Every single day is a marathon (Not that I’ve ever run, walked, or even watched a marathon. Exhausting!).
Today, for example, I was up with Mina before dawn, so Malcolm let me sleep late: 7:15! Big Whoa. BUT! Violet had school and I had work. So it was a race to wash my face and throw a denim ensemble over my body, nurse Mina, make waffles, make more waffles, pack V lunch, write a little note, get her shoes – “NO, MAWM, KITTY SHOES!!!!!”, remember Malcolm’s shrimp, and drive across town to her preschool and back again so I can open the bookshop at 8:45. Ahhhhh, books.
When work is done I race to get her, carry her, her backpack, her lunch bag, her four paintings, and soiled kitty shoes out to the Jeep, race home to relieve her grandmother, play in the sunshine, make snacks, mediate full contact sister aggression, change their clothes when they’re muddy from jumping in deep puddles, keep Violet from running away to the neighbor boys’ house (She already plans to marry adorable, 5 year-old E), cook dinner, find 14 towels to mop up the deluge of bath time, help them wriggle into pajamas, brush their teeth, read stories (Mina is way into In The Night Kitchen and to Violet we’re reading chapters from The Boxcar Children), turn on nightlights, projected stars, and humidifiers, sing songs, and give kisses, and finally, retire to the living room to enjoy some quiet time with my husband, where we sit next to one another on the couch and type on our respective machines until 8:45, when we close up shop, pop some popcorn, watch one half-hour of comedy, and go upstairs like mummified zombies. Like, sort of embalmed and wrapped in cloth but also deeply hungry for brains.
We’re tired. Overextended. I fantasize about sleeping in a field for four days. Typical, I think, of most everyone at our stage of life, with work, kids, and too many first-world worries. Dinner has to be easy. I would like it to be healthy. And for the love of Zac Efron, it must be delicious. Simple pleasures are all we have, people.
Everybody in this house loves hummus. And tacos. So, I had a brainstorm to put them together. Violet and I both really like black beans. She’ll eat an entire can, warmed, in a bowl, with nothing else. But I can do better than that. Using my trusty high-powered blender, I quickly whipped up some hummus. I don’t have to worry about additives or weird ingredients. The pouch contains tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. All the good things I never seem to have on hand at once. This simplifies my life at dinnertime and I still am making healthy, homemade food for my family, which, second only to a night alone in a hotel room is every mom’s major goal. Riffing on the idea of hard-shell tacos, I fried tortillas into crisp tostadas, and let everyone add their own toppings. First, a generous swipe of black bean hummus, roasted onions, garlic, bell pepper for the adults, grilled chicken, and a dollop of sour cream. Kids get raw peppers on the side. Everyone wins. Goodnight.
Make it early in the day, while you still have your wits about you, to make dinner prep go even faster. If your family doesn’t eat meat, this is a super option for a protein-packed meal. Add more toppings for more flavor, and for fun: crumbled feta or cotija cheese, thinly sliced cucumber, and a variety of picante salsas for those who like it spicy.
Southwest Black Bean Hummus Tostadas
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
- 6 corn tortillas
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 package BUSH’S® Southwest Black Bean Hummus Made Easy, prepared per package directions
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 big bell pepper
- 1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss vegetables with a few tablespoons of oil and salt. Place on a baking sheet and roast, 20 minutes.
In a deep skillet, heat the oil until it sizzles. Fry the tortillas until they are golden, about 3 minutes a side. Sprinkle with salt and cool on paper towels.
In another skillet, cook chicken with a few tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Shred with two forks.
Layer each tortilla with black bean hummus, chicken roasted vegetables, and a dollop of sour cream. Let everyone assemble their own tostadas, for minimum whining.