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Butternut Squash Tostadas with Zucchini and Carrot Tostada Shells

in Entrees, Other

Is it seriously June 2nd already?!?  I swear, this year is flying by!  In less than 30 days, 2013 will be halfway over.  Am I the only person who is a bit baffled by this?  Let’s hope that time starts to slow down a bit during these next couple of months because I am so not ready for Summer to be over in a flash.

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Despite my love for Summertime, I will be excited when the Fall and Winter months roll around again and one of my favorite produce items will be “in season” and not quite so pricey.  Lord knows that I am a major lover of all kinds of squash!  But despite the higher prices during the Summer months, I still tend to splurge a bit and buy it, which is exactly what I did when I created this unique and Mexican-inspired dish using a super creative tostada shell recipe and one of my favorite “Winter” vegetables: butternut squash.

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When I first saw Melanie’s recipe for zucchini and carrot tostadas, I immediately bookmarked it.  It reminded me a bit of the concept of a cauliflower pizza crust (which I love!), so I was beyond eager to try it.  Plus, I love carrots and zucchini so I knew that I was bound to enjoy it.  Instead of following Melanie’s recipe and serving my tostada shells with refried beans (though I have since tried this and it is SO good), I decided to make a delicious and different butternut squash topping.  Boy, am I glad that I did.  I am truly excited about sharing this recipe with you…it was THAT good! 😉

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Butternut Squash Tostadas with Zucchini and Carrot Tostada Shells

Servings: Makes 2 large tostadas (I ate both in one sitting!)

Ingredients

For the Tostada Shells (slightly adapted from Melanie’s recipe):

olive oil cooking spray
2 cups of shredded zucchini and carrots (I used 1 large carrot and 1 medium zucchini), squeezed dry using paper towels to remove excess liquid
1 egg, beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp onion powder
black pepper, to taste
fine sea salt, to taste
1/2 cup whole wheat flour

For the Butternut Squash Toppings:

olive oil cooking spray
3/4 cup diced butternut squash*
fine sea salt, a few sprinkles
black pepper, a few sprinkles
garlic powder, a few sprinkles
onion powder, a few sprinkles
water, for cooking
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/4 tsp sriracha sauce
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
Romaine lettuce, chopped
tomatoes, diced
salsa
cilantro
1/2 avocado, chopped

*I actually purchased my butternut squash pre-cut from Walmart, of all places:

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Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.  Place butternut squash (I actually roasted the entire bag at once) onto the baking sheet.  Spray the butternut squash with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Roast the squash for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

2. Once the butternut squash has been roasted, lower the oven heat to 350 degrees F.

3. Combine all of the tostada ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well-combined.  Divide the mixture in half.  Place each half of the mixture onto an olive oil sprayed, foil-lined baking sheeting.  Using a spatula, spread the tostada mixture out into the shape of tostada shells that are about 1/4 inch thick.  Bake the tostada shells for approximately 15 minutes, flip carefully, and bake an additional 5 minutes.

4. Broil the tostadas on low for approximately 3 minutes, or until each side becomes golden brown and crispy.

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5. While the tostada shells are baking, line a medium skillet with a thin layer of water.  Heat the water over medium-high heat until very hot.  Once hot, lower the head to medium and add garlic, red peppers, and red onions to the pan.  Cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened.  Add additional water, as necessary.

6. Lower the heat to medium-low and stir in roasted squash, sriracha sauce, and seasonings.  Cook for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, or until all of the ingredients are warm.

7. Compile your tostadas in the following order: one tostada shell, Romaine lettuce, butternut squash mixture, tomatoes, avocado slices, salsa, and cilantro.

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I garnished my tostadas with a side of Romaine lettuce and tomatoes, mostly just to make the plate look pretty, of course! 😉

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Just look at all of that color, and therefore, a huge variety of vitamins and nutrients!  I don’t know about you, but I most definitely eat with my mouth AND my eyes.  And trust me, this is absolutely one of those dishes that tastes just as good (if not better!) than it looks.  I generally always love most of the recipes that I share on my blog, otherwise I would not post them.  But this recipe…wow!  I LOVED this one!  This is an absolute must-make!

And last, but certainly not least,…. a big thanks to Melanie for the awesome inspiration!

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