Southwestern Tostadas with a Roasted Yam and Black Bean Salsa

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Brooks and I had another kickin’ BBQ last Thursday evening in Burlington. I printed out menus for this one, which was kind of cool. Not only are making menus fun, but it was handy to have around to give to people when they come up and ask me what they’re eating that night when I’m in the middle of cooking two or three things. If twenty people show up, it’s guaranteed that ten of them will do that… which is totally understandable and cool, but you know, it gets a bit much sometimes, right? Anyway, here’s what it looked it like:

Smoky Chipotle Pita Chips
served with guacamole and pico de gallo

Asparagus and Candied Pecan Salad
on a mix of frisée and baby arugula dressed with a sweet maple-balsamic

Grilled Asparagus, Zucchini, and Roasted Red Pepper
tossed in a roasted garlic-basil pesto

Quinoa and Amaranth Salad
simply dressed in lemon and olive oil with fresh herbs and grilled avocado

Southwestern Tostadas
crispy corn tortillas topped with a roasted yam and black bean salsa, guacamole, and chili-spiced walnuts

Barbequed Seitan Kebabs
bamboo skewers of homemade seitan, cherry tomatoes, new potatoes, and
sweet bell peppers, basted with a miso-maple glaze


Fried Biscuits
with a strawberry-rhubarb compote, topped with a blackberry glaze

I think the tostadas were one of my favourite items on the menu, which is why I’m redoing them here for you guys with the recipe. Also, thanks to Warren and his camera wizardry, I once again have pictures that make my food look tastier than it actually probably is. Win! The tostadas are basically an open-faced hard shell taco topped with guacamole and the yam and black bean salsa with a generous sprinkle of the walnut taco ‘meat’ from this previous post. I try to always buy my spices in their whole form (most commonly: cumin seeds, coriander seeds, whole nutmeg, cloves, cardamom pods, etc) and then grind them myself using a little coffee grinder. It makes a huge difference and I highly recommend taking them extra 3 or 4 minutes to do the same. It’s the same as the difference between freshly ground black pepper from a pepper mill and black pepper in near powder form from a little paper packet at a take-away restaurant.

Also, you might be hard pressed to find the corn tortillas at any regular supermarket, but you’ll no doubt be able to find an abundance of them for very cheap at your local Latin grocer. Before the BBQ at Brooks’ I hit up El Gran Tropical on Kerr Street in Oakville. There’s enough places in Toronto to find them too, I usually go to Perola.

For the guacamole:
3 large, ripe avocados
1 or 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
2 tablespoons onion, minced
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Small handful cilantro, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Remove pits from avocados and peel. In a large bowl mash the avocado flesh with a fork, leaving it still fairly chunk.
2. Add the garlic, onion, lime juice, lemon juice, cilantro, a big fat pinch of salt, and a few turns from your pepper mill. Continue to mash with your fork until well-combined.
3. Add the olive oil and stir through.

For the tostadas:
2 cobs of sweet corn, husks and silk removed (or about 1 cup of canned corn)
3 1/2 cups sweet potato, cut into small cubes (about 2 medium-sized ones)
Extra virgin olive oil
2  cloves garlic, minced
1 14oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, diced small
1/2 cup red onion, diced small
2 tbsp + 2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
Small handful cilantro, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 to 8 small corn tortillas


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and drop your cobs of corn in (skip this part if you’re using canned corn). Cook for about 4 or 5 minutes until the kernels are bright yellow. Remove and let cool. Once cool enought to handle carefully stand the corn up vertically and slice the kernels off the cut with a knife.
2. In a mixing bowl, toss the sweet potato cubes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 clove of the minced garlic. Lay them out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Throw into the oven for about 25 minutes, or until they’re well cooked and some are beginning to darken. Remove from oven to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine the cooled sweet potato, the other clove of minced garlic, black beans, red pepper, red onion, lime juice, cumin, coriander, cilantro, 2 tablespoons olive oil, a big pinch of salt, and black pepper. Gently stir with a spoon to avoid breaking apart the cooked sweet potato until everything is evenly combined.
4. On another baking tray lined with parchment paper, lay out your corn tortillas and lightly brush each side with olive oil. Pop them into the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until crispy. Watch them closely so they don’t burn and give them a flip halfway through. You’ll likely need two baking trays to do them all at once.
5. Top each one with a couple spoonfuls of the guacamole, the salsa and some of the walnut ‘meat.’ Serve each tostada with a lime wedge.


3 Responses to “Southwestern Tostadas with a Roasted Yam and Black Bean Salsa”

  1. 1 Mandee May 25, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    That tostada looks amazingly good, so fresh and healthy. Beautiful photos too.

  2. 2 Solar April 12, 2011 at 10:49 am

    It’s very exiting to find this blog.
    I have to say that it’s a unique blog! I love how appointed each of the entries are. They are well balanced – entertaining and informative – and the pictures are cool too.

  3. 3 Kath May 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I made this dish this weekend, and won a prize at a Top Chef themed birthday party…vegan Mexican entree. I added chopped Mango–was craving all those ingredients together. I also served some on a lettuce wrap for those that are gluten free. I love the walnut meat. Delicious. Thanks. Will visit your blog again.

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My name is Ross. I'm a food loving vegan and these are some of my recipes. I'm also the owner of Hot Beans vegan takeout in Kensington Market, Toronto. Check out my 'about' page for more info. Enjoy!

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All images and recipes (unless otherwise noted) Copyright © Ross Corder and Vegan Eats Blog, 2009-2013. All rights reserved. Please do not re-post or otherwise duplicate without permission. Thanks! Also, the "gluten-free" recipe tag is meant primarily for cataloging purposes and does not necessarily ensure that the recipe is completely gluten-free. Be careful to read the labels of any pre-packaged products to ensure that they are indeed gluten-free!

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