My black-bean burritos show that effortless can also be delicious
Lilly Higgins: The year 2020 is a wrap. Roll into the new year full of beans
Tasty and nutrient dense black bean burritos.
My cooking style has evolved over the years. Now with three small children and the usual balancing act of home and work, I’ve settled into the most realistic style of cooking: healthy comfort food. It just feels right, eating food that tastes great but is made from scratch with basic, accessible ingredients.
It’s also a simpler way of cooking and therefore is healthier than most things we’d lean towards when we’re tired or hungry. The year 2020 taught me to pare back and make sure the foundations of the meal are right. Nothing too fancy, effortless can be delicious.
This week’s recipe is a nice example of that, being nutrient dense and really tasty. It also happens to be vegetarian, though I sometimes marinate butterflied chicken breast in salt, lime juice, smoked paprika and olive oil, then grill it on both sides until cooked through. Once sliced, there is more than enough for a family of five or six in two chicken breasts used in this recipe.
A little goes a long way when building these burritos as there are so many fillings. I always start with rice, cooked with twice the volume of water to rice, seasoned with a little butter and salt. The mashed black beans are essential too.
The cheese, guacamole, salsa and sour cream or yogurt can be left out, depending on taste. Usually when making guacamole, I add a few tablespoons of Greek-style yogurt. This makes the guacamole creamier and lighter. I mix it in along with a generous amount of lime juice, coriander, a pinch of salt and a few sliced jalapenos.
BLACK BEAN BURRITOS
For the beans:
1 small onion, diced
2 tins black beans, cooked and drained
½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp coriander, stalks and leaves, roughly chopped
For the rice:
1 tsp butter
½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
½ tsp salt
300g jasmine or basmati rice
Six soft tortilla wraps, guacamole, grated cheese, tomato salsa, sour cream or Greek yoghurt, jalapenos, lime wedges
1 Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan. Add the diced onion and sauté over a medium heat until soft. Add the paprika, cumin and salt. Stir well. Add the beans and 300ml water. Simmer low with the lid on until the beans get very soft. Add the coriander and lime juice, and mash or purée until quite smooth but still with some texture.
2 To cook the rice, melt the butter in a pan. Add the paprika and cook for a few seconds before adding the rice and stirring well. Add the salt and water. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer on the lowest setting possible until all of the water is evaporated and the rice is cooked.
3 Wrap the tortilla wraps in foil and warm them in the oven. Assemble at the table by layering the mashed black beans, rice and any toppings such as cheese, salsa, guacamole. Fold tightly and eat right away, or wrap in foil and heat in the oven or on a hot dry pan for a few minutes.