Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Spicy Diva: Burrito Edition

I think we've all had our fill of turnips by now. Its time to head south of the boarder for a bit of Mexican fare. But rest assured these are not your typical burritos. Unless you typically fill your burritos with spinach. As a rule, I don't. And when I first read this recipe I wasn't about to either. But then I thought - what the hell, how bad can it be? Turns out they were spectacular.

Now before you start running scared on me, let me assure you that there's more than spinach beneath that wholesome whole-grain tortilla. This burrito boasts a stunning combination of lean ground beef, spicy chipotle chilies in adobo, and some velvety black beans for good measure. Of course there more, so much more.

It all started with a recipe from The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook - but, as is my wont, I've changed the recipe significantly. And, really, I think I've turned the burritos into enchiladas. Is that what you get when you bake a burrito? You be the judge.

Spicy Beef and Bean Burritos:
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of very lean ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano, or dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp. of chili powder
  • 3 canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 tbsp. of sauce*
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • one 15 ounce can of low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch of baby spinach, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped (about 4 - 5 cups)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • some shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • some minced red onion
  • some chopped fresh cilantro
  • some homemade or prepared salsa, taco or enchilada sauce
Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium high and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Add the ground beef, salt and some freshly ground pepper and cook until well browned, breaking the meat up and stirring as needed, until cooked throughout. Drain the fat from the pan. Return the beef mixture to the heat and add the cumin, oregano and chili powder, stirring well to incorporate, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chopped chipotle peppers, some chipotle sauce from the can to taste, the balsamic vinegar and the black beans, stirring well to incorporate. Add the spinach by handfuls, stirring after each addition, until all of the spinach has been added and has wilted. Add the lime juice and 1/4 cup of vegetable broth, turn the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer until the oven has heated, adding a touch more vegetable broth if needed to keep the mixture from drying out.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly coat the bottom of a large, flat baking dish with oil. Reserve.

Lay one tortilla on a plate and place about a cup of the beef and bean mixture in a line down the center of the tortilla. Sprinkle some shredded cheese, chopped red onion and chopped cilantro over the beef - to taste - and fold the two sides of the tortilla in towards the middle to roll up and form the burrito. Place the burrito, seam side down, in the prepared pan, then roll the rest of the burritos accordingly. Drizzle each with a bit of taco or enchilada sauce, top with a few shreds of cheese and bake in the middle of a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

*As written this recipe will yield 6 burrito/enchiladas and, fair warning, they are spicy! If you're heat-averse, you may want to cut back on the chipotle chilies. Play around with it and do as you see fit. Additionally, you may choose to top the finished dish with some non-fat sour cream, or even guacamole - its your fiesta, so live it up!

They jury's out on the burrito v. enchilada question ... you make the call. Have I turned these burritos into enchiladas by baking them? I don't know. I do know that they were hearty, healthy and completely delicious. I hope you'll try 'em!

Bon appetit!


Tracy said...

Oh my goodness, that burritilada looks fantastic. I haven't had lunch yet and that picture is pure torture right now. When I lived in Florida, I used to enjoy a "wet burrito" which was a baked burrito absolutely smothered in sauce and cheese. Oops, I just drooled.

words words words said...

If the Mexican places in LA are to be believed, that is still a burrito, but it's Ranchero style, which is doused with sauce and sometimes cheese. I think (but I'm not sure) that enchiladas are made exclusively with corn tortillas.

This looks really good!

doggybloggy said...

I need to stop drinking my bath water and get cookin'...dang these look tasty

The Diva on a Diet said...

Thanks, Tracy ... and sorry for making you hungry! ;)

WWW - good point about the corn tortillas, I hadn't thought of that. Its settled, I'm going with burrito!

doggybloggy - sounds like a good plan ... unless of course you bathe in a luscious chicken stock or something ... ;)

The Blonde Duck said...

Oh my God. This looks fantastic. I'm printing ir right now...

Tangled Noodle said...

Call it what you will - just call me when it's ready! This looks wicked but the ingredients are heavenly: black beans, chipotle, cheese and some good-for-you-spinach. Outstanding!

Debbie said...

I have to stop reading this while dinner cooks. Even the beans couldn't quench my ardor!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Blonde Duck - I know you're a fan of Mexican food, so I thought you might enjoy this! :)

Tangled Noodle - right you are ... I'll call you the minute the next one's ready! ;)

Debbie - you do know that I thought about you when I got to the beans while typing up the recipe. Even so ... I think you'll like this one anyway. :)

Anonymous said...

It has been proven time and time again that you eat oh so well in your house. So many tasty things. We see that sneaky balsamic flavor in there. Yesssss! And yes, a baked burrito is surely an enchilada in our books.

Debbie said...

Yes, it's an enchilada in my book, too.

I probably will make this one soon, Diva. Thanks!

Deb said...

I LOVE Mexican food and I'm shocked I hadn't made these from the SB book yet. Looks like Sunday is fiesta day in Tampa!

Juliet said...

I'm not scared of a little spinach! :)

stephchows said...

MMMMMM this looks so good!!! I love me some burritos and I love spinach so sounds great to me!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Duo - I thought of you guys when I added the balsamic! :)

Deb - I've changed the recipe quite a bit, as written in the book it just wasn't flavorful enough for me ... but I really loved my version. Enjoy your Sunday Fiesta!

Juliet - LOL! I'm really not either, I love spinach, just never put into a burrito before ... and now there's no reason not to. :)

Steph - thanks! I think you'd really like this one.

aoife mc said...

I want to go to there. Ommnomnomnom!!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Aoife - welcome! A Liz Lemon reference ... Love it! :)