Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Refried Beans and Veggie Burritos

When I started this post, my only mission was to pass on that I've learned how to make refried beans.  But then I thought why not give you a delicious veggie burrito to put them in while we're here?

The first question you may ask yourself is why anyone would make refried beans when they already come in a can.  If you visited my house a few years ago, back in the early days of this blog, you'd almost always find a can of refried beans in my refrigerator.  Nearly every morning I ate a concoction of frozen spinach and refried beans topped with two fried eggs and salsa.  But something happened.  Either the beans changed or my taste buds did, because all of a sudden they became unbearably salty.  I tried changing brands but couldn't find anything that I liked, so I phased canned refried beans out of my diet.  And then recently it occurred to me in a flash of food blogging brilliance, that folks do make their own refried beans, so I went on a quest to find less salty refried beans.  People who know me are shaking their heads right now, because they've seen me add table salt to everything that I eat.  And to them I say, yep, it's just one of my quirks.  I'm sensitive to foods that have a lot of salt in them, but perfectly happy with foods that have a lot of salt on them.

Anyways, homemade refried beans.  Your grandmother back in the day and many industrious food bloggers in this day make them from scratch with dried beans and lard.  Good on them, but I use canned beans and seasonings.  I went with the simplest recipe that I could find.  The only thing I had to solve was that the recipe doesn't say whether to drain the beans or not, and commenters were saying that they didn't drain the beans at all.  I found that using all of the bean liquid made a soupy mixture (totes recommend if you're looking for bean soup, which I was not) and no liquid at all was too thick.

Yield: approximately 12 burritos, give or take
Refried beans adapted from allreceipes.  Veggie burritos inspired by Budget Bytes

  • For refried beans
    • 2 15 oz cans of pinto beans, liquid reserved
    • 2 cloves garlic (or use garlic powder)
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • For veggie burritos
    • 1 zucchini
    • ½ onion
    • 12 oz mushrooms
    • 1 green pepper
    • 1 red pepper
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt  
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1½ cups rice (I used leftover cilantro lime rice)
    • fresh cilantro
    • 1 lime (optional)
    • cheese
    • your favorite salsa, drained
    • 12 8" tortillas
If you're just here for the beans, jump down a few pictures to where we start talking about that.  If you're going to be making burritos, it makes sense to get the veggies started first so that you can make the beans while they're in the oven.  Start chopping.

More chopping, preheat oven to 400º F.

Still more.

Pile everything into a large sealable bowl.  Measure out the seasonings and oil.

Add seasonings and oil, cover the bowl and shake it all up.

Spread on foil lined baking sheets and bake for 40 minutes.  Visit the veggies about halfway through the baking time and stir them up again.

Now let's make us some beans.

Drain the beans and reserve the bean liquid.

Blend the beans, seasonings, and 5 tablespoons of the bean liquid until smooth.  Add more of the bean liquid if you want it looser.

Yay beans!  Let's clean up the kitchen and then the veggies should be done and ready to make into burritos.

 Chop up some cilantro.  I don't have a quantity to pass on besides "a lot".

Veggies are done.

Remember how full the container was when we started?  Look how much everything shrank down.  Stir in the cilantro and squeeze some fresh lime juice over the top.

Set up a burrito assembly line. 

Heat up the beans for a minute or so to make them spreadable and lay them down as the foundation.

Top with rice, which I made when you weren't looking.  Nah, it's just a leftover batch from the last time we made tacos that's been hiding in the freezer.

Add salsa.  I drained mine, because I planned on freezing the burritos and didn't want them to get soggy.

Layer up with veggies.

Kiss them with cheese.  I don't use very much in the burrito because I almost always top them with melted cheese before serving.

Wrap it up.  What we have here is something that's good, but we don't want good, we want next level.

Get to next level by toasting them on all sides in a skillet.

To freeze, wrap the individual servings in saran wrap and toss them in a big ziplock in the freezer.

When you're ready to eat them, reheat and add toppings of choice.

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