Thursday, March 19, 2009

Breakfast Burritos for the New Frugality

2009 is off to a great start, even with friends getting laid off left and right, and my own job less than stable. I've been able to stick to at least one of my New Year's resolutions, which is (other than being a record!) to live more frugally.I've added a few new words and concepts to my culinary repertoire. They include 'budget', 'frugal' and 'no waste.'

OK, I'll be honest. My idea of frugal and your idea of frugal may not be exactly the same thing. I'm still living pretty high on the hog compared to most. There has been such a trend in newspapers (R.I.P Seattle P.I.), magazines and blogs towards frugal cooking, that I have been inspired. I am trying to cook out of what's in the pantry (lots of dried beans and grains), waste less food and be mindful of sales and deals.
It is a really good discipline to get into, since it is preparing me for the worst case scenario.

I came across a great blog called The Simple Dollar because of their great breakfast burrito idea. The concept is that you can make really tasty breakfast burritos - in bulk - for freezing and reheating later.

With these breakfast burritos in the back of my mind, I continued with my plans of cooking out of the pantry (supplemented by the bi-weekly basket of organic produce we have delivered) and not wasting what we have in the refrigerator.

It started with the cheese. We've been working through a big block of mozzarella that we bought for a party a few weeks ago. The cheese would NOT be wasted! There are almost always cans of black beans and corn in the pantry and eggs in the refrigerator. All I needed to buy were some tortillas and salsa. I had a red pepper and an onion left from our produce basket that I sauteed up with plenty of salt and pepper. I probably could have spiced it up even more. Or, I could have skipped this altogether or subbed in fresh scallions. I had the pepper and onion though, so I used them.

Assembly line style, I lined up the tortillas and topped them with cheese, beans and corn, and the pepper/onion mix.
For the eggs, I scrambled one egg per burrito. You could less or more depending on how many of the other ingredients you have. You could even substitute in some egg whites, if you are into that sort of thing. I undercooked them a bit, as Simple Dollar recommended. Then, I spooned the eggs and some tasty salsa on top of the rest of the ingredients and was ready to roll.

Each tortilla was simply placed on a piece of plastic wrap and rolled tight. I wrapped them in a
second layer of plastic wrap just to be safe. All the the burritos were then placed into a ziptop freezer bag and into the freezer.
Reheating the burritos is simple. I've already had two and they tasted great. The key when you microwave them is to wrap them in a paper towel. You set the microwave on the defrost setting for about 2 minutes (I turn the burrito over halfway). Then, zap them on high for another 1-2 minutes, unwrap and eat.

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