Wasabi-Infused Beet Tostadas

I have two stories to tell: The FIRST one being that I’m almost out of coconut oil.  Oh man.

Coconut Oil Rations: Increasingly Low
Coconut Oil Rations: Increasingly Low

That’s an 8 oz. jar.  Sequestration has entered my house.

This should come as no surprise (to anyone), but we are on… a budget.  Yep, you heard correctly.  We’re trying to lower costs of living, simply because we’ve both travelled (and my husband has lived) abroad and lived on our own for a few years in the continental US, and we’ve come to realize that there is a huge discrepancy between financial spending and what we actually need.  And, although I want to keep a full supply of coconut oil on hand AT ALL TIMES, it’s unnecessary.

Sequestration
Sequestration

The SECOND (story): I bought beets at the farmer’s market today.  They’re cheap.  $2 per bunch.  With that price, I almost want to give every meal a little bit of a beet influence.  The husband might object.  Today, I tried something daring for dinner and made an uber mild fusion of japanese and mexican (more so mexican than japanese – think tourist in mid-october.  Camera lens, long socks, unnecessary sunglasses.  Hardly a trouble).  Should’ve pickled the beet in rice vinegar and sake with wasabi…. A stronger presence.  Think: school traffic guard.  Eesh.

So, back to the beets.  I bought beets and brought them home, super proud of my purchase.  And then it hits me like a brick: the only thing I know to do with beets is to put them in chocolate cake.  As of today (and I don’t know how long this will last), I’m on a baking strike.  I bake too much.  I make $10 purchases of pounds of hazelnuts just to make ONE DOZEN cupcakes; I have a problem.  No more baking.  Not even muffins.  The cupcake hazelnut puree is still in my fridge, and it will stay there until Stella gets her groove back.

Side Note: the Wasabi taste is intentionally subtle.  I you like heat, feel free to increase the amount to a teaspoon… if you dare.

Wasabi Infused Beet Tostadas
Wasabi Infused Beet Tostadas
Wasabi-Infused Beet Tostadas
Wasabi-Infused Beet Tostadas

And now, an Ode to the LOCK on the oven:

Wasabi-Infused Beet Tostadas

1/2 teaspoon vegetable bouillon + 1/2 cup hot water (or 1/2 cup vegetable broth)
1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste (use 1/2 teaspoon – or even ONE teaspoon – if you like a little more heat)
garlic clove, smashed
1-2 whole beets, cleaned (scrub well!)
1 Tablespoon pine nuts, crushed
1/4 cup celery minced (stalk + leaves)
1/4 cup cucumber minced
1/8 avocado minced
2 teaspoons Veganaise (or another Mayo of choice)
 1 cup cooked Kidney beans 
5 tortillas 
1/4 cup vegan Mozzarella cheese (for sprinkling)

Directions: Place a steamer basket in a small saucepan.  Add beet(s) – I cooked FOUR to use in other recipes (!?!?)… but you really only need one or two.

Side Note: The picture below shows roots and a crewcut of stems – but to really avoid grit, cut off both.

Continuing…In a small bowl, combine bouillon, wasabi, and garlic, then pour contents onto beets. Right on top!  Next, cover and steam for 10-12 minutes (or until it is fork tender).

Beets: Ready for the steamer
Beets: Already in the steamer
Vegetable Broth with Wasabi and Garlic
Vegetable Broth with Wasabi and Garlic

While that is cooking… Prepare the FAUX Gremolata: In a small bowl, combine pine nuts, celery, cucumber, avocado, and Veganaise.  Stir until well combined.

Faux Gremolata: Celery greens and stalk, Avocado, and Cucumber
Entirely Faux Gremolata: Celery greens and stalk, Avocado, and Cucumber

In another small bowl (the last one!), smash beans.  Season with salt and pepper (and a few cloves of Roasted Garlic!?!?).  Back to the beets.  Remove from heat, uncover, and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Bring them to the cutting board and thinly slice one or two.  Once sliced, place back in the steaming liquid.  While they soak, place a small skillet on medium high heat.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil to coat the pan and fry tortillas one (or two if they fit in the pan) at a time until lightly browned and slightly crisp.  When side ONE is finished, flip over and do the same for side TWO.  Repeat until all tortillas are lightly crisp and browned.

And now you’re ready for assembly: Lay tortillas flat on plate… unless you have super hero magic strength and can make them lean forward slightly with your mind… then, equally divide the remaining items – (1st) Beans. (2) Cheese!  (3) Beets.  (4) Completely unrealistic as far as cooking terms exist – Faux Gremolata.

Wasabi-Infused Beet Tostadas
Wasabi-Infused Beet Tostadas

Eat.  Makes 5 tostadas.

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