Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cheap Eats: Beef & Bean Burritos


Another frugal make-ahead meal we like is beef and black bean burritos. I assemble these in bulk for make-your-own convenience food.

This batch was made using:
3.5-4 C. cooked ground beef, some already seasoned with taco seasoning
6 C. cooked black beans
1/4 C. roasted red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 C. red onion, finely chopped
1/2 can of chili beans
3 C. cheese, give or take
24 flour tortillas, burrito size

Mix everything but the cheese and tortillas, then put a large spoonful of the meat mixture and some cheese into each tortilla. Roll up and group in handy meal sizes for your family. For us, that is 6 burritos to a pack. I wrap each group in aluminum foil and then place the foil packet in a ziplock or reused tortilla bag and put them in the freezer. When you are ready to bake, remove foil packet from bag and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired. These will cost somewhere under $.50 per burrito to make if you cook your own beans and buy meat and cheese on sale. One burrito is generally an adult-sized portion, hearty, though not Chipotle-sized.

This recipe is very forgiving so I never seem to make it the same way twice. You could also use:
leftover rice
corn
fresh or frozen red, yellow, orange or green pepper
other kinds of beans
the end of a jar of salsa or queso
shredded leftover steak or roast
chicken
white, yellow or green onions
diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
green chilis or Rotel
cooked potatoes, cut in small cubes

I also find these convenient to bring to a family in need as you can bring them a package and don't have to invest in disposable dishes and they can bake them when they need them, or even cook one at a time, depending on their need. This gives me more time to focus on the sides I would bring along to that family, too. Or, if we are having company, I just use more packets to serve a crowd.
These would be healthier if I used whole wheat tortillas, but the prepared ones I see at the market seem very expensive to me. When I've tried making them myself they turn out quite thick. Do you have any recipes or tips for making thin healthy, homemade tortillas?

2 comments:

Mom2Drew said...

I've never tried making my own tortillas, but I'm wondering if could find a iron or something to flatten them, making them really thin?

I bet my boys would love these burritos and I love black beans, yum!

Dana said...

So, do you leave them in the foil to bake? Sounds yummy and I love the idea of having them to take to a family in need.