I’ve been harping on this for a while now, but eating vegan isn’t more expensive than traditional meat and dairy-heavy diets (unless you’re getting prepared foods and meat alternatives every time you hit the grocery store… maybe). I wanted to make a concrete example, though, so here’s a pretty straightforward recipe for make-ahead burritos that can be frozen and heated up later. I try to keep a couple in the freezer for our breakfasts or if we need a quick to-go meal. This is just a rough template for pan-fried burritos, so feel free to swap out ingredients and try different combinations of fillings; shortly after making the batch described here, I made another batch with southwestern tofu scramble and crumbled veggie sausage. It’s hard to go wrong with these!
*Ingredient costs here are estimates based on general price and one-off purchases. These burritos probably cost less to make than shown here, as a bag of onions is cheaper than one single onion, and spices are very cheap. Additionally, I made the seitan for these from scratch (recipe here), which cut down on price significantly for me, but my estimated cost is closer to that of premade seitan.
1 medium onion, chopped ($0.10)
1 jalapeno, minced ($0.50)
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped ($1.25)
1 can black beans ($1.00)
½ C. corn ($0.50)
Seitan, chopped, diced or sliced ($2.00)
Squash, oven roasted and cubed ($1.00)
Spices (cumin, paprika, turmeric, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper) ($1.00)
½ t. cumin
¼ t. paprika
½ t. turmeric
1-2 T. nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper to taste
1 C. Daiya cheddar shreds (or equivalent product) ($1.00)
1 pack burrito size tortillas ($1.30)
*there are GF tortillas available, but I'm not sure which types are the most durable/least likely to rip during rolling.
Vegetable oil for frying ($0.10)
Prep time: 30-60 min
Cook time: 5-10 min
Yield: 6 burritos, 6-12 servings
Total cost: $9.75
Cost per serving: $0.81 - $1.62
-Prep squash by halving and scooping out seeds; lay face down in a lipped baking pan or dish with a bit of butter inside and some water in the base of the pan. Bake at 400 for ~30 min or until pressing on the exposed skin gives a bit (indicating the squash meat is tender). Remove from oven and let cool.
-Prep onions and peppers, drain beans, and prepare seitan (if using).
-Add spices to a large skillet or frying pan and brown on medium heat for ~2 min, being careful not to let them burn.
-Add onions and 1 T. of cooking oil to the pan; sauté on medium heat until translucent, 3-5 min.
-Add peppers and sauté for another 2-3 min.
-Add beans, corn and seitan to peppers and onions, toss to combine and cook on medium-high heat for 5-8 min, stirring regularly.
-While the filling cooks, cube the squash.
-In another large pan, heat the vegetable oil on medium-high.
-Add squash to the rest of the filling, toss and remove from heat.
-Spoon a heaping cup’s worth of filling onto your first tortilla (eyeball it depending on the diameter of your tortillas). Sprinkle a bit of cheese evenly over the filling and roll burrito closed.
*to roll, fold edge of tortilla closest to you over filling, then each side. Begin rolling away from yourself, using your hands to bring the left and right edges closed in a sort of bunched-up crescent. Dip your fingertips in some fresh water and wipe along remaining tortilla edge, then roll closed firmly. Pat burrito into shape, making sure the tortilla didn’t rip, no filling is going to leak out, and the bottom ‘seam’ is secure.
-Place seam-side down in the hot (but not spitting) oil and fry for 1-2 min or until golden brown, then flip and repeat. Remove from the oil and place on a clean paper towel.
-Repeat the previous 2 steps until you’ve run out of filling or tortillas; I usually have leftover filling myself, which goes in the fridge for a quick lunch or snack.
-Once cool, any remaining burritos can be stored in an airtight bag or container in the freezer.