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Vegetarian Burrito Bowls with Creamy Cilantro Pinto Beans, Corn Salsa, and Fajitas

29 Aug

When we received three different types of peppers in this week’s CSA share, my mind immediately jumped to Chipotle’s fajitas (I had been bemoaning the lack of a Chipotle near school the day before).  I decided to make a burrito bowl with rice, creamy pinto beans, sautéed peppers and onions, and cold esquites as a corn salsa.  I was particularly excited to make this due to the fact that we had received a variety of salts, pepper flakes, and hot sauces as one of our wedding gifts from our friend Diane.  Though I love to cook from scratch, sometimes it is super helpful to use some flavor enhancing shortcuts.  Here, the bacon salt (which was artificially flavored) meant I could make the beans flavored with the smokey, meaty flavor of bacon without actually using bacon – which means Zak could happily eat them.  The jalapeño pepper sauce imparted spicy jalapeño flavor without the need for chopping and deseeding.  I can’t wait to use more of the awesome products she gifted us, especially some of the fancier salts that I would usually not justify purchasing on my own.

Combined together, the separate components of this dish were excellent.  Spicy and sweet, hot and cool, creamy and crunchy.  It was filling from the rice as beans but not overwhelmingly heavy thanks to the fact that it was heavy on vegetables, including the corn, peppers, and onions.  This also reheated really well (I packed the esquites separately and everything else together).  While it wasn’t a dead on knock-off of Chipotle, or anything, it was pretty darn good.

Vegetarian Burrito Bowls

with Creamy Cilantro Pinto Beans, Corn Salsa, and Fajitas

Creamy Cilantro Pinto Beans:

1 lb. dried pinto beans

1/2 cup white onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups cilantro, stems included, roughly chopped

1 tsp. bacon salt (or 3-4 strips bacon, roughly chopped)

1 tsp. Arizona Gunslinger Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce (or 1 jalapeño, finely chopped)

6-8 cups vegetable stock

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Pick through beans to make sure there are no stones or deformities.  Place in a pot and cover by 2″ with cold water.  Let soak overnight, or at least 8-10 hours.

Add all ingredients to a medium stock pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium to maintain a low boil and cover.  Simmer 3-5 hours until beans are creamy and tender, stirring occasionally and adding more stock if necessary.  Mine took about four hours.  When done, the beans will be tender and the liquid in the pot will coat the back of a spoon.  Taste for seasonings, adjusting as necessary

Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad):

Follow recipe, posted here

Serve the esquites chilled.

In this recipe, I substituted the jalapeño with 1 tsp. Arizona Gunslinger Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce.  Additionally, I doubled the cilantro and used both the whites and greens of the scallions.  I used garlic salt rather than garlic (because I had forgotten to chop it when I was adding the ingredients at the end), and chipotle pepper flakes rather than crushed red pepper flakes.  The original recipe, of course, would be fine as is.


1 green bell pepper, sliced lengthwise

1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise

1 medium onion, halved and sliced lengthwise

2 tbs. canola oil

1 tsp. chipotle pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a grill pan or cast iron skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until charred and soft.  Season with pepper flakes, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.


1 cup white rice, cooked according to instructions

Creamy cilantro beans, see above

Corn salsa/esquites, see above

Fajitas, see above

Plain Green yogurt or sour cream, for serving

Starting with rice, then beans, then fajitas, then corn (or however you like it!) layer ingredients in desired amounts.

Chive and Lemon-Oregano Eggs on a Tortilla

29 Aug

I have neither class nor work on Fridays, meaning I get to spend the whole day at home catching up on homework and housework after sleeping in a little bit.  I wanted to cook myself up a nice breakfast with some eggs and leftover lemon-oregano emulsion.  However, as of Friday, Zak and I had not been grocery shopping for quite some time.  The bread was moldy and we didn’t have any milk in the fridge, so both eggs on toast and baked eggs were out.  After peering forlornly into the refrigerator for awhile, I noticed a package of tortillas far from expiration and a package of Chinese chives Zak had recently purchased from the Asian market.  Perfect!

Some sunny side up eggs with a healthy drizzle of lemon-oregano emulsion and fresh, oniony chives over a warmed tortilla were the perfect breakfast.  The lemon-oregano emulsion tastes a lot like a traditional hollandaise sauce, which of course is the perfect accompaniment to runny eggs.  The tortilla provides a bit of substance, soaking up some of the egg yolk and sauce.  Finally, the Chinese chives have a very similar flavor to traditional chives, though a bit more pronounced and definitely with more texture to them.  Regular chives can certainly be substituted, but use more of them because their flavor is toned down a bit from Chinese chives.  I love love loved the flavor combinations in this dish, and it’s pretty, quick, and easy to boot!  In fact, this is so easy that it barely qualifies as a recipe – basically, fry up some eggs and put everything on a plate.

Chive and Lemon-Oregano Eggs on a Tortilla

1 flour tortilla, warmed in microwave for thirty seconds

1/2 tbs. butter

2 eggs

2-3 Chinese chives, roughly chopped (about 3-4 tbs.) (or substitute double regular chives)

1/4 cup lemon-oregano emulsion

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a medium non-stick pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Carefully crack eggs into the pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook 4-5 minutes until whites are set but yolks are still running.

Place warm tortilla on a plate.  Carefully side eggs out of the pan and onto the plate, being sure to check with a spatula first that they will easily slide.  Top with chives and lemon-oregano emulsion.  Serve immediately.

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