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I love cooking 'from scratch' and try to do it as much as possible for all sorts of reasons, but in today's hectic world most of us are on the lookout for time-saving opportunities. I have no shame at all in using shortcuts, 'cheat' ingredients and ready-made elements to a home cooked dish, to make feeding the family as quick and simple as possible whilst keeping dinners both nutritious and delicious.
Veetee rice is one of those shortcuts that I use a lot, simply because it tastes great, is so simple to pop in the microwave, and there's no washing up or stressing about sticky, overcooked rice, (which happens to me all too often!). There are all sorts of flavours to accompany different veggie dishes - my favourites are the Thai Jasmine Rice to serve with an easy Thai Green Curry, Wholegrain Rice & Quinoa which I often use in my Green Goddess Lunch Bowl, and the Basmati & Wild Rice which is great with a curry like my Swiss Chard & New Potato Dhal.
Veetee recently invited me to join their 'blogger community', a group of foodies who love experimenting with new ingredients, using Veetee rice in all sorts of new and interesting recipes. So here's a burrito recipe that's had a big thumbs up from lots of veggie-sceptic friends and family I've tested this on. They loved the fiery heat of the Spicy Mexican Style Rice alongside my chipotle-chocolate borlotti bean chilli.
I read recently that Burritos are the Mexican equivalent of a Cornish pasty... labourers would take leftover rice, beans and anything else from last night's dinner neatly packaged up in a tortilla, (rather than pastry for their Cornish contemporaries), as a filling and portable lunch. I can't imagine carrying one of these around all morning and having the willpower not to eat it until lunchtime... hats (sombreros) off to them!
If you've ever eaten a fajita you will know just how messy they can get with sauce and sour cream pouring out of every nook and cranny.... well burritos are the answer! Toasting the filled tortilla wrap in a dry frying pan all over before serving works a bit like glue to stick the whole thing together.
Folding a burrito is easy once you get the hang of it. There's no particular trick, but you can be quite firm with them. I use one hand to hold it in place and the other to tuck everything in. If filling starts to spill out anywhere just poke it back with a knife and fold over a bit more tortilla. If you can ignore the meaty filling, this 'How to fold burritos' tutorial from the Guardian is very helpful, though as I recommend in the recipe, I find toasting each end also really helps to keep the filling fully enclosed, avoiding disasters!
I recently discovered that burritos freeze well too, so you can make up a big batch of these, (without the avocado, which won't be nice when defrosted!), wrap them in foil, then when you want to eat them just defrost and bake in the oven until crispy and piping hot throughout, (about 20 minutes).
Chipotle-Chocolate Beany Burritos
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1½ tbsp chipotle paste
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 400 g tin borlotti beans drained and rinsed
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 25 g dark chocolate (as high cocoa percentage as possible - check it is vegan)
- 1 Mexican-style rice
- 2 tbsp sweetcorn
- handful fresh coriander finely chopped
- 4 soft tortilla wraps
- 1 avocado peeled and cut into cubes
- ½ red onion peeled and very finely sliced
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil, then add the onion. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes until softened, then add the chipotle paste, cumin, paprika and garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add the beans and tomatoes, bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes until the liquid has reduced to a thick paste. Season well with salt and black pepper. Remove from the heat, then grate in the chocolate and stir to combine until the chocolate has melted.
- Whilst the beans are cooking, cook the rice for 2 minutes in the microwave, then tip into a bowl and combine with the sweetcorn and coriander.
- Take one of the wraps, spoon a quarter of the rice into the centre, then top with the beany mixture, then chunks of avocado and slices of onion.
- Fold two sides of the tortilla in to keep the filling in place, then gently roll up the open sides to fully enclose the filling. Place it seam-side-down on a plate to keep it together whilst you repeat to make the other three burritos.
- Heat a dry frying pan, and place your first burrito seam-side down in the pan. Keep watching and checking to make sure it doesn't burn, and as soon as it is toasted and golden, turn it slightly to toast another side. Keep turning until the whole burrito is toasted, then carefully turn it onto one end then the other to toast the edges. You may want to keep the burritos warm in a medium oven whilst you make the remaining three.
- Serve immediately, and wear a bib... these can get messy!
Disclosure: This recipe was commissioned by Veetee rice. All opinions are my own.