Healthy and Homemade Frozen Burritos

I’m taking my mom’s recipe spot this week, folks. She just got back from her time spent visiting basically everyone but me!! (What do I have to do to get her to come visit?!?!  😉 ) Anyway.  I thought this was a good chance to share with you all one of my freezer meals. I love freezer meals. They are, quite simply, the coolest thing in the world come dinner time.  I absolutely love just reaching into my freezer and pulling out something already prepared.  All I have to do is heat it up. The ease of it fills me with an emotion that would make a weaker person cry. 😉 Why? Because by the end of the day, the thought of feeding the masses again is sometimes enough to put me over the edge!! I mean, do they really have to eat every single night?!  😉 So I feed them. But here’s the deal. I don’t like junk. It doesn’t make me feel very good. So I try to be very careful about ingredients and such. This means I can’t just buy most freezer food. I have to make my own. Which is fine. It makes me cooler than the average bear anyway. HAHAHA!  🙂

So I make these frozen burritos. I just made up the recipe, and it’s the bomb diggity. (All the cool kids say that, FYI.) If you have a microwave, you can just throw these bad boys in the microwave and do that. Like I said, I’m a little cooler than the average bear, so I don’t have a microwave. 😉 (One day I’ll tell you about when I told Mr. Fantastic we were never going to have one. Awesome story!) Anyway, I always heat my burritos in the oven. The bonus of that is that a lot of times I will opt for chimichangas instead. So I just put a bit of butter on the tops and bake them longer, until they are crispy. MMMMMMMMMMM!!!  My family loves these. So have all the friends that I share them with. So here you go. (For the record, I usually double this recipe and make a little over 40 of these things. It’s a lovely sight in my freezer, but they go fast. Probably because my kids frequently take them out for lunch!)

What You Need:

  • 2-3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 can ranch beans
  • 1 can no-sodium black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can no-sodium pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 16 oz jar Herdez salsa casera (choose your heat)
  • 2 heads of broccoli (stems and all!)
  • 16 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • 20 flour tortillas (approx.)
  • aluminum foil
  • a REALLY big bowl…or pan
  • gallon freezer bags

What You Do:

  1. Wash the broccoli, trim off the bottom, and peel a bit from the stem (because it’s so tough on the outside.) Put the broccoli in a food processor (or blender if you choose) and just make that stuff SMALL. I suppose you can do this by hand, but that would take for-ev-errrr. The food processor is so efficient and fast! And I think it does a better job making it small.  🙂  Nobody wants a giant piece of broccoli when they are eating a burrito. I put it in there to bump up the nutrition, not to taste it.
  2. Combine the broccoli with the cooked quinoa. Really get it all mixed up.
  3. Add the ranch beans, drained black beans, drained pinto beans, and salsa. Here’s the deal. That Herdez salsa is the best stuff. But if you mistakenly prefer something else, go for it. 😉
  4. If you want to mix here, go for it. Otherwise add in about a quarter size (in your palm) of the garlic salt, a dime size of pepper, and a dime size of cumin. (Confess…you love my measuring skills, don’t you! HAHA!)
  5. Now mix it all up really well! It’s important to do it before you add the cheese…because the cheese is super sticky.
  6. Add that delicious cheese. If you like less cheese, use less. If you like more, go for more. I sometimes add more. But the reason I mix it all up is because I like the cheese to be spread throughout the burrito. I don’t want it all in one spot! That’s annoying. I use the sharp because it has a better flavor. 🙂

    This is what the mix looks like when you're ready to roll it.
    This is what the mix looks like when you’re ready to roll it.
  7. Now tear off about 20 pieces of tin foil. These need to be big enough to wrap around the burritos individually as you finish rolling them.
  8. Grab your tortillas (whole wheat or white flour or gluten-free, your choice), and begin.
  9. Put a goodly amount (I use about 1/4 cup for my size of tortillas) in the center of the tortilla. Spread it out a bit lengthwise. Then roll nice and tight. After trying to teach a few people this maneuver, it has come to my attention that rolling burritos is not intuitive in some people. Allow me to break it down as best I can for you. At the end of the post is a video showing you how to do it as well, because I think seeing it is easier.
    • After spreading the mix lengthwise (about an inch or so from the ends), fold the ends in over the mix.
    • While holding the ends with your fingertips, sweep your thumbs under the side nearest you and fold it over the mix.
    • Move your fingers to hold all of that down. Press it in as tight as you can without breaking the tortilla, and roll it.
  10. After you roll a tortilla, wrap it in the foil tightly. Then set it aside. I usually have a sheet pan next to me to hold them during the process.
  11. Continue the process until the filling is gone. Then put the wrapped burritos in the freezer on the pan for about 15-20 minutes. This helps them set up a bit so they don’t get smashed in the bag.

    Sitting on the pan ready to be put in the freezer.
    Sitting on the pan ready to be put in the freezer.
  12. Remove them from the freezer, and put them in the freezer bags. I usually get about 10 burritos in each bag.

How to Warm/Bake Them:

  1. Remove desired number of burritos from the freezer.

    All bagged and ready to go!
    All bagged and ready to go!
  2. If you are microwaving them, take them out of the foil. Place them in the microwave, and cover them with a paper towel. I have been told that the microwave method takes between 2-4 minutes. I can’t vouch for that because I don’t have one, so just try it out. 🙂
  3. If you are using the oven, set oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. You can leave them in the foil or not. When the kids are warming them, they leave the foil on. Why? Because they don’t like to watch them. 🙂 The burritos sometimes leak cheesy mixture when they warm. If you take the foil off, brush a bit of butter or olive oil on the top to keep it from getting dry.
  4. If you want burritos, just keep them in the oven for about, oh…say…15 minutes? Something like that. Maybe 20. If you want chimichangas, make sure you brushed the tops with butter or olive oil. Then leave them in the oven for almost 40 minutes. Keep an eye on them.  Don’t burn them. You just want them crispy and slightly browned.

And that’s it! Usually when I roll them I do it in front of the television watching one of my shows…like Doctor Who. It passes the time quickly because rolling them feels so tedious and mindless.  🙂  Oh!  And FYI, I don’t always use broccoli. Many times I use kale and spinach. I honestly just use whatever veggie strikes my fancy the day I am making them. My kids love it because the veggies are so small that they don’t interfere with the taste at all! And one more thing to note. For my kids that are allergic to dairy, I separate half the mixture and add the fake cheese to it. They love it. You can easily make this a dairy free and/or gluten free food.

Let me know if you like them! I promise not to tell my mom that you like my stuff better than hers…because you do….right?!

Queen Aimeé subbing in for Grannie Annie

Here’s the nutritional info for the filling. I didn’t add the tortillas into the mix because I figure we will all use different tortillas, yes?

Nutritional Information for Frozen Burritos

And here’s the video on how I roll my burritos. Short and sweet. 🙂

 

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