Monday, July 14, 2008

Meatless Meals - Bean Burritos



My mother has been a vegetarian for over thirty years, so I'm well aware of the ethical implications of eating meat. When you think long and hard about eating meat, it's so... gross. But the smell of bacon frying can do a lot to get my mind off the moral issues.

I recently read something interesting in O, The Oprah Magazine. According to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization, the livestock industry accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Animal waste, pesticides, hormones, and fertilizers pollute water resources. Livestock, and the farm acreage devoted to feeding them, occupy 30 percent of the earth's land surface. thedailygreen.com reports that meat production causes more environmental harm than any other food, and recommends scaling back on meat consumption. In fact, they list it as one of their Six Biggest Eco-Choices.

Well, green is the new black, so I'm going to give it a try. I've decided to make one meal each week "meatless." I'm not going crazy and cutting out dairy or anything, just meat, poultry and fish. And just for one meal.

Tonight I made bean burritos. My mom used to make them when I was a kid, and I love them. They are easy to prepare, inexpensive, and meatless! They require a tiny bit of prep the night before, but it's well worth it.

Bean Burritos
1 lb. dried pinto beans
1 packet taco seasoning
1 1/2 c. chunky salsa
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
flour tortillas
Condiments of your choice - sour cream, jalapeños, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, avacado, salsa, black olives

Rinse beans and pick out any discolored beans or pebbles. (I have yet to find a rock in a bag of beans.) Put beans into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak overnight. (The beans will really plump up, so use a big bowl or they can overflow.)

In the morning, rinse the beans again. Cover with water and let soak for the afternoon. Rinse again, and place in large stock pot. Cover with water, about an inch over beans. Bring to a boil and simmer about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (If beans look dry during cooking time, add a little more water.)

Mash beans with taco seasoning and 1 cup of the salsa. When beans are mashed to desired consistency, stir in cheese one cup at a time. The cheese will melt into the beans. Stir in remaining half cup of salsa.

Serve on tortillas with condiments above.

Evie said "Mmmmm!" As you can see from the photos above, they are "kid-tested, mother-approved!"

2 comments:

Anna Grace`s Jie Jie said...

YUUM!! The first pix is adorable!

Rachel said...

First, I can't believe you posted the famous "secret" receipe. ;)

Second, I just picked through and rinsed my beans for tomorrow, and I found 7 (SERIOUSLY 7!?!) rocks!!! You really are the lucky one of the family. ;)