Veggie Burritos

Dear Kaki,

Whoa.  Concert week is almost over.  Yesterday’s performance was incredible, and one more tonight, and then on to Messiah!

And because I knew this week would be insanely busy, last weekend I cooked like a mad woman to make sure I had something quick to grab and eat on the go between work and rehearsals and such.  Something filling and tasty and with eating-with-one-hand* potential.  It was time for some burritos.

I’ve made Budget Bytes Veggie Burritos before, so I knew this would be a winner.  Then I saw the Big Girls Small Kitchen post about burritos with refried beans and some veggies and little else and thought how freakin’ perfect that sounded.  I was all set to buy the brussel sprouts when it occurred to me that microwaving brussel sprouts might not endear me to my co-workers.  Instead, I bought whatever veggies were on sale at the store and roasted them up ala this recipe.

I think the best result from this marathon cooking session was the slow-cooker Not-Refried Beans.  They turned out crazy delicious, and were so easy.  The veggies I roasted ended up having a bit too much liquid and that made the burritos a bit leaky after microwaving, but hey, they were still tasty.  And next time I can fix that by just roasting the veggies on two sheet pans instead of one 9×13 pan, so they have more surface area to lose more liquid as they cook.

*By which of course I do not mean eating-in-the-car-while-driving potential.  What kind of crazy person would do that?

And so, to make our burritos, we need to make the beans, then roast the veggies, and then assemble.

Slow-Cooker “Refried” Beans (ala Budget Bytes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed and then diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 10-15 cranks freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 cups water

The night before, pour out the beans onto a baking sheet and pick over them for any loose skins or pebbles.  I rarely find pebbles but it has happened so I still do this step.

Pour your beans into a large bowl.  Cover with water by about 2-3 inches (the beans will expand as they soak).  Let beans soak overnight.

The next morning, drain beans of their soaking water.  Set aside.

Add the diced onion, diced jalapeno, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper to your slow-cooker**.  Add the beans on top of them.  Add the six cups of water.  Stir ’em all up!

Cover and set your slow-cooker to low for about 8 hours, or high for about 5.  (In the meantime get your veggies roasting!)

Once the time above has elapsed, test a bean for doneness.  It should be soft to the point of creaminess.  Turn off your slow-cooker, and drain the beans of their cooking liquid.  Reserve the liquid to thin the beans if needed (reserve the rest for another purpose, such as a base for soup).

Use a potato masher or sturdy spoon to mash the beans to a refried-bean consistency.  I like mine on the chunky side so I left some beans whole.  Add some reserved cooking liquid if you want it a bit thinner.

Stir in the salt to taste (I used the whole tablespoon).  Put into tupperware and refrigerate until needed for burrito assembly.

**Don’t add the salt yet.  Yes, of course there is raging debate about when to add salt when cooking dried beans.  But as I haven’t made enough to have an opinion, all I’ll say is that I didn’t add the salt until the end and they were delicious, which is enough for me to keep doing it that way.

Roasted Fajita-Style Veggies (also ala Budget Bytes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 1 onion (I use yellow, but also in the pictures below you’ll see a smattering of red onion, since I had sliced some up for another recipe)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Seasoning Mix:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn starch

Pre-heat oven to 400*F.

Cut up your veggies into long pieces (zucchini and squash into spears, onion into half-moons, bell pepper into strips).  Place in 9×13 pan***.

Veggies Prepped

Combine seasoning mix ingredients.  Spread over veggies.

Drizzle oil over veggies and seasoning.  Toss to coat evenly.

Roast in pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring about half-way through.  Once veggies are soft, remove from oven and let cool.

Veggies Roasted

***Again, next time I do this I’ll use two baking sheets so more moisture can evaporate during the cooking process.  But the pictures have a 9×13 pan in them, so… didn’t want there to be too much confusion, ha!

Veggie Burritos

  • 1 batch Slow-Cooker “Refried” Beans
  • 1 batch Roasted Fajita-Style Veggies
  • 8 oz. white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 13-14 burrito-size tortillas

Burrito Assembly

To assemble your burritos, place a scant 1/2 cup beans on one half of the tortilla.  Place a few veggies on top.  Add some cheese.  Then roll it on up!  I can’t really give more specific amounts than that since I just played it by ear except for using a 1/2 cup measuring cup for the beans.  However, I did assemble four at at time so I could try to be a little bit consistent with the amounts of veggies and cheese.  I had enough beans and cheese for 14 burritos, but only enough veggies for 13, hence the quantity listed above.  Your numbers of burritos may vary as well, but hey, they’re all tasty, so no matter!

Burrito Assembly 2

I then put the rolled up burritos on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for about an hour.  That got them hard enough to wrap individually in parchment paper and transfer to a freezer bag.

To reheat, I microwaved on one side for one minute, flipped and microwaved on the other side for one minute, then popped into our office toaster oven for a few minutes to get the tortillas crispier.  Since these are filled with really soft beans and pretty soft veggies, the final burrito is also really soft, so crisping up in the toaster oven really helps the portability factor.  These would also be great pan-fried, but I mean, obviously, pretty much anything is great pan-fried.

Hope you had a lovely week, Kaki!  Talk to you soon.

–Caitlin

P.S. I almost forgot!  Beth, the genius behind Budget Bytes, finally has a book deal!  It’s going to be great, I can just tell.  I’ve already pre-ordered a copy!

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