Impromptu Tostadas with a Vegan Chipotle Aioli

After a wonderful and exciting weekend filled with friends and family, a half marathon, and a delicious brunch with a celebratory toast, I welcome the busy week ahead of me. Midterms are in full force, and projects are slowly swooping in. All the while the bright colors of poppies in the garden and the warm breeze of late spring entice me to play....."strong and steady, strong and steady." This is my mantra for life. Not only when I am racing up another steep hill, but also when I need to start charging through my growing to-do list. "Don't lose focus." It helps me accomplish one hour at a time and one day at a time until I get to break!

Break time means either running or cooking during the week. After a long race yesterday, I decided to give my legs a rest and enjoy the quiet kitchen all to myself. With a glimpse into the refrigerator, I quickly decided what would hit the spot...something savory, spicy, but not too heavy...tostadas!

I love tostadas. I probably make them once or twice a week. They are incredibly delicious and very versatile. You can use whatever you have in the fridge and load them up with a ton of fresh goodies. Also, tostadas are one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to make an impressive gluten-free meal. Since corn tortillas are gluten-free, as well are beans, veggies, your homemade chipotle aioli, and pan-fried eggs, within minutes you can have yourself a balanced nutrient dense and gluten-free meal! 

So if you have a busy week ahead and are craving some Mexican flavors, try these healthy and fresh gluten-free and dairy-free tostadas!

Impromptu Tostadas with a Vegan Chipotle Aioli

Tostadas are refreshing and delicious, especially when it is 80 degrees outside. They are easily assembled, and can be put together with whatever you have in your refrigerator. Don’t be frightened by the long recipe, it is really easy and quick to make. Just get creative and have fun!

Serves two

For the vegan chipotle aioli:
¼ cup coconut milk (full fat)
½ lime
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon nutritional yeast powder

For the corn tortillas:
4 corn tortillas (I used Mission “extra thin”)
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt

For the toppings:
10 small mushrooms, sliced
½ small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
½ mango, peeled and diced
½ avocado, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Squeeze of lime
1 carrot, shredded
½ cup shredded cabbage
2 cups mixed salad greens
4 eggs
½ cup refried beans

To prepare the chipotle sauce: Mix all the ingredients together in a small mason jar and set aside for flavors to develop.

To prepare the corn tortillas: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place corn tortillas on to a baking sheet and brush each side with olive oil. Sprinkle each with a little sea salt and place into oven. Set timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes have passed flip the tortillas and return to oven for 5 minutes. They should be crisp like a corn chip. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool.

To prepare toppings: Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan to medium heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil, the onions, and the mushrooms, and sauté until onions and mushrooms are golden brown. Season with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

In a small bowl add the mango, avocado, tomato, cilantro and lime juice. Season with a pinch of sea salt. Set aside. In a separate small bowl, mix together the shredded carrot and cabbage. Place mixed greens into a small bowl as well.

Finally, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat in a small frying pan. Add the 4 eggs and reduce heat to medium low. Season with salt and pepper. To heat the refried beans place into a small saucepan or cover them and microwave for a minute.

To assemble the tostadas: Either offer the toppings individually and allow people to pick and chose what they like or assemble yourself. First spread the refried beans onto the baked corn tortillas. Then add the sautéed onions and mushrooms, and spoon 1 teaspoon of the aioli over top. Continue to top with mixed salad greens, shredded carrot and cabbage, and once again top with chipotle aioli. Finally add the mango avocado salsa and top each tostada with a freshly fried egg. Serve immediately. Offer more chipotle aioli or your favorite hot sauce.

Note: To mix it up replace eggs with: sauteed turmeric tofu, pan-seared and sliced pasture-raised beef, or some garlic prawns.

For another great gluten-free recipe and tips on how to have a gluten-free kitchen check out the Zing Bars Blog.

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