Last Updated on March 11, 2015 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD
This kind of dinner is a weeknight staple in our house. I thought I’d start sharing more of the quick and easy meals I turn to frequently, because everyone needs inspiration, right?
I love burritos as a flavourful vehicle for lots of veggies, and a means to use up whatever I have left in my crisper drawer. These ones are filled with hearty refried beans, vibrant Mexican rice, and a quick sauté of swiss chard, spinach and red bell pepper.
They are wildly versatile, and take well to lots of variations – leftover chicken, pork or beef are welcome additions, and almost any vegetable will be right at home (in addition to greens, I particularly love zucchini, eggplant, corn, mushrooms…).
The key to making your burritos really tasty is to season all the components well, and make sure to add something fresh and acidic to brighten them up. Taste as you go and be sure to add enough salt to the rice, the vegetables and the avocado. The pickled jalapenos are a really great finishing touch – they provide a perfect (pretty mild) pop of heat and flavour. Green onion or cilantro, lime juice and a tangy salsa or hot sauce do the job perfectly, too.
This recipe makes a batch of 6 – and the great thing is, they freeze beautifully! (Just leave out the avocado.) Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and pack into a large freezer bag. They can be reheated in the oven (still in foil) or removed from foil and heated in microwave. Perfect weekday lunch – filling and healthy!
I should mention, too, that the rice – cooked in pureed tomatoes, onion and garlic – is super delicious on its own. It’s a great way to make a Mexican-inspired meal a bit more special! Feel free to sub brown rice, just adjust cooking time as needed.
Greens, Mexican Rice + Refried Bean Burritos
For Mexican Rice:
- 1 28- oz/796 mL can no-salt-added tomatoes
- 1 ⅓ cups water
- 1 shallot or 1/2 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt *start with half if your canned tomatoes have salt added
- 1 ½ cups basmati rice rinsed and drained
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch swiss chard stems and leaves separated and coarsely chopped
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 bunch baby spinach coarsely chopped
- salt and pepper
- 6 large flour tortillas
- 1 28- oz/796 mL can refried beans gently warmed
- 2 ripe avocados mashed with salt and juice of 1 lime
- pickled jalapenos
- shredded cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- jarred salsa and/or hot sauce
- chopped green onion and/or cilantro
- Puree tomatoes, water, shallot and garlic in blender and until smooth. Stir into rice in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté chard stems and red pepper until mostly softened, about 4 minutes, then add chopped chard and spinach leaves (in batches, if necessary). Season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble burritos, arrange tortillas on a workspace and divide refried beans, rice, and vegetables evenly among them. Top with avocado, pickled jalapenos, cheese, sour cream, salsa and green onion/cilantro. Fold in sides, then roll up tightly.