Thursday, January 12, 2012

Potato,Rice,Bean, &Cheese Burritos and a life lesson

     I have been wanting some bean and cheese burritos. So I decided I was going to be all "healthy" and make all of the ingredients myself. Including the refried beans. I bought dried beans, whole grain brown rice and set out on my healthy journey (eye roll).
     I thought I could make the refried beans myself and they would be just as yummy as those store bought canned beans that are full of fat. I was successful, however it was SO not worth the work. I soaked the beans overnight. In the morning I got up, drained the water, added fresh water and put them on the stove to simmer for two hours. I then drained them again. I sauteed some garlic and onion. Added spices, jalapenos, green chillies, hot sauce, and some cheese. I mushed the beans with a potato masher. Tasted the beans and they were BLAND!! Oh crud, add more spices. This went on for a few taste tests until they finally had a little zip to them. From now on I will just buy refried beans in the can. Making my own was a headache and the canned taste just fine. So I will NOT be giving you the recipe for the dumb beans. Just buy a can of refried beans! ha
     All while the bean fiasco was going on I was also cooking the whole grain brown rice and frying some potatoes. This part was not hard at all. It wasn't that the beans were HARD to cook, it was just a long process.
     The basic assembly of my little burritos was slather beans on a corn tortilla, small spoon of rice, small spoon of potatoes, shredded cheese and roll it up. I recommend that you warm the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds. They are MUCH easier to work with and less likely to break.
    The main purpose of making these was so that I could stick them into the freezer and have quick lunches or suppers.
     I'm very happy with how these burritos turned out. However, next time I will skip the making my own beans step.

Gluten Free Potato,Rice, Bean and Cheese Burritos

20-24 White Corn Tortillas
1 Large Can of Refried Beans
2 oz. Velveeta
1 C. Cooked Brown Rice
2-3 C. Hashbrowns cooked
Shredded Cheese

In a microwave safe bowl or on the stove top. Warm the beans and add the Velveeta cheese to the beans. Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds. Smear 1-2 T. cheesy beans onto the tortilla. Top with a small spoonful of rice, potatoes, and then sprinkle with cheese.

Roll the tortilla as tightly as possible. Place in a freezer safe dish. Continue until you are out of ingredients.  Place the dish into the freezer. When burritos are frozen you can remove them and individually wrap them in plastic wrap or foil. Place them back in the freezer until  you are craving a burrito.

This is a burrito before I rolled it up, you can see the cheesy beans, rice, taters, and shredded cheese Mmmm!
The corn tortillas are a little small to tuck all of the ends in and then roll, so I just roll them up. Burrito goodness squishes out, but that's ok :)
When you are ready to eat a burrito just pop it into the microwave and it gets all melty and yummy like the one in the picture above!! Mmmmmmm

Ok, for anyone interested here are some pictures from the making of the "dumb beans".
Dumb beans cooking
Sauteed onions and garlic cooking
Spices cooking with the onions. It releases more of the oils from the spices if you heat them up a little. Keep stirring them though, so they don't burn.
All of the mixture just before it got smushed with the potato masher.

I learned a great lesson today. I learned that I don't really enjoy making refried beans (except I didn't "fry" mine). I learned that I prefer to buy them in a can. They taste just about as good and don't suck hours out of my life. I can "doctor up" the canned version and still be ahead of the game.

I do like the burritos though!! I will have lots of quick little meals stowed away in the freezer now. I love that! I hope you enjoy the burritos too.



  1. Your hint about microwaving the corn tortillas before wrapping is a good one. I've done that too. But I usually find that the wrap tends to rip anyway while I'm eating it (i.e, after it cools). Has that been your experience?

  2. I guess I must eat my food piping hot, Mary. I can't say that mine fall apart on me. Occasionally they crack on the side, but nothing to major.
    I forgot to put in there that I usually top the tortillas with a damp paper towel so that they don't loose moisture as you heat them. I think that also helps with them not cracking. If they are all dryed out they will be more likely to fall apart.

  3. making refried beans: I just cook the pinto beans. I spice them up with sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, onions. I also cook my meat with onions,peppers and spices and sea salt. My hubby tops everything with salsa and that keeps his from tasting bland. Another thing I do is use a teff and millet tortilla. I think it tastes much better than a corn tortilla. I also make enchiladas instead because then they bake in a nice sauce and keeps it spicier too. Bland GF is so boring - I totally relate. :)

  4. While you are right that canned beans are pretty good, if you find the need to make a huge batch and want to try it again, I can help you with that. Two things. You can only get flavor into the beans if the flavor is IN THE WATER. That means that you shouldnt be draining them twice as you're dumping the flavor the second time. try to get the water volume more proportional instead, more like rice. (only draining a little at the end) And it means that you should throw the flavor in before the two-hour simmer time. and I mean throw:) do not saute and do not chop, as you are going to blend them all together anyway. Cook on stove or in slow cooker. Throw in a peeled onion (quartered) and garlic cloves (lots) peeled but whole. Anything else you want, like peppers, throw in BEFORE the beans cook. Once they have absorbed the water they cant absorb any more flavor, but this method saves chopping time, too. Salt is the exception and should be added at the end so that it does not interfere with the beans softening. And only add cheese right before you serve. it doesnt stand up well to all the mashing. (like folding in cream:)) Hope that helps. We eat many pounds of beans here with one celiac and one vegetarian, born in the Southwest! Love your blog.

  5. How about you just come and cook a huge batch of beans for me?? haha I think that sounds wonderful!!

    I contemplated the last dumping of water, but dumped anyways. I also thought about throwing onions and such into the beans to cook, but also didn't do that. IF I decide to give it another try I will use your info.

    Have you tried making them in a crock-pot? I have heard that is also a great way to cook them.

    I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. Thanks for writing!!