Monday, October 29, 2018

Brunch Tostadas


Once in a while, I can recreate a great dish that I've enjoyed at a restaurant. Such is the case for these brunch tostadas. Now, to be clear, this is not the most complicated dish in the world. But still, it's something I would have never put together on my own had I not eaten it first somewhere else. And I'm so glad I did. (Both that I ordered it at the restaurant and that I made it at home!)

We had a fantastic long weekend in Kansas City recently and this was one of my favorite dishes. I had a hard time deciding what to order at The Corner Restaurant, because it all looked so good! But these tostadas won the morning, and now they have won themselves into the rotation at our house. And how could they not?? Crispy tostadas are topped with refried beans, guacamole, carnitas, queso freso and a sunny side up egg. The whole thing is just SO wonderful - and I can't wait for you to try it.


My kids exclaimed "you can make these again!" which is about the winningest endorsement I've heard. And I definitely will, if only because I love them so much!

If you've never bought tostadas before, they should be widely available in the Mexican aisle at your grocery. I bought mine at Aldi and they were cheap (shocking) and delicious. I suppose, if you're really ambitious, you could fry your own. Queso fresco, a Mexican cheese, is crumbly like feta and usually comes in a round. It also is widely available, even at Aldi.


I had leftover carnitas in the freezer that I simply warmed and crisped up in the frying pan. You won't need the whole recipe of carnitas for these tostadas, so be sure to put quesadillas or tacos on your menu for later in the week. Or, freeze the leftover carnitas - they freeze beautifully.

Also, it should be noted that I named these "brunch tostadas" because they have an egg on top! (And because I did eat them for breakfast at the restaurant.) However, at our house we eat them almost exclusively for dinner. So, no matter what they're called, I hope you will try them soon.

Get more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Hearth and Soul, Fabulous.

Brunch Tostadas

8 tostadas
1 can refried beans
3-4 avocados (3 if large, 4 if not!)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1-2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
Carnitas
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
8 eggs

Prepare the guacamole by peeling and crushing the avocados. Stir in the red onion, lime juice, garlic and salt to taste.

Heat the tostadas in a 400-degree oven for 4-5 minutes or until fragrant and hot. Warm the beans in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove top over low heat.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick spray or melt 2 tsp butter. Cook the eggs until desired doneness, sunny side up.

Spread the refried beans among the tostadas, then top with guacamole. Place about 1/3 cup carnitas over each, then top with a cooked egg. Sprinkle queso fresco over the eggs and serve. Makes 8 tostadas.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Chicken Tikka Masala {Instant Pot}


Here is a great recipe for your Instant Pot for these cooler fall days. This dish was such a big hit in my family that the 13-year old took two big servings, and then placed a few grains of rice on her plate with one small piece of chicken. I inquired and she said "I'm so full but it's SO good. I don't want to stop eating!" That, my friends, is a ringing endorsement and one you should take seriously.


These kind of dishes are just made for the IP. I think pressure cooking helps intensify the spices - and it comes through here in a super flavorful combination. I've always thought this was a traditional Indian dish - but it turns out it was "invented" in a London curry house! No matter, we're just thankful someone invented it.


This is a simplified recipe; most chicken tikka masala recipes call for marinating the chicken in a yogurt before cooking. Here we just add it in with the tomatoes and the delightful onion, garlic and spice mixture. (You should be able to find garam masala in your grocery store spice aisle.)

I hope you'll try this soon - and I hope you get the same reaction I did from your family!

Chicken Tikka Masala {Instant Pot}

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger, grated
2 Tbsp. garam masala
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
28 oz canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Turn the Instant Pot on Saute mode. Add the coconut oil and let melt. Once melted add the onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala, paprika, and salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes until onions have softened. Press cancel to turn off the Saute mode. Add the tomatoes and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Stir in the chicken.

Close and secure the lid and set it to manual for 15 minutes. After cooking, let rest for 5 minutes, then release the pressure.

Carefully open and stir in the coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in the cilantro or use it as a garnish.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Egg Roll in a Bowl


Well, I'm back from an unplanned summer/early fall hiatus. Life hasn't gotten easier or less complicated, but I am committed to posting regularly because I've been trying so many new, delicious recipes. I can't wait to share them all with you!

A few times a year, I find I have to go carb free for awhile to "undo" several months of less-than-ideal eating. Less than ideal for my clothes to fit, but super ideal for my taste buds, ha!

This is a fantastic recipe if you want all the deliciousness of a great Chinese meal, but no carbs. You won't even miss that deep fried wrapper. If you have any leftovers, they're great for lunch the next day - it seems like all the flavors intensify overnight. And speaking of intensity - you can make this as mild or as spicy as you like based on how much chili garlic sauce or sriracha you add.

This is one of our new favorite dishes. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


Egg Roll in a Bowl

2 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
5 green onions, sliced on a bias
1 pound ground pork
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. Sriracha or chili garlic sauce, more to taste
14 - 16 ounce bag coleslaw mix
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and white portion of the green onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

Add the ground pork, ground ginger and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until the pork is cooked through. Add the coleslaw mix, Sriracha, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Sauté until the coleslaw is tender.

Top with remaining green onions and sesame seeds before serving.
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