Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Burritos

You may be wondering “What type of foods can I expect to see on your blog, Julie?” Well, the short answer is ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Ha. Actually, whatever I make (and like!) may possibly make an appearance on the blog. I just have to remember to take photos of the meal, before I scarf it down, so that I can entice you with the pictures. I predicting that I will focus mostly on main dishes and sides with minimal desserts. That’s because I do not make a lot of desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy sweets, but I try not to make them often, otherwise I’ll eat them all…

I grew up in a meat-eating household (full of lots of yummy food, thanks Mom and Dad!). I really only remember one vegetarian recipe that would make regular appearances- stuffed shells. They were delicious and I have fond memories of those meals because my sister’s childhood best friend would be over almost every time we had them. Anyway, once I started cooking for myself, in college most specifically, I viewed a meal as some sort of meat with some veggies/beans/starches as sides. In the past few years, I started incorporating more vegetarian meals into my repertoire. When I was cooking for Scott in NC, I tried to slip in maybe one vegetarian meal a week. Not that we didn’t enjoy the more experimental dishes, but my mindset was still focused on meat-centric meals. However, after I moved to IL and have been cooking for only yours truly, I have been making a lot more meat-less meals. I think this stems from getting home from work later and wanting to eat as soon as possible. Quick and easy comes with dishes when you don’t have to worry cooking meat completely. Recently I came across an article that defined this choice of not eating meat every day as “flexitarian”. I’m not sure I want to place myself into this box; I would prefer if you just referred to me as “someone who will eat just about anything, as long as it tastes yummy”. 

So with that little introduction, here is one of those “quick and easy” vegetarian recipes. I would suggest you put it into the rotation when you don’t really feel like cooking and the Taco Bell on your way home is calling your name (or is that just me?). The quick pickled onion and pepper (you could certainly use sweet peppers instead of the banana pepper) pick up the citrus very well and the cumin makes them super yummy. The black beans are AMAZING (and so easy)! I got the idea of chipotle peppers and black beans from Cooking Light a few years back; they served them alongside some carne asado tacos (that were also delicious). Now the smoky spice of the adobo sauce is one of my favorite ways to jazz up beans. If you can’t handle the spice, leave out the chopped chipotle and just go for the adobo sauce. You’ll get the same taste without the large kick. You could certainly go all out and add some cheese, sour cream and/or guac to these burritos, but I prefer to not add too many extra flavors to the mix and so I just went for lettuce, tomatoes and plain avocado. 


Spicy Black Bean Burritos with Quick Pickled Onions and Peppers
¼ red onion, sliced thinly
½ banana pepper, sliced thinly
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of ½ orange
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp ground cumin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped and 1 tsp sauce
Lettuce, chopped
Tomato, chopped
½ avocado, chopped
2 tortilla shells, 9” burrito size

Combine juice of the citrus with the sugar and cumin in a bowl and stir to dissolve completely. Add the onion and banana pepper to a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then drain and plunge into ice water. Add the onion and pepper to the bowl with the citrus and mix to coat. Chill in fridge until everything else is ready.

Add black bean, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce and ¼ cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Mash the black beans to the texture you desire.

Assemble the burritos by splitting the bean mixture and veggies between two tortillas. Add lettuce, tomato and ¼ avocado to each. Roll up and enjoy-- preferably with the rest of the orange and some chips and fresh salsa.

Serves 2.