Healthy burritos in a pinch.

Healthy burritos in a pinch.

This past weekend I went on a camping trip with a group of my friends. Each person was in charge of one meal, so after some research I settled on making some easy-peasy, extra healthy burritos to cook in the fire. This recipe is good for more than just camping though. If you are in need of new ideas for meal prep, or just in a bind for time when cooking dinner one night, this recipe is a quick and easy fix. I adapted my burrito recipe to fit my own diet, and you can make tweaks to my recipe to do the same!

Quick and Easy Turkey & Bean Burritos

cook time approx. 1 hour
|| makes 16-20 burritos

What you’ll need:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 lb ground turkey
1 large red or orange pepper
2 cans black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can kidney beans
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup salsa
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (vary to taste)
1 packet pre-mixed chili seasoning
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese
16 flour burrito tortillas (10 inch diameter)

As I said above, you can play around with this recipe to suit your own tastebuds. I generally try to use mostly organic and locally sourced ingredients in my own food, and I also try not to eat red meats, so for me ground turkey is the best option. However, the turkey can be substituted with ground beef, or for vegetarians, finely chopped spinach.

Also, you can use whichever types of beans you personally prefer. I like to get my beans from brandless.com, which is a great place to order organic food easily, all for $3 per item.

Additionally, the amount of cayenne pepper can be increased or decreased depending on your level of spice tolerance. If you don’t have access to cayenne pepper, try using crushed red chili pepper flakes. (brandless.com also offers great organic corn or blue corn tortilla chips at 2 bags for $3).

For the chili seasoning, I like to use McCormick’s White Chicken Chili Seasoning, but in a pinch you can use any pre-mixed chili or taco seasoning. And for the salsa, anything you have access to works just fine! The idea behind this recipe is to be relatively easy and flexible based on your taste and available ingredients.

Putting it all together:

First, add the olive oil into a large saucepan. Add and cook the ground turkey on medium heat until all the meat is evenly browned. Keep in mind, turkey tends to take on a greyish brown color when cooked while beef will take on a deep brown color. Be sure to keep moving the turkey around and use a spatula to break apart the turkey for best results.

While the turkey is cooking, chop up your pepper. Smaller pieces tend to cook more quickly, but again, how you chop your pepper depends on your taste. I usually try to make my pepper pieces about 1/2 inch on each side (about the size of a quarter).

Once the turkey is fully browned, add the peppers and cover the saucepan. Continue to move the mixture around as it cooks on medium heat to avoid the turkey sticking to the pan. While the peppers are cooking, pre-rinse the garbanzo and kidney beans (the black beans do not need to be rinsed).

When the peppers are cooked (they should be softened and breakable with the spatula) add the beans, corn, salsa, cayenne pepper, and chili seasoning to the mixture. Combine the ingredients thoroughly and let the mixture cook while covered on low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Finally, mix in the shredded cheese and set the mixture to the side.

Note: this mixture can be served as nachos as well. Served on top of tortilla chips and topped with salsa, guacamole, and/or sour cream. Add cheese on top and voila!

Making the burritos:

Lay out one (10 inch) flour tortilla and spoon the mixture onto the center of the burrito. The amount you choose to put in one burrito is variable, but I usually try to stick to about a 1/4 cup of mixture per burrito.

Pat the mixture down so that it is spread lengthways in an almost rectangular shape. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla in. Then, fold the bottom side of the tortilla over the mixture and use it to cover all of the turkey mixture. Roll the burrito up, moving toward the top side of the tortilla, and there you have it!

For camping: Wrap each burrito tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate. Make sure the edges of the aluminum foil wrapping are tight. While camping, place each burrito in the coals of your fire for 8-10 minutes, or on the stove for 10-12 minutes. Be sure to flip your burrito.

For meal prep: Wrap each burrito individually as described above and bake at 400 degrees (either in a toaster oven or proper oven) or unwrap and cook in a pan on the stove, making sure to flip the burrito and press down with your spatula whilst cooking.

For dinner: Place all of your burritos (without aluminum foil) in a large baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Serve with salsa, guacamole, and/or sour cream. You can even sprinkle cheese on top of your burritos before baking and enjoy a melty, cheese topping on your burritos.

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Bhavya Thamman

There are three things in the entire universe for people to write about: life, death, and everything in between. I pick option number three - good food, great romance, and a little spontaneity.

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