I have been such a huge fan of Nava Atlas for years and when I was asked to do a review of her new book, "Plant Power," I jumped at the chance!
Nava Atlas is the author of a long list of books ranging from "Vegan Holiday Kitchen," very apropos this time of year, to "Wild About Greens," a personal favorite. Nava is also the founder of VegKitchen.com, a place to seek out easy vegan recipes and cooking tips.
Nava has been writing cookbooks for years, but she is also the author of nonfiction books, such as "The Literary Ladies' Guide to the Writing Life." She is truly a remarkably versatile woman. Get to know Nava through her cookbooks, books or website.
I got to know Nava a little bit better through her new cookbook, "Plant Power." Just as the name implies, recipes powered via plants are what you will discover in this cookbook. And just like the recipes on her website, you will find easy and simple recipes to feed your family and yourself.
The book itself is a gorgeous full-color hardcover book, one that will be able to withstand many years of loving use. The book is broken into two parts: Plant-Powered Living and Plant-Powered Recipes and Menus.
The first part includes nutrition, tools, shopping and tips and tricks for the kitchen. The second part consists of the recipes! Yum! Main dishes, pastas, pizzas, tortillas, salads, breakfasts - everything to satisfy all your urges. In addition, all the recipes include nutritional information!
I was offered the privilege of sharing a recipe from the book with you and I chose one of my favorite easy meals: tostadas. I made Nava's Black Bean Tostadas.
I was able to throw these tostadas together in less than 15 minutes and the family was happy with the tasty comfort food - I was happy with the speed and the healthfulness of the dish.
I am giving away a copy of Nava's "Plant Power" for one lucky US winner! Contest ends Monday December 8!
Black Bean Tostadas
A tostada is a crisp tortilla piled generously with any variety of toppings, often including beans, crisp lettuce, and salsa. Good accompaniments include: baked potatoes or sweet potatoes; or fresh corn on the cob. Add a salad and/or a simple steamed veggies, you’ve got an easy weeknight meal or fun quick fare to serve company. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos in the cookbook taken by Hannah Kaminsky.
Serves: 4 (2 tostadas per serving)
• 8 good-quality corn tortillas
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
• 1 medium onion or two shallots, finely chopped
• 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
• Two 15-to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed, or 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked black beans
• Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon, or more, to taste
• 1 to 2 small hot green chili peppers, seeded and sliced, optional
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• Shredded lettuce, baby greens, or baby spinach
• Plenty of mild, medium, or hot chunky salsa, such as chipotle, peach or mango
• Store-bought or homemade Vegan Sour Cream or Cashew Cream
To toast the torillas in the oven: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the tortillas on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and dry and just starting to be touched with golden brown spots. Remove them from the oven and place on a serving platter.
To toast the tortillas on a stovetop: Heat a large skillet. Toast the tortillas over medium heat (two or three at a time, depending on the size of the skillet) for about 5 minutes or so on each side, until crisp and touched with golden brown spots. Don’t be afraid to let them get nice and crisp—that’s better than ending up with a soggy tostada.
Heat the oil, broth, or water in medium skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients (aside from the garnishes, of course) along with 1/4 cup water and bring to a simmer. Using a potato masher, mash some of the beans so that the liquid becomes thick and saucy.
Place the shredded lettuce, sour cream, and salsa in separate serving bowls and let everyone assemble their tostadas as follows: A layer of shredded lettuce; the black bean mixture; salsa; and sour cream. Pick up the tostadas and eat out of hand (with plenty of napkins!).
Per tostada: Calories: 140 with oil, 126 without oil; Total fat: 2g with oil, 1g without oil; Protein: 7g; Carbohydrates: 25g; Fiber: 4g; Sodium: 100mg