Since we started working from home, snack is a word that can be heard all day long. Next to dinner, it is absolutely the second most popular word in my household. We’ve got a lot of options, but it’s always important to me that the snacks provide some nutritional value as well as just tasting good. Before the pandemic, working from home was awesome because my husband was at his office and my daughter was at school. I had the whole house to myself. These days, working from home is an Olympic sport. You gotta have the skills to grab a cup of coffee and jump online before the wi-fi signal gives out. And did I mention that there's always a request to whip up a snack?

We are basically a family that loves to graze. I pay attention to the kinds of snacks that we have and I take the lead to help my family make healthier choices. You can't control everything out in the world but you can control what comes out of your own kitchen. Some of our favorite snacks are actually pretty healthy. We love popcorn, roasted chickpeas, and the occasional chocolate-dipped pretzel. If my daughter is online for remote classes, the request for snacks shows up at the end of every class. If she actually goes into the school building, the request comes as soon as she walks in the door. Yep, I can't even get a hello kiss before she flings the fridge doors open and grimaces as she looks for something to satisfy her hunger.

Overhead of white platter with bean tostadas
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On a recent afternoon, she came into the kitchen and announced that she needed a snack ASAP.  After I ran down a list of so-called healthy options, she promptly reminded me that not everything has to be plant-based and that I should live a little. I told her that I am trying to live a lot and that plant-based nutrition was a big part of that. Finally, she relaxed but also made me promise to let her know if I added any "vegan" products to her snack so that she would be aware ahead of time.

When the pandemic hit and everyone was locked down, I ventured out to the supermarket. The chip aisle was completely deserted. There was not one bag of tortillas on the shelves. However, there were stacks and stacks of corn tortillas. One bag held 80 corn tortillas for just about three dollars. I took them home and figured out how to create what has become one of our favorite after-school snacks.

Taryn and LA for Lucy 3

The soft flour tortilla is great for burritos and quesadillas. It's the corn tortilla that offers a crispy bite and that's why they are perfect for tacos, tortilla chips, and tostadas. As a matter of fact, the tostada has been around for the past 2,000 years. Oaxaca, Mexico is credited with the creation of the first tostada. It's the versatility of this dish that keeps on breakfast, lunch, and dinner tables all year long.

Often served with traditional toppings like refried beans and meat, you can also now find tostadas made with seafood, and of course, there are plenty of vegan versions. Let’s not forget about the fact that the corn tortilla is also whole grain and considered a decent source of fiber and nutrients.

Tostadas are an easy snack to make and even easier to eat. We prefer to bake them rather than fry them in oil. We set the oven to 350 and bake on both sides at 1o minutes each. You can take whatever you have in the fridge and turn them into toppings. What's great is that there really are no rules. Try vegan cream cheese, sliced pears, and chia seeds. Take care of your pizza lovers with vegan mozzarella, plant-based meatballs, marinara sauce, and basil. Give a nod to the southwest with guacamole, black beans, diced tomatoes, and corn. My daughter approves and is never upset when I present a tray of tostadas to her for her after-school snack. As an added bonus, she has even been happy to find them at dinner time.

To find more of LA's tips, recipes, and advice visit Black Girls Eat to learn more about going from plant curious to plant-focused.

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