Mexican Refried bean tostadas (also called chalupas in Texas) are one of my favorite Mexican foods. My Mom used to make homemade bean chalupas frequently, and I have continued this tradition in my own family. My recipe for these homemade, delicious, and healthy bean tostadas is a healthier version of the classic Mexican tostada and finds its way on our dinner menu at least twice a month. Healthy bean tostadas are easy to make and comes with the ability to include your family’s particular preferences for the toppings. If your family is anything like mine, don’t be surprised if they ask for these healthy bean tostadas every week.
This healthy recipe includes using organic corn tortillas, organic refried beans, organic and fresh veggies such as organic tomatoes, shredded lettuce, jalapeno peppers, and olives, as well as organic sour cream and organic goat cheese (optional) to make an effortless and flavorful dinner for all seasons!
Powerhouse Ingredients in Healthy Bean Tostadas
The following ingredients are powerhouses when it comes to healthy eating.
Homegrown organic tomatoes from your garden or local farmers’ market are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They are also an excellent source of molybdenum, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, chromium, and vitamin B1. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, folate, copper, niacin, vitamin B2, magnesium, iron, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, vitamin E, and even protein.
The leafy outer greens of lettuce provide many micronutrients that can help your liver stay healthy. Lettuce is also very hydrating and provides vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc, along with B-vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, A, E, and vitamin K. Red leaf lettuce is especially rich in the antioxidant beta carotene, which is a carotenoid pigment that your body converts into vitamin A. The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease published a research paper in 2012 that concludes lettuce possesses anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties.
According to Healthline, some of the health benefits of onions include antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, decreased triglycerides, and reduced cholesterol levels — all of which may lower heart disease risk. Their potent anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce high blood pressure and protect against blood clots. Onions are also a good source of potassium, a mineral of which many people don’t get enough of.
Best Healthy Bean Tostadas Recipe
4-5 small organic corn tortillas
2-3 cans of spicy organic refried pinto beans* (I use Eden Foods Spicy Organic Refried Pinto Beans. They also have black beans, if you prefer.)
1 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Himalayan salt, to taste (optional)
1 pound organic grass-fed and grass-finished hamburger (for those that consume meat)
*Taste the refried beans before adding the spices. Most of these spices are in the Eden Spicy Refried Beans. While my family prefers a little more added “spice,” some people prefer the spicy refried beans just as they are.
2-3 cups fresh organic shredded lettuce (I like to mix lettuce types such as organic iceberg, green leafy, red leafy, spring mix, etc.)
2 cups organic tomatoes, chopped
Organic sweet chopped onions (Vidalia onions are best, but any onion that your family likes will work)
Jalapeno peppers (I prefer candied jalapeno peppers)
Black olives (optional)
Raw pepitas (optional)
Organic sour cream (optional)
Organic goat cheese (optional)
Fresh lime juice (optional)
Feel free to add other veggie toppings that your family likes, such as organic carrots, avocado, shredded purple cabbage, fresh mushrooms, organic cucumbers, organic or homemade salsa, etc. Truly, this recipe can be made as healthy as you like!
Wash all vegetables, especially the lettuces, thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 400F. Place the tortillas in the oven, straight on the rack, and bake for 2-4 minutes, until browned and crispy. Keep a very close eye on them since they burn very quickly. When crisp, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
While the tortillas are warming up, open the cans of organic refried bean and place them in a saucepan along with the spices. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat, occasionally stirring, for 10-15 minutes. If you are adding organic meat, place it in a frying pan and cook until done. When both beans and meat are read, mix together.
To serve, divide the heated refried beans evenly onto the tostadas and top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, pepitas, avocado, onions, jalapenos, olives, etc. Some people like to squeeze a little lime juice over their tostadas. Sprinkle some Himalayan salt and pepper (to taste) over the finished tostadas. Serve immediately.
How to Eat Best Healthy Bean Tostadas
There really is no incorrect way to eat a bean tostada, in my opinion. In our family, we usually pile our tostadas high with healthy toppings, so we tend to eat the tostadas with a fork. This probably goes against the tradition of how tostadas are meant to be consumed. If you choose to forego the temptation to pile the tostada high with the fresh toppings, it’s usually easy to pick up the tostada with both hands (like a pizza slice) and eat in small bites.
Eating Homemade Food at Home…
Cooking at home should never be thought of as drudgery; however, that is exactly what the media and advertisers of convenience foods and fast-food restaurants would like you to believe. This type of emotional marketing tends to produce feelings of deprivation and “missing out on something wonderful.” When in truth, what you’re missing out on by not cooking homemade meals is healthy and nutrient-dense nutrition, wonderful natural flavors, the therapeutic and artistic benefits of cooking, wonderful family time, and the knowledge of what is and what is not in your food. So if your mind tells you to place preparing meals at home in the “dreaded chores” category, direct your mindset to cook homemade meals “for the health and emotional wellness of myself and my family.” Remember that you are not only fueling the body but also the soul. Bon appétit!!!