I’m not sure why it took me so long to try tostadas, squash in Mexican food, and ALDI’s
Swapping roasted squash for taco meat filling is delicious! Although she uses sweet potatoes, Laurie’s recipe for Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos on Relishing It has been swirling around my mind.
I used to hate ALDI, but now I’ve changed my tune. In the Twin Cities and even Fargo, we had many grocery store options that included natural food stores, co-ops, and multicultural grocers. Our North Iowa community is much smaller and it can be difficult to find affordable, specialty ingredients. While ALDI certainly doesn’t have everything, they do sell jars of organic coconut oil for $5, baking supplies, and a decent version of peanut butter. I still can’t get into the cart deposit thing, so I only purchase what I can carry and appreciate how efficient the associates are (they don’t accept checks!).
I’ve prepared my best version of Mexican-style street tacos more times that I can count, but hadn’t thought to add toppings to tostadas until I spotted them at ALDI. Since I recently prepared tacos filled with carne asada, I made a vegetarian version with roasted squash and mushrooms, white bean spread and sprinkles of queso fresco.
Running to the Kitchen’s recipe for Homemade White Refried Beans helped me transform a can of white cannelini beans into a lighter, creamier version. It was so simple to prepare. However, if you already have refried beans on hand, you can certainly use these instead of making your own bean spread. We were delighted with this sweet, salty and spicy flavor combination.
Sweet And Spicy Roasted Squash Tostadas
Cook’s Notes: Roast your favorite winter squash. I happened to find a small butternut squash. For easier peeling and cutting, I prick the squash a few times with a fork and microwave for one minute. I remember watching a Top Chef contestant roast mushrooms in the oven. I tried it at home and found it’s an easy way to develop caramelization and concentrate the flavors. You could also saute them on the stove top.
Tostadas & Garnishes:
Tostadas (or your favorite taco shell)
Queso fresco, enough to sprinkle on the tostadas
Red onion, finely diced
Fresh lime wedges
Refried White Bean Spread
1/4 cup onion, finely diced and cooked until edges caramelize
1 clove garlic, minced
Chili powder-a few good dashes
1-2 teaspoons cumin
1 can white beans
Stock (or water)
Honey, a drizzle
1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into cubes
To roast the squash
- Pre-heat oven to 375 ℉.
- Peel skin. Remove ends. Cut in half the long way (hot dog-style) and remove the seeds with a spoon. If the squash is especially hard, I prick with a fork and microwave for one minute.
- Cut squash into bite-sized cubes. Place on a sheet pan.
- Drizzle with olive oil and toss with chili powder and garlic powder. Roast for about 25-minutes or until the squash is tender and caramelized, tossing partway through.
- While the squash and mushrooms cook, prepare garnishes and refried beans.
To roast the mushrooms
- Rinse and drain mushrooms or brush off any dirt.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast until the mushrooms have released their moisture and are caramelized. This should also take about 20-minutes. Toss occasionally while baking.
To prepare the refried beans
- If using canned beans, rinse and drain.
- Pre-heat medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion in olive oil until the edges caramelize, lightly seasoning with salt and pepper. Don’t use too much salt since canned beans are often salty.
- Stir in minced garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook briefly until fragrant.
- De-glaze with stock. Mash mixture until smooth. If the beans are too liquidy, gently simmer until they reduce to the thickness you prefer. If they are too thick, add more stock.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Add a small drizzle of honey to round out the flavors.
Assemble tostadas: Spread with beans. Top with roasted squash and mushrooms. Sprinkle with onion, cilantro, queso fresco. Drizzle with your favorite salsa and spritz with lime.