Most nights I try to make meals with leftovers in mind to avoid making lunch the next morning. Some may call it laziness, me I call it efficiency. Then there are the days when there are no leftovers because the dinner was too delicious to leave behind or maybe we were just really hungry. Those are the days when I show up to work with a carrot and a handful of almonds for lunch. Those are not good days because then I start ravenously searching my classroom for candy or a leftover snack or if I’m really lucky a bag of popcorn. This is mainly because I refuse to eat school lunch, and have since age 12. That means I’ve been a food snob for almost 20 years.
I have a few strategies for preventing the carrot-almond situation and a burrito party is one of them. What we’re gonna do see is gather us a great big batch of burrito fixins, throw them in tortillas and freeze them for healthy lunches. Goodbye lunch of pixie sticks and stale cookies, hello happy belly.
The key to a successful burrito party is a fancy French term called mise en place or the all American invention known as the assembly line. Gather together all the ingredients you want in your burritos keeping in mind the freezability and re-heatability of those ingredients. For example, I don’t include guacamole in my burrito party because it neither freezes well nor seems appetizing once heated in a microwave.
To keep the assembly line as simple as possible, combine your ingredients in one big pot. For me this was cooked brown rice, homemade sausage, onions, corn and beans. Not in that order. See below for detailed recipe directions. If you want cheese, shred some up and put in a little bowl next to a jar of your favorite salsa. You’ll also need foil and tortillas. Line these up in a row and start assembling, rolling, and wrapping up your burritos. It all goes fairly quickly and boom, you now have a ready made lunch in the freezer that will keep for at least 6 months.
If you decide to have a burrito party, can I come?
Lunch Burritos (for freezing)
makes at least 12
10 inch tortillas of your choice (I like whole wheat)
2 cups uncooked brown rice
5 cups water
1 tsp olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 lb sausage (chorizo, breakfast sausage, whatever you like) casings removed
2 cans beans
2 cups frozen corn
salt to taste
1 jar of your favorite salsa
2 cups shredded cheese (if desired)
1 cup chopped cilantro
Cook the brown rice in a rice cooker with the 5 cups of water. Chop the onion and add to a large pot over medium high heat, cook until soft about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the sausage, cooking until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add beans, corn and salt to taste and cook another few minutes. If you want some spice, now would be the time to add red pepper, etc. Add cooked rice and stir well to combine.
On your kitchen counter, create an assembly line with foil, tortillas, rice mixture, salsa, cheese, and cilantro. Fill a tortilla with about 1/2 cup of the rice mixture, 1 TBL of salsa, cheese as desired, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Roll up the burrito, tucking in the sides and wrap in a piece of foil. Set aside and repeat until all the rice mixture is used up.
Freeze and re-heat as desired. A life saver lunch, enjoy!
*Add and delete ingredients as desired. Maybe you don’t have all of the above on hand, but you might have a bell pepper or some jalapeno or whatever sounds good to you. Scrambled eggs can be added if you’d rather make breakfast burritos. Have fun.