Black beans and walnuts create the base for these tasty vegan tostadas. Made with crispy gluten-free organic corn tortillas and topped with crunchy pepitas, sweet yellow corn and red peppers.
It’s amazing what you can create with beans.
From black bean pasta to black bean brownies, beans provide a versatile base for plant-based cooking while also adding to the nutrient density of meals.
Despite what you may have heard from the anti-bean brigade (I’m looking at you Whole 30ers), beans are the total package. They provide a delicious source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein — without a lot of saturated fat typically found in other protein sources.
Confused about saturated fat? Read this: Saturated Fat: Good, Bad or Benign?
Black beans, for example, have 15 grams of protein per cup, and are a rich source of iron.
Iron helps the body transport oxygen and is important for producing energy and maintaining a healthy metabolism. This is especially important for vegans and vegetarians since meat is a major source of iron. However, one cup of black beans provides about 25% of the RDA of iron for women, and 50% for men.
Those who speak badly about beans argue that their “antinutrient” content (a group of compounds commonly found in plants) inhibits their digestibility and the absorption of micronutrients. However, these antinutrients, which are found in almost all plants, are drastically reduced during the cooking process and may be further broken down by the microbes in our gut, improving the absorption of minerals.
But enough about bugs and beans, let’s get back to these tostadas.
These tasty vegan tostadas are made by baking organic stone-ground corn tortillas and topping them with a flavorful, crunchy walnut and black bean mixture that tastes uncannily like taco meat. Even my red meat-loving husband was taken aback by the similarity to traditional ground beef tostadas.
To add to the plant-power, these tostadas are garnished with crunchy pepitas and organic sweet yellow corn — both great sources of protein and fiber.
Confused about corn – isn’t it GMO?! This myth-busting Instagram post may help clear things up >>
I melted vegan cheese on top of mine, but you can skip it if you’re not a fan, or if you do dairy, use regular cheese.
I love this recipe because it’s so easy to whip up in a pinch when I’ve forgotten to do my Sunday grocery shopping — perfect for Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- salt and pepper
- 6 organic corn tortillas
- 1 cup vegan cheese
- sweet yellow corn
- diced red pepper
- shredded lettuce
- vegan cheese sauce
- Set oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toast walnuts in a pan over high heat for about 3 minutes.
- Combine walnuts and beans in a food processor, pulsing until mixture is fully incorporated but not mushy.
- Saute onions and garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add bean mixture and spices and stir to incorporate. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- While beans are cooking, brush both sides of corn tortillas with remaining oil.
- Place tortillas on a baking sheet and bake for about 3 minutes per side, until they are crispy.
- Remove tortillas from the oven and top with bean mixture, then cheese. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes.
- Add topping and enjoy!
Tip: for those with digestive troubles/IBS, rinse your canned beans thoroughly! This will get rid of compounds known as galactans, the culprits behind post-bean consumption bloating. If you’re cooking your own beans, soak them overnight before cooking, and then throw out the water.
Fyi, this vegan meat mixture also goes great in tacos, burritos or on top of Mexican taco salad.
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Want more bean-based vegan and vegetarian recipes? Try these >>
Weigh in: Do you eat beans regularly? Do you participate in Meatless Monday?