Food Coach

Grilled Achiote Veggie Tostadas with Goat Cheese

Recipe from: Jeffrey Saad

Serves: 4


  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1½ tablespoons achiote paste
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for rubbing
  • 2 cups thinly sliced white onions
  • 6 ounces brown mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 medium green zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • One 15-ounce can Bush's Best black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 corn tostadas
  • 4 ounces creamy goat cheese
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the orange juice, lime juice, achiote paste, and salt until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a sauté pan over medium- high heat, add the olive oil. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin seed and oregano and cook for 30 seconds, releasing the aromas of the spices. Add the achiote mixture and water and stir well. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes more, or until it reaches a sauce like consistency. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat a grill to high. Make sure the grill is very hot so that you can get nice grill marks on the zucchini (otherwise it will be soft and overcooked).
  4. Rub the zucchini halves with a touch of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill top (or in a broiler or sauté pan). Grill over high heat until marked on both sides but still firm. Cut the zucchini into ½-inch-thick pieces and set aside.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat the black beans.
  6. Lay the tostadas on a large platter. Top each one with the black beans and then with the grilled zucchini. Pour the onion mixture over each evenly. Using two forks, drop the goat cheese on top in small pieces. Garnish with the cilantro and serve.

"I won my first episode of The Next Food Network Star with a variation of this dish. Mixed with citrus, the achiote infuses everything with a bright sunrise orange-red color and wonderfully pungent flavor, and pairs deliciously with the creamy, white goat cheese," said Saad.

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