Homemade Beef and Bean Burritos

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By Cheryl Sternman Rule

Talk about fast food.  This quickie meal uses high quality store-bought ingredients, pantry spices, and fresh veggies to deliver an improved version of a fast-food staple.  Nothing fancy here, but when your schedule is frenzied and you’re considering the drive-thru, consider this 20-minute DIY meal instead.  Decrease the chipotle slightly if you’re serving less adventurous palates.

burrito-beef-beanFor spice mix:

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper, or less, to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt

For burritos:

1/2 pound organic grass-fed ground beef (85% lean, or leaner)
One 16-ounce can low-fat vegetarian refried beans (“salsa-style,” if available)
1 tablespoon water
Four 8-1/2-inch to 9-inch flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese blend
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 limes, quartered
3 cups shredded romaine lettuce, from one 8-ounce heart of romaine
1 avocado

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare spice mix by combining all spices in a small bowl. Stir to combine.

Add ground beef to skillet and brown, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the refried beans, water, and spice mix, lower heat slightly, and cook until flavors meld, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Turn off heat, and cover skillet.

Heat each tortilla directly over the burner of a medium gas flame, turning two or three times with tongs, until puffed, speckled and pliable, about 45 seconds. (Alternatively, heat in a dry pan on an electric stove.) Repeat with remaining tortillas. Lay tortillas on a cutting board.

Place 1/2 cup beef and bean mixture, 2 tablespoons cheese, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and a generous squeeze of lime down the center of each tortilla. Fold in the edges and roll up, burrito-style. Place seam side down on a plate. Repeat with remaining burritos.

Serve burritos with plates of shredded lettuce and mashed avocado, both spritzed with lime.

Serves 4

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