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Torta: The Mexican Sandwich For Anyone Who Likes Their Meal In A Sandwich
Where is my Torta?
Image via Creative Commons
When I was younger my father would often bring Tortas home from work. It was always a treat. Tortas are tasty Mexican sandwiches. A Torta like a sandwich is served on two slabs of bread and the ingredients inside can vary. A Torta can be served as a hot or a cold sandwich and are usually about six to eight inches long. A few slices of avocado on the side or on the inside of the Torta and I call that perfection that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and are great for inexpensive family meals or, depending on your appetite, for snacks.
What is a torta?
Bite into a torta - You wont regret it
Growing up this is what a torta was to me
A Torta is often filled with a meat, refried beans, avocado, shredded cabbage, crumble cheese, tomatoes stuffed in round bolillo that's crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Sometimes I have my Torta with only avocado and a little bit of salt. The ingredients can change, but the bread stays the same. Some people like to toast the bread, but I like mine just fresh made from the oven.
By the way if you ever get the chance to go to a bakery where these are made do it. The smell is amazing.
Don't Get Fat with Tortas
A Healthier But Still Very Tasty Approach to Making and Eating Tortas
The perception of a Torta is a very unhealthy one. More often than not a Torta is an unhealthy sandwich, but it doesn't have to be. People fail to see that they can have a healthy and delicious Torta. A Torta can be very nutritious and delicious. It's all about how you eat it and how you make it.
Let's start with the bread? If you want the bread to be toasted, don't toast it in fat in a frying pan, but if you must toast it then use half the cooking oil you usually use or use healthier oil like vegetable oil. You can also toast it in the oven on low instead or don't toast it at all. Besides if you buy the bread freshly made it will very likely be perfect for the making. Breads, like bolillos, when baked fresh are crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside.
The insides can also be healthier. The meats can be from a local farm or eco-friendly meats you find at the grocery store. The vegetables and cheeses can also come from a local farm or from the eco-friendly section in the grocery store. You can even use your own home grown vegetables.
Make sure to add plenty of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, avocados and other vegetables to it. Don't add an excessive amount of anything. Remember portion control is important. Enjoy but don't be gluttonous.
Oh yes, I like to remind people that refried beans can be mashed without frying, but if you must fry them because you love the flavor of refried beans then use healthier oil or fat. It doesn't take a lot. Just a tsp or two will do.
Reminder: portion control is important. If you must eat fries or chips with your Torta try your best to only eat half of them (less if you can). If you find it hard to resist the rest of the fries remove them from your site or try making baked fires. Also give fresh fruits a chance as a side dish. Try some watermelon, melon, or mango slices instead. These are all very juicy fruits that work well as a light side dish to a very filling torta. I love mango!!!
If you must have salt add a little bit to the watermelon. It's really good. Also, instead of eating two or three Tortas in one sitting eat only one and eat it slowly so you can savor all the hard work and all the great foods you put into it.
Drink healthier in also important. Instead of soda try some fresh squeezed watermelon juice, orange juice or melon juice. I don't really like papaya juice, but the rest of my family loves it. So try some papaya juice. Lemonade and cinnamon iced tea are good too. These healthy drinks are all very refreshing drinks and go well with a Torta.
So you see, all the options above allow you to enjoy the wonders of a delicious torta without making you feel like you just ruined your body.
Make Room In Your Belly and Your Kitchen!
Here is My Torta Recipe...
My Torta Recipe
Serving for 1 person
You will need:
1. Fresh Bolillo Bread (similar to a French baguette, but shorter and thicker [no jokes please])
2. Chopped cooked meat of your choice (lengua, fajita, ground beef, ground pork, grilled chicken, etc.)
3. Mashed beans
4. Iceburg Lettuce
6. Crumbled cheese
8. Green Salsa or chiles
9. Mayo optional (I only use mayo when I don't have mashed beans, but some people like mayo and beans)
Slice your fresh bread in half with a serrated knife. Dig out a little bit of bread in the center of the bread. Add a thin layer of mashed beans to one slice of bread. Then add the meat. Then add everything else. It's easy to overload a Torta because they look so good, but you want to remember portion control. If you are really hungry while your making the Torta you will want to eat it quickly and then want another one. Try to slow down and savor the Torta you just made. Savor every ingredient as you take each bite.
Feel free to experiment with your Torta. Make it your own. Add different vegetables, or meats to your Torta. Use different breads. Try different cheeses and salsas to top it with too.
Buy it Fresh
Or Make It Yourself
Why I love Bolillo Bread The Best?
It is a combination of the crispy crunchy outside and the soft warm inside of the bread that I love. You can't have the "best" Torta without both. Sometimes if you go into a bakery or any grocery store and the bolillo bread has been sitting there for days them the outside becomes soft and the inside becomes harder and though they are still good to eat they are not great to eat. So, if you can buy them made fresh you will have an even better Torta for it. Talk to the baker and ask him when he makes it fresh.
If you can't find fresh bolillo bread you can make it yourself. Take a look at the links below for some
the Jarritos! Try a pineapple flavored Jarrito with a Torta. It's wonderful, but if you can't stand the pineapple flavor there is several other flavors to try.
Jarritos Ay Que Rico
Don't Forget The Jarritos
I hate to show these to you because they aren't healthy for you, but they are soooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! These drinks are the kind of drinks I grew up drinking with Tortas, tacos and so on. If you want to try it share half with the person next to you and then drink a lot of water. Then go exercise :). You can also recycle the glass bottle at Target or reuse them as flower vases. My cousins and siblings and I use to use it to play a Mexican version of spin the bottle. At the end we'd crack a bottle over eachother's head. No! Just kidding!
How Other People Make Tortas on YouTube - Notice all the similarities?
The videos below are not videos of healthy ways to make Tortas, but they are traditional ways of making Tortas. As you watch and learn how to make these variety of Tortas think of ways you can make them taste just as good while making them healthier too. Then make your own. Send me pictures of your healthy Tortas and I'll post them on this page.