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Tostadas are one of those dishes that prove the most simple, wholesome ingredients can make the most delicious, nutrient-rich dinners. A traditional dish in Mexico and other parts of Latin America, a tostada is made with a toasted tortilla topped with refried beans (or chicken), cheese, salsa, and other toppings of your choice. The mouthwatering topping on the tostadas we’re here to rave about today is none other than the chef’s secret sauce recipe.
Fortunately, it’s one secret former Top Chef contestant Nyesha Arrington isn’t keeping to herself. In the latest episode of Cook With Us, she shares her vegan tostadas recipe, which includes the aforementioned addition that makes the dish even more irresistible: an avocado cashew cream sauce. (When do avocados not make something extra amazing?)
BTW, Arrington’s vegan tostadas recipe is as nutrient-rich as it is tasty. Between the black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, arugula, and cashews in the cream sauce, this meal is filled with fiber. That means it’s directly benefiting both your gut and heart. In fact, every single ingredient in this dish is nutrient-rich–you’re getting protein from the beans and nuts, lycopene and antioxidants from the tomatoes, anti-inflammatory benefits from the spices, and so much more.
The refried black beans take the longest to cook, so that’s what Arrington starts making first. She lets them simmer on the stove mixed with onions, garlic, salt, black pepper, paprika, cumin, and serrano chili–talk about bursting with delicious flavor.
While the beans are cooking, that’s when it’s time to make the avocado cashew cream. The cream truly makes the dish, and it’s actually super simple to make. You just blend avocado, softened cashews, salt, cayenne pepper, cilantro, and olive oil in a blender for about 30 seconds. “The creamy texture gives a beautiful mouthfeel on our tostadas,” Arrington says.
The last essential cooking step is grilling sweet summer corn–it only takes a few minutes and it’s worth the extra effort. Then, you just have to dice some tomatoes and you’re ready to build your tostada.
Watch the episode above to see it all come together, then scroll down to get the recipe. Delicious plant-based tostadas are just a few recipe steps away!
For the black bean tostadas:
1 qt black beans, cooked
1 ear white corn, grilled
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 serrano chili
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
6 corn tortillas, fried
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Pinch of black pepper
1/2 cup corn stock
For the avocado cashew cream:
1 cup unsalted cashews, soaked
2 tsp Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lime, squeezed
1. Start by heating the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, garlic, and chili, and saute for about three minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add in half the cooked beans, cumin, and paprika. Stir to incorporate into the cooked onion, chili, garlic mixture. Mash completely using a fork or the back of a wooden spoon.
2. For the cashew cream, place cashews into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for one hour. Alternatively, you can soak the cashews in water overnight. In a blender, blend all ingredients together until smooth.
3. To build the tostada, place black beans on the crispy tortilla. Garnish with arugula, grilled corn, diced tomatoes, and finish with cashew cream and cilantro leaves.
Get more plant-based recipe ideas in Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group.