I’m not a huge fan of the term “meat substitute.” Whenever I hear it, images of tofurkey and tofu burgers pop into my head; as if that is the embodiment of vegetarian cuisine (for the record I have never had tofurkey nor a tofu burger and I am in no rush to change this). I associate those images with a desire to mimic dishes in a vegetarian way, inherently placing the original dish as the benchmark; the brass ring to aspire to.


Vegetables. Are awesome (yeah, I said it). Fruit. Is awesome. Pasta, bread, beans… you get the idea. And they’re all awesome for their own unique qualities. There. Rant done.

The Makings Of Refried Beans

I really enjoyed the tostada I had while on my southwest trip. I’d never heard even heard of them before but I knew I wanted more. This sucker had a “meat substitute,” but I have no idea what it was (some restaurants have gotten really good at that stuff), so I figured screw it. Let’s do it anyway. I’m really happy with how this turned out.

Vegetarian Tostada

These refried beans are not fried, but just cooked for a really long time. Sorry, I’m not frying beans in lard. You can find fried tortillas at any mega mart.

Tostada Sideshot

Vegetarian Tostada With Not So Refried Beans

8 fried tortillas
8 ounces (approximate) iceberg lettuce; shredded
Mexican cheese mix (cheddar, colby, montery, etc. just buy a pack from the store)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cooked beans (1 can)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 onion; chopped
1 jalapeño; diced
3 garlic cloves; minced
1 tomato; diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Simmer your beans in a pot of water for 15-20 minutes until soft. Drain and mash with a potato masher or large spoon. Set aside

Cook the onion with the oil and salt in a medium pot until translucent. Add the jalapeño, garlic, spices and cook for another two minutes. Add the tomato, beans and half a cup of water. Simmer for 20 minutes. If too watery, just cook longer (kinda hard to overcook refried beans). Set aside.

Spread a few spoonfuls of the refried beans onto the fried tortilla followed by guacamole, lettuce and cheese. Enjoy!

3 Responses to “No Southwest Subbing – Vegetarian Tostada With Not So Refried Beans”

  1. But I love beans cooked in lard…

  2. bethany says:

    This inspired my tostada dinner tonight:) Thanks.

    I made my beans with onions, tomatoes, a little chicken broth and salt and garlic powder.
    I topped with chicken, scallions, guacamole, cheese and sour cream, mixed with roasted garlic and jalapenos.