Hey there! This is the first post for my series on “How to Make a Meal Out of What’s in Your Kitchen”. I’m really excited about this series because prior to a few years ago, I would have never thought that I could make gourmet meals at home or make meals without having to go to the grocery store. In college when money was a lot tighter, I was forced to be creative with the food that I had on hand. I remember a time when I didn’t have much money and I had a bag of potatoes and little else in my apartment. Ya’ll, I made hash browns, fried potatoes, baked potatoes, and potato skins until that entire bag was gone! I’ve made risotto in frying pans and baked pie crusts in skillets. You have to learn to work with what you have. Now since I cook and bake a lot I tend to have things like flour, sugar, eggs, and butter (among other things) around all the time. So I will be kind of generalizing about a few items that I think most people would have in their kitchens, but please leave a comment below if you have questions about how to make a meal out of something you have in your kitchen. Do you have: beans, rice, tortillas, cooking oil, cheese, spices, or any vegetables (ex: peppers, onions, corn, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms) in your kitchen?
Meal 1: Bean and Rice Tortilla
Cook 1 cup of rice according to package instructions. While the rice is cooking, rinse and drain 1 can of beans. Put 2 tsp of cooking oil in a pan and heat on medium-high. Put the beans and cooked rice in the warm oil. Cook and stir for 6-8 minutes (add spices and chopped onion if desired). Once heated through remove the pan from heat, but keep warm.
Place a stack of tortillas (or however many you have) on top of each other and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes until soft. Remove tortillas from foil.
Place about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture right below the center of the tortillas. Distribute cheese to the tortillas (if desired). Fold one side of the tortilla, then fold the two sides into the center (not the top), then roll the tortilla from the bottom folded edge to encase the filling.
Place burritos in 350 degree oven on a baking sheet for 10 minutes.
Meal 2: Meatless Taco Salad
Tortilla cups: Lightly brush 1 side of a (or multiple) 9-10 inch flour tortillas with a small amount of water. Coat a (or multiple) oven-safe bowls with oil, butter, or cooking spray. Press tortillas, coated sides up, into prepared bowls. Place a ball of foil in each tortilla cup. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-10 minutes or until light brown. Remove the foil and let tortillas cool. Remove the cups form the bowls.
Filling: Fill tortilla cups with cooked rice, lettuce, beans, vegetables, and top with cheese.
* You could add whatever you have to the cups and top them with whatever you have (salad dressing, sour cream, salsa, or nothing).
**Optional Dessert: Cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips
Brush melted butter over the surface of one of several tortillas. Sprinkle the tortilla with cinnamon and sugar (mix 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon to distribute among all of the tortillas). Cut tortilla into 8 triangles (down the center, cross-wise, and diagonally to split each triangle once). Place one tortilla (in divided sections) onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas. These chips are crisp and not overly sweet. They are a great after-meal dessert.