30 Minute Thursdays: Vegetarian Burritos, Roasted Salsa & a Questionable Future

 I need to start this post on a little bit of a downer (well, maybe – it might be a good thing in the end): I’m not sure how much longer I can keep up with these 30 Minute Thursday posts. It isn’t that I’m getting close to having cooked my way through Rachael Ray’s entire book – I most certainly haven’t. However, the recipes that I haven’t made and am actually interested in making are dwindling quickly, and I almost feel as though the recipes that I do make and write about are mostly variations of the same meal. Case in point: another Mexican recipe for today, even though I’ve told you about fiesta salads and chicken fajitas and green chile quesadillas up the wazoo. And I’m not even done yet! I have another Mexican-inspired meal in the line up already. Don’t get me wrong, they taste good – I just worry that I’m falling into a rut that you aren’t too interested in following me into. I can’t say that I blame you if that’s the case.

I haven’t made any decisions yet, and likely won’t definitively until after the semester ends (which, by the way, is a frighteningly short 3 weeks away – when did I get to be old enough to graduate?). So for now, 30 Minute Thursdays continue. But I may scale it back to every other week or once a month, and eventually I’ll move on to my next cookbook victim (I wonder which one will come next?). If you have any strong feelings about these posts, please share them! I cook for myself but I do write with you in mind, so I would definitely take your thoughts into account when I make my final decision.

If you’re bored of Fiesta Floptimism, you may want to stop here. If not, though, I have another decent, back-pocket meal for you today. This recipe in the book is called a Make Your Own Burrito Bar, but seeing as how I cook for myself and no one else, the “bar” really just turned into me making a black bean burrito with my choice ingredients like I would any other night. Not so festive, but it worked.

To the glass-half-empty chef, this meal may very well have been a total disaster. I fumbled to get the tomatoes charred the way I wanted them, then I overcompensated and charred the burrito so long that it got a little too stiff to roll and I had to eat the whole thing with a knife and a fork. I added greek yogurt (aka the Floptimism version of sour cream) to the burrito after I flipped it once, which heated the yogurt and actually made it coagulate a teensy bit. It was a hot mess to eat, to say the least.

But to the glass-half-full chef, as I aspire to be, this was a star performer recipe. Eating a burrito with a fork and a knife is no tragedy, nor is it something new for me since I habitually overstuff my sandwiches to the point where eating with my hands is not an option. I actually liked the way the yogurt cooked slightly – it imparted a pseudo-cheesy flavor and worked really well with the other flavors. As a whole, this was a mildly spicy burrito full of flavor, and definitely full of fun. What’s not to love about that?

Two Years Ago: S'more Blondies 

Vegetarian Burritos with Roasted Tomato Salsa, adapted from Rachael Ray’s Classic 30 Minute Meals
Yield: 4 servings

The Ingredients
4 tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers
2 small onions
fresh cilantro, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (30 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed if canned
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot sauce
4 whole grain tortillas
½ cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
2 cups chopped or shredded romaine lettuce

The Method
Prepare the vegetables for the salsa: chunk the tomatoes and one of the onions into thirds. Halve and partially seed one of the jalapeno peppers. Place the prepped vegetables in a dry pan heated over high and allow them to char on all sides. Transfer the charred vegetables to a food processor and pulse with a handful of cilantro to desired consistency. Pour the salsa through a strainer to drain off the liquid (reserve the liquid for another use – sauces, eggs, etc.) and transfer the chunky salsa to a serving dish; set aside.

Prepare the black bean filling: seed and chop the remaining jalapeno and finely chop the remaining onion. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil, jalapeno, garlic, and onions. Saute the vegetable mixture for 2-3 minutes to begin to brown, then add in the black beans, cilantro, cumin, and hot sauce. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer.

Meanwhile, in a clean, dry pan set over high heat, add the tortillas one at a time. Allow the one side of the tortilla to char slightly, approximately 15 seconds in the hot pan, then flip to the other side. Spread 2 tablespoons of yogurt onto the tortilla and, when the second side has also charred but the tortilla hasn’t stiffened, remove from the heat and repeat with the remaining tortillas. As each tortilla comes off the heat, add ½ cup romaine lettuce and ¼ of the bean filling. Either add ¼ of the salsa to the burrito or serve it on the side for dipping. Wrap and keep near the stove to keep warm while you finish the remaining burritos.


  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


Post a Comment