Vegetarian Black Bean Tostadas

In an earlier post, I had briefly mentioned about our picnic at the park which we did couple of months ago. Few of our family friends got together and we had a potluck in a small water park. We decided to go with Mexican cuisine and we cooked dishes to go with the theme. I had prepared corn salsa along with Mexican Rice and Guacamole. The other friends had brought nachos, salads, Tostadas, chips etc.

 The kiddo is not too fond of Mexican food and is usually reluctant to try out new dishes. After much cajoling he might take a bite but 99% of the time he has already made up his mind that he will not like it. But luckily this time, call it peer pressure he took a liking to this, and that left with one happy mom.

Tostadas remind me of our very own pani puri/ chaat related items. The crunchy tostada represents the poori and the toppings with the spicy, tangy, sweet taste equals the spicy, tangy chutnies. This overall had the chatpata taste representative of chaat dishes. I now make it over the weekend as an evening snack and while watching games tec. 

This is easy to put together and when we use store bought ingredients, it is a breeze. You can use the ingredients mentioned as guidelines and can customize the toppings per your taste. You can add more veggies and skip the cheese, cream part and make it nutritious.


  • Charras Tostadas (see an example here)
  • Refried beans (as needed) [I used store bought]
  • 1 cup shredded Lettuce
  • 1 Tomato (chopped finely)
  • ½ cup shredded cheese for sprinkling
  • 1 small red onion( chopped )
  • 1 small cup Salsa (medium/hot)
  • Fresh cilantro/coriander ( chopped )
  • ¼ cup sour cream


  • Take a charra and spread refried beans over the top evenly.
  • Top it with shredded lettuce and then salsa evenly.
  • Add tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream and onion as needed.
  • Finally add shredded cheese. Serve immediately. 

No Bake Energy Balls

When I stumbled onto the No Bake healthy energy balls, I knew I had to try them. There are many reasons why I love this simple yet healthy recipe. For starters, there is no baking, microwaving, or any stove top cooking involved; it is as easy as mixing up the ingredients and transferring them to the refrigerator. And then it uses up all natural ingredients and there is no sugar, butter or oil involved. It is all healthy ingredients rolled into the goodness of a ball.

 I had a big stash of flaxseeds and ground flax seeds meal in my pantry waiting to be used and this was a good way for using it up. I personally loved the addition of toasted coconut in this, but not so much with the chocolate chips. The next time I make this, I will surely substitute the chocolate chips with toasted walnuts or pecans. 

Below the recipe instructions you will see some substitution ideas and you can use your creativity and add your own favorite ingredients. 

These taste like store bought energy bars and oh so delicious. Be forewarned that these balls are highly addictive. 🙂

Recipe Adapted from: No bake energy bites 

Makes: About 15-18 medium balls


  • 1 cup oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup coconut flakes (toasted)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed/ flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional) [I would prefer toasted walnuts or pecans]
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • Place the oats in a plate and lightly toast the oats in a microwave for about a minute. (This is optional as the original recipe did not call for this). Set aside.
  • Place the coconut flakes in a plate and toast it in the microwave. (Pay attention as it brown pretty fast).
  • Now gather all the measured ingredients and put them one by one in a big bowl.

  • Stir it carefully until it is completely mixed. Cover with lid.
  • Place it in the refrigerator and let it chill for the next 30-40 minutes.
  • After it is chilled, take out handful of the mixture and roll them out in shape of balls, pressing tightly in between.
  • Store them refrigerated in air tight container.

Substitution Ideas:

  • Substitute quick cooking oats instead of the old fashioned oats.
  • Add almond butter instead of peanut butter. Skip the coconut if needed.
  • Add chopped dried fruit like cranberries, apricots, raisins, etc.
  • Add chopped toasted pecans, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds

Palak /Spinach ka Raita

Raita a yogurt based Inidan condiment is a favorite in our family and so I make it often. With variations like cucumber raita, okra, potato raita , boondi raita etc the possibilities are endless. It is served as side dish along with vegetable rice, pulao, biryani or with rotis/parathas.

This spinach raita is an easy, healthy and a good way to eat your greens. It is a good way to sneak in veggies and feed it to the picky eaters. You can make variations by adding chopped cilantro, pepper powder, grated carrots etc


  • 1 cup fresh yogurt – (plain) ( I used fat free yogurt)
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • 2 cups of packed spinach (cleaned and chopped)
  • 1″ piece of ginger grated
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp oil


  • Note: Make sure the plain yogurt (curds) is not sour.
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds.
  •  Add the chopped spinach, ginger, salt and green chilli to it and stir until the spinach is cooked. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Take a bowl and whisk the yogurt, add milk or water to thin it. Add the cooked spinach mixture to this and mix well.
  • Add the chopped onion and sprinkle some chilli powder.
  • Keep the raita in the fridge if serving at a later time. If left outside it can get sour.