Chicken Tostada Salad with Black Cuban Style Beans


My chicken tostada recipe is very easy and fresh tasting.  I think the secret is the lime onion mixture. This great low cost meal makes for a wonderful summer dinner on the deck for four people.

1 White onion diced, place diced onion in bowl and add juice of 2 fresh limes, add 1/4 tsp salt, stir, cover, and place in refrigerator.

1 lb. Skinless chicken breast filets, season with cajun or chili powder, and then grill on BBQ, or on stove in pan oiled with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil.

4 Flour Tortillas

1 – 15 oz can Cuban style black beans – cooked in small pot

1 – 7 oz jar Roasted Red Bell Peppers – cut into 1/3 inch wide strips 

2 Fresh Avocados – peeled and sliced into slender wedges

1 Head red lettuce – torn into bite size peices

1 Head green lettuce – torn into bite size peices   

Combine and toss lettuce with 1/4 cup Southwestern Caesar Salad dressing (get recipe in Easy Recipes archives) or use a purchased ranch style dressing.  

Assembly:  Place tossed lettuce on each of 4 plated tortilla shells,  make hole in middle of lettuce and add Cuban style black beans, place slices of grilled chicken on top of the beans, spinkle good helping of diced onion on top of the chicken (but reserve some onion). Finally, top the lettuce with red pepper and avocado strips, and sprinkle a little of the reserved diced onion to finish.

You will notice there is no cheese in this recipe.  I do not use cheese becuase the salad is very flavorful, and skipping cheese is an easy way reduce the fat content of the meal.  But, if you want to add some cheese for taste and looks, go for it. 

There you go, you just made a great and easy Chicken Tostada Cuban Black Bean Salad.              


My oldest son started learning to ride the waves as a sponger (boogey board) when he was about 9. He became a competitive sponger, and his water knowledge and skills increased to the point he went on to become a surfer. But back when he was a young sponger his great vacation idea was to go to Baja because of the awesome waves he had read about. 

We started our journey camping on the beach just north of Ensenada, Mexico. There was a nice campground on the beach, with a little campground restaurant up the hill from the beach. To get started he would hop from rock to rock on a natural break wall and then, at just the right moment between waves he would jump into the ocean from the last rock and kick like crazy to get out before the next wave crested.

But, that was just the start.  At night, sitting by our tent, we could see Todos Santos Island off in the distance.  My son went on and on about how he had read in all the surf magazines how great the surf was off the island, and how he would so love to try sponging the spot.  Being the pushover that I am, I agreed to go into town and see if we could join a group to go to the Todos Santos.

We checked into a motel in Ensenada, and went to the harbor to locate a guide.  We found a sign saying “Surfos Todos Santos” and figured we had found the right shop.  After a little negotiating with the tour representative, we paid our fare and we were told to arrive the next morning for our boat ride.

My son was ecstatic the entire evening and after waking up early, and having a little breakfast, we were off to the tour shop to join the group. We found our tour rep and he directed us to a specific dock.  And then we noticed two things, there were no other “surfos”, and the “boat”.  My young son turned to me and said, “dad, this boat is a piece of crap”.  There must be a strong mental bond between a father and son, because at the precise moment I was also thinking that the boat was a piece of something. But, with my best foot forward I instead responded to the effect that the boat was not so bad, kind of neat getting a classic old 18 foot wooden boat.

Off we went with our guide in the little wooden boat.  We putted along out through the harbor, past giant freighters, and into the open ocean.  I figured between his sponge board and our life jackets we had a fairly good chance of getting back should the practically invisible little boat be hit by a freighter during our 12 mile crossing to the island. We were not sunk by a freighter, and the ride over was really fun. We got a nice view of the island as we motored past the south side of the island, and then we broke out on the west side of the island for our first look at the break.

The break is aptly named “Killers”.  As we came around the island and headed toward the drop off point in the ocean we watched one huge wave after another blast toward the shore intermittantly marred by huge rocks (anyone can sponge a monster wave onto a sandy beach).  About this time the guide pointed out some crosses on the cliffs above the shore, and advised us that those were for the “surfos” who hit the rocks and were never seen again.

Ok, this was looking bad from any perspective, let alone that of a dad. I was madly trying to figure out a way to put the brakes on the impending train wreck, when my son asked me to have the guide maneuver around some more so he could get a better feel for the best way to enter the lineup.

Then I noticed an opening for discussion.  I mentioned to my son that there were no other spongers or surfers in the water. Turns out, he too had been mulling that fact in his mind.

So far so good, he had not gone over the side of the boat and I had not had to put my foot down. After a few more minutes, my son finally said he did not think he wanted to go out if no one else was in the water. He wondered if it would be ok with me if he did not go out on this trip. Let’s see, hmm, well, and then with a straight face I responded that it would be ok since it would be kind of lonely in the water all alone.  Train wreck averted without putting my foot down!!

I yelled over to the guide that there would be no sponging today, and he yelled to us we had the boat for the day, would we like to see some whales.  Yup that would be just fine.

So off we putted further out to sea in our little boat, to find whales. And we did.

We were cruising along in our “crappy” little boat, with the water 3 or 4 feet below the side rail of the boat, when all of a sudden a grey whale surfaced and crossed by the side of the boat so close you could just about reach out and touch it. We could actually see the barnacles and scars on the side of the whale. Our driver slowly cruised around in the ocean, and every now and then a whale would surface in the distance or in some cases much nearer us.  It was a site to behold.

I suspect cruising around more than 12 miles out in the ocean in a small wooden boat, with grey whales surfacing in close proximity is dangerous on many levels.  But at that moment I was just enjoying the awesome spectacle with my son, glad that he too had a mental bond with his dad. We can do “Killers” some other time.

Good Eating and Table Talk,


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