Favorite Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

So it’s sort of time for me to come clean about something, and that something has directly lead to the development of this smoothie recipe, so here goes.

Back in May I woke up in the middle of the night one night with incredibly severe knee pain in my right knee.  I was laying in bed and thought maybe I was sleeping in a funny position and tried to roll over, but I couldn’t lift my leg.  I had to lift my leg with my hands to move it at all.  Pain shot from my knee up my thigh to my hip, blinding me, it was so bad.  I was near tears, and tried getting out of bed to walk it off.  I walked back and forth in my bedroom, kicking my foot out randomly, attempting to pop my kneecap back in place (I thought maybe it had popped out), but nothing helped.  Eventually, I got back into bed and didn’t sleep for the rest of the night because the pain was so terrible.

The next morning, I called my doctor first thing and got an appointment around lunchtime.  I went to work, my knee bothering me on the drive in, on the trek up the stairs, etc.  I really thought something bad had happened to my knee.  So I go to the doctor, and she’s doing her doctor thing, checking for swelling in my knee (there was), checking movement (she made me squat and was impressed with my form 💁), etc.  Then she moves on to the normal stuff, checking my blood pressure, listening to my heart…

She heard something through the stethoscope that sent her into a panic.  She began asking me all kinds of questions – do I ever have heart palpitations?  I don’t think so?  Do I take birth control?  Yes…  Have I ever fainted?  No…  Have I ever had a blood clot?

….a blood clot??

She says she is hearing “too many beats” with my heart, and they aren’t registering on that finger clip thing (pulse ox?), she can only hear them through the stethoscope.  So she sends me to another room where they quickly slap some electrodes on me and take an EKG where they find all these extra heart beats.  The whole time she’s asking me how I feel and I’m just like, “I feel fine, but uh, my knee hurts…?”

She essentially freaks out and sends me to the hospital for blood tests (one to rule out a blood clot, another standard round of bloodwork minus cholesterol as I hadn’t fasted) and an x-ray (for my knee).  All the symptoms presented “could” point to a blood clot, and though it’s the worst case scenario and maybe the two events aren’t even related, she must do her due diligence and rule it out.  She left the room for a minute and I started crying.  A blood clot?  I am 37.  Stop it.  Old people get blood clots.  And wtf is going on with my heart?

So I pulled myself together, contacted my friend at work and tell her to please tell some people I wouldn’t be making a meeting I’d had scheduled for 1pm and that they should proceed without me, and contacted my manager to let him know I wouldn’t be back for the afternoon.  And off to the hospital I went.

The whole time this is going on, of course I can’t stop my brain from buzzing.  This is it, it’s finally caught up to me.  If I don’t have a blood clot, then something is wrong with my heart and I’m gonna have to eat buckets of lettuce for the rest of my life.  But that will totally be okay, because I will kick ass harder in the gym, and I will make myself healthy, and I will have more time with my family.

Later that day, I was sitting on my couch when I received the phone call that I did NOT have a blood clot (THANK YOU JESUS 🙏).  A little while after that, I received the phone call that said my x-ray revealed “arthritic damage” in my knee.  I was ordered to be seen by a cardiologist the next day (for a formal EKG and determination of whatever was going on with my heart), and to follow-up with an orthopedist for my knee problem.

When I woke up the next morning, magically, somehow, my knee pain was completely gone.  It was like it had never happened.  I mean, I couldn’t even make it happen again.  It had disappeared as quickly as it had shown up.

Suspecting my cardiologist may want to do a blood test for cholesterol, I made sure I didn’t eat before my appointment.  They hooked me up for another EKG and determined that what they were finding were PVC heartbeats – premature ventricular contractions.  PVCs are like little pre-heartbeats, kind of like a flutter.  If a normal heartbeat goes ba-BUM ba-BUM ba-BUM, my heart beats like baba-ba-BUM baba-ba-BUM baba-ba-BUM.  Some people say they feel them, but I don’t.  My cardiologist assured me that most of the time, PVCs are benign; but that sometimes, they can point to something else going on with the heart.  So, he ordered several more tests for the coming weeks, as well as a cholesterol blood test to be done that day.

Later that day, I was once again sitting on my couch when I received the phone call with my cholesterol blood test results.

(As a side note, I will just tell you that I almost feel like this is what I was dreading the most.  I have always had “perfect” blood pressure, but I have wondered about my cholesterol levels.  It can be a silent killer!, according to the interwebz and various documentaries I’ve seen.  I had actually scheduled a physical for the day after my birthday this year, with the specific intention of getting bloodwork to see what my cholesterol levels were, figuring it was probably high time that I change my diet (RIP SFB?), but I came down with strep throat and ended up cancelling it.)

So the nurse calls me and says, “The doctor says your cholesterol results are acceptable.”  And I went, “Oh!  Whew!  Oh my gosh, great news, thank you!!!”  And we hung up.

And then…. doubt.

Acceptable?  Why “acceptable”, why not “good”?

So I called her back and asked her for the specific numbers.   The breakdown:

  • Overall cholesterol:  205
  • Triglycerides:  104
  • HDL (“good” cholesterol):  64
  • LDL (“bad” cholesterol):  119

According to a chart I found published by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, my overall cholesterol should be under 200, so I fell into the “borderline high” category.  Triglycerides should be under 150, so I was good.  HDL should be higher than 60, so I was good (yay!).  And LDL should really be less than 100, but okay to be less than 129, so I was good there too.

Even though those results were “acceptable”, and by all means, I should feel blessed, considering my love for cheese and red meat, I felt like I had some work to do.  I wanted to focus on raising my “good” cholesterol and lowering my “bad” cholesterol, because even though they were good enough that I don’t need medicine, I don’t ever want to get to the point where I do need medicine.  So let’s nip this shit in the bud RIGHT NOW.

The number one factor in your cholesterol levels is your diet, closely followed by the amount of exercise you do.  Now listen.  You’re talking to the girl that has a blog and an Instagram account focused on food.  And not just any food, SLUTTY food.  Food that is not good for you!  Food that is bad for you.  On the one hand, I am eternally grateful that my eating habits so far have not lead to an early heart attack, BUT, I AM getting older, and I believe it is time for me to start being more mindful of the food I’m putting into my mouth.

So, off to the interwebz I go, looking for foods that raise your good cholesterol and lower your bad cholesterol. The number one food that lowers bad cholesterol is: OATS!  Ok, I like oats.  We can figure out how to incorporate these into my diet.  It means I need to shuck the grain free thing, or at least count it in the 20 of my 80/20 grain free rule.  Also: whole grains!  Beans!  And some of my favorite fruits!  Awesome, I’ve got this.  One of the top foods that raise your good cholesterol is: AVOCADOS!  Sweet!  I love avocados.  If I put half an avocado on a slice of Ezekiel toast every morning for breakfast, then I will be simultaneously raising my good cholesterol AND lowering my bad cholesterol!

So naturally the NEXT place I go to is Pinterest, looking for oatmeal recipes.  I actually kind of hate oatmeal itself, but don’t hate oats.  Oatmeal is mushy and sticky and sooo filling, so I thought about finding oatmeal smoothie recipes that I could drink with my cholesterol-kicking powerhouse avocado toast.  I found several banana oatmeal smoothie recipes with similar ingredients, that were all very delicious, but somehow over the last two months, in the fog and rush of early morning sleepiness, I ended up combining my favorite things from each smoothie recipe into its very own SFB version.  And now, voila, we have my favorite banana oatmeal smoothie recipe.

And so, over the last two months, I have:

  • Been eating avocado toast + banana oatmeal smoothie almost every morning;
  • Passed my ECG with flying colors;
  • Passed my stress test with flying colors;
  • Found out, as a result of wearing a heart monitor for 24 hours, that the reason I sometimes feel faint, dizzy, or nauseous during the day is because my PVCs are occurring at a higher frequency (NOT low blood sugar or dehydration like I always attributed it to);
  • Found out that there actually wasn’t “arthritic damage” in my knee; but that I AM predisposed to knee problems due to a history playing basketball in my youth, and therefore am forbidden from running (especially on a treadmill), jumping, and lunging (aw, shucks!).

Last week I had a checkup with my cardiologist to go over the results of all the tests, and he says if anything popped up in any of the other tests, that he would be concerned and look deeper into what could be going on.  He assured me that one of the top indicators of these PVCs being benign is the fact that they literally disappeared during the stress test (exercise).  If they were still present or got worse during the stress test, it would be a high indicator of a deeper problem.  But he feels confident in saying to me that these are benign and currently nothing to worry about.  HOWEVER.  I will see him again in 6 months for a follow-up, and probably get another ECG after that, just to make sure something isn’t developing.  It’s something we keep an eye on, even though right now they are benign.  What a relief!!

If you’ve read this far, I reckon you deserve a treat.  So here it is, my favorite, very filling, very nutritious, banana oatmeal smoothie.  🙂  Stay healthy, y’all.

Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
Serves: 1

1 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup rolled / old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice (or pumpkin pie spice), optional
1 tablespoon syrup (you can use maple, or I use coconut palm syrup)
1-2 tablespoons nut butter (I like almond butter or cashew butter)
1 banana, sliced and frozen

1. Pour almond milk into the blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Let the oats soak in the almond milk for a little bit to soften them up and make them easier to blend. I usually let them sit for about 10-15 minutes while I’m doing other stuff in the kitchen. Then, flip your blender onto “puree” and blend until nice and smooth. Pro tip: freeze your smoothie cup for 10-15 minutes and it will keep your smoothie extra cold for your ride to work.  😉

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#52NewEatsFail :: Homemade Mozzarella Sticks

Well… these didn’t turn out quite as expected.  🙅🏻

Who doesn’t love mozzarella sticks?  I love them.  I love them with the crumbly breading, not the batter-type breading.  And of course I would love to try them by baking them instead of hauling out my deep fryer and frying them.

And they looked just fine in the blog pictures!  But did not turn out well when we made them.  We even freezed them for longer than the instructions suggested.  Oh well.  Another fail for the books!

As I did for the last fail, I will not include the blog here.  But, maybe frying is the way to go for homemade mozzarella sticks…

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Mexican Street Corn Dip

Mexican Street Corn DIp

I mentioned in my post for Mexican Street Corn Tostadas a couple weeks back that I was pretty inspired by that recipe and made a corn dip….thing.

Is it weird that I think the words “corn dip” just don’t jive together?  I don’t know why.  It sounds pretty redneck.  Y’ALL COME FETCH YA SOME CORN DIP!  But I’m quite the country bumpkin these days and I s’pose I don’t mind it.

So yeah – I LOVE this corn dip, and I was reminded to write this post because I’m making it TONIGHT for dinner!  You can spread this onto some tostadas, maybe even use it as a topping for tacos, or – I might try this – as a filling for quesadillas or burritos or enchiladas.  Just put this stuff on everything, it’s THAT good.

Mexican Street Corn Dip

1 15oz can of yellow corn, drained
1/2 can of black beans, drained (or use the whole can – I only had a half can sitting in my fridge)
1/4 cup chipotle mayonnaise (or to your preference)
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
Juice of half a lime
Salt & pepper to taste
Queso fresco, crumbled, to taste
Tortilla chips

1. Add the drained yellow corn to a dry nonstick skillet and warm over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn starts to dry off. Add the drained black beans. Continue cooking until the corn and the beans lose some of their moisture and are warmed through, and the corn is slightly browned and toasty.

2. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Set the bowl into the fridge to cool down the corn and black beans faster to room temperature, or a little cooler.

3. Once the corn and black beans are cooled, add the rest of the ingredients and stir together to combine. Serve with tortilla chips as a dip, or as a topping for tacos or tostadas.

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#52NewEats :: Week 27 :: French Potato Salad

French Potato Salad

As an “Irish” girl, I LOVE potatoes.  I mean, L O V E them.  I could eat them with every meal of every day.  Potatoes all the ways.  Hot, fried, boiled, baked, smothered in butter, smothered in sauces, //smothered in balsamic//; Cold, covered in mayo, mixed with bacon and scallions…  Potatoes.  All.  The.  Ways.

So as per usual I was perusing Pinterest recently and happened upon //this recipe// for French Potato Salad.  Hmmm, I hear the word “French” and immediately think of tarragon, and boom, tarragon is in this, and I am sold.

I made this as a side dish for a steak dinner one night and Aaron and I couldn’t stop eating them.  THESE POTATOES WERE SO GOOD.  They were so good, in fact, that I made them for a little BBQ we had over the July 4th weekend.  We had some guests attending on the healthier side so I didn’t think they’d want a traditional, mayo-based potato salad AND macaroni salad, so I decided to go oil-based for the potato salad to switch it up a bit.  Also, bonus, this can be eaten at room temperature, so no worries about having food outside in the warm weather.

Anyway, I really love these potatoes and am definitely keeping them on my recipe rotation.  I know it sounds like I’ve loved all there recipes I’ve made so far for #52NewEats, and mostly, yeah, I have, but I guess I just love food that much.  🙂  Next week I will be sharing another #52NewEatsFail with you though… so stay tuned!

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#MinimalismJune :: The Minimalism Game


So I haven’t talked much about minimalism this month but trust me when I say I am still full speed ahead going at it!

This month, my BFF Jackie and I decided to play the “minimalism game”, where, for every day of the month, you get rid of that number of things.  On day 1 you part with 1 thing, on day 2 you part with 2 things, and so on and so forth.  This month has been VERY interesting for me, because when we started I really didn’t think that I’d make it through the whole month.  But look!

Minimalism June

All that stuff is going to the Vietnam Veterans of America charity organization.

All that stuff – I didn’t even need to pack!  Or store!  Or move!  Argh!

But it’s ok.  I knew when I began this journey that I would be encountering some things that I knew I probably should have parted with when I packed up the old house, but wasn’t in the right mental space to do so.  I honestly think that this game really helps you decide what you can truly part with.  It puts you on the spot.  And if you’re even remotely competitive like I am, you WILL want to finish the game, and gosh darn it, you WILL decide much more easily to part with something!  I can’t tell you how many times I came across something this month that, previously, I was like, “Well I just don’t know about getting rid of this just yet”, but, as a result of this game, found myself thinking, “NOPE TIME FOR YOU TO GO UNWANTED THING, I GOTTA FIND 23 THINGS TO GET RID OF TODAY.”

This month I did focus a lot on my house.  There were some specific spaces inside my house that I knew needed my attention, and I focused there.  I also turned my attention to the barn to finish unpacking the boxes there.  I am proud to say that, FINALLY, TEN MONTHS AFTER MOVING IN, we are fully unpacked.  👏  I am not able to say that we are exactly where I’d hoped we’d be, as far as stuff we kept vs. stuff we got rid of, but, I am learning to make peace with it.  It is 99% my daughter’s stuff.  She was very involved in the unpacking/trashing/donating process, and did a very good job deciding what to let go of – though of course I wish she’d let go of more, but that’s okay.  I think she will get there one day.  I think this month has been a good lesson for her on intentional living.  By the end of the month, she even kind of joined in on the game.  She’d ask me, “How many things do we have to get rid of today?” and would figure out how she could contribute to the count.  🙂

So, even though my daughter was super into it, like I said, she still kept a LOT of stuff that I thought she could part with.  Things she obviously hasn’t needed in a year, hasn’t seen in a year, baby toys, broken toys, puzzles she’s never even opened and is now too old for, etc.  Now that all her stuff is unpacked and into her playroom and bedroom, I think for the rest of the summer, what I’d like to do is pick an area in her playroom or bedroom, and minimize it.  With her help.  We talked about it last night and she’s totally on board.  I told her we could be really lazy about it, we could do a little bit every weekend or skip a weekend, it doesn’t matter.  I offered her a “weekend chores bonus” – I told her that she could pick the area of the rooms that needs some attention, she could decide what stays and what goes, and if we can finish that area of the room then she would get a $2 bonus added to her chore money.  She actually laughed and asked for $20, and then I launched into a bit of a diatribe about why we are doing this in the first place, how it’s about giving, and having less unimportant things so you can focus more on your important things.  She gets it, and I think it helped her to know that her Aunt Jackie and her family are going through the same thing right now.

I really can’t believe that I got through all the boxes in my barn though, AND got through some areas in my house.  When I started this month I really was not sure I would make it to the end, and it WAS touch-and-go there towards the middle of the month before I started digging into my barn.  But alas!  I got rid of OVER 500 items this month, EASILY.  It wouldn’t have been so easy if I didn’t have so much to unpack, but wow!  I think I will do this game again in the fall or towards the end of the year.  It will definitely be more of a challenge!

I also wanted to say that I do think that my actual mindset is starting to change towards a more minimalist one.  For example, we have Amazon Prime, and my husband used to joke that I would order things and the box would come 2 days later and I would forget what I ordered.  It’s only funny because it’s actually true.  Now, in my defense, we HAVE “needed” a lot of stuff for this house.  But, there is some truth in that.  I have been much more mindful of my Amazon spending over the last month or so.  I went to Amazon just 2 days ago to order something for a little BBQ we are having this weekend, and I hadn’t ordered anything in almost a month.  A MONTH!  Previously completely unheard of.  Also, this minimalist way of thinking has creeped into my grocery shopping and menu planning.  My lovely minimalist inspos over at //The Practical Minimalists// mentioned that one of the things they do is have a ‘smorgasbord’ night at home for dinner once in a while.  There is no meal planned, you can just pick whatever you want out of the fridge and cupboards for dinner.  I’ve tried that a couple times this month and it’s not a bad idea!  It certainly makes me think more creatively about what we eat for dinner.  You know, we aren’t going to die if we have onion rings and cous cous and chips and salsa for dinner one night.  Is it ideal?  No.  Is it food blog-worthy?  Certainly not.  But is it helping me clean out my cupboards?  YES.  Is it saving me money on my grocery bill?  ALSO YES.

I am so jazzed about my progress with minimalism and my journey isn’t over yet.  I am actually looking forward to what’s to come and how this journey evolves.  And I highly recommend it for anyone looking to declutter their lives in any way!

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#52NewEats :: Week 26 :: Broccoli Cheese Risotto

Broccoli Cheese Risotto

Since making my very first risotto a few months back and discovering exactly how not hard it was, I have sort of been on a risotto kick.  This is the third one I’ve made, and I can’t wait to try more.  I especially love this one because it’s a good way for me to get broccoli in my system!

Broccoli is my vegetable nemesis.  I don’t mind it, but I honestly could care less for it unless it’s covered in some kind of sauce or baked into a casserole.  We have sauteed it with garlic, roasted it with parmesan, all the healthier ways to eat broccoli, and it’s just, meh.  If I have to eat it that way, I do so begrudgingly.  I am way more inclined to eat it happily if it’s covered in cheese or alfredo sauce though.  😊

Hence, why I really love //this recipe//!!  Broccoli mixed with cheddar cheese risotto means I can eat as much as I want, right?  The first time I made this, I left the florets a little too big, so they took longer to steam to my liking.  But I recently made it for a second time, and had my daughter help me – which she absolutely loved – and cut the florets smaller.  It was all around a little easier to eat, with the small florets matching better with the small grains of rice.  Speaking of my daughter – she LOVES this risotto, but without the broccoli of course.  😂

This recipe is definitely a favorite and has made it into the regular recipe rotation.  Risotto is DEFINITELY weeknight-worthy.  It is NOT that bad.  Especially this one – you can absolutely prep it all ahead of time.  And if you have a kid helping you, you’ll get it done even faster.  I had my daughter stir the risotto (yes I had her do the hard work lol) while I added the stock for her, and chopped and steamed the broccoli, and shredded the cheese.  Thirty minutes or less, easily!

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#12NewTreats :: May :: Unicorn Fudge

Unicorn Fudge

So we are a little late on posting about our May recipe for #12NewTreats… oops!  We totally made this at the end of May and then I blinked and the month of June was gone and July was upon us…

So anyway.  My daughter is all pink and purple and rainbows and unicorns and mermaids these days, so when we were scrolling through Pinterest looking for a dessert to make for May, she stuck her finger onto the screen of my phone to stop the scrolling and said, “WAIT!  STOP!  THAT!  Let’s make that!”  And so //unicorn fudge// it was.

We picked up some special unicorn-y sprinkles for the occasion and used purple food coloring like the picture, which she preferred.  And she helped me make the whole thing – this is a great recipe for kids to help with, because the stovetop isn’t involved, and what kid doesn’t like stirring food coloring into things and watching it change colors, or sprinkle massive amounts of sprinkles onto something?!  She loved this project, and so will you guys.  The fudge itself was a bit too sweet for me (I am not much of a white chocolate fan to begin with), but she loved it, and that’s all that matters.  💕

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#52NewEats :: Week 25 :: Italian Bread Dipping Oil

Italian Bread Dipping Oil

Several years ago, I went to visit my friend Sara in Kansas City with some girlfriends, and we went out to dinner at this Italian place called Garozzo’s.  On the way there, Sara raved about the bread dipping oil.  WAIT TILL YOU DIP YOUR BREAD IN THAT OIL… OMG.  And I chuckled a little, thinking, this restaurant is famous for their bread dipping oil?  Like THAT’S what put them on the map?

But alas, I was eyes-rolled-up-to-heaven when I took my first delectable bite of warm, crusty bread, dipped in that herby, slutty oil.  I have no idea what the secret ingredient was, what made it so amazing, but I can tell you that I have never had anything like it since.  I am pretty sure we ordered extra bowls of it, and more bread, because you know, we foodies and all.

So, one day, I happened upon //this recipe// for Italian Bread Dipping Oil, and I thought HEY THAT LOOKS LIKE THAT STUFF I ATE AT THAT RESTAURANT IN KC.  And you know, I HAD to try it, so, I pinned it and promptly got around to making it about 2,000 years later.  It wasn’t exactly like the heaven in a bowl in KC, but it was pretty darn delicious.  I omitted the cheese here, and I used dried herbs instead of fresh, and I probably went a little heavy-handed on the balsamic bc duh balsamic, and it was very, very tasty.  I would highly recommend whipping this up to go with your baguette at your next pasta dinner.  You probably have all the ingredients on hand anyway!

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#52NewEats :: Week 24 :: Vegetarian Enchilada Skillet

Vegetarian Enchilada Skillet

While I was vegetarian in May, I ate a TON of Mexican recipes.  It wasn’t even really on purpose… okay, maybe subconsciously it was, but… there are just a lot of options out there for vegetarians in Mexican cuisine.  This dish has become one of the ‘keepers’ out of all the new recipes I tried last month!

I was stoked to find this skillet because a) I love skillet meals, can’t beat one dirty pan, and b) I love any opportunity to get sweet potatoes into my diet.  I just learned to love sweet potatoes in maybe the last couple of years #adulting but I still only like them certain ways in certain things.  I don’t eat them with sweet toppings, only savory.  I like them spicy, particularly with smoked paprika, or dipped in //chipotle mayo//.  But I really liked this skillet because the sweet potatoes gave it some heft without making me feel like a slug.  A lot of the vegetarian recipes I ate were so pleasantly filling!

You can find the original recipe //here//.  I tweaked it a little bit and will probably tweak it again next time I make it (next week), by using grain-free tortillas instead of corn tortillas.

🍴  I used Hatch Tex-Mex enchilada sauce and it was soooo yummy.

🍴  I also used 1 cup leftover rice, even though it’s listed as optional – I actually planned it out so that I would make my //Spanish rice// the day prior and set aside 1 cup to have leftover for this dish.

🍴  I did not use mozzarella cheese though (this is Mexican food sacrilege to me, Mozzarella is ITALIAN, if you want white stretchy cheese in Mexican food please use Chihuahua cheese or Monterey Jack cheese!) – I used a mix of Monterey Jack and cheddar.

All in all, a very good dish that I look forward to making again and again!

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#52NewEats :: Week 23 :: Mexican Street Corn Tostadas

Mexican Street Corn Tostadas

These tostadas were quite possibly my most favorite new recipe that I made when we went vegetarian during the month of May.  Oh GOSH these were so good!  Also, as a result of making this, I was inspired to create a delicious corn dip recipe, so stay tuned for that!  I have already made these twice and have no plans to drop them from my regular recipe rotation!

You can find the original recipe //here//, but I did make a couple of tweaks:

🍴  First, instead of using plain mayo, I used some //chipotle mayo// instead.  I had a batch hanging out in my fridge, and when I was making this, I remembered that one of the Mexican restaurants near me makes their street corn side dish with chipotle mayo instead of plain, and I love it.  That simple tweak made this corn concoction so flavorful!

🍴  I used refried black beans instead of refried pinto beans.  I just prefer their flavor, and I love the way corn and black beans taste together.

🍴  I used crumbled queso fresco cheese instead of cotija, as it’s what I had on hand, but either cheese would work!


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