Tag Archives: healthful

Black bean breakfast tostadas and our second blogiversary!

Black bean and egg breakfast tostada from Dinners for Winners

Dinners for Winners has just turned two years old! I’m happy and a bit proud. Sometimes my sister texts me from New York with a photo of dinner and says “we made your ______ for dinner last night and we loved it!” and nothing could make me happier. I consider this success in the fullest.

I’ve even received kind comments over the last few months from some of my most favorite, respected and admired food bloggers — can you believe they’ve even come by this little space? To me, this is so humbling. The first food blog I ever read was Smitten Kitchen, and when we shook Deb’s hand a year ago, I thought of all the hearts (and stomachs) she has filled with her enthusiasm for food and home cooking. She is the game-changer. She makes it happen; suddenly, anyone can make a lemon layer cake because she’s done all the research to guide us along the way and through any strange happenings that might worry us. She makes it simple! While not on her professional level of awesomeness, I so enjoy the time I put into this little project. I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve made also, as some of you really read along faithfully!

When considering what I might post for this occasion, I easily settled on something we have been enjoying repeatedly in our kitchen, something nourishing and delicious hailing from another food blogger, whom I find so inspirational and ardently passionate about healthful cooking. Oh, and something that can be breakfast or dinner, which is my fave! Sara of Sprouted Kitchen and her husband Hugh put out a gorgeous cookbook last year that I can’t get enough of; lots of pretty vegetables, Sara’s warm voice, handsome photographs and well thought-out, simple recipes that taste so good. Love Sara and her constantly refreshing recipes (she’s even working on a new book!) that remind us how perfectly gratifying it is to eat right. This breakfast/dinner is one of her gems.

Black bean and egg breakfast tostada from Dinners for Winners

These breakfast tostadas are crisp corn tortilla shells cradling warm black beans smashed with lime, layered under crisp vegetables and melty cheese, all topped with a saucy fried egg. It’s a simple, one-pan dinner or weekend breakfast that nourishes us without being heavy, that teases and pleases all our tastes and leaves plenty of room for coffee. I love the first cut into the egg yolk that pools around creamy avocado, bright cilantro. These come together quickly and look pretty on the plate, too.

This is one for regular rotation; we love it. I’m so pleased you’re here with me and I’m looking forward to sharing more winning dinners with y’all! Enjoy!

Black Bean Breakfast Tostadas

adapted from the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook
serves 4
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 can rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (we use full-fat in this house)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • olive or coconut oil
  • 4 corn tortillas (we love these fresh tortillas — they taste so much better cooked fresh, and no strange preservatives)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese such as Monterey Jack
  • sautéed chopped vegetables such as bell pepper, squash, onions or spinach
  • 4 eggs
  • chopped cilantro and scallions
  • 1/2 sliced avocado
  • hot sauce

With a fork, partially mash the black beans with the lime juice, sour cream or yogurt and cumin, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, lightly oil a skillet. Spread a few tablespoons of black beans on a tortilla, sprinkle with vegetables and cheese and place in pan to warm and get melty. I think the tortilla should get good and crisp here as well, but doneness is up to you. In another side of the pan, crack an egg and cook sunny-side up until whites are set but yolk is still runny. Sprinkle egg with salt and pepper.

Transfer tostada to a plate and top with avocado slices, egg, sprinkles of scallions and cilantro and hot sauce. Repeat for remaining servings.

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Beer nuts (rather, beer peas, which doesn’t have the same ring, does it?)

Crispy spiced chickpeas -- beer snacks from Dinners for Winners

I think that wonderful television show, Cheers, was such a gem — it still gets to be awesome in our life with 275 episodes on Netflix Instant Streaming. I won’t mention how many times we’ve seen them all! Watching Cheers really takes my memory back to the rare occasion that my dad would turn the show on when we were kids. Deprived of television as we were, our eyeballs were glued to the screen like moths to a flame, though the humor was lost on my six-year-old sensibilities. I’m glad I’ve grown to appreciate how much of a nincompoop Diane is, and Woody’s sweet literalism.

And Norm is the best, right? His life is made up of avoiding his wife, avoiding work and drinking beer constantly, at all costs. With a side of bottomless beer nuts. Oh, and never paying his tab.

Nathan and I have a bar we love, where everybody knows our names. We always pay our tab, and no beer nuts, but they serve the lightest and crispest pomme frites in the state (with house-made aioli). We’ve been frequenting around five years, since their opening, and have spent so many wonderful and delicious hours tucked into a Sazerac or local brew and enjoying our friend Rob, the bartender. Much humbler than Sam from Cheers, Rob is a legendary figure around our town and rightfully so; his barside manner invites all sorts to open up, and as customers come and go from the bar, they all act like an old friend of Rob’s. His cocktails are imaginative, fresh and inspired, changing with the seasons and always offering something out of the ordinary or a new twist. Basil Rum Runners with crushed ice in the summers, spiced Brandy Alexanders in the winters, house-infused pear bourbon Old Fashioneds or pineapple-habanero Margaritas made with peppers from the local farmer’s market.

I love watching him clap an herb leaf between his hands to open up the fragrance before garnishing a martini, love his flair setting a Spanish coffee ablaze. I’m more of a “house bourbon, rocks” girl myself, but recently I watched him make some kind of crazy-looking mix of spirits and flavors that I didn’t recognize.

“Ohhh, what’s that drink, Rob?”
“I’m not telling you! You’ll just make it yourself and put it on your blog!”

Fair enough.

Our bespectacled Rob is a family man, a Beatles fan (kindred spirit), a helluva guy whom we love dearly, even if he does set his sights on pouring me strong drinks in hopes of getting me to “say a swear” so he can giggle. This bar snack, my slightly-healthy alternative to beer nuts, is in his honor.

Crispy spiced chickpeas -- beer snacks from Dinners for Winners

Rob laments reading my blog after he gets home from work and becoming so hungry at 12:30am for a recipe that takes more trouble than midnight affords. ALSO because of some recent big changes — he was just accepted to graduate school! We could not be happier or more proud of our friend!

Robbie, congratulations on this next adventure in your colorful, musical life. I hope that the next time you come home late, tired and hungry, you can put this simple snack in the oven and it will be crispy and delicious by the time you’ve kicked off your shoes and dug out your homework. As a bar snack should be, these are crunchy and a little salty, with a smokey scent of spicy paprika and a rather addictive quality. Most importantly, they are really tasty alongside your favorite Jack D. Enjoy!

Crispy, spiced chickpeas

serves 2 – 3 as a bar snack
  • 1 14.5 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon oil (any kind, though I recommend sesame for its toasty flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked hot paprika

Preheat oven to 400F.

Pat the chickpeas dry with a towel — make sure they are very dry, and toss with remaining ingredients. Spread on a baking sheet or dish in a single layer, baking 15 – 30 minutes until crispy (time depending on the freshness and moisture of the chickpeas).

Enjoy while warm with an ice-cold beer.

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