Cook n’ Freeze Burritos

2010-04-13 21.57.00

We all love an Amy’s Organic Burrito from time to time, and while they are delicious, they can wrack up the grocery bill. I’ve come up with an easy and affordable alternative: D.I.Y. frozen burritos! Yessssss. Super easy and convenient, and they honestly don’t take that long at all – well, you might want to put aside a Sunday afternoon for them, but whatev.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 red and 1/2 green bell pepper, or any color, diced

1/2 container of button mushrooms, diced

1-2 tomatoes, chopped (optional, since you will likely top with salsa later)

1/2 block of extra firm tofu, pressed, and then cut into half-inch cubes*

1 15 oz. can of black beans

1 7.5 oz. can of chipotle pepper in adobo sauce – ADOBO SAUCE ONLY! (trust me, that’s plenty of heat. Save the peppers for another recipe, or freeze them)

1 Tbsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp dried oregano

Couple splashes of shoyu**

Couple splashes of brown rice vinegar (optional)

1 pkg Daiya brand cheddar style cheese

Whole grain tortillas or wraps (this recipe makes anywhere from 15-20 burritos – HOLY CRAP, I know – so it all depends on how many you want to do in one shot. If you get tired after 10, freeze the leftover filling and wraps and go at it again in a few weeks)

Ok, now that you have blisters from all the chopping, slicing, and dicing…Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil over medium heat, you are going to need a pretty big pan for this one. Add the onions and saute for a minute, then add the garlic and saute for about another 30 seconds. Add the rest of the veggies (NOT the beans or tofu yet). Saute until veggies start to tenderize – maybe 3 minutes. Then add the tofu and the beans and cook for about a minute. Stir in the adobo sauce and all the dry seasonings. Give it a taste, see what it needs. At this point, add the shoyu, tasting as you go. Be careful because you don’t want overly salty burritos!

This last ingredient I left as optional because it really all depends on your taste preference. Sometimes I find that in recipes like this where there are a lot of different flavors going on, I think it’s done, taste it, and low and behold something is missing and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Salt has a reputation of, when added to dishes like this one, combining and bringing out all of the flavor action. But sometimes you have to add a whole heck of a lot of it to get that flavor. Not to mention the fact that there is already plenty of sodium in the adobo sauce and shoyu. Lucky for us though, a little vinegar can do this same trick. I like brown rice vinegar because it is mild and won’t add any unwanted flavor and won’t overpower the dish. Soooo, if you think your burrito filling needs something, throw in a little vinegar, and let simmer for a couple minutes.

Now for the assembly. Not sure if everyone needs a play-by-play of how to fold a burrito, but just incase, allow me to explain: Take your tortilla and lay in on a cutting board. Spoon about 1/3 cup filling – maybe a little more – in the middle in a horizonal line (like your tortilla is a flattened hotdog bun and your filling is the vegan hotdog). Be careful not to add to much because you don’t want soggy burritos or your filling to bust out while baking. Sprinkle a little cheeze on top (again, don’t overdue it cause of the sogg-factor). Even though your wrap is obviously a circle, think of it as having four sides. Take the botton side, the one facing your belly button, and fold in up over the filling, tucking in under slightly in you can. Then, take both the left and right sides and fold them in toward the middle. Finally, take the whole beast and fold it up over the top side. Ya dig? Everyone has their methods but I find this one to be pretty quick and easy and relatively leak-proof.

Very gracefully transfer your burrito onto an ungreased baking sheet – you may want to use a spatula. Repeat until your tray is filled up and bake for about 20 minutes. I like to have two baking sheets handy for this so I can start the next tray while the first one is baking. Once your burritos are done baking, remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Wrap each one in aluminum foil and store in freezer. When ready to serve, heat in the microwave or oven and enjoy with sour cream and guacamole. **the other option is to just wrap each individually, uncooked, and bake when ready to eat. Sometimes I don’t have time for baking, just a quick zap in the microwave which is why I like to bake mine first. However, re-baking them isn’t going to make a difference.

AND DON’T FORGET A SIDE SALAD! Here’s a quick one (I admit, I got this from Rachael Ray haha!): 2 large tomatoes cut into wedges, 1/2 small red onion sliced thin, and 1 bunch of cilantro trimmed and washed. Mix together with a little olive oil, Red Hot, and the juice of 1 lime. Add salt and pepper to taste. As Rachael would say, “Yumm-O!” And it goes perfectly with your burritos!

*Tofu tip: about 30 minutes before you cut the tofu, put it on a plate, put another plate or small cutting board on top of it and then place something heavy on top of that. The liquid will be pressed out of the tofu leaving it super firm and easy to work with. Also, I just have to say I get it, not everyone loves tofu and might not be used to it’s taste or texture, but it is an excellent low fat source of protein! But if you absolutely can’t stand it, leave it out, you will get plenty of protein from your beans and veggies. And keep trying it, maybe someday it will grow on you!

**What is shoyu, you ask? Shoyu is a naturally fermented soy sauce. It is made from soybeans, wheat, sea salt, and water that has been fermented and aged in cedar vats. Shoyu aids in the digestion of vegetables and grains, and is rich in protein, minerals, and B vitamins. It is also used in home remedies to strengthen the blood, relieve fatigue, and neutralize over-acidity. (If you have a wheat allergy and want to use soy sauce in your cooking, try Tamari, it’s wheat-free!).