Sunday, January 24, 2010

Desperation Dinner

A freezer ready meal is a working mom's best friend.  However, ever since I read Michael Pollan's book--you know which one--and subsequently ditched the Lean Cuisines (I still jump when I see the sign in the supermarket: 4 for $12!), my freezer is full of Belle and Evans chicken parts, grass fed meat, whole wheat flour and not much else.  Not exactly the makings of a desperation dinner.

Then I had a brainstorm.  What about a frozen burrito, like the kind they have at Trader Joe's?  So I whipped up a batch for dinner, deliberately making extra for the freezer. 

Don't you just love tomato paste in the tube?  Forget Kindle, here is real progress.  I flavored two cans of pinto beans with two tablespoons of paste, onions, garlic, chili powder and cumin. 

Then I toasted some flour tortillas over my stove's open flame.

I piled each tortilla with a generous spoonful of beans, some leftover rice from the fridge, and some grated cheddar cheese.  The picture does not do it justice.  It was really good, especially with sour cream and salsa.  The only thing missing is cilantro.  Next time.
And here they are...freezer ready.  Like money in the bank!

Vegetarian Bean Burritos

1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium japeno, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 tsp. cumin, more to taste
1 tsp. chili powder, more to taste
1 1/2 T. tomato paste
2 cans of pinto beans (15 oz.), drained and rinsed
a handful of chpped cilantro
1 c. cooked rice (could be brown rice, I guess)
6 oz. shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
6 burrito sized flour tortillas
salsa and sour cream for serving

1.  Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Saute onions, garlic, jalepeno, chile powder, cumin and a good pinch of salt until golden, about 10 minutes.  Add tomato paste and cook a minute or so more. 
2.  Add beans and 1 c. of water, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cilantro.
3.  If you have a gas stove, toast tortillas. 
4.  Fill with bean mixture, rice, and cheese.  Fold and serve. 

To Freeze:  Wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminium foil.  To reheat: Nuke for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes straight from freezer, then bake in 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.  I think you can just microwave them, too--perfect for a work lunch!


  1. Okay! Dad's buying the ingredients tomorrow. We're filling our fridge, too! They look good, easy, and they're not twice fried!

  2. Great Idea,
    I will make this first chance I get. I love having stuff in the freezer ready to go.
    Thanks love