I don’t even try to hide that I often feel that no meal is complete without the addition of meat. There is something not quite as satisfying in a big dinner when there is little substance involved. The few times that I enjoy a meal without a carnal inclusion I find that what makes it worth while is a hefty starch based main ingredient. I have to accept these once in a while to appease my less carnivorous wife and to keep myself from eating too much of the good meat. So today I offer a meatless dinner that will leave you full and satisfied.
I love a good burrito and that craving has to be satisfied at least once in a while. And a burrito is always enhanced when you include softened peppers and onions. They add a nice bite to any Mexican meal, but included in a burrito gives the appearance of meat when there are no big chunks in the burrito. The base of this burrito is a real treat. I can still remember the first time anyone mentioned the idea of quinoa to me. My sister had discovered it at college and insisted on having it when she was home for the Summer. I resisted initially, but after trying it a few different ways, I realized that it was just another grain to offer as a side dish, much like rice or pasta. Suddenly, I was exposed to a new variety of options when it came to starchy side dishes. Flavoring the quinoa with a Mexican flair makes it the perfect medium around which to construct this burrito.
A couple of quick cut ups for today’s meal. First of all, I see no need to purchase taco seasoning from the market. A well stocked spice cabinet includes everything you need to get the flavor of taco seasoning. I use small amounts of: chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin, a pinch of cayenne if you want heat, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. You can use these, but if you don’t have all of them or don’t want to try seasoning on your own, go for the taco seasoning. Also, instead of simply adding black beans and tomatoes to the quinoa, I added a few large spoonfuls of my corn and black bean salsa to give the quinoa it’s body.
Quinoa Fajita Burritos
- 2 bell peppers, cut into strips
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked to package specifications
- corn and black bean salsa (or 1 can black beans and 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes)
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- taco seasoning
- flour tortillas
- Saute the peppers and onions in a skillet with a little bit of taco seasoning until softened.
- Stir the bean salsa into the quinoa and season with a little taco seasoning
- Construct your burrito with the quinoa and peppers and onions. Complete with your choice of sour cream, cheese, salsa or any other accouterments you might like in your burrito.
- Roll the burrito tucking in both ends. If you like a little crunch, grill the outside of your rolled burrito in a skillet or on a griddle to enhance the outer texture.