Making homemade tortillas every week has meant that I’ve gotten pretty good at flipping them in the pan. So last night when I flipped a tortilla with one hand while holding my baby in the other (not that I’d recommend cooking while holding a baby!), my daughter exclaimed, “You’re like a real cook!” Got her fooled.

Real or not, I certainly don’t want to be a short order cook. But sometimes a few tweaks can keep everyone happy with dinner just the way he or she likes it. Burrito night lends itself to so many variations.

With the same set of ingredients that only took a few minutes to prepare, we came up with three different options: burritos, nachos and taco salad. My kids then each made their own finished product. Turns out they’re not such bad cooks either.

1 cup prepared brown rice

Refried Beans
1 cup pinto beans
1 roughly chopped onion
2 cloves roughly chopped garlic
1T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion and garlic in a pot until lightly browned. Add the beans with 1/2 cup of the water. Cover and simmer until the water evaporates (about 15 minutes). Mash the mixture with a fork.

Mexican “Meat”
1/2 package of Tempeh (available at Whole Foods or Trader Joes, near the tofu)
1T chili powder
1t olive oil
1/2t salt
Tabasco sauce to taste

Saute the Tempeh in olive oil and spices.

Taco Shells
Place a tortilla into an oven-safe bowl and broil for 3 minutes.

Taco Salad Dressing
4T Salsa Verde or any salsa you like
2T plain yogurt
1T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Put it all together
Set out tortillas, tempeh, beans and rice, fresh spinach, cheese, salsa and any toppings you like: corn, tomatoes, green onions, avocado, sour cream, etc. Everyone makes their dinner to suit.

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