I know that there are a great many of you trying to get back into the swing of school, transport back and forth to team practices, games, play dates, and all of the other various events of your kids. Even without kids, getting into the fall and eventual winter mode of life can sometimes be a struggle.
This is where freezer food comes into play. Anything that you can pull out of the freezer last minute and magically turn into a meal or part of one is always a win in my eyes.
So…… we’re going to start with freezer burritos!! I LOVE these little babies! Pull them out in the morning and they’re good to go for lunchtime, or add a nice salad for a quick dinner on busy nights. Patricia & I had a burrito making date a few weeks ago, and Izaak, Lily & Frank are all happily devouring them at a quick pace. These are 100% Bishop/Oulton kid approved!
The recipe below makes about 40-45 burritos (I prefer the large tortilla shells found in the bread section that are used for wraps rather than the smaller “soft taco/fajita” size.) Feel free to add or delete any veg based on personal tastes, however, I would suggest that you steer clear of zucchini. The volume of liquid that it releases when thawed will turn your tortilla shells quite soggy. I also skip the tomatoes & add them on top when I serve them. Again, this is to avoid the burritos becoming soggy when thawed.
1.5 lbs cooked diced chicken (or any type of cooked ground meat. For our burrito day, Patricia & I split the batch & did half chicken, and half ground bear)
2 cans black beans or 2 cups dry black beans soaked overnight and boiled until softened
2 cups corn
2 cups uncooked rice (basmati works well, but anything other than instant will be great)
4 cups grated cheese (any kind that you like. Feta also works well)
2 red onions diced
4 carrots grated
1 bunch of parsley chopped
1 head of garlic peeled & rough chopped
2 sweet peppers (red or green) diced fine
1/4 cup chili powder (often listed as Mexican chili powder. NOT ground hot chilies. This is flavour, not heat.)
1 tbsp ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste.
40-45 large tortilla shells
roll of tin foil or parchment paper
**optional a few jalapeno peppers for a little kick
Cook your rice according to package directions, but also add the rough chopped garlic & a tbsp of your chili powder to the water that you’re cooking the rice in. When the rice is done, In a very large roasting pan, bring together all ingredients and mix well until everything is evenly blended and coated with the bright red chili powder.
Now tear off lengths of foil or parchment that are about 8″ long. This doesn’t have to be exact, but you don’t want to make them much larger or you’ll have a very thickly wrapped burrito, and be wasting the parchment or foil. (Parchment is certainly a better option from a composting stand point- either are fine- but you do need to wrap them with something or you will not be able to pull them out individually once frozen.)
Once you have a stack of wrappers ready, place a tortilla on top, add a couple of scoops of burrito filling on the first 1/4 of the wrap. Fold the sides over the filling, then the edge closest to you, and roll. Now roll burrito in the foil and gently fold over the excess on the sides, and keep rolling those gorgeous burritos until you run out of topping and wraps. The resealable bags that the tortilla shells came in are the perfect packaging for the burritos to go into for the freezer, but don’t pack them in too tightly (or stack them too high in the freezer) or you will squish them.
To thaw, simply place in your lunch kit in the morning. You can also take them out the night before and thaw in the fridge, and reheat in the oven or microwave (after removing foil) or warm them in a dry frying pan like a panini.
Serve topped with salsa, sour cream, or diced tomatoes.