Lenten Tacos or Tostados




When people ask me what is the best in-print liturgical cookbook, my unhesitating answer is A Continual Feast by Evelyn Vitz. The book encompasses the Liturgical Year, seasonal foods, and daily sacramental living and family celebrations. Besides a wide variety of recipes, the text is inviting and informative with information about Catholic traditions.

It seems my interest in recipes does change over time, so I find myself pulling out cookbooks and rereading them with new eyes. I'm always pleasantly surprised to find new recipes to try. The following is so easy, but just is so perfect for our meatless Fridays. I kept thinking, "Now why didn't I think of that?" We love tacos, and it seems those taco shells can cover a lot of dislikes for my children.

Lenten Tacos or Tostados

Also known as Tacos or Tostadas di Vigilia

Both tacos and tostadas are prepared for Lent in the ways described below. (They might also be eaten on Fridays: the term vigilia in Spanish refers to meatless days--days of "vigil"--in general.)

FILLING:
6 1/2- or 7-ounce can tuna, preferably packed in olive oil (Italian brand best)
2-3 tablespoons peeled green chilies, chopped (or small can of chopped chilies) (optional)
2 tablespoons wine vinegar

TOPPING (any or all of these):
Chopped cucumber
Wedges of avocado
Chopped tomato
Shredded lettuce
Mexican Tomato Sauce (see below), or use store-bought taco sauce

I'd also add the following options for toppings:
Chopped black olives
Chopped green chilis, if not included in the tuna
Chopped hardboiled egg
Grated cheese
Sour cream
Maybe even refried beans?

Flake the tuna into a bowl, mixing in the olive oil as well. (If your tuna is packed in water, drain it carefully, and when you flake the tuna into the bowl, add 1 tablespoon olive oil.)
Add the chilies and vinegar.

Serve on tostadas, or in tacos, with various toppings.

Yield: 6 tacos or tostadas



Mexican Tomato Sauce
(Salsa Cruda)

1 medium tomato, unpeeled, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 canned serrano chilies, or other fresh hot chilies, chopped
Salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Pinch of sugar
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh green coriander (cilantro)

Optional: Few tablespoons cold water

Mix all the ingredients in a blender until well mixed, but not too smooth. Serve as soon as possible: this sauce is best when very fresh.
Yield: about 1 1/4 cups sauce Pin It

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