CHICKPEA, SWEET CORN & CHERRY TOMATO TOSTADAS WITH AVOCADO CILANTRO PESTO

As a native Californian (southern), I gravitate towards two things: mexican food & hippie vegetarian.  Although I’m technically an omnivore, you’d never know because I crave birdseed, salads and use chickpeas/peas/beans/lentils (also known as PULSES), as my main protein source.   

I’ve collaborated with USA Pulses & Pulse Canada for their *Half-Cup Campaign* in attempt to inspire us all to eat more pulses (do you need a reason!?).  I will add a chickpea to pretty much anything, but if you need inspiration for more recipes, try here or the PULSES official site for more ideas.  

These tacos are fresh and Californian, light enough for summer with a creamy/spicy sauce you’ll want to put on everything.   It's favorite weeknight meal to date that's quick & perfect for busy days.

CHICKPEA, SWEET CORN & CHERRY TOMATO TOSTADAS WITH AVOCADO CILANTRO SAUCE (Serves 4) gluten-free, vegan

Tostadas are one of my favorite weeknight meals that are quick to throw together in 20 minutes or less and have a huge flavor payoff.  I make this same recipe with whatever bean or lentil I have on hand (pinto/black beans are great!).  Perfect for busy nights or when all you have in your pantry is a can of beans and vegetable scraps on their last leg.

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 spring or red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 ears of corn, sliced off the cob
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas 
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon tamari 
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Shredded red cabbage, to top (opt.)
  • Hot sauce, to serve
  • Limes, to serve

Avocado Cilantro Pesto:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro, stems and leaves
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Splash of water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic, onion and jalapeño, stirring often until they begin to soften - about 3-4 minutes.  Then, add corn, chickpeas, tamari, lime, spices and seasoning.  Stir well to combine and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cherry tomatoes.

Add tortillas in a single layer, straight on to the baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crisp (hard) and browned.  Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, make avocado cilantro sauce:  Add all items to a blender and blend until smooth, adding extra water as needed to blend.

To serve, spread avocado sauce over each tostada, layer a heaping spoonful of chickpea mixture, then top with red cabbage, hot sauce, and a squeeze of lime.  Continue with remaining tortillas. Serve immediately!

THIS POST HAS BEEN SPONSORED BY USA PULSES & PULSE CANADA, TWO ORGANIZATIONS DEDICATED TO INSPIRING US ALL TO EAT MORE PLANT-BASED MEALS.  AS ALWAYS, OPINIONS ARE ALL MY OWN.  THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE BRANDS THAT SUPPORT SASSY KITCHEN!

SPICED SHAKSHUKA WITH WILD RICE

The nights where I get home late, it's especially hard to throw together dinner when my mind is full & fatigued but my stomach is not. I find it fitting that the nights where you need a homemade meal the most is when you're the most incapable of doing so.  I try to make a point in these moments to find the simplest dish (1 pot max, if that) that my brain can just barely wrap it's head around. If I can muster up a few minutes to continue standing on my feet to grate a garlic clove and chop an onion, I can have a homemade meal that my soul and stomach with thank me for.

That's where always having eggs on hand comes in handy. For weeknight meals that only begin to cook at 8pm, I need something swift & hearty that won't take an hour. I love frittatas for this reason, and when you have an extra 5-7 minutes, shakshuka (for when you need a punch of flavor). So, a recipe for one (very pretty) skillet meal that will give you quick homemade meals when you need it most.

 SPICED SHAKSHUKA WITH FORBIDDEN RICE (Gluten-free) Serves 4  1 cup forbidden rice, dried  2 teaspoon olive oil  3 garlic cloves, minced   2 jalapeños, minced  1 leek, halved & sliced into half moons  1 shallot, minced  28 oz. fire roasted tomatoes  1 teaspoon ras el hanout  2 teaspoons harissa  1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika  pinch of cayenne pepper  1/2 lemon, juice   3-4 large eggs  1 small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped  2 oz feta cheese, crumbled  Sea salt to taste  Freshly ground pepper     Heat your oven to 350 degrees.       In a medium saucepan, add forbidden rice and 1 3/4 cup of filtered water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low and cover for 30 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes, covered.     In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, jalapeños, leek & shallot.  Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until.  Pour in can of tomatoes and 1/2 cup water along with all spices.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Squeeze the lemon juice and mix together well, then let cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat.  Use your wooden spoon to break down big hunks of tomato.     Gently crack eggs into the pan (use a wooden spoon to make room).  Once the eggs just begin to set, add the cast iron skillet to the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until whites are completely set, but yolks are still soft.  Top with cilantro, feta, flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve with a heaping of forbidden rice to sop up the juices.  Eat immediately!

SPICED SHAKSHUKA WITH FORBIDDEN RICE (Gluten-free) Serves 4

  • 1 cup forbidden rice, dried
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, minced
  • 1 leek, halved & sliced into half moons
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 28 oz. fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
  • 2 teaspoons harissa
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 3-4 large eggs
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  

In a medium saucepan, add forbidden rice and 1 3/4 cup of filtered water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low and cover for 30 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes, covered.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, jalapeños, leek & shallot.  Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until.  Pour in can of tomatoes and 1/2 cup water along with all spices.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Squeeze the lemon juice and mix together well, then let cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat.  Use your wooden spoon to break down big hunks of tomato.

Gently crack eggs into the pan (use a wooden spoon to make room).  Once the eggs just begin to set, add the cast iron skillet to the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until whites are completely set, but yolks are still soft.  Top with cilantro, feta, flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve with a heaping of forbidden rice to sop up the juices.  Eat immediately!