A Salad with Crunch and Substance: Bean and Vegetable Tostadas

This simple salad can make for a light meal all on its own. It also pairs well with your favorite chili.


  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 pinches coarse salt
  • 1 can low fat or fat-free spicy vegetarian refried beans – vegetarian beans contain no lard (14 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded smoked cheddar, Monterey Jack, or pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 heart romaine lettuce or 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 small plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley (a palmful), chopped


Heat 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch oil over medium high heat. Fry tortillas 30 seconds on each side to light golden, one tortilla at a time. Drain tortillas on brown paper sack. Season with a little coarse salt while hot.

Heat beans in microwave or small pan over moderate heat. Spread hot beans on tortillas and top with a handful of shredded smoked cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. Top cheese with shredded lettuce, diced tomatos and chopped onion. Garnish tostadas with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley and serve.

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