Vegetarian Pinto Beans for Burrito Bowl or Tortilla Salad

Pinto Beans

 

Serve these beans as an option alongside Mexican-style black beans, tofu sofrito, cilantro-lime rice, and salsa chicken when you want a Homemade Chipotle-style Buffet & Tortilla Salad (Lots of Vegetarian Options). It can be made ahead and heated at the time of serving. Leftovers freeze beautifully, and I’ve had it without any accompaniments as a hearty chilli. Adjust the spice levels to suit your tastes – this version is medium spiced.

Vegetarian Pinto Beans for Burrito Bowl or Tortilla Salad

(Serves 12-15)

  • 1 lb dry pinto beans *** (picked, rinsed, soaked in water overnight)
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped fine OR (1 Tbsp paste)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup taco seasoning (or to taste)
  • 3 cups water
  • salt to taste

1) Discard the soaking water and rinse the pinto beans well. Drain and set aside.

2) In a large stockpot, heat the oil on medium-high.

3) Saute garlic, then onion for a few minutes till fragrant and just starting to brown.

4) Add cumin powder and stir for a few seconds.

5) Add the pinto beans, taco seasoning, tomato sauce and salt. Mix well.

6) Bring to a boil, then reduce flame and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours uncovered, stirring occasionally.

7) The beans should neither be dry or runny. Add more water or broth is it looks too dry, or cook uncovered for longer on a higher flame if it seems too runny.

8) Check beans for doneness, and adjust seasoning.

 

***NOTE: You can substitute 4 (15 oz) cans of pinto beans for 1 lb dry. Drain 2 cans and reserve the liquid. Follow recipe as stated above by using 2 cans undrained & the beans from the drained cans too. Cook according to above instructions, but reduce time to 30-40 minutes. If you need more liquid, then use what was reserved from the cans. Or simply rinse out all beans, and use about 2-3 cups of water / broth.

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Chipotle-style Cilantro Lime Rice (Vegetarian)

Cilantro Lime Rice

This is an easy and mild recipe that you can serve with a Mexican or Tex-Mex style dinner. I made this for my Homemade Chipotle-Style Buffet & Tortilla Salad (Lots of Vegetarian Options) for an informal gathering at our house a while back. (The photo is pathetic, but the taste was delicious!).

Chipotle-style Cilantro Lime Rice

(Serves 12-15)

This recipe scales well, so feel free to reduce or increase proportions as necessary. I have listed a large quantity as I served a dinner party.

For a family size meal (2 adults + 2 kids), 1 cup of rice might be enough.

  • 3 cups long grain rice (eg: basmati)
  • 5-1/2 cups water
  • 2 – 3 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 2 – 3 medium limes (juiced)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 stick butter (or scant 1/4 cup oil)

1) Rinse the rice with cold water and drain completely.

2) In a medium saucepan with lid, mix rice, salt and water, and bring to a boil on medium-high.

3) Once it comes to a boil, stir once, cover and reduce heat to minimum.

4) Allow to cook undisturbed for about 15 minutes. Open the lid and fluff the top layer gently with a fork, and cover quickly. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to rest for 5-10 minutes.

5) Add butter, cilantro & lime juice to taste. Adjust salt as needed. Mix well and serve.

I served this with a Homemade Chipotle-Style Tortilla Salad with beans, tofu and chicken options.

Baked Tortilla Bowls

Baked Tortilla Bowls

I made these Baked Tortilla Bowls for my Homemade Chipotle-style Buffet & Tortilla Salad (Lots of Vegetarian Options) dinner party. Topped (filled?) with cilantro-lime rice, black/pinto beans, tofu sofritos/taco chicken, corn with peppers, tomato salsa, red onions, cheese, sour cream, cheese and cilantro, it was a delicious meal. Guests were able to serve themselves and customize to suit their tastes. Once the table was set, it required very little oversight. Plus, it turned out to be a relatively inexpensive menu. Many of the items can be made ahead of time and heated just before serving.

Taco Salad Bowl

Making these tortilla bowls were a breeze with the Tortilla Bowl Pans which you can buy online or at the drug store for around $10/set of 4. Use 8-inch or 10-inch tortillas in the flavor of your choice. I used Original (plain) and Jalapeno tortillas. Make sure the tortillas are at room temperature, and soft and pliable before molding into the pan. If they were refrigirated, wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for 15-20 seconds till just soft. Then, press gently and shape into the ungreased, non-stick tortilla bowl pans and bake in a preheated oven till crispy.

 If you do not want to buy the pan set ( I strongly urge you to spring for it if you are making these for a large crowd), you can use these two methods linked below:

-Make tortilla bowls with shaped foil, no Pan

-Make tortilla bowls with an upside-down muffin pan.

I have tried baking at 375* for 12-14 minutes, and 400* for 8-10 minutes. Different brands of tortillas seem to have different baking times and temperatures to crisp up nicely. Watch the first few carefully, making sure they do not burn. Then, you can follow the same time for the rest of your batch.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely. Store in an air-tight container for about 2 days. Before serving, the bowls can be warmed up in a 350* oven for a few minutes to recrisp.

For recipes for the salad filling and toppings, click here.

Apple & Beets Salad

Apple Beets Salad

I want to say that I’m trying to eat healthy, nourish my body, and detox from all the medication I took last week to get over the flu. The reality is that I couldn’t stand to look at that lone foil-wrapped roasted beet in the fridge anymore. I had seen so many recipes for salads with apples and beets, and decided to give it a try. Totally worth it!! I want to stress the fact that there really is no ‘recipe’; just a guide or idea for a salad combination. Use whatever sounds good to you ( or follow what you read below :)).

Apple Beets Salad Closeup

Apple & Beets Salad

(Serves 1)

  • 1 cup cleaned spinach leaves (or salad greens of choice)
  • 1 medium beetroot (washed, trimmed & grated)**
  • 1 medium apple of choice (washed, cored & grated)
  • 1tsp honey or agave syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • roasted sunflower seeds (or any other nuts for crunch)
  • golden raisins (optional)

1) Whisk honey, lemon juice & apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Add salt & pepper if you like.

2) Gently mix apples & beets in another bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Gently toss to coat.

3) Plate spinach and top with the apple-beet mixture, nuts & raisins. (If you want to skip washing another bowl, just whisk the dressing in a large bowl, and add veggies and toss together till well combined.)

**NOTE: I cannot tell you how many times I have brought beets home from the store with grand plans of eating healthy veggies, and it has gone in the trash after weeks of sitting in the refrigerator. I finally came across roasted beets and it has been an interesting option. I used roasted beets in this recipe, but you may use raw if you like.

Tri-colored Antioxidant Rich Salad

Tri-Colored Antioxidant Rich Salad

How’s everybody doing after Thanksgiving holidays? We just got back Sunday night from a 5-day  family reunion that involved excessive amounts of food, wine, gossip, and couch time. I don’t think I can eat anymore junk for a few more days. This afternoon, I realized that my fridge and freezer were almost empty, and the only things in the vegetable crisper were 4 oranges, a handful of pomegranate seeds, and the last handful of organic spinach. Lunch had to be a salad and a cup of Brown Lentil Coconut Soup that I had frozen a few weeks ago. As I put all the fruits & veggies on the countertop, the colors struck me and I got thinking about how Vitamin C in citrus helps with iron absorption from spinach. Pomegranates are also considered a super food, rich in immune-boosting and anti-oxidant properties. The salad came together with simple ingredients that almost every kitchen will have. I must say, for someone who is a salad-hating carb junkie, this one was DELICIOUS!!

The ‘recipe’ really is made to taste and I didn’t measure anything. All measurements below are approximate; taste and adjust as you like.

Tri-Colored Antioxidant Rich Salad

Tri-Colored Antioxidant Rich Salad

(Serves 1)

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pre-washed organic spinach
  • 1 orange (peeled & sliced)
  • handful pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds / chopped nuts of your choice
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt *
  • dash of pepper (optional)

1) Spread spinach on a plate.

2) Top with the orange slices.

3) In a small bowl, use a small whisk or fork and mix together honey, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper for a few seconds till it is well incorporated.

4) Pour over the spinach and oranges.

5) Top with pomegranate seeds and nuts. Enjoy!

*Adding a pinch of salt to the dressing brings out the sweetness, and makes you use less honey. Of course, if you prefer not to, then by all means leave it out.