Tostadas (Kind of) and a PSA

in All Posts

I was craving a tostada (basically a fried corn tortilla filled or topped with beans or meat), but my attempt at a healthier version didn’t really work. 


Don’t get me wrong – it tasted amazing.  The tortillas just crumbled apart on me!


I love recipes with just four ingredients, don’t you?


Each corn tortilla was filled with about two tablespoons of refried beans, some chopped tomatoes, and spinach.   I rolled each one up tightly and put them side-by-side in a casserole dish for baking.


After 10 minutes in the oven at 350, I was sad to see that my tortillas had torn during baking.  They don’t look so pretty, but they tasted good!


Any solutions to this problem?  I sprayed the tortillas with olive oil before baking; that might’ve been the cause of the tearing.


A PSA from Healthy Tipping Point


As I have mentioned before, I volunteered as a Sexual Assault Peer Counselor for four years in college.  Yesterday, I was thinking about something that I learned during my training and wanted to share it with you all!


Did you know that break-ins, robberies, and sexual assaults surge during periods of warm weather?  That’s because everyone leaves their windows open to enjoy the nice weather.  And criminals love the easy access.


It was so lovely out yesterday that I had every window in my apartment wide open.  I was sitting on the porch when I realized that someone could easily enter my bedroom from the backyard… and I would be none the wiser because I was up at the front of the house!  I closed all the windows except the ones in my living room (which is in the front of the house where I was sitting).


Just a loving reminder from Healthy Tipping Point to be careful this spring!  Keep your windows closed when you’re out of that room, out of the house, or asleep. 



  • Alex @ Healing Beauty February 20, 2011, 2:51 pm

    Thank you for that information! I wasn’t aware but I will pass that tip along to all my friends-especially my college girlfriends.

  • Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) February 20, 2011, 2:53 pm

    ah thanks for the tip!! thats so so scary to think about!

  • Liz @ iheartvegetables February 20, 2011, 2:54 pm

    Thank you for the tip! That’s one thing I’m always a little scared about. I’ll make sure to shut and lock them!

  • Freya February 20, 2011, 2:54 pm

    We did a study about crime rates and summer weather in psychology – it’s scary! Sometimes I’m glad that there is no neighbours within a mile of me…unless someone DID break in. Hmm.. :s Good idea on mentioning it!

  • D February 20, 2011, 2:54 pm

    What a great PSA!

    I am SUPER cautious when it comes to personal safety. I am a young female living alone and I have made a promise to myself to *never* feel embarrassed or silly for taking my safety seriously. I find that a lot of girls/women are worried that they look over the top or crazy or paranoid (or just really dorky). I always tell someone when I’m going on a run, I never park in desolate/far away areas (I’d rather skip class than have to walk around in a deserted parking garage at 10pm on the way out), and the first thing I did when I moved into my new apartment was to install an extra lock (myself :)).

    I hope you do more PSA’s about stuff like this because I’m sure it would be really helpful!

    • Caitlin February 20, 2011, 2:57 pm

      I think being paranoid is smart. Better to be safe!

      If you ever think of anything I should blog about in particular, let me know!

    • Jen February 20, 2011, 5:19 pm

      Have you read The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker? It’s all about listening to that gut feeling that tells you when something isn’t right; those instincts can save your life!

      • D February 20, 2011, 5:30 pm

        I’d never heard of that but I just looked at it on Amazon and it sounds so interesting! I checked my local library online and they have it on the shelf- definitely going to check it out when I go there this week. Thanks for the recommendation! And if it’s been part of the Oprah book club, I’m all about it!

        • Jen February 20, 2011, 5:43 pm

          I didn’t know it was one of Oprah’s selections, that’s cool. My dad got it for my eldest sister and had all of us read it before we went to college (I’m the youngest of three sisters).

  • Sana February 20, 2011, 2:55 pm

    I alwaysss worry about leaving the doors and windows open! And never run in places you don’t see any people!

  • meghan February 20, 2011, 2:57 pm

    One of the things that makes me happy we bought a 3rd floor condo! I don’t think I knew about your volunteering at that center. I do some work with The ALLY Foundation + ran the Boston Marathon to raise money for them last year. They are doing awesome work to prevent sex crimes and need all the support they can get!

  • tropical eats February 20, 2011, 2:57 pm

    ahh this is kinda freaky!!!

    i leave our windows open 24/7 because we can’t control the heater in our apt and its hotter than balls. Every day is like a sauna!

    gotta figure out a safe solution asap.

  • Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl February 20, 2011, 3:00 pm

    I had a Peeping Tom when I lived in a first floor apartment. Creapy! I’ve been much more aware ever since!

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe February 20, 2011, 3:01 pm

    Good tip, thanks for pointing that out!

  • Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl February 20, 2011, 3:01 pm

    I had a Peeping Tom when I lived in a first floor apartment. Creepy! I’ve been much more aware ever since!

    • Caitlin February 20, 2011, 3:02 pm

      OMG seriously. I would die.

      • Dynamics February 20, 2011, 7:31 pm

        I had a peeping “MAIL MAN” It was the scariest thing.

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) February 20, 2011, 3:02 pm

    Great tip!

    Coming from someone who has the security alarm on during the DAY TIME in a very safe neighbourhood, I don’t think you can ever be too careful..even if I get made fun of for it! heh 😉

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) February 20, 2011, 3:03 pm

    That’s definitely a good point! My brother always leaves the sliding door in the back of the house open when he goes out, and it drives me crazy! I’m pretty good about remembering to lock my windows. I watch so many crime shows / news stories about things like that that I’m paranoid, but at least I’m safe 🙂

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 20, 2011, 3:06 pm

    In the summertime we leave windows open as much as possible — to get a nice breeze through the house. But there are times when I wake up in the morning, go downstairs and see that not only have I left the shades open, but I’ve left the windows open as well. You’d have to just pop off the screen and we’d never know (our bedroom is upstairs). CREEPY!!!

    Now I make sure everything is shut (including the garage door which I forget all the time!) and locked.

    My parents (up until a few years ago) would leave their front door unlocked 24/7 — then someone broke into the garage and stole all of their frozen food. Now the doors/windows are ALWAYS locked.

    • Caitlin February 20, 2011, 3:07 pm

      All they stole was frozen food?!?!

      • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 20, 2011, 3:11 pm

        Yes it was so strange — my dad had tons of hunting/fishing equipment/snowsuits/etc, but all that was missing was the food in the deep freezer!

  • Carla @ Will Run for Health February 20, 2011, 3:06 pm

    I love this tip…it’s so easy to be carefree and throw caution to the wind when spring is near. I hope you do more of these safety tips in the future!

  • Julie @ Shining From Within February 20, 2011, 3:09 pm

    Mmm those look devine 🙂 i’ll keep those tips in mind & spread the word!

  • Lacey February 20, 2011, 3:09 pm

    eeek thats scary. Its still cold here but in the summer I always have all the windows open for the fresh air. I will be sure to keep them closed now unless I am in the room. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  • Baking 'n' Books February 20, 2011, 3:09 pm

    The scary thing is many people will find a way in – locked doors or’s so scary.

    My apartment is not safe like that. I live off of the Landlord’s house – and they have curtains up – but they are white and totally see-through. Really scary at night. And there’s a back door that has a window floor-length in it – so even if the door is locked – anyone can see in. It’s creepy. I’d like to *think* the neighborhood is safe, but honestly no where is safe really.

  • Zo February 20, 2011, 3:10 pm

    I went from living by myself in a third floor apartment, to living with my boyfriend in a townhouse and am always closing doors and windows on the ground floor before going upstairs. It just makes me nervous to leave them open.

    Maybe if you microwaved the tortillas for a few seconds (with a wet paper towel on them) first? Maybe that would moisten them up and help them take the heat better (or does that mess with the tostada texture)?

    • Alex February 20, 2011, 9:50 pm

      I was going to say the same thing as you- warm the tortillas up before you roll them!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) February 20, 2011, 3:10 pm

    Thanks for the PSA! I definitely do not live in the best part of town (I need to live near school but the apartments nearby aren’t the best) so I usually don’t open windows or anything because I fear stuff like that!

  • Mabelle @ Dance, Love, Dine February 20, 2011, 3:10 pm

    I have the feeling that if you make the tortillas from scratch and then bake them they wont break. However, that sounds like too much work! I believe u though when you said they were good anyways. I love mexican food!!!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss February 20, 2011, 3:12 pm

    I always double check my doors, windows, and even closests at night. Living alone makes me super paranoid abut robberies and what not.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss February 20, 2011, 3:12 pm

    I always double check my doors, windows, and even closests at night. Living alone makes me super paranoid abut robberies and what not.

  • Sarah AJ February 20, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Great reminder!

    We make tostadas by baking the tortillas flat and then putting the toppings on top.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 20, 2011, 3:15 pm

    That is scary but thank you for sharing!

  • Tina February 20, 2011, 3:18 pm

    Corn tortillas are dry, they will crack and break unless fried crisp or slathered in sauce. I would just find a healthier flour tortilla and substitute.

  • Jolene ( February 20, 2011, 3:18 pm

    Thanks for the tip – I had never thought about that before, and it is quite scary!!!

  • Stacie @ Imperfectly Healthy February 20, 2011, 3:20 pm

    Thanks so much for that reminder! It’s definitely scary to think about, but it’s important to know. And I agree with others, I’d rather someone think I’m paranoid than end up risking my own safety.

    I also agree that you may need to moisten the tortillas – which I usually do by wrapping them in wet paper towels and microwaving them for 30 seconds or so.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) February 20, 2011, 3:20 pm

    That is a great thing to share! Sometime we forget out the simplest things especially when it is pretty out and you open windows. Safety is not normally what you are thinking about. As for the tostadas, I would either leave them flat or top them with some enchilada sauce or salsa before baking them.

  • Jen February 20, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing! In the summer months, I obsess about the windows not being open at night. Even 2nd floor windows. I walk around the house and make sure the side locks are in place so they windows can still stay open (a few inches) and no one can get in. My husband tells me I’m paranoid, but I’ve heard too many incidents!

    Having that said, I am absolutely jealous you got to open windows yesterday! Here in Maine, it will be MONTHS before I can do that!!!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef February 20, 2011, 3:30 pm

    good tips! i’m glad we live in an upper-level apartment but i’m still paranoid about leaving things locked when we’re home and of course when we aren’t. i used to live in a house out in the country and the wind got so strong it would blow the front door open if we didn’t leave the deadbolt locked. i lived on the first floor and had roommates above & below me but would freak out if i woke up to find the door wide open!

  • Amy February 20, 2011, 3:31 pm

    Tostados are a fried, flat corn tortilla, and you layer your toppings on top and then eat. Instead of frying, I bake mine. I brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt on, then bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy. Then load up with whatever toppings you’d like (beans and veggies, please!) They end up with a crispy/chewy texture, but are still very good and (much healthier than the traditional deep-frying).
    If you want to roll corn tortillas without them cracking (ie: enchiladas), they need to be warmed in some sort of liquid. I put a small amount of enchilada sauce in a small frying pan, then ‘fry’ the tortilla in the sauce for 1-2 minutes on each side until warm and flexible. Then fill with your toppings, roll and bake.
    Hope that helps.

    • Kris February 20, 2011, 5:53 pm

      2nd on the tostadas — I just bake mine. For rolling corn tortillas, I either dip them in enchilada sauce or some kind of broth — chicken, veggie, etc. Sometimes no matter what they break a bit — but they taste the same 🙂

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine February 20, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Great post- especially since I know a lot of your readers are relatively young women that often live alone. An easy way to “bolt” your windows for cheap is to get some long wooden rods, cut them to the length of the top half window frame, and wedge them between the top of the window and the ceiling. It’s an extra level of security!

  • Carin February 20, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Make quesadillas instead – double the filling, sandwich the tortillas and chop them up when they come out of the oven. Easy solution!

  • kimmy February 20, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I make these all the time, you need to warm these up for about 30 seconds in the microwave, if not they will always break.

  • Carrie @ TV and Dinners February 20, 2011, 3:34 pm

    One of the reasons I selected my apartment is that it is on the second floor of the house and the only way to get inside (unless you’re Spiderman) is to walk up a very rickety staircase that sounds like elephants are approaching my door. It’s an automatic burglar alarm! 🙂 It makes me feel safer being a woman who lives alone, especially because my neighborhood isn’t the greatest.

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 20, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Thank you for posting about this, Caitlin. I don’t ever talk about it on my blog but I have been the victim of violent crime, more than once. I am practically sobbing as I am writing this comment b/c I just had a huge flashback of emotions rush over me. But THANK you!! for posting about this.

    Another thing I see women do is run with their ipods in to the point that they are 100% oblivious to the sounds around them. How easy would it be for someone to follow them home or assault them is my fear. Turn the volume down, girls 🙂

    If you have any other posts about your work as a peer counselor, or why/how you decided to become one (if you were a victim of crime), I’d love to read more.

    • Caitlin February 20, 2011, 3:40 pm

      I’m sorry Averie 🙁 You are a strong lady!

    • Runeatrepeat February 20, 2011, 11:34 pm

      Totally agree and thank you for the ipod reminder. A girl was just attacked two weeks ago on the same path I run on! It could happen to any of us and we really need to remind each other to be careful.
      Take care 🙂

  • Laura February 20, 2011, 3:40 pm

    Not only is closing the window important, but locking them too! It’s not hard to survey the windows and notice where the latch is turned to the “open” position and can be opened from the outside.

  • errin February 20, 2011, 3:47 pm

    i make something very, very similar. i microwave the tortillas for about 20 seconds before putting the toppings on them to soften them up (i had the same problem you did, initially). it works wonders!

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence February 20, 2011, 3:52 pm

    Hey, taste is all that matters right!

  • Gretchen February 20, 2011, 3:53 pm

    Did you heat the tortillas before rolling them? The easiest way is to turn on a burner and put the tortilla on it for a few seconds on each side, but that really only works on a gas range… If you have an electric stove, you could maybe just heat them on a frying pan for a few seconds. Either way, heating tortillas before rolling them helps to keep them from tearing. Also, maybe there wasn’t enough wetness in the casserole dish and they tore because they got dried out? That would be my other guess.

  • kate@ahealthypassion February 20, 2011, 4:08 pm

    yum I have been craving mexican food so I think I might have to make these thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  • Julia February 20, 2011, 4:09 pm

    My apartment was burglarized over the holidays. It was a terrible experience and one that I hope no one else has to experience.

    Not to self promote in your comments, but I posted some tips about keeping your home safe, here is a link if anyone wants to check it out:

    • M February 20, 2011, 10:56 pm

      That was a great post Julia-made me rethink about renters insurance and also about hiding stuff!

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews February 20, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Thanks for the warning! Tostadas are my hubby’s favorite food. His family is mexican and they make the best tostadas!

  • Kara February 20, 2011, 4:26 pm

    That’s a good warning! But wouldn’t your dogs bark? I always assume my dog would let me know, but I’ve grown up with Dobermans and they are naturally protective 🙂

    One of the dogs in my parent’s neighborhood got poisoned (someone threw poison over the fence) so I’m much more paranoid about that! I’m always scanning the yard for suspicious items!

    • M February 20, 2011, 10:57 pm

      My brother was burglarized while he was out…the thieves threw frozen meat to the dog to distract it!!!!

  • Melissa Bowen February 20, 2011, 4:29 pm

    I concur with all the advice for adding liquid to make the tortillas more pliable. To stay away from oil and add some flavor, heat some stock or broth and run the tortillas through it before rolling.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) February 20, 2011, 4:29 pm

    Thank you for the tip. We are lucky where we live and our alarm system.

    As for your tortilla situation. You need more moisture. For corn tortillas if you microwave them with moistened tea towel or paper towel or include a red sauce of something on top of them they won’t crack.

  • Babycakes February 20, 2011, 4:49 pm

    after what I saw on Dateline this week, I am so glad you posted this reminder!

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) February 20, 2011, 5:04 pm

    For a healthier sauce to keep the tortillas from cracking, try pureed tomatoes with some spices (cumin!). You can spread it really thin.

  • Sharon February 20, 2011, 5:26 pm

    Bake your tortillas first. Spray them with a little olive oil and lay them flat on a baking sheet. They will come out nice and crispy. Then you can add all your toppings. You can also cut them into smaller pieces if you want a healtheir chip. That is how we do it here in Texas!

  • Kristen February 20, 2011, 5:28 pm

    I can’t wait until it is warm enough to open the windows…I think I’m a way off though (considering my water was freezing in my bottles on my run today), but I’ll keep it in mind when that season (finally) comes.

  • Katie February 20, 2011, 5:50 pm

    What a great tip, it is scary but a TRUE fact, you never know, especially if you think you live in a safe neighborhood, better safe than sorry : )

    Those look good but I dont have a solution to the keep tortillas from crumbling : p

  • Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) February 20, 2011, 6:01 pm

    As for the tortillas, they usually do that if they are dry like that. When making enchiladas, I dip them into enchilada sauce before rolling them up which helps.

  • christine February 20, 2011, 6:06 pm

    Yup, especially when you’re asleep! I love sleeping with the bedroom window open, so my husband and I found a heavy duty dowel to wedge in the window slider (I’ve seen neighbors use golf clubs too) so you can’t open it past two or three inches. Plus, we have huge dog 🙂

  • annette @ enjoyyourhealthylife February 20, 2011, 6:12 pm

    Thanks for the tips- this is true especially when you don’t think anything is going to happen. Elizabeth Smart of SLC endured a horrible 9 months of being with her kidnapper because the windows were left open after her mother burnt food….. Close those bad boys to keep people out!! Great idea for a recipe by the way… 😉

  • Ashley February 20, 2011, 6:26 pm

    The tostadas look good. Maybe it was the olive oil, or maybe you should dry something different to moisten them up during the cooking process. Thank you for the tips! I can’t really use them right now, (Because I live in third floor dorm) but it is really good information for anyone to have.

  • Katherine: Unemployed February 20, 2011, 6:43 pm

    that PSA is scary but I’m so glad you included it; something to be aware of. I didn’t know about that at all

  • Tricia February 20, 2011, 6:45 pm

    I had a neighbor who kinda “stalked” my bedroom window. If he thought I was home but didn’t answer the door he would come knock on my bedroom window. I got so paranoid that I never opened my window, even when the air wouldn’t work in the summer because I was afraid he would just help himself in. So now I am always afraid to open any accessible windows. Call me paranoid… but i dont

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 20, 2011, 7:25 pm

    Thanks for the reminder Caitlin! Even though I consider my neighbourhood fairly safe, sometimes I think I take it for granted a bit – especially in the summer when the weather is nice and everyone opens their windows. Great info! 🙂

  • Dynamics February 20, 2011, 7:38 pm

    I put dowels in my windows so they only open so much. I get the cool air that way. I just cannot bring myself to sleep with the windows open ever. When I lived in an apartment I got jumped in the laundry room AND a week later some guy high on drugs came in my apartment and started watching TV. Yes, I moved out the next day and have lived in a house ever since.

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad February 20, 2011, 8:11 pm

    Thank you for this reminder. I wish my old roommate would read it. She thought I was paranoid when I asked her to please shut her bedroom window when she left the house.

  • Lynne February 20, 2011, 8:55 pm

    Thanks for the info! My windows slide horizontally so I only open them as far as I need to and place dowel rods in the remaining areas so they can’t be opened any more (like enough for someone to get in or reach the rod). Plus I have a large Rottie!

  • Rachel @ Healthy Teacher February 20, 2011, 9:43 pm

    My windows are rarely open because I am PARANOID about home invasions. My husband thinks I’m nuts because his family never locked their doors.

  • Runeatrepeat February 20, 2011, 11:31 pm

    Tearing tortillas happen more often when they are stale or older. Use fresh tortillas for the best results! Also, wrap them up carefully, but sturdy enough that they won’t move during cooking (which makes them break too).

    – Your friendly Mexican blogger

  • Tiffany February 21, 2011, 7:50 am

    i live in an basement apartment, and right now the snows so far up on my windows i can see anything outside, but in the summer they’re easy access to criminals, I’ve been awaken 5 times by people (drunk) knocking on the windows or people trying to open them to get in.

    I never forget to lock the door sense my last last apartment, when the landlord kept bursting in the door the second he smelled “cigarette smoke” (but i don’t smoke and i send smokers outside) he was after walking right in when i was on the shower and knocking on the door and trying to come in because he wanted to “check” the toilet to see if it was working properly, and sometimes when i would have the door locked, he would use his key to get in.

    • Tiffany February 21, 2011, 7:55 am

      its always good to be safer then sorry.
      in newfoundland were not allowed to have spray mace or anything of the sort and guns are not easily obtained,
      almost every girl i know sleeps with some sort of knife under her bed or pillow i keep one in my closet sense i have a child and don’t want her getting it.

      • Caitlin February 21, 2011, 10:46 am

        Your landlord was CREEPY TIME.

  • cassie February 21, 2011, 9:59 am

    thanks for the tip and reminder. it’s little things like closing your windows that can help avoid bigger things happening..

  • Ali @ Ali Runs February 21, 2011, 1:13 pm

    This is a very good tip!! I am so anal about closing windows at my apartment by my fire escape just because it makes me nervous (even though I’m on the 2nd floor). Better safe than sorry.

  • Amanda February 21, 2011, 1:37 pm

    What a great tip Caitlyn! Sometimes we need a little reminder to not trow caution to the wind. I grew up locking every door, shutting & locking all the windows at night because my neighborhood is less than desirable. It never hurts to be a little cautious!

  • Anita February 21, 2011, 6:18 pm

    You should try to warm it on the grill. Once they are soft you can fill and wrap. Make sure you do it while the tortilla is still warm. Then you can bake it. However, this is more like the process for making enchilada. Other option would be to sprinkle them with olive or peanut oil bake then add the toppings.

  • Rachel February 22, 2011, 3:11 pm

    Here is what I always do when I want tostadas or enchiladas…since the corn tortillas can be so fussy, I always make it into a “lasagna” or “casserole” style by layering my ingredients to go on the inside inbetween layers of tortillas and then bake them….layering it like a lasagna. So easy and then I have lunch for the entire week!

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