Work and home are never truly separate; check the negatives at the door of each, but always translate your positive best practices and a positive attitude across all parts of your life. If you did not know, my day-to-day job is to facilitate leadership learning and enable others to greatness. For my own success, I truly believe I have to practice these skills in all areas of my life, including here on my blog.
HOW does accountability relate to Tostone Tostadas? Maybe not directly to the naked chef’s eye, but the brainstorming of this recipe brought forth a moment of realization regarding accountability.
Within leadership training, I teach others success of newly learned skills comes from being accountable in applying them to their jobs consistently. But lately, I have fallen slightly to my own practice of being accountable in several areas. One is attending my favorite workout class, Zumba (shout out to Lina and Raelys Zumba! https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Lina-Raelys-Zumba/159734870727500). The second is in my writing for the love of food. Last night, I made it to Zumba (first time in a month) and realized how important it is for me to “practice what I preach” and hold myself accountable to showing up. Incidentally, I was also doing some multi-tasking thinking, which led to “what’s for dinner?” and drifted to an internal conversation with myself about also being accountable in my passion for food writing.
It was during this Zumba thinking that I came up with the recipe for Tostone Tostadas. The conversation in my head went something like this:
“What should I have for dinner? I feel like tacos. We haven’t had tacos in a while. Oh, wait! Who was talking about tostones on shredded pork tacos the other day? How I can pull that one off? I don’t have any pork and I am going to be disgustingly sweaty after this class. It is unacceptable to run to the store like this. What do I have at home I could sub in? Oh right! I made ahead a roast chicken to shred. Roast chicken tacos with tostones? Wait, I don’t have tacos either…I really need to come to Zumba more. How can I tell others about creating a cadence of accountability if I’m not? Speaking of accountability, I haven’t written on my blog lately…I should write about tonight’s dinner! That’s it! I WILL write about tonight’s dinner! Wait…what did I decide on for dinner?? Oh yeah…tostones and tacos…no tacos…tacos tacos….open faced tacos? Taco salad? Where do tostones fit in then?….TOSTONE TOSTADOS!! Oh yes! And write on my blog once per week and make it to Zumba twice per week at least…in between traveling. Mmmmm Tostone Tostados…I’m starving….what time is it…30 minutes to go still??!!”
Yes, this is my brain which has a slight case of ADD. Here’s the recipe.
The recipe has three main parts, the tostones, fresh guacamole and stewed shredded chicken. You can make the guacamole and the chicken while the tostones are baking. Each component is easy, I promise.
The entire recipe will take 30 - 45 minutes to prepare. Better yet, bring the three parts and your taco toppings to the table and have everyone make their own Tostone Tostado!
Part One: Baked Tostones
- 2 medium green plantains, peeled and sliced in ½ inch thick slices
- 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Olive oil spray (I use the Misto sprayer)
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray your baking sheet with olive oil spray.
2. Toss the plantains in a bowl with olive oil and salt. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet, not overlapping. Bake for 10 minutes (start the guacamole now), until lightly brown on the bottom and remove from oven.
3. Smash each plantain with the bottom of a glass until they are approximately ¼ inch thick.
4. Spray the baking sheet again with olive oil spray. Then lay the smashed plantains brown side up, onto the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with more olive oil spray. Bake for another 15 minutes (start the chicken now) until golden.
(adapted from SkinnyTaste.com, http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/01/baked-tostones-275.html)
Part Two: Fresh Guacamole
While plantains are on the first bake, make the guacamole.
· 2 ripe avocados
· 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (chop more for the chicken, below!)
· Squeeze of fresh lime juice (while you are a squeezing machine, go ahead and squeeze for the chicken too!)
· 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
· Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
1. Cut avocados* in half and remove seed. Scoop out the avocado and put it in a bowl.
*Here are some directions on “How to Cut and Peel an Avocado”: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cut_and_peel_an_avocado/
2. Mash the avocado with a fork
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
Part Three: Stewed, Shredded Chicken
While plantains are on their second bake, make the stewed chicken.
· 2 cups roast chicken**, shredded
**Roasting a whole chicken ahead of the busy workweek is a great make-ahead tip, but pick up a rotisserie chicken from your neighborhood grocer to make this easier!)
· 2 tablespoons of olive oil
· 1 medium tomato, diced
· 1 medium onion, diced
· 4 cloves garlic, minced
· ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
· Juice from the rest of the lime above
1. Heat the olive oil on medium for about 1-2 minutes. Oil is getting hot when it starts to look shinier…but not smoking! (did you know olive oil looses it’s “healthiness” once it start smoking? Here’s an article on this: http://www.realage.com/food/dont-let-your-healthiest-cooking-oils-go-up-in-smoke)
2. Saute the tomato, onion and garlic, until well broken down and looking like “sauce”.
3. Toss in the shredded chicken and heat through.
4. Turn off the heat and toss in the cilantro and lime juice. Mix it up.
The Tostone Tostado
· 10-12 tostones
· 2 Cups stewed shredded chicken
· Fresh guacamole
· Chopped lettuce
· Diced tomato
· Salsa –I prefer to make my own, but you can use whatever version you like
· Anything else you like on a taco! I personally avoided cheese and sour cream because I think they mask the tostone flavor, but it’s up to you!
1. Place one tostone on a plate.
2. Top with stewed shredded chicken, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, cilantro and any other of your favorite taco toppings.
Side Dish Idea! Dice fresh pineapple, mince some fresh organic mint (drool), and toss them together for a DELISH side dish!
Viola! Today is an ACCOUNTABLY DELICIOUS LIFE!