When the sun begins to set earlier at what feels like alarming speed I start to feel as though I have fewer hours in my day. Of course this isn’t true but it’s hard to ignore the psychological effects of less daylight, so I try to do things that will make the time I do have less complicated by necessary obligations such as cooking dinner. On Mondays I like to make big batches of food that I can freeze for the week ahead, this being worthwhile for 2 meals out of my day as I always bring my lunch to work. These Bean and Brown Rice Burritos are exemplary batch cooking subjects, they’re easy to make and eat and provide energy and oomph after being consumed. They’re also endlessly adaptable; make them with quinoa, bulghur, spinach, ground chicken, broccoli, corn, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, grated carrots, celery, refried beans, mushrooms, Oaxaca cheese, mozzarella, or no cheese at all for a veganized version. After I’ve assembled and wrapped all of the burritos I write the date and what’s in them on the foil with a permanent marker because even though I always tell myself I won’t forget which foods are floating around in my freezer I inevitably will find unidentifiable odds and ends that were made at some unknown point in my past. The recipe given here is very much on the spicy side, so cut back or eliminate entirely at your own discretion.
bean and brown rice burritos:
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1-2 jalapeño peppers, diced (the number of peppers and whether or not to leave the seeds in depends on how much heat you like)
2 poblano chiles, diced
2 red sweet peppers, diced
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped with stems removed
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
2 cups of your favourite salsa
1 cup of thick yogurt, I like to use full fat Balkan style yogurt in this recipe
2 cups of brown rice, cooked (for a total of about 4 cups)
2 cans of kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed
About 2 1/2 cups of a good melting cheese, grated (Monterey Jack is perfect for this)
10 large whole wheat flour tortillas
1. In a large skillet sauté the onions and garlic over medium-high heat until they begin to soften. Add the chili powder and ground cumin and continue cooking for a additional minute before adding in all of the peppers. Stirring often continue to cook the onions, garlic, spices, and peppers until softened and aromatic.
2. Turn the heat down to low and add the rice, beans, yogurt, cilantro, and salsa; stir to combine and ensure all the ingredients are completely mixed together. Remove from heat.
3. Clear a workspace for yourself to assemble the burritos. I find it most helpful to assemble the burrito directly on top of the aluminum foil I’ll be wrapping them in for freezer storage. Place the tortilla on the foil and spoon about 1/2 cup of the bean and rice mixture on to the bottom third of the wrap before sprinkling 1/4 cup of Monterey Jack on top. Roll the tortilla up away from yourself, folding the ends in as you roll. Once the burrito is complete roll them up in aluminum foil in a similar way to what you have just done to the actual tortilla. Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas and freeze immediately.
***To reheat from frozen: Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 45 minutes in the foil. Unwrap and adorn with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.***
This is just a little autumn song for when the sunlight gets hazy and the air feels less solid after a hot summer. I love cooking with balcony door open, a cup of mint tea, and Damon & Naomi playing perfectly in the background.
Damon & Naomi – E.T.A.