You learn something new everyday. Today I learned that the difference between enchiladas and burritos lies in the type of tortilla that is used. Enchiladas have corn tortillas while burritos have flour. I am probably the last person on earth to learn this, but hey, where I live Mexican, TexMex and Southwestern are not the most common styles of cooking. After all, there is only one Mexican-themed restaurant in this city and it opened less than a year ago. Anyway, this knowledge kind of bums me out because what I have been referring to as enchiladas are actually burritos. Being the self-professed "enchilada addict" that I am, it is kind of embarrassing to realize that I have actually never had an enchilada in my life. No one ever said that I was the brightest crayon in the box.
I come bearing a recipe for baked burritos, that I have in the past referred to as enchiladas. These could also double as fajitas (until I actually learn what the difference between burritos and fajitas is and then I will once again call attention to my ignorance and probably have to hang my head in shame for a second time). This recipe was born out of the fajitas that I always order whenever I find myself trying to veganize something at a sportsbar or chain restaurant.
Seared Veggie Baked Burritos
1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium-sized red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp cumin (sometimes, if I'm feelin' crazy, I'll trade the cumin for curry powder!)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 medium-sized zucchini or yellow squash, cubed
1 cup broccoli florets (I use frozen, just because it's easier, but fresh is good too)
1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used portobello, but plain white mushrooms are fine too)
2 tsp soy sauce
1 can pinto or black beans
6 tortillas (I use 1 pack of the Ezekiel brand)
1 cup salsa (if you have none, just dice up some tomatoes, garlic and onion)
1 large ripe avocado (if you have some on hand, use a full out guacamole instead!)
1) Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a casserole dish (alternatively, you can use extra salsa).
2) In a large frying pan over medium heat, add the oil. Add the onions, and as they get soft add the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin and freshly ground pepper and mix well. Cook for 3 minutes or so, until it becomes really fragrant.
3) Add the zucchini/yellow squash, broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms and soy sauce. Crank the heat up to medium-high or high and cook for another 5 minutes or so (the veggies should pick up some sear marks, but keep an eye on the pan so that nothing gets overly burnt). When the veggies are tender but not yet mushy, stir in the beans and remove from heat.
If you want to make these as fajitas, your hard work is all done. Spoon the mixture into a bowl, warm up some tortillas and set out bowls of salsa and fresh chopped tomatoes, lettuce and avocado. Rice would be good too! Set everything out and call the fam to the table where they can prep their own damn dinner for once, amiright?!
If you want to make these into baked burritos, continue to the next step.
4) Spoon the mixture into the center of each tortilla and fold them up. Here are some instructions on how to do that, if you are not familiar.
5) Place the burritos, seam-side down on the casserole dish. Spread the salsa over top of the burritos and bake for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle on the avocado in the last 5 minutes, just so that it warms up nicely.
P.S. I just want to call attention to Monday, March 15 - The International Day of Action for the Seals. It is interesting that this should come so close on the heels of my last post discussing my conflicted experience in cheering for Canada during the Olympics. I say again, I really love living in Canada. But the commercial seal hunt is something I am vehemently, vehemently ashamed of. Ashamed is the only word that I can think of to describe how I feel about this, and that is something you should never feel about your home. My home country is better than this and knows better than this. We have spent the last month proclaiming how awesome we are to the whole world, how polite we are, how humantarian we are, how "peacekeeping" we are and yet our actions on a global scale continually prove that the opposite is the case. I truly believe in Canada and Canadians and that these are not just abstract ideologies of our character, but a part of the very fibre of who we are. And if not who we are, who we can be. Allowing this kind of barbarism to continue in our backyard makes a mockery of the ideals so many of us hold to be true. The commercial seal hunters and the bureaucrats in government who support them bring shame to us on a global scale and highlight nothing but hypocrisy at its finest. The majority of Canadians are opposed to the slaughter, yet the government continues to support it. This will not be yet another instance where those who speak for those who cannot are ignored. It is time for this to end, once and for all. Please take part, in any way you can, Canadian or not, and show that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in our country or in the world.