Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fast Freezer Meals ~ Turkey Burritos

With a busy life style, it's convenient to have a supply of ready-to-eat meals in the freezer. A quick solution for lunch, after work or at the end of a long day off Island. Frozen burritos are a favorite, but it is difficult to find them without night shades on the ingredient list... tomato products and peppers are common.

I have solved that problem for my family by making a big batch of filling with all our favorite flavors. The burritos are then prepared in assembly-line style. Each burrito is wrapped in *parchment or wax paper, then frozen on a bake sheet. Once frozen, reuse the zip bag that the tortilla wraps came in, mark it with the date, ingredients and any other info you may need. Pack the burritos, zip the bag and freeze. Need a quick meal? No need to defrost, pop them in the oven for about an hour or microwave for 2 minutes. 
*Chef's Tip ~the benefits of using parchment paper, is that the burrito can be baked in the oven or heated in the microwave while still wrapped.

With homemade freezer meals, you can substitute and adjust the ingredients to accommodate special diets and individual taste. You also have control of the quality of ingredients used.
These are a staple in my freezer, substitute what you like and add those nightshades if you can tolerate them!  

TURKEY and VEGETABLE BURRITOS     Yield: 12 large burritos
You will need a large sauté pan and a bowl large enough to hold 12 cups of filling with room to easily mix as ingredients are added. Clear and wipe down a counter space large enough to spread out 12 tortilla shells. If you are unsure of how fast you can assemble and roll the burritos, divide all ingredients into 2 batches. 

*1/2 small winter squash (2 cups cooked) 
Optional seasonings; cumin, chili powder, Pimenton (smoked paprika) 
*3/4 cup short grain brown rice (1-1/2 cups cooked)
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil 
1 large onion, diced
1/4 small green cabbage, shredded
1-2 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. mushrooms, clean and slice
1 lb. ground turkey meat  
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning Mix (or make your own)

1 (12 oz) can corn niblets, drain
1 (19 oz) can black beans, drain and rinse
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper 

12-14 large Dempster's Ancient Grains tortilla wraps
500g shredded Nacho cheese
2 avocados (2-3 slices per burrito)
Burrito Assembly Line ~ Work quickly

Greek Yogurt

*Chef's Note ~the winter squash and rice can be cooked, cooled, covered and stored in the fridge the day before assembly.
Peel, remove seeds and dice the squash into small, 1/2" cubes. Place in a shallow pan with a drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper (optional seasonings can be used) and roast at 425F for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Cook rice, set aside to cool.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the large sauté pan and add onion, cook until transparent but not brown. Add cabbage and cook until softened, add a bit of water if needed. Season with salt and pepper, place in the large bowl and set aside.

In the same pan, melt a tablespoon of butter. Sauté mushrooms, cook until they release most of their moisture. Remove from pan and add to the big bowl with cabbage, set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the same sauté pan. Add ground turkey,
cook through. Season with Taco Seasoning Mix and mix well.

To the big bowl with cabbage and mushrooms add; cooked turkey, cooked squash and rice, drained corn and black beans. Mix well and taste, adjust seasoning if needed. 

Work quickly... the burrito skins will dry out if left on the counter for too long, making them difficult to wrap. Have all ingredients ready to use then lay out the wraps assembly-line style.

Dish three #20 scoops (about one cup) onto each wrap, add a small handful of cheese and 2-3 slices avocado. Test one first, if it is too difficult to wrap, reduce the filling a bit. You will have smaller burritos but a higher yield. 
Wrap individual burritos and freeze
Fold the sides over about an inch, then from one end, roll up tightly. Wrap individually in parchment or wax paper and freeze on a bake sheet. When frozen, pack in the now empty tortilla bag. Write the date, ingredients and any other info required on the bag and freeze.

Preheat oven to 350F. Place frozen burrito in an ovenproof dish and bake for 1 hour. Alternately, microwave on a plate for 1 minute, turn over and microwave another minute. Sprinkle and melt more shredded cheese over top if desired. Serve with Greek yogurt, guacamole and/or salsa if desired.

Till next week... Bon Appétit! 

Recipe and photos by Sally Rae

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