Kale and Cabbage Tostadas

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we love Kale salads around here?! He he! Of course you did! This will be my 5th kale salad post!!! This one is completely different though! It’s covered in a cilantro, serrano pepper, and lime dressing, kissed with avocado slices, savory black beans, spicy red onion slivers, and crunchy raw corn. It’s the perfect summer meal!!!

P and I have been eating this tostada recipe for a couple years now. Jewels and Jill Elmore are responsible for idea behind this recipe. In fact, along with Heidi Swanson, these ladies have been my healthy cooking inspiration for quite some time now. I give them full credit for this recipe, but it’s certainly up for adaptation, and I change it each time I make it. I’ve read their book from cover to cover, and always play with their fresh, colorful recipes.

This is a great recipe for using up scraps, or when you get your CSA box and don’t have room for everything in your fridge. It’s an extremely healthy salad, that’s hearty, and fresh all at the same time. The traditional recipe calls for shrimp, I use tofu that has been “dry fried” to keep this recipe lower in calories, and because I am vegetarian. I won’t say that I never eat fish, but it’s not something I really want to explore with this blog.

I like the fact that you can eat this over a couple of days, everything stays quite fresh, and makes perfect leftovers for lunches, or quick dinners when your to busy, or it’s too hot to cook. P and I ate the leftovers at a park picnic today! They were perfect. I could see this dish being a great camping meal too.

Kale and Cabbage Tostadas 

Adapted from The Family Chef by: Jewels and Jill Elmore

Serves 12 if using all ingredients (I make the whole salad, but only 4 corn tortillas for 2)


  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Olive oil for brushing

For the salad:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans , drained and rinsed (I used black beans that had been prepped and frozen by me)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 ears corn (roasted, sautéed, or raw), kernels only
  • 2 bunches cavolo nero , washed and dried, middle stem torn out, and shredded
  • 1/2 head (small) red cabbage , shredded  (I used green)
  • 5 plum tomatoes , seeded and diced (I skipped this, and used freshly made salsa)
  • 2 avocados , peeled and diced (I sliced thin half moons, and used only 1/2 an avocado for 4 whole tostadas)
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 bunch cilantro , coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese , crumbled (I used grated ricotta salata)
For the dressing:
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 3 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar (I used champagne vinegar)
  • 1 medium shallot , finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar (I skipped this)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (I used the whole bunch)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup canola oil (I used olive)
  • 3 serrano chile peppers (use as many as you like depending on heat preference)
  • 3 Tbsp. water
For the tofu:
  • 1 package organic tofu, preferably locally sourced and made (you can prep the shrimp if using the same way)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 serrano chili , minced (optional)
For the tostada shells:
  • Brush desired amount of corn tortillas with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt
  • Bake on 350 for 10-15 mins, or until crispy
  • Cool and set aside
For the salad:
  • Mix black beans and corn with cumin, salt, pepper, and ancho chili powder together in a very large bowl
  • Add chopped kale, chopped cilantro, chopped onion, and chopped cabbage to corn and bean mixture
  • This is where I stop! I don’t add avocado, or tomatoes until I’m ready to serve. This ensures a nice crispy salad for leftovers.
 For the dressing:
  • Simple! Combine everything into the bowl of a food processor, blend, and set aside
For the tofu:
  • Toss all ingredients in a bowl with olive oil, add tofu
  • Fry in a non stick pan until cooked, without adding more oil
Putting it all together:
  • Take tortillas and place on plates
  • Take the amount of dressed salad you are serving, and add sliced avocado, and tomatoes as desired.
  • Place on top of tostadas.
  • Grate cheese as desired.
  • Refrigerate leftover salad, tofu, cheese, and dressing for easy access to leftovers!
  • Serve and Enjoy!

One Comment to “Kale and Cabbage Tostadas”

  1. I bookmarked this to make this week! This looks like a perfect summer dish- and it uses cabbage! We have so much cabbage right now!

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