I love Mexican food. I used to hate Mexican food, but as I experimented with flavors and ingredients these past two years, I have changed my mind. Now it is my favorite quick weeknight dinner option, for it packs a big flavor punch in a short amount of time.
I also like how it is a great option to use up leftovers, like grilled steak and chicken… which is what my family did this weekend when we made fajita burritos.
Fajita burritos combine my two favorite things – fajita fixins’ (peppers, onions, and meat) and burritos elements (the warm, soft tortilla and spicy refried beans).
My mom made the peppers and onions, with a little thyme.
I could probably eat this whole entire bowl by itself. Yum, yum, yum.
But my favorite part of burritos (and Mexican food in general) is the beans. Refried beans can be slightly caloric and have a higher fat content, which sort of cancels out their great fiber, protein, and vitamin content. So not awesome.
But Ellie Krieger (TV RD) has a quick and easy version that keeps all the flavor and texture of refried beans, but keeps it on the healthier side. I adapted her recipe a little bit, but the methodology is the same!
Get yourself some black beans… which is my first departure from Ellie’s recipe.
But first, let’s take a moment of silence to mourn the loss of Wegmans from my life. This is the last Wegmans item left in my pantry. *sob*
Wash and drain the beans and then set them aside.
In a big skillet (preferably with higher sides), cook onion and garlic together over medium heat until they are tender, about 3 minutes.
Add in some chili powder… and forget to snap a photo.
Dump in the black beans.
Stir them around and let them cook, about 1 minute.
Then grab a cold one.
This is what I have in my fridge, but you can use any medium-bodied beer.
And pour in about ⅔ of a cup into the mixture.
Let the beans slowly simmer in the beer until they are warmed through and tender.
Then grab your wooden spoon, spatula, or potato masher, take a deep breath, shake out your arms, and start mashing.
Black beans, while being tender, can be slightly challenging to mash. Just be patient and keep at it until you reach the consistency you want.
I like mine chunky.
If your beans are looking a little dry, you can add a splash of water, chicken broth, or some of the beer to loosen it slightly.
Then place in a pretty bowl so that your family can enjoy it for dinner!
It is a great vegetarian burrito filling option…
But it does play very well with leftover steak and chicken.
And a perfect element to any burrito bar!
This is my fajita burrito!
All my favorite elements wrapped in a warm tortilla.
Perfect with some salad and a cold beer.
It was a perfect weekend night dinner (and a great party option as well!). Enjoy!
Your refried bean loving friend,
Adaptation of Ellie Krieger's Refried Beans
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced finely
1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 teaspoon chili powder
⅔ cup medium-bodied beer, like an ale
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large, high-sided skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
2. When oil is hot, add in onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
3. Add chili powder to onion and garlic and cook for about one minute, or until fragrant.
4. Add black beans to skillet and cook for about one more minute.
5. Pour in beer and let the beans warm through and become tender, about 5 minutes.
6. Mash beans with the back of a wooden spoon, spatula, or potato masher. Add more beer, water, or chicken broth to moisten if they are getting to dry. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve alongside your favorite Mexican dishes or in burritos, taco, or enchiladas.