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My patients and readers keep asking for more ideas for sauces and salsas that do not contain Nightshades that we know scientifically accelerate most inflammatory conditions. My test kitchen crew has been working with me to create, adapt and taste alternative recipes and this is one of our favorites—necessity IS the mother of invention—try it, it's deliciously unique.

Definition: tos-ta-da—a Mexican dish of deep-fried tortilla (usually flour), topped with a seasoned mix of beans (ground meat if you choose) and vegetables like lettuce, avocado, etc. and served with a salsa. Also known as an open-faced taco.

Preparing the Tostada Tortilla:
Fry the corn tortillas but fry them a little longer than you would for a taco so they’re very crispy. You can also use flour tortillas, or one made with alternative flour like quinoa.

Ingredients:
  • 1–2 medium red onions (about 1 cup), chopped, divided
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1–1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 pound cooked/sautéed lean ground meat of your choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15 oz) organic black or pinto beans*
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked beets, diced **
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, diced
  • 2 TB chives finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2–4 tsp lime juice to taste
  • 1 large avocado mashed well
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1–2 limes squeezed
  • 8 prepared tostada shells

Alternatives:
Eliminate the meat for the vegetarian version. You can add shredded lettuce, cheese, etc. to suit your dietary and taste preferences. Add a can (1–16 oz.) of drained black/pinto beans or equivalent soaked and cooked beans.

Directions:
  • *Cook the beans in half of the chopped red onion and add garlic to taste. You can use organic canned beans drained and rinsed well. For best results when cooking beans from scratch we soak them overnight, rinse well and then fry. I like either pinto or black beans best. NOTE: For meat lovers, you can use any that suits your taste; ground beef-chicken-turkey-bison, etc. and add seasonings to taste like cumin, cilantro, etc.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, and salt. Add liquid mixture to beet and strawberry mixture and fold to combine.

berries and avacados

Assemble and serve with Strawberry Beet Salsa.
To make the salsa, mix the diced beets, strawberries, chives, cilantro, honey and lime juice together. Lightly salt; set aside. For that added "zing" of spiciness add either plenty of white pepper or a dash of horseradish.

To make the guacamole, mix the mashed avocado, sour cream, 1/4 cup red onions, and lime. Season to taste. For spiciness, add ingredients above in salsa recipe.

To assemble, layer a thick layer of guacamole on top of the prepared tostada shell. Spoon the beef and/or bean mixture on top or other ingredients like shredded lettuce, cheese, etc., ending with the salsa.

To cook the beets, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Submerge beets to blanch for 4–5 minutes. Remove and strain into a large colander and rinse immediately with cold water. Allow to drain for 5–10 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Other great ways to eat beets, and or strawberries, either as Salsa, Appetizer or Side Dish.

The stuffed avocados are a great example of another way to utilize the beet strawberry salsa and get creative with other accompaniments like dill weed, sprouts, etc.

Guacamole is my "go to" dish, I use it on everything I can— not only because of the unique satisfying flavor but because of all the healthy fats and protein it's jam-packed with. The stone mortar and pestle pictured are called Molcajete. Not only is this method of grinding centuries old, it's also effective and fast—the grind is smooth yet not pulverized like it is in a food processor or chopper.

Gloria Gilbere, DAHom, PhD

Dr. Gloria Gilbère (CDP, DA Hom, ND, PhD, DSC, EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist, Certified HTMA Practitioner) is Founder/CEO of the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – after 22 years of owning/operating two health clinics in Idaho she relocated her Health Sciences/Research/Cooking Institute division to Cotacachi, Ecuador, S.A.

Her worldwide consulting via phone and Skype continues as does the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation in Idaho. Visit her website at www.gloriagilbere.com or call (888.352.8175) to schedule a consultation or register for her post-graduate courses.

NEWS FLASH: Ready to learn more about simple recipes that can give you what I call the Anti-Inflammation Advantage? Download your free 40+ page cookbook The Anti-Inflammation Recipe Sampler at drgloriaskitchen.com/totalhealth/