Mini Tostada Night: Bring the Family to the Table!


I’ve written before about my undying love for tostadas! The combination of crunchy from the tostada shell with the creaminess of refried beans or spiciness of beef or chicken–all mixed with the coolness of lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream! It’s more than food, it’s an experience! And why not involve the whole family in making this classic Mexican dish by gathering them around the table for a weeknight or weekend family dinner experience?
I’ve seen television food shows featuring little stands in Mexico that rock classic tostadas made from ingredients that span decades of Mexican family recipes. Some are topped with civeche, a lime-cured fish, or other exotic ingredients like cactus or squid. When it comes to the kids and family night, I like to keep things a little more simple.
Our family tostada night several weekends ago consisted of store-bought mini tostada shells, which are already fried, and a plethora of mini bowls spread around the table filled with toppings including cubed grilled chicken, steaming hot canned refried-style beans, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomato, shredded lettuce, sour cream and salsa. Now that the kids are almost 4 and 7 and can use spoons to scoop up food and place it carefully onto their plates (or in this case tostadas), it was easy to call everyone to the table and create our own tostada masterpieces–and our own family experience! My suggested ingredient list for this crunchy, cool dinnertime experience includes:
-One package of pre-fried tostada shells (I prefer the authentic Mexican brands if you can find them)
-Four seasoned, grilled chicken breasts cut into half-inch cubes
-One small can of refried beans (I like the nonfat-type seasoned with lime since you can’t tell the difference between this type and the type with tons of fat!)
-Half a head of romain lettuce, shredded
-Three tomatoes, diced
-One package of shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
-Sour cream
-Green or red salsa
Lay out all of the ingredients in a family-style setting at your dinner table and dig in! The kids like to feel like they’re making their own dinner and have so much fun in the process. Watch out, it can get messy! But that’s okay! Throw in a “how did your day go today?” and you’ve got a traditional sit-down dinner that brings your family that much closer.