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While we were on our family vacation this summer we ate out at Chipotle’s. We each had a huge stuffed burrito and while dining Joe said we should eat more burritos. I was surprised by that since we often have some sort of burrito, taco or tostado as part of our Stretchy Bean dishes.
My method for preparing these burritos is to provide an assortment of items to put in the burrito and let each person assemble it themselves. Sometimes these burritos become tacos –in my mind it is a taco when lettuce or cabbage has been added to it– and sometimes it is a tostado which is when the burrito is stuffed so full that it is left open faced and eaten with a fork. While I may designate burrito, taco or tostado on my menu plan it really is up to the individual what is actually eaten. I often like to serve broccoli alongside the dish. This type of meal always reminds me of a chain of restaurants that I would occasionally visit when I lived in Portland. The restaurant was known for it’s “healthy” Mexican-style food. I would order a platter that included black beans, rice and broccoli with tortillas on the side. It was so good and the addition of the broccoli at home really takes me back. Sadly that restaurant chain closed down after the death of the owner but my memories live on.
The components of this meal is incredibly flexible. It is easy to mix and match with ingredients you have on hand and can be a very frugal dish.
Tortilla; Your choice of store bought or homemade. We usually use flour tortillas but you could use corn if that is what you prefer. Our favorite is Sourdough Tortillas. These homemade whole wheat tortillas are also delicious.
Meat (can be elimated for a vegetarian option); Shredded or ground beef, chicken, venison, etc. This is a great way to extend a roast or chicken. I only use about 2 cups of meat for the meal which makes it a perfect second night dinner for a Stretchy Roast or Chicken. If you are using a roast/chicken cube or shred the meat and add about 1 1/2 cups of broth or water while heating gently. Season the beef with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper. I never measure just add and go but if I had to guess I’d say I use about 2 teaspoons each of chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. The salt and pepper are to taste. I usually add a small can of tomato sauce also. Sometimes I’ll do it with vegetables like in this post. If I don’t have any meat to use I’ll leave it out or even do scrambled eggs for a ‘breakfast’ burrito.
Beans; Cooked and lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Either left whole, lightly mashed (I use a potato masher) or pureed in the food processor. Whatever sounds good to you and works with the kind of day you are having.
Rice; Cooked and seasoned with salt or you could do a Spanish style rice if that is what you prefer. We usually keep ours plain. Sometimes I’ll omit the rice which is just fine also.
Cheese; Shredded cheese or homemade soft cheese.
Toppers; Lettuce, cabbage, curtido, sauerkraut, sour cream, salsa, etc. One, two, all or none depending on your mood/desires.
These make such a simple and satisfying meal that we enjoy these often. By varying the components we rarely feel like we are eating ‘the same old thing’.
What is your favorite dish that is flexible, tasty and a family favorite?
Photos: Tortillas from Flickr, Burrito Filling, Cheese
Yum! We love all kinds of mexican food around here. We’ve been making lots of corn tortillas lately, but I’m gonna have to give the sourdough ones a try! Thanks for the inspiration!
We started doing a build-your-own salad this summer. Initially, the male members of the family thought it was “sissy” and would not fill them up, but once they added bits of leftover meats, some grated cheese and a handful of rinsed and chilled beans, they realized they had a filling meal. I found it was a good way to use the early small harvests from the garden too – like a single tomato, a handful of radishes and baby carrots.