I'm a non-militant vegetarian who wants to teach people how to make easy vegetarian dishes at home that save money and your waistline.
I've been tinkering with my vegetarian burrito recipe for what seems like centuries now. It started with a pan of refried beans and onions with some cumin and chili powder thrown in unceremoniously. Now, it has evolved to include any vegetable I might happen to have on hand (the regular culprits will be listed below in the ingredient section), homemade Spanish rice, and the easiest recipe for salsa this side of opening a jar from the store.
Many friends and family members (hi, Mom!) have asked me for this recipe over the ages, but since I don't bother with proper measurements, I've only been able to keep it to myself thus far. Well, not entirely to myself. I made my husband learn how to make it so I could have a night off from cooking every now and then. He's taken my long-worked recipe and gone off in all sorts of new directions with it, and I suppose that's what recipes are meant to be: things you adhere to strictly while you're learning and then only casually refer to as you get your wings under you.
At any rate, I made this dish last night, and I made sure to properly measure.*
So now, I can share this with all of you. Enjoy!
*Okay, I was still eyeballing, but at least I glanced down this time. Usually, I just throw stuff in the pan until I'm tired of filling the pan.
Special Note on Ingredients
Because, as I said above, I don't "properly" measure my ingredients, please be aware that all measurements are approximations. If you know the flavor combinations, you may choose to add more or less of certain spices or ingredients to fit your taste. That is perfectly fine and won't hurt my feelings one bit.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: May serve 2 to 4, give or take, depending on appetite size. The leftovers hold up well, though! Refrigerate and reheat leftovers.
1. Make the Spanish Rice
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 3 cups vegetable stock (Note: You can use water if you're out of veggie stock.)
- 1 can 10 oz RoTel—or the store brand (Tomatoes and green chiles in a can is what we're looking for here.)
- 1 pinch ground cumin
- 1 heavy pinch chili powder
- Bring rice and vegetable stock to a boil in a medium-sized pot.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to allow rice to simmer rapidly for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave uncovered.
- When nearly all of the liquid has simmered out, but before rice begins to look dry, add the can of RoTel (tomatoes and chiles).
- Stir in cumin and chili powder.
- Continue simmering over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
Now, obviously, I can't force you to use the long-cook rice. If you're in a pinch and need to use minute rice, prepare that according to the instructions. Then, start at step 3 above and continue to the end.
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Once you get the rice going, start on your burrito filling.
2. Make the Burrito Filling
- 1 small onion (any kind) finely chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper (any color, or colors—the more, the prettier), chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped (Note: I chop mine up pretty small, but you do it how you like it.)
- 1 medium yellow squash, chopped (See zucchini instructions above.)
- 4 to 5 mushrooms, any kind, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, stemmed and finely chopped
- 2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (I've been known to use a small can of green chiles if I'm out of jalapeños. Also, if you like a spicier burrito, feel free to use more jalapeños, or don't seed this one.)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
- Enough tortillas to go around
Optional Pro-Tip: Peel and dice 1 small sweet potato. Parboil it, then add it to the mixture about the same time you add the zucchini and squash. The mild sweetness of the potato along with the savoriness and spiciness of the rest of the dish are a match made in flavor heaven.
- In a large frying pan, over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until onions are translucent
- Add the rest of the burrito filling ingredients in the order they appear on the ingredients list. (This gives the veggies that take longer to cook more time in the pan, since I'm guessing you'll need time to chop each one just before you add them to the pan)
- Stir thoroughly so all the veggies get mixed in well with the spices.
- Allow burrito filling to cook for 15 to 20 minutes over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. If you notice the ingredients drying out, add a tablespoon or 2 of veggie stock to reconstitute them.
Once your burrito filling is cooking along and doesn't require your immediate and constant attention, go ahead and start the salsa.
3. Make the Salsa
- 1/2 medium or 1 small onion, any color
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
- 1 (10-ounce) can RoTel (Note: Again, tomatoes and green chiles in a can)
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes (Note: You can get all fancy with a can of diced roasted tomatoes, and that only makes this salsa better.)
- 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 heavy pinch ground cumin
- 2 heavy pinches chili powder (Note: Technically around 1/4 teaspoon, but why dirty your spoon?)
- Place all of the salsa ingredients into your food processor (or blender). Turn it on for about 20 or 30 seconds.
- Turn off the food processor.
See, didn't I tell you that was going to be crazy easy?
Note: You are in charge of how chunky this salsa is. I like mine on the not-chunky-at-all side, so I go the full 30 seconds in the food processor when I make it. Try pulsing it a few times to see how it comes together when deciding on the consistency.
4. Assemble Your Burrito!
Okay, the best part.
I like to put the Spanish rice and salsa on my burrito, but they're both good enough to eat on their own. So, you could have veggie burritos with a side of Spanish rice and chips and salsa. A little sour cream, shredded cheese, and guacamole on your burrito, and you're ready for an amazing supper.
Enjoy your food!
Bonus Recipe: Easy-Peasy Guacamole
Because I know you're going to ask.
- 2 medium avocados
- 1 Roma tomato
- 1/4 cup of onion, any kind
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 pinch garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut up avocados, tomato and finely chop the onion.
- Mix them together with everything else, and salt and pepper to taste.
Note: This method makes a very chunky guacamole. Mash up the avocados for a smoother guac, or throw the whole shebang in your food processor for a few seconds to get it really creamy and smooth.