Frozen burritos may be an old favorite from college or just a convenient emergency meal packet. Maybe you consider them a guilty pleasure from the frozen food aisle or more of a permanent resident of your freezer door? Well, we're bringing burritos some flare and turning them into delicious enchiladas. Here's a recipe that lets you enjoy a quick, impressive and satisfying approach to a favorite Mexican main-course.
Baked Enchiladas (Serves 6)
6 frozen bean and cheese burritos (we used Amy's Organic)
1 1/2 cups refried beans
1 1/2 cups spicy black bean soup (or any other zesty southwestern type soup)
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded tex mex cheese blend
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
sour cream (low- or full-fat),
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (skip this step if you intend to microwave). Locate a 9x13" baking dish. If using aluminum, you may want to use non-stick spray and/or line it with parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, mash the refried beans with a fork to break them up. Stir in the soup (making sure the soup itself is stirred and well combined) and salsa. Spread the bean mixture evenly across the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish.
3. Unwrap the burritos and place them, seam side down, evenly across the beany base. Sprinkle shredded cheese all over the burritos. Cover with tin-foil (or plastic wrap if you intend to microwave) and seal tightly. (Tip: you can do this ahead of time, i.e. the night before, and keep the dish covered in the fridge for when you get home).
4. Bake 30 - 40 minutes in the pre-heated oven until the burritos are hot all the way through, cheese is melted and all is bubbling. You may want to check that the burrito is hot using a very thin knife or metal skewer - nobody likes a lukewarm burrito! Alternatively, if you're in a hurry, you can microwave on "high" until the burritos are completely warmed through completely. Note: Cooking time will vary considerably depending on your microwave. It will probably be 8 - 10 minutes but check the burritos during cooking to ensure they don't split. Let the burritos sit for a few minutes before serving.
To serve: Spoon some of the bean mixture onto a plate and carefully lift a gloriously cheesy burrito and place on the bed of bean. Add dollops of your choice of sides (sour cream, salsa and avocado with a side of tortilla chips, perhaps!). Serve with a colourful, flavourful salad and zesty lime, chipotle vinaigrette.
Zesty Lime Chipotle Vinaigrette
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp canned, minced chipotle chili
1 garlic clove, minced
Whisk vinegar, lime juice, chipotle chili and garlic in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss into salad.
Spiciness: You can spice up or down this dish according to your family's preference. If you have young kids, you may want to used plain refried beans and soup and a mild salsa. If picante is your thing, then crank this dish up with extra hot burritos, spicy black bean soup, extra hot salsa and jazz up your cheese with some canned, chopped Jalapeno peppers!
Low-fat/reduced calorie options: Cut the calories by using organic refried beans and burritos which are usually lower in additives, preservatives, fats and salt. Choose a low-fat soup, reduced-fat or fat free sour cream and reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (or don't use cheese at all). Make sure your chips are baked and not fried. Serve a smaller portion of burritos and fill up on a colourful, nutrient-rich salad. Enjoy this main course with sparkling water spritzed with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Additives and Trans-Fat: Many of the products in the Mexican food section of your grocery store are highly processed with a lot of preservatives, additives, dyes and trans-fats added. Check the ingredient list of any product that you're buying for hydrogenated fats, these are the "bad" fats linked to heart disease -- you'd be surprised, many commercially prepared tortillas, tacos, corn chips and taco kits contain hydrogenated fats to keep them fresh-tasting and crunchy. Look for packaging that promotes itself as having "no trans fat", usually in the top corner of the box or bag. Baked and organic products are often trans-fat free.