Mexican Tostada Shells with Cauliflower ( gluten free, vegan )
I love fresh chile peppers on all heat levels. Habanero is probably my favorite and most used pepper, it has an amazingly fresh fruity taste to it. I use it on my green smoothies too to give a fiery kick that only capsaicin can create!
But let’s cut to the point. This post is about one of my biggest food loves of all time: the Mexican food. Mexican food has all the elements that tickle my taste buds like no other food. The look and taste of cilantro, freshly sliced lime, perfectly soft avocado and the beautifully shaped chiles alone make my feel-good hormones rise! And I haven’t even eaten anything yet!
The recipe Im sharing today is a healthy option for tostada which originally is deep fried until crunchy and made of corn or wheat flour. While creating the recipe I could not help reminiscing the most authentic tostada I have ever had in my life… it was a small and secluded fishing village in Yucatan Peninsula. The people there were having a feast or something and we kind of like popped up in the middle of everything and we were in desperate need of some food and a place to crash in. We had some “antojitos” ( which means “little cravings”) prepared by a street vendor. I loved the experience and the authenticity of everything. I was in a traveler’s paradise, once again.
Unfortunately my husband, with more sensitive tummy, got terrible stomach issues aka food poisoning. So no street food for the travelers for a while.
Cauliflower tostada is the answer to many prayers. I know I know what some of you may think… but …in the food world today there are no limits to rule breaking anymore. Cauliflower pizzas are here to stay why not try cauliflower tostada or tortilla? Gluten free veggie-licious option rules these days. Actually it’s great!
We are trying to stuff vegetables in everything we can think of! We are finally moving to the right direction, people!
Before heading on to the recipe let me scratch the surface of Mexican cuisine a little bit. I want you to get a quick understanding of the basic elements of this fusion kitchen, where Mesoamerican cooking gets some flare from Spanish influence.
Mexican food is rich and fresh. Many of the staples of the Aztec diet are still there ; beans , corn, avocados, chili peppers, pumpkins, nuts and yes the chocolate.
Did you know that Europeans ( especially Spanish ) introduced e.g. beef and pork and also dairy products to ancient Mexicans? Main methods of cooking began to change and frying became possible ( use of lard ) which is one of the cornerstones of true Mexican cooking. Mexican food was also influenced by African and Asian food due to Spanish trading ships and African slavery in New Spain. Im not usually very keen on history but this is such a big deal in the history of Mexican cuisine I have to mention it.
Mexican cuisine is not only about great food it is an aspect of the culture, social structure and traditions.
If you want to dive into the world of Mexican food here’s a few tips to get a little closer to a mexican food table
- vegetables play a big role ( it’s not only pulled chicken or pork always )
- tropical fruits are used in salsas and and main foods in addition to snacking
- garlic and fresh onions give the most common flavor to food
- cumin, coriander and Mexican oregano take care of the earthy taste
- fresh chiles and chili powders are also a staple ( ancho, chipotle, pasilla, habanero etc )
- Cinnamon, clove and cacao powder belong to a Mexican food lover’s kitchen, learn to use them!
- Chili is used in every dish in some form. Fresh, dried, flakes or ground. Use it generously! It’s healthy
- Limes and cilantro add a finishing touch to many dishes, make sure you keep them within reach
Ingredients for 5 tostada shells
1 head of cauliflower (medium )
3 tbsp quinoa flakes
4 tbsp corn meal
4 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oiL
2 tbsp aqua faba or 1 organic egg
1 tsp psyllium
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano (optional )
1/4 cup grated vegan cheese ( optional)
- chop the cauliflower into chunks and
- pulse the florets in a food processor, don’t over grind! It is suppose to have a ricy consistency
- add the rest of ingredients and blend until the mass holds together
- Divide the mass into pieces. I used my silicon tart mould which equals the size of a tostada
- press the dough into moulds or just shape them as tortillas on a baking sheet
- bake for about 15-20 min at 180C depending on the size and thickness
FILLING AND SIDE DISHES
I chose to prepare a very simple, quick and tasty filling for my tostadas.
I used butter beans along with black beans as the main ingredient.
Banana shallots were my choice of onions and bell peppers needed to be used asap.
I also tossed some pickled cactus to my frying pan
I seasoned the filling with garlic, cilantro, paprika, cumin, chili powder, mexican oregano,coconut sugar, salt and fresh habanero.
I made a simple guacamole as a side dish. Salsa was store bought. I didn’t have enough tomatoes to make a fresh salsa… unfortunately. I had oat fraiche in the fridge so it served as a balancing flavor to everything. Not so mexican I know , lol.
Top your tostadas as you like , use your favorite ingredients or whatever you have in your fridge.
Season your veggies and meat well.
Be brave with the spices, smell them, taste them!
Feel the heat from a fresh habanero!
Enjoy the food genuinely!
Acknowledge the history behind your food!
Have flash backs of your travels !
AINESOSAT TOSTADA KUORIIN
1 keskikokoinen kukkakaali
3 rkl quinoa hiutaleita
4 rkl maissiryyni
4 rkl maissijauho
2 rkl hiivahiutaleita
1/2 tl merisuolaa
2 rkl aqua fabaa tai 1 luomumuna
1 tl psyllium
1/2 tl meksikolaista oreganoa
puolisen dl juustoraastetta ( vegaani tai normi)
3-4 rkl oliiviöljyä
1 .pilko kaali paloiksi ja
2. jauha yleiskoneessa kunnes koostumus on riisimäinen
3. lisää loput ainekset ja sekoita kunnes massa pysyy koossa
4. jaa taikina osiin ( itse käytin silikonista piirasvuokaa joka sattui olemaan halkaisijaltaan tostadalätyn kokoinen)
5. paina taikina muotteihin tai muotoile suoraan leivinpaperin päälle tortillan muotoon
6. paista noin 15-20 min 180 C riippuen kuorien paksuudesta.
Täytä kuoret haluamallasi täytteellä.
Itse valmistin nopean ja maistuvan täytteen voi- ja mustapavuista.
Tiensä kuumalle pannulle löysivät myös hieman nahistuneet paprikat ja säilötty kaktus. Banaani shalotit toivat makeutta.
Mausteiksi käytin: valkosipuli, tuore korianteri, paprikajauhe, kumina, chilijauhe, meksikolainen oregano, suola, tuore habanero ja kookossokeri
Lisukkeksi tietenkin perus guacamolea, salsaa ja kaura fraichea