots of fresh veggies: lettuce, tomatoes, tri-color peppers, avocado, cilantro, onions, pico de gallo, etc. But you can make it however appeals to your tastes.
Here's what you need to make two tostadas:
- 2/3 pound ground turkey
- 1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
- 1 cup bell pepper, chopped and divided (I use a combo of yellow, green, red & orange)
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced and divided
- 3 cloves garlic, diced and divided
- 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped and divided
- 1 avocado, halved, seed removed and chopped
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, plus one tablespoon (I use Trader Joe's)
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
- Hot sauce, to taste (I use Trader Joe's jalapeno hot sauce)
- 2 warm flour tortillas, about 8-9 inches across
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Fresh lime juice, to taste
Directions: Prepare your vegetables by chopping the onion, garlic, tomato, bell pepper, cilantro and lettuce. Set aside.
Beautiful bell peppers
Now let's get to the turkey. In a nonstick saute pan over medium heat, add turkey and cook until about halfway done, about five minutes. Make sure to break up any lumps with a spatula. Once turkey is halfway done, add 1/4 cup diced white onion, 1/3 cup chopped bell peppers, half of the diced garlic, 1/8 cup cilantro, 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning, enchilada sauce, chipotle chili pepper, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and a few splashes of hot sauce, to taste. Mix to combine and continue cooking until turkey is cooked through, vegetables have softened and a sauce coats the turkey.
While the turkey is cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the black beans, 1/8 cup white onion, 1/4 cup bell pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, 1/8 cup cilantro, a few splashes of hot sauce, one tablespoon enchilada sauce, and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Combine all ingredients and let heat through, stirring occasionally. The bean mixture will begin to thicken after about 3 minutes, so keep an eye on it and make sure the beans don't burn on the bottom of the pan. Sadly, my bean photos got deleted but you can see them (sort of) under the turkey in the next photo.
You're almost done. Get two plates. Place one warm tortilla on each plate and top with half of the bean and turkey mixtures.
Time to start plating!
Spoon beans & turkey mixture onto a soft, warm flour tortilla
Now it's time for some fun: bring on the toppings! The toppings are totally up to you and what you love. Personally, I add some lettuce, tomato, bell peppers, diced onion, cilantro, avocado, lime juice and some salsa. But get creative with it! Go crazy and add some more hot sauce, or even drizzle it with a bit more enchilada sauce. Make some guacamole, throw on some sour cream, use pinto beans instead of black beans...you get the gist! The key is to make sure the tortilla, bean and turkey mixtures are hot, which provides a delicious temperature and textural contrast against the cool, crisp vegetables.
Ta-da! It's Tostada Night!
So make tostada night part of your family's repertoire and you won't be sorry! Instead, you'll have a happy tummy and more importantly, a happy family. Which is the point, right?