Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bean & Beef Burritos

Every Saturday morning my TiVo is set to record one of my favorite shows on the Food Network - Pioneer Woman. She is a city girl turned country woman and her cooking is an amazing combination of delicious, cowboy friendly and her recipes are something everyone can make. I am not just saying that. Plus, every one of her recipes I have tried has been amazing and not overly complicated to make. Seriously. Don't believe me? Well then you will need to try to make her bean and beef burritos.

I know that beef and bean burritos don't sounds very special or very complicated to make, but just because they are simple and easy to make does not mean they aren't delicious. The last episode of Pioneer Woman featured her famous 16 minute meals - everything she made could be whipped up and served in just about 16 minutes. Now that's what I am talking about. With my busy work and school schedule, 16 minutes is about all I have to make dinner. So, when I saw these, I knew I had to make them for the captain and I. Plus, the best thing about this recipe, is that I had most things on hand - ground beef, refried beans, cheddar cheese and tortillas. I bet you do too. Cooked ground beef is always on stock in my freezer and vegetarian refried beans are always in my pantry for quick go to meals.

Although the original recipe for these burritos sounded amazing, I knew I wanted to lighten them up and make them healthier and more waist friendly. To cut down the calories and fat, I used extra lean ground beef in place of just regular ground beef, vegetarian refried beans instead of beans that may or may not be made with lard, I cut the amount of cheddar cheese in half and also substituted a huge regular burrito size tortilla for one that was just as large, but only 100 calories each and loaded with fiber (trust me, you'd never know the difference- it tastes just the same and you can find them next to all the other tortillas in the grocery store). Of course you don't have to make the changes I did, but if you are looking lighten things up, I definitely recommend it!

To whip up these fabulous burritos, the first thing you'll need to do is brown the beef with a little bit of onion. Once the beef is nice and cooked up, there won't be much fat, but make sure you drain the beef on a paper towel to make sure you get rid of all that extra stuff. When the meat is nice and drained, place the beef back in the pan and add a bit of Mexican tomato sauce (you can find it next to the enchilada sauce at your local grocery store!) to give it some more flavor and some sauciness. You could even add chili powder, garlic powder or any additional spices you like, if you wanted. You just want to make sure you don't add too much sauce that the mixture too soupy. If it's too soupy, your burritos will be too soggy and a soggy burrito is not a good burrito. When the meat is all good and spicy, you take a bit of the mixture of refried beans and cheddar cheese (which you heated up together while you were cooking the beef), spread it on the tortilla, place a bit of the meat mixture on the beans and then roll up the burrito. When all the burritos have been made, top them with a bit more of the Mexican tomato sauce, a little bit of cheese and some green onions for color. From here, you can freeze half for another time (which you know I did) and cook the other half by warming them up and melting the cheese in the oven. So simple. So easy. So delicious. Who doesn't love all of that in under 16 minutes. Even better, this recipe got two thumbs up from the captain. That's when you know you have a winner!

cheese + beans
ground beef and onions
this is the brand of Mexican tomato sauce I used - if you can't find it, enchilada sauce will do just fine
all rolled up and ready to go - one for us and one for the freezer!

Bean & Beef Burritos (slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman)

2 pounds Ground Beef
1/2 whole Medium Onion
1 can (7 Ounce) Mexican Tomato Sauce Or Enchilada Sauce
Salt And Pepper
1 can (28 Ounce) Refried Beans
3/4 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
12 whole Burrito-sized Flour Tortillas
Extra Grated Cheese, For Sprinkling
Extra Sauce, For Drizzling

Brown ground beef with onion and season to taste. Pour in sauce and simmer over low heat. Add water if mixture gets too dry.

Heat refried beans in a saucepan. Add cheese and stir in till melted. Keep warm.  Heat tortillas in microwave for one minute.

Spread a small amount of beans on each tortilla. Add meat. Fold over ends, then roll up. Place burritos in a baking dish sprayed with a bit of non-stick spray. Drizzle red sauce over the top and sprinkle with more grated cheddar. Place pan in a 375 degree oven until cheese is melted and burritos are very hot. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Mexican food made easy and healthy - a double win!

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