and so we find ourselves in the middle of a workweek with no handy day-off smack in the middle of it (like we had last week). how about that? i don’t mind, since i love my job. work is busy and i love trying to keep up with it! our summer camps are in full swing and i am up to my eyeballs in the new fiscal year updates. exciting stuff, i know right? (are you saying you don’t want to hear more about year-end accounting procedures? ok…) but follow a busy 10-hour work day with my favorite torture training class at my gym and i come home feeling famished! and in need of dinner in a hurry. with plenty of protein to help my muscles recover, of course.
here is a super-quick dinner with a couple of handy shortcuts that you can make either vegetarian-style, or as meaty as you like. pinto beans are little nutritional nuggets, high in fiber, potassium and folate (supporting red blood cell production and muscle recovery) and served alongside some brown rice, are a complete, high-quality protein. i had some leftover pork from our July 4th cookout, and adding it brought an amazing smokey flavor to these tostadas. you could make these with some shrimp, or shred some meat from a rotisserie chicken from the store.
but the pinto beans are the star here, gently spiced with cumin, salt and pepper, under a sprinkling of super-fresh, early summer yellow corn kernels, right off the cob. i liked these with a squeeze of lime, a little pickled jalapeno and a chilled lager. cheers to a quick and tasty dinner!
pinto bean and sweet corn tostadas
handy shortcut 1.) cook beans ahead of time. if you’re out of time, used canned beans. but save on sodium and $$$ with this method:
- pour 1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans into a large saucepan. cover with water by 3 inches. bring to a rolling boil and cook for two minutes; cover, remove from heat, and let them stand for 1 hour. drain, and they’re ready to grace tostada shells, burritos, salads….
handy shortcut 2.) buy tostada shells at the store. they’re inexpensive and save the time of deep-frying your own. for a lighter version, start with corn tortillas and grill them until just beginning to char.
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- cooked pork shoulder (optional), chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- cooked pinto beans (from method above) or one 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- coarse salt and ground pepper
heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high. add onion and sautee until fragrant, about 4 minutes. reduce heat to medium and add pork, if using, and pinto beans. cook until heated through, 8 minutes. if mixture begins to look too dry, add a little water, beer or chicken stock. add cumin, chili powder, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- crisp tostada shells, or corn tortillas, fried or grilled
- 1 or 2 ears fresh sweet yellow corn
- 2 small tomatoes, diced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- jarred jalapeno slices, chopped (optional)
- crumbled queso fresco cheese (look near the refrigerated salsa for this at your supermarket)
- fresh cilantro leaves
- lime wedges
remove the husks and silk from the corn. slice off the bottom of the cob so that it can stand vertically in the center of a shallow bowl. using a sharp knife, slice the kernels from the cob from top to bottom.
layer each tostada shell with pinto beans, corn, and other toppings of your choice. finish with a squeeze of lime.