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Mexican Fiesta

Kenya and Chloe were understandably hesitant when I placed these strange towers of lettuce, beans, chicken and guacamole in front of them. So I took two extra tostadas, put one on top of each salad and told the kids to smash them down so that the shell would break apart over everything.

From Kenya and Chloe’s point of view, how awesome did I just make mealtime? I had just given my kids a get out of jail free card to channel all of their disregulated 5:30pm energy into making a delicious mess. They took one look at each other with sheer glee and disbelief before pressing down with both hands and crushing their tostadas all over their plates. They laughed the entire time and even figured out that they could use the tostada shards like edible utensils to scoop up and eat their salads.

Sometimes making food interactive and fun goes a long way towards encouraging kids to eat something you know they will love — even if it does make a bit of a mess!

My kids adore most of the flavors in salsa, but if there’s too much jalapeno in it they always make a face — their little eyes open wide and the word, “SPICY!” fills the kitchen. So last night I made them a one-two punch of “no spicy guacamole” (as they call it) and my Kiddie Salsa. 

After picking some of the fast-growing cilantro from our garden, I grabbed Chloe a stool, a cutting board and her kiddy knife so we could stand side by side together at the kitchen counter, chopping up the ingredients and squeezing in the lime juice. Some would call it an occupational hazard, but to me watching a two year old cook is just about the cutest thing in the world. Chloe was so proud of herself, but the best part of the night was when we all sat down as a family for dinner and she said, “look what I made everybody!” My heart melted, but this time nobody’s taste buds did. The familiar salsa refrain of, “spicy!” was replaced by the heavenly sound of my family’s smacking lips and forks and spoons clinking on empty plates.

Whether you’re making Tostada SaladBlack Bean Cakes, Nachos, Fish Tacos or any other Mexican-inspired weelicious recipe, this “no spicy” guacamole will add an extra dimension of flavor and nutrition and your kids will love it! Serve this Big Kid Guacamole with the kid-friendly salsa above and a big bowl of chips for an easy and delicious appetizer for your Mexican fiesta.

For a crowd-pleasing main course, try this Mexican Lasagna. Layered with rows of tortillas, chicken, cheese and salsa, it’s the perfect recipe for feeding a crowd. I made so much when I tested this recipe that the kids ate it for two days in a row…and they loved it.

Tostada Salad (serves 4)

Ingredients:
8 tostada shells
1/2 cup guacamole
2 cups lettuce, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, finely chopped
1 cup black beans
2 small tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup sour cream
salsa, optional

Preparation:
1. Place one tostada on a plate.
2. Spread 1 tablespoon of guacamole on the tostada.
3. Layer lettuce, chicken, beans, tomatoes, and cheese on top of the guacamole.
4. Place another tostada on top and repeat layering. Top with a dollop of sour cream.
5. Continue with remaining tostadas and ingredients and serve.

Find more of Catherine’s recipes at weelicious.

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