Back to Life, Back to Burritos [Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos with Mexican Rice]

Oh crud, is it Tuesday already? The long weekend can’t possibly be over, can it? I feel like I blinked and it went from Thursday evening to Tuesday evening. But oh, what a tremendous weekend it was.

(whatever guilt we had about eating and drinking to our hearts content during the weekend was quickly whisked away when we saw these stairs)

Mr. GL and I spent three days in Low, Quebec, paddle boating around Lac St Bernard, playing epically long games of Monopoly, barbecuing anything that wasn’t nailed down, watching movies and simply enjoying each other’s company without any distractions. Though we live together, we don’t often get to spend hours upon hours together. Life seems to get in the way more often than not. Getting away from the city and into the wilderness was just what we needed to rid ourselves of everyday stresses and reset for another few months until we’re able to escape again. A few photos of our weekend away in case, like us, you don’t get away often and need to live vicariously through us.

(in case it really needs to be said – these are Mr GL’s legs. I shave mine… sometimes)

(herb/citrus/honey chicken + teriyaki chicken kebabs)

(This was my gluttonous breakfast on Sunday morning. Sausage-Chicken-Potato Hash on cream cheese toast. Please don`t tell anyone how I live.)

As I may have mentioned once or 300 times before, Mr. GL is a meat and potatoes man. As such, when we eat dinner together, we often have something meat based with some sort of potato side. This is perfectly fine with me, but after three consecutive nights, I needed to step away from the chicken/steak/sausage/bacon and slip into something a little lighter. If said something happens to stuff nicely into a flour tortilla, even better.

I first had sweet potato and black bean burritos while visiting my wonderful friend Melody for dinner one night. She has this effortless elegance to her cooking. “Nothing fancy, something simple” she would say, almost exclusively, when I asked what we would be having for dinner. But time and time again, she impressed with perfectly cooked vegetarian dishes that satisfied right down to the soul. Always something she claimed to have just thrown together, but I suspect she’s holding back a culinary prowess only those lucky enough to eat at her table would ever see. Because Melody has left me for a life on the East Coast of Canada, I am unhappily forced to make her dishes on my own. And while always delicious, they never taste quite the same as when she makes them.

These burritos are certainly far from fancy, and could definitely be filed under ‘simple’ in preparation, but they pack a punch in flavour and texture. I made a few slight changes to the recipe she gave me based on things I had on hand and needed to use up, but the base is always the same. Mashed sweet potatoes, smooshed black beans, cheese, cilantro. Whatever you decide to add as an extra can only make them better. 

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos with Mexican Rice
Makes 5-6 burritos.

6 flour or corn Tortillas
2 cups cups Mexican rice (recipe follows)
2 cups lime-black beans (recipe follows)
2 cups roasted sweet potatoes (recipe follows)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup pickled jalapenos
1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated

Other optional additions:
2 avocados, diced
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 400.

Lay tortillas flat, add a few spoonfuls of black beans, sweet potatoes, and rice to each. Top with some cilantro and cheese. Roll up, tucking sides in as you go to keep the filling in. 

Place burritos in a roasting pan and bake until lightly browned and crisp around the edges.

Mexican Rice
adapted from Homesick Texan

1 cup white or brown rice
1 tbsp butter
2 cups chicken stock or water

1 small onion (whatever you have), diced
2 tbsp oil
1 jalapeno (optional), diced
4 cloves, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp lime juice
1/3 cup of cilantro, chopped
2 tsp cumin
Salt to taste

In a medium pot, add the stock, butter and rice. Bring to a boil, stir once and cover. Turn heat down to medium-low to simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.

While rice is cooking, add onion and oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Let onion cook for about 10 minutes or until just starting to brown. Add the garlic and jalapeno and let cook for an additional minute. Stir in tomato paste, lime juice, cilantro and cumin. Taste and season with salt. Set aside.

Lime-Spiked Black Beans
2 cans black beans, strained
juice and zest from 1 lime
salt to taste

Add beans and lime juice and zest to a pot over medium heat. Cook until warmed through. Using a fork or a potato masher, smoosh beans until they are smooth but still have some texture to them.

Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 2” cubes
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large roasting pan, add potatoes, paprika and enough oil to lightly coat everything. Roast until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 25-30 minutes. Mashed with a fork until you have a textured paste.

Since I am not, and never will be,one to waste anything that even resembles Mexican food, the leftovers are put into Tupperware and eaten, simply, like this…