Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dinner on the Go - Burritos

One night a month, we have the challenge of having to go from one extra curricular activity (gymnastics team practice) to another (Brownies) without enough time to come home for dinner in between.  I try to guard our family schedule so that we don't have nights like this regularly, but unfortunately it didn't work this school year.  The first Wednesday of the month is our "crazy night".  For many families, I know that this crazy kind of night is the norm and not the exception.

But what do you do about dinner on a night like that?  For a mom like me who aims to eat well balanced meals nightly together as a family around the kitchen table, this running from one activity to another poses a challenge to my menu planning.  I knew this week we'd have our "crazy night", so I planned to fix these on the go dinner burritos that 4 or us could enjoy around the table and the 8 year old could eat easily in the car between her activities. 

It took me about 10 minutes to assemble the Chipotle inspired burritos which I did in the afternoon before picking the kids up from school. They could even be made an evening in advance as I had one leftover for lunch today, and it tasted the same as it did last night.  I wrapped each burrito in wax paper which kept all the fillings inside and made the heating up process super easy.  A single burrito was ready to eat in 45-60 seconds in the microwave.  Because they were wrapped in paper, the 8 year old was able to undo the paper and eat her burrito without making a huge mess in the car.  I opted for a vegetarian version this time, but you could easily add cooked chicken, beef, or even fish if you have that on hand.

I made a simple tossed salad of green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese and ranch dressing for those of us eating at home.  I topped our salad with a few fritos for extra crunch.  An avocado would have been a perfect addition to this salad, but I didn't have one.  We also enjoyed the $1 fresh pineapple that I picked up at Kroger over the weekend.  The super sweet, candylike fruit was the perfect side dish to the somewhat spicy burritos. 

Here's the recipe:

On the Go Burritos
2 cups cooked rice (brown or white, regular or minute)
2 cups cooked beans (I used a mix of pinto and black, from my freezer stash)
1 cup corn (frozen or canned; I used leftover frozen)
1/2 cup salsa (my kids like mild, not too chunky, but use what you like)
fresh cilantro (about 1/4 of a bunch; this is what give it the Chipotle fresh feel)
1-2 tsp lime juice (fresh or concentrate will work)
1/2 tsp salt (add a little more if you want to bring out the flavors a bit more)
10 tortillas (I used wheat, medium size so they're not too big for the kids)
1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used a colby-jack blend)

1.  In a large bowl, combine the rice, beans, corn, salsa, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
2.  Place 1-2 Tbsp of cheese in the center of a tortilla on a piece of wax paper.
3.  Spoon 1/3 cup of filling on top of the cheese. (I didn't measure; just use a big spoonful)
4.  Sprinkle a little more cheese on the top of the filling.
5.  Fold up the bottom of the tortilla and then fold in the sides.  Wrap folded burrito in wax paper.
6.  Microwave each burrito for 45-60 seconds before serving.

(You can microwave more than 1 at a time; just increase the cook time about 20-30 seconds for each additional burrito.)

At home or on the go, these simple Chipotle inspired bean, corn, and rice
burritos hit the spot when you need a quick meal to fit your busy schedule.

What's your favorite dinner on the go?

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