Callie’s Cabin: Tahoe Friendly Tostadas (Recipe)
Ever notice how living at Lake Tahoe changes yet stays the same? This week I passed by a former neighbor’s home. She moved back to Southern California several years ago. But feel-good memories at the home linger. I miss the fun and convenient home away from home right around the corner.
One chilly late fall afternoon I brought my late Brittany Spaniel over to her home for a play date with her Rat Terrier. We left the fun-loving dogs and drove off the hill to run errands. Then, we stopped for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I ordered my favorite tostada, chips, and salsa. I ate half and saved the rest for later.
That night the boys continued to rough house, I munched on my spicy meal, and we watched the disaster film “10.5.” A soak in the hot tub followed. At midnight under the full moon I walked my dog home. It was a perfect day for two dog women and two canines.
These days, I’m still working on books and have a different dog. But neighbors come and go in this mountain town. I confess that I miss many of the folks, including the warmhearted, rugged Polish man, down-to-earth surrogate mother, and mom young enough to be my daughter.
So, this homemade quick vegetarian tostada recipe is for my friend with a friendly dog; and my memorable South Shore neighbors who were like family.
2 flour tortillas, whole wheat honey oat
1 teaspoon European style butter
1 cup kale mix, pre-shredded and packaged
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
Olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste (3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar works well)
1 Roma tomato, chopped
½ cup cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)
¼ cup cheese, Monterey Jack, shredded
1/2 cup salsa (Fresh Killer Salsa available at Safeway)
Parmesan shavings (garnish)
Sour cream (garnish)
Place tortillas on a plate. Drizzle with butter. Heat for 1 minute in the microwave. Remove and turn tortilla over. Repeat. It should be crispy. You can oven bake or fry but this is easy and works. Set aside. In a bowl combine kale mix, onion, tomato, and olive oil and vinegar. Set aside. Nuke crucifers in the microwave for a few minutes (or stir fry with a bit of olive oil in a skillet). Place tostadas on a plate. Top with salad mixture. Top with cheese, salsa, and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on each tostada. Top with a shavings and a dollop of sour cream.
Yep, I’m a vegetarian/semi-vegan. You can add chicken or fish to this recipe. Or not. Also, if you have neighbors that you love to hang with, this recipe can easily be doubled. To make it more versatile add more toppings and put them in bowls. Let everyone choose what they want for their tostada. Also, go ahead and buy store bought tortilla chips. Dip ‘em in my favorite Killer salsa to live for — it’s that good.
So, yeah, that saying, “You are where you are supposed to be” makes sense to me. But sometimes, I get a bit nostalgic for the friendly neighbors with hearts of gold that were once here… and now have moved off the hill. But this familiar warm meal and vivid recollections fill the cool autumn air of the neighborhood.
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, and Essential Oils) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.