Smokey Black Bean Burrito with Pepitas and Baby Spinach
Well, this was a quick dinner I whipped up a few nights ago. I wasn’t intending to post it, so I hadn’t been taking pictures. But it looked so pretty when it was all done and ready to roll up, I snapped a photo and decided to share it! I’ve been making this recipe for years, all thanks to Fine Cooking. Here it is, with a few minor adjustments:
- 4 large flour tortillas (I use whole grain tortillas)
- 15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas
- 1 teaspoon minced chipotle and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (you can buy small jars of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; if you can’t find this you can substitute dried chipotle powder)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (approximately 1 can)
- 2 tablespoons water (I often use about 1/2 chopped tomato instead)
- 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
- 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/4-1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt (optional)
Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm in the oven at 250°F.
Toss the tomatoes in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook, stirring, until puffed and golden. Remove pan from heat and transfer the pepitas to a paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt.
Return pan to medium heat and add the rest of the oil. Add the chipotle, adobo sauce and cumin. Cook briefly, and then add the beans and water (or chopped tomato). Simmer for two or three minutes. Reduce the heat to low and mash about 1/2 the beans. Stir in the rest of the cilantro, lime juice and the cheese. Season with salt.
To assemble, lay a tortilla on the counter. In the middle of tortilla, add 1/4 of the bean filling. Top with the cherry tomato salsa, a small handful of baby spinach, a spoonful of sour cream or yogurt, and several slices of avocado. Top with the toasted pepitas. Fold the sides in, and roll up the burrito. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Optionally, vegans should omit the sour cream and cheese. You can use a vegan cheese if that’s the way you roll. It will still be super tasty!
Mejadra ~ Spiced Basmati Rice and Lentils with Fried Onions
This recipe has simple ingredients, straightforward cooking instructions, and the authenticity that is often missing when one tries to recreate ethnic dishes at home. Score, on all counts.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 1/4 cups green lentils
- 4 medium onions
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 cup sunflower or safflower oil, for frying
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups water
- salt and pepper
Put the lentils in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and parcook for approximately 12 minutes. Drain the lentils and set aside.
Meanwhile, peel the onions and slice thinly. Put them in a bowl and toss with flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Heat the sunflower oil in a heavy bottomed pan (I use a cast iron frying pan) over high heat. Make sure the oil is hot enough for frying by throwing in a small piece of onion; it should sizzle. Carefully add 1/3 of the onion to the oil and reduce heat to medium high. Fry for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are nicely browned. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel-lined plate or colander. Repeat with remaining onion.
Heat a medium sized pot over medium; add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast for about a minute, until fragrant. Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, all spice, cinnamon, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Stir to coat the rice with the spice mixture, and then add the lentils and water. Cover the pot with a lid, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, lift off the lid, and quickly cover the rice mixture with a clean tea towel. Seal the pot tightly with the lid again and set aside for 10 minutes.
Add 1/2 the fried onions to the rice and lentils and stir to combine. Put the mixture in a serving dish and top with remaining onions. Enjoy!
Ottolenghi & Tamimi. (2012). Jerusalem: A cookbook. Toronto: Random House.
There are other ways to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day than with green beer… This year, why not skip the green dye and have regular beer with a healthy, savory green snack - wasabi kale chips! They are super easy to make, deliciously addictive, and full of minerals and fibre.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1/2 bunch of kale
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons tamari (low sodium tamari is preferable, if you have it)
- 1/2 teaspoon wasabi (more or less, depending on your taste)
- sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the coconut oil, tamari and wasabi together in the bottom of a bowl. Wash the leaves of kale thoroughly and pat dry. Cut out the tough stems from the middle of the leaves, and cut or tear the leaves into 3-4 inch pieces. Put the kale in the bowl and toss, using your hand to rub the tamari/wasabi mixture into the leaves. Spread the kale leaves on baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the oven, so watch carefully! You want the chips to be crispy, not burnt. When done, remove from oven and cool briefly before devouring.
Note: I have used both curly kale and the more flat-leaved Lacinato kale for this recipe. I preferred the curly kale for chips; the kale retained a brighter green colour when cooked and had a more satisfying crispness.
Also, you can try making kale chips with seasoned whole leaves (as seen here). These look very pretty, but the drawback is that the chips retain the chewy center stem. It’s your call…
For all you celiacs, be sure to use a gluten-free tamari!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!