Friday, March 26, 2010

5 Minute Meal: Chipotle Black Bean Burritos (with all the fixins)

We eat a lot of burritos in our house because they're tasty, super fast to make, and they've got a lot of great nutrients in them.  Black beans are of course loaded with fiber, but they're also ridiculously high in antioxidants.  In fact, all beans are antioxidant superstars, so be sure you're eating them.  And yeah, if you're not used to eating the infamously "musical fruit," start slow, but keep eating them!  The more you eat beans, the better you can digest them.

Okay, onto the 5 minute meal.  Actually, this may be more of a 10 minute meal, but it's still super fast.  And I'm going to share a couple of tricks to make your average black bean burrito pretty darn extraordinary in taste and nutrition.  Here's what you'll need:

-- Tortillas.  Duh.  I'm gonna let you in on a little tip: you can find flour tortillas that are almost as good as homemade.  (They are worlds better than those tasteless other flour tortillas found in grocery stores.)  The brand is "Tortilla Land" and they can usually be found in the refrigerated section of tortillas in Whole Foods or in the Hispanic foods section (refrigerated) of regular grocery stores (at least in Southern California).  However, a quick google search shows that Sam's Club has them, and you can even buy them on Amazon (not cheap, but you get 44 tortillas... enough to start your own burrito truck!).  See if you can track them down near you; they're worth it.

P.S. The package we have in our fridge doesn't look like the one on Amazon, but as long as they're the "uncooked" flour tortillas made with canola oil, you're good to go.

To cook: take a tortilla off the stack, and throw it in a warm pan over medium heat.  Cook for 30 seconds on one side, and then flip over and cook for another 30 seconds.  Super easy.  You can heat the tortillas first and wrap them in foil to keep warm, or prep the other ingredients first, and then heat the tortillas.  Can you use other tortillas?  No.  I'm kidding.  Of course you can.  Get the best ones you can find.  And if you don't want to use a tortilla?  Make a base of rice or quinoa for your toppings, or use chopped Romaine lettuce.  Get creative.

-- Black Beans - two 15 ounce cans; one undrained, one drained.
-- Chipotles in Adobo.  You can find these in grocery stores.  Use 1 chipotle if you don't like it too spicy, 2 if you like a bit more kick, and 3 if you want to sweat.  Take the chipotles you want to use from the can and chop.
-- Garlic - 2 cloves, minced.
-- A bit of extra virgin olive oil.

To prep the beans: Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a pot over medium heat.  Add the diced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until it sizzles.  Add in the chipotle chile, stir, and add in the beans with liquid from one of the cans.  Let simmer over medium-low heat for 5 - 10 minutes for the flavors to meld while you prepare the other ingredients.

Fixins: Chop up the following (or amend as per your preference):

-- Red Onion
-- Avocado
-- Tomato
-- Cilantro
-- Romaine lettuce (or other green of your choice)

Other fancy fixins:
-- Non-dairy sour cream (both Tofutti and Follow Your Heart are non-hydrogenated, and can be found at Whole Foods, and well-stocked grocery stores)
-- Non-dairy Daiya cheddar cheese (can be found at Whole Foods in the non-dairy cheese section).  Daiya makes the best vegan cheese, in my opinion.  It tastes like American cheese, and it melts nicely.  Kind of hard to find, but worth it if you can.
-- Optional: a couple of wedges of fresh lime to squeeze over the fixins.

Fill your tortillas!  (Or set up a burrito bar and let people help themselves.)

Also, one last note, as these are bean burritos, I didn't add a grain (like rice), but of course feel free to get creative with your burritos!  Might I suggest trying quinoa instead of white rice?  It's a fabulous whole grain and loaded with protein.  Just be sure to rinse it super well before cooking, or it will taste bitter.  I'll write on quinoa, that wonder-grain, another day.

Until then, enjoy your antioxidant burritos, amigos!


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