I’ve been a mama for over two years now but I seem to wear it so differently than before. There are signs of motherhood all over me. Maybe they’ve been there all along, or maybe I can just appreciate them in a whole new way. I can see my beautiful girls in the dark crescent moons beneath my eyes and a mark on my belly that whispers, life was here. I can see them in the bizarre thinning of hair that frames my face. I can see them in all the new happy lines that frame my mouth. Some days I am knee-deep in spit up and overflowing milk, while diffusing tantrums, and hoping scotch, but I am bathing and sometimes drowning, in the most beautiful love story I’ve ever known. My tired body and eyes might not look so full of life, but each night I lay my head for rest with the fullest heart I’ve ever known. I am loving this season and slowly but surely I am getting the hang of it. Most days. Or at least I think I am until six o’clock comes around and I have no inspiration for dinner, in fact I had not even thought about it.
It turns out, I am not alone. I’ve asked a lot of other tired mamas lately for some ideas and inspiration. When I ask how they make dinner happen, most of them laugh and say, “i don’t.” Mac and cheese and take out are their dear friends. Quite honestly, if our budget allowed that I would be taking full advantage, especially since we live on a street with some of the best food Portland has to offer. But that is not an option in this season of our lives and I really do find so much joy in cooking for my family, I just need a little creativity these days.
And so, the tired mama’s burrito was born. I have made these twice since Bijou was born. I cook and prepare them one day out of the week and freeze them for later. When reheated in the oven they become perfectly crispy and then topped with avocados, salsa and sour cream they suddenly become attractive. The best part is that they taste great and require very little effort on the day you actually eat them. They also happen to be budget friendly, working out to be a little more than $2 a burrito (using all organic ingredients.) You can follow the recipe or make it your own. Any type of meat would be great. I also think adding grilled corn and sliced olives would be super yummy. You get the idea. The burritos themselves are pretty simple, and I feel so tempted to want to make them fancier but I suppose simplicity is the point here. And the concept of freezing them is worthy of sharing.
Tired Mama’s Burritos
10 flour tortilla’s
4 cups of cooked brown rice
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
15 oz. can of black beans
1 cup of salsa
1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 packets of simply organic taco seasoning
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Bake, grill or boil chicken until cooked. Let cool and shred chicken into small bite sized pieces. Set aside.
Meanwhile cook your rice as directed on package.
In a large skillet on medium heat, saute onion in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add shredded chicken, drained beans, salsa, lime juice, rice and cilantro. Mix until combined. Mix the taco seasoning with water (see ratios on package) and pour into large skillet. Mix until everything is saturated in the taco seasoning. Turn off heat and set aside.
Shred your cheese, place in a bowl and set aside.
Arrange your ingredients in a way that is easiest for you to build your burritos. I keep the skillet on the stove, place the bowl of cheese and tortillas near by on my counter and prepare the burritos one at a time and on a large plate or cutting board.
First start with the cheese. This is important because it is the top of your burrito and will keep the cheese from melting out of the bottom. Sprinkle a large handful of cheese, top to bottom inside your tortillas. You want to leave about 3 inches on the top and bottom of your tortilla so you can wrap it well.
Next scoop out your chicken beans and rice and spread on top of cheese, top to bottom. I have not ever measured the exact size of my scoop but I would guess it’s about 1 cup. There really is no exact science here, you can build them as little or big as you want, however the bigger they are, the harder to wrap and keep together. Just experiment as you go.
Fold the top and bottom parts of your tortilla into the middle. Next bring in the sides. Let the sides fold as needed to make an even rectangle. It will freeze in the position you wrap it and this ensures the filling will not come out once it is reheated in the oven. After each burrito is wrapped, transfer them, (folded side down) to a large baking sheet and place them side by side. Repeat this process with all 10 burritos.
Place baking sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours. This keeps them from freezing to each other. Once they are completely frozen you can place them in any sort of storage you prefer. I used large ziploc bags.
On the night you want to eat them...preheat your oven to 400. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until slightly golden and crispy. Serve with sliced avocados or guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. Of course you can also microwave if you are in a hurry but I prefer how the oven makes it nice and crispy.