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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vegetarian Burrito- An Incredibly Flexible Recipe

This is one of those easy recipes that you can pull together with ready made, store bought ingredients or make most of them a day previously and put them together when you are ready to eat. Another great feature of this recipe is that it is very flexible. You can change many of the ingredients based on what you have in the pantry and your fridge. The main components are tortillas, rice, beans and you can add different vegetable and salsas and make it as decadent or as healthy you want. You will notice that a lot of ingredients in this recipe are optional or ones that can be substituted for something else.

 Ingredients (for 1 burrito)
1 large tortilla - whole wheat/ flour/ corn
2 tbsps cooked rice
2 tbsps cooked beans - red or black beans (can use canned or read tips)
1 tbsp fresh salsa
ready made salsas- to taste (optional)
hot sauce - to taste
avacado (can be used instead of guacamole- optional)
shredded cheese - mexican blend/mozarella/cheddar
sour cream (optional)
guacamole (optional)
pinch of cumin powder
bell pepper, sliced- green, red/orange/ yellow (optional)
onion, sliced (optional)
1 tsp oil
salt, to taste

In a pan heat the tsp of oil and once hot, add the sliced onion and cook till softened and light brown. Then add the sliced bell pepper and cook till the bell pepper is cooked through. Alternately you can also cook this on the grill for a smoky flavor.

Add a little oil (optional) in a pan and then add the cooked beans to the pan with a little water (about 2 tbsp). Then add the cumin powder to it and a little salt to flavor these beans. Set them aside. It is now time to assemble the burrito.

Warm up the tortilla. In the center, add the cooked rice. Top it with beans and then add the cooked onions and bell pepper mixture. Next add the salsas that you want. These can be fresh or store bought. Then add guacamole if you have some ready or avocado. It gives a nice decandent taste to the burrito and you can easily skip the sour cream. Then add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle cheese on it. If you like your burrito hot, then add some hot sauce into the burrito itself. Sprinkle a little cilantro. Then fold the burrito to create a neat packet. A complete meal created in a matter of minutes.

You can use canned beans, which are pre-cooked. If you want to start from scratch, then soak the dry beans overnight and then cook the beans with water in a covered pan, by boiling it till the beans are softened. Or you can cook the soacked beans in a pressure cooker. It takes about 5-10 whistles in my cooker depending on how well the beans have been soaked and is much quicker than waiting for it to cook in the pan.
The grilled pepper and onions mixture is called Fajita and you can even grill these.  The grilled smoky flavor really flavors the burrito. This addition is optional.
Guacamole or just plain avacado adds a buttery rich taste and is a great substitution to the sour cream. The plus point is that avocado has healthy fat, rich in omega 3. You can also whip up some yogurt and use it instead of sour cream.
When you cook rice, add a little salt to flavor the rice and then you can mix in chooped cilantro into the warm rice which will impart a nice herby flavor to the rice. You can also squeeze some lime on it for additional flavor.
You can also use chapatis instead of tortillas.


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