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Preparing freezer friendly burritos
May 26, 2017, 3:27 pm

The secret to a successful stress-free breakfast or dinner is a freezer-friendly burrito stash. Filled with a variety of delicious items, frozen burritos heat up quickly and are filling enough.

Preparing burritos to stock your freezer only takes about 30 minutes, and with a few smart details they will be as delicious as they were on the day they were prepared.

The tortilla: Large, burrito-sized flour tortillas are the best bet for your EFBs (Easy freezer burritos) since they are easy to wrap and the least likely to tear. Corn or alternative-flour tortillas (like spelt or sprouted grain) tend to be drier, which makes them more susceptible to tearing when rolling. Choose something pliable and fairly thick so all those delicious fillings stay snug inside your burritos, and try to find a package that specifically says ‘burrito-size’ on it (these will be around 10 inches wide).

The rice and beans: As with any burrito, rice and beans are essential to a good EFB. Not only do they add bulk to your meal, they also provide a solid foundation upon which you can layer your wet toppings. This minimizes the risk of your burritos getting soggy before they get a chance to freeze.

The rice: You could easily make a batch of rice specifically for these burritos. But part of the beauty of the EFB is it is the perfect vehicle for leftovers, which is why you can use whichever leftover rice you have in the fridge.

The beans: Whether you prefer them plain or refried, canned or dried, beans are critical to the EFB. Refried beans are best suited because they deliver a hit of creaminess and bring together all the other fillings. Whole black or pinto beans are perfectly fine too—just make sure you drain them well. Whatever beans you use, just remember blandness is the first enemy to burritos. Since it is a lot of individual components in one compact package, you have to make sure each ingredient is well-seasoned before it goes into your EFB. That includes your rice and beans.

The protein: Your options here are pretty much limitless. Here are a few ideas to get you started (remember to always use cooked meat for your EFBs.): Crumbled tofu, shredded rotisserie chicken, smoked tempeh, sliced leftover steak, spicy braised chicken thighs.

The vegetables: Leftover roasted or sautéed vegetables are a great way to sneak a little more nutrition into your EFB. Avoid vegetables with high water content because they will end up making your burrito a soggy, wet mess in the microwave. Avoid adding any veggies you would not want to eat hot, like shredded lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, and avocado.

A few vegetarian filling ideas would be: Sautéed leafy greens (like Swiss chard, kale, and collard greens), caramelized onions, roasted sweet potato, sautéed peppers and onions, roasted corn, slow-roasted shallots.

The cheese: Although it is not strictly necessary to add grated cheese to your EFBs, it can make a world of difference. A dose of gooey, melted cheese adds an element of creamy richness that just brings everything together.

Assembly and wrapping: Before you begin to wrap your EFBs, make sure you have your workstation set up with your fillings, tortillas, and utensils. You want to create an EFB that is completely sealed on all sides, which will prevent your fillings from spilling out. Here is how to do it: Lay a tortilla flat in front of you and spread a few tablespoons of rice and beans horizontally across the center of the tortilla. Pile on about a cup total of protein, vegetables, and cheese. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla in over the filling, then roll the burrito, starting with the unfolded edge closest to you and rolling away from your body.

Storing: For storing, place them seam side down on individual sheets of aluminum foil and wrap before storing them in the freezer. At this point, you could also stack them in freezer-friendly gallon-sized plastic bags for neater storage. The burritos can be frozen a month ahead, although you would be hard-pressed to keep them around that long.

Heat and eat: Remove from the foil, then wrap in a damp paper towel. Place the wrapped burrito on a plate and microwave on high for two to three minutes, until heated through. Serve with a variety of sides, such as pickled red onions, sliced jalapeños, sliced avocado, salsa, sour cream.

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