Make-Ahead Bean Burritos

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I have had a crazy schedule this semester. Working late hours in the lab, often followed by evening tutoring appointments as undergrads panic over finals. The only thing I really have the time and money to grab on campus for dinner is a burrito at the place across the street. Unfortunately, the cost of this adds up. After buying a few frozen vegan burritos from the grocery store as a cheaper alternative, I realized (duh) that I should just make them myself.

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These burritos have way more protein than your usual store-bought vegan option. I paid about $16 for enough ingredients to make 11 burritos. $4 of that was for store-bought vegan cream cheeze, of which I only used a third of a tub, so if you make cheeze yourself or omit it entirely they will be even cheaper.

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I now have a healthy option for dinners at work that will fuel me for my bike ride home. They freeze well, and warm up in the microwave fine whether taken straight from the freezer or left to thaw for several hours in a lunch bag.

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Make-Ahead Bean Burritos

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Makes 11 burritos

One note: to make a lower-fat option, use oil to steam-fry veggies, and do not add to beans. Do not, however, remove oil when cooking the ground round.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of black-eyed peas
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1+1+2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 peppers, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 package (approximately 1lb) of vegetarian ground round/rehydrated TVP
  • 1 pouch taco seasoning
  • 11 small (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/3 package Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese or similar

Instructions:

Prepare fillings:

  1. Combine beans, water, bouillon cube, and 1 Tbsp of oil in a large pot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Turn heat to medium-low, cover, and allow to simmer.
  3. Cook until beans are softened and mostly split, and most of the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  4. Using a potato masher, mash beans until most are broken down.
  5. Turn off heat from beans, but allow to sit uncovered on still-warm stove.
  6. Sauté pepper and onions in 1 Tbsp oil on medium-high until tender, about 8 minutes.
  7. Remove vegetables from frying pan and set aside.
  8. Without cleaning the frying pan, heat up remaining 2 Tbsp of oil on medium heat.
  9. Crumble in ground round and cook, stirring frequently, until crumbles start to separate and dry slightly.
  10. Sprinkle taco seasoning over ground round and stir to combine for about 1 minute. If food is sticking to the pan, add a few tablespoons of water and scrape up with a spatula.
  11. Remove ground round to the same  dish as the vegetables and stir to combine.

Assemble burritos:

  1. Lay out all tortillas on your work surface.
  2. Spread each tortilla with 1/2 Tbsp cream cheeze.
  3. Divide bean mixture evenly between tortillas.
  4. Divide ground round and vegetable mixture evenly between tortillas.
  5. Roll up each tortilla and wrap in plastic or waxed paper.
  6. Store in a larger bag in the freezer.
  7. Thaw by heating at 70% power for about 3 minutes, seam side down.

Nutrition Information: Per Burrito: 317 kCal, 11g fat, 8g fibre, 4g sugar, 13g protein, 50% RDA Vit.C, 25% RDA Iron.

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Barbecue

Mrs. Minty suggested we have a barbecue today because the weather feels almost spring-like. As we had already gone grocery shopping and had not the Yves Italian Sausage we usually like, I offered to make some veggie dogs from scratch.

Veggie dog and salad

A grilled veggie dog and salad is a great springtime dinner!

This recipe is via Vegan Dad, and we’ve made it a few times with success. Like many gluten-based recipes, it’s forgiving and flexible – change the beans, change the spices, change the liquid. I could see someone making “beer brats” by using a cube of mock beef bouillon in a cup of flat beer, instead of a cup of vegetable broth, plus appropriate spices.

These veggie dogs are durable enough to stay intact on a grill, and are significantly cheaper than store-bought ones: 88c for the beans (of which I only used 1/4), 50c for the V-8, and less than $2 for the gluten flour. Six wieners = about 60c each, as opposed to $1.20 each from the store!

And, since I mentioned that I’m trying to watch calories, each wiener is just under 100 calories each.

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup pinto beans, (or other beans with thin-ish skins… I used Fava, and navy or black-eyed would work as well)
– 1 cup cold vegetable broth (I used 2/3 c V-8 and 1/3 c Knorr veg broth)
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce

– 1 tsp salt
– 2 cloves garlic, grated (with a microplane, or very finely minced)
– 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
– 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
– 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed (I omitted because we didn’t have any)
– 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– Several dashes fresh black pepper

1. Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready, bring water to a full boil. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.
2. Have ready 6 sheets of tin foil. In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork. Divide dough into 6 even parts. Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll. Don’t worry too much about shaping it, it will snap into shape while it’s steaming because this recipe is awesome.

Uncooked dough on tinfoil

Yes, I know what it looks like….

And it gets wrapped up ready for steaming.

And it gets wrapped up ready for steaming.

Steaming

Steaming

Unwrapping the weiners after steaming

Unwrapping the wieners after they have cooled.

3. Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes.

Sausages can be frozen. To cook, grill for 10 minutes or slice and pan-fry.

Chai and Minestrone

Here are two things we made last week and have been enjoying for several days:

We have been making this chai concentrate occasionally for the past few months. While neither cheap nor strictly vegan due to the honey included, it is a fun treat to have at home, and significantly cheaper than a chai latte from any cafe.

The recipe we use is modified from Vegetarian Slow Cooker:

  • 4   1  1/2 inch slices fresh peeled ginger, use vegetable peeler for the slices.
  • 6   3 inch cinnamon sticks
  • 8   whole cloves
  • 15-20 green cardamom pods
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons high-quality vanilla
  • 2 dashes of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup honey (use 1/3 cup white sugar and 2 Tbsp maple syrup if vegan)
  • 3   cups water
  • 6   black tea bags
  1. Everything except the tea bags goes into the crock pot.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  2. After a long simmer, if heat is not on high turn to high.  Add tea bags.  Let steep for 5 minutes MAX (longer steep=bitter tea).
  3. Remove tea bags and press gently with a spoon to get all water out.
  4. Strain into a jar or bottle (I use a clean wine bottle), and keep in the fridge for a week.
  5. Use about 1/4 cup of concentrate per mug of chai latte. Add hot or steamed almond or soy milk, stir gently, and top with a shake of nutmeg!

Here is the recipe for our Kale Minestrone. This has been a favourite in our household since Mrs. Minty’s mother made it for us about four years ago. It is delicious as leftovers, too. It also works well in a crock pot. If cooking in a crock pot, wait to add the pasta until 15 minutes before serving.

Bowl of Minestrone

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 15 oz can of red kidney beans
  • 15 oz can of  small white navy beans
  • 15 oz can of chopped tomatoes (fresh if in season)
  • 1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup small shaped pasta
  1. Heat oil on medium in a large pot. Add onions, celery, garlic, and carrot. Cover and allow to cook, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once onions turn clear, add all other ingredients except pasta and kale.
  3. Bring to a boil then turn heat down to simmer gently.
  4. Add kale and pasta 15 minutes before serving.  Additional water may be required.