Day 82 – Veggie Burrito Bake

These should actually be called “Otesha Burritos” or even “Moose Jaw Burritos” after all, it was during my cycling trip across western canada this summer that I was introduced to this amazing recipe!

I remember the day quite clearly, it was near the end of our trip, in fact it was our last stop before reaching our final destination. We arrived in Moose Jaw in teams, some with flat tires, a few of us with broken spokes. After reassembling our whole group we rode over to the community gardens and had a tour of their amazing operation. Then we were split up. For the first time since we had met in Vancouver we were being divided up and sent to 3 different places for the night. I admit, I had seperation anxiety. Jessica, Kait, Genevieve and I were being billeted by the community garden coordinator Sarah and her husband, an adorable couple close to my age.  As soon as we cycled up to their quaint house on a quiet corner, I felt comfortable. Inside, Van Morrison was playing not on an ipod but on an actual record player! We were offered showers, laundry, beds! We sat in their beautiful home and smiled as the couple introduced us to their “devil” cat and busily prepared dinner.

Once dinner was ready and we all took our place at the dining room table, our collective jaws dropped at the feast that our hosts had created. A vivid salad, fresh bread, corn on the cob and the main course…this amazing Veggie Burrito Bake.  I started off simple, just a little serving as to not appear rude. But then, my inner cyclist broke out and I devoured more food than I think I’ve ever consumed in one sitting.  It was quite possibly one of the best meals of my entire life and I knew that I had to write down the recipe. Thankfully, Sarah was more than happy to tell us about the book that it came from and my Otesha friends and I stealthily copied it out in my sketchbook. 

Since yesterday was The Otesha Project’s annual fundraiser, An Organic Affair, I thought it would be fitting to make a meal that reminded me of some of my favourite people, during one of my favourite journeys, enjoying the richness that all this world has to offer.  Make this recipe and share it with someone 🙂

Amazing Veggie Burrito Bake

1 large Clove garlic (minced)
1 medium onion (minced)
3/4 cup uncooked rice
3/4 tsp turmeric
1 Tbs oil
1 1/2 cups broth
16 cups fresh spinach (or swiss chard)
1 1/2 tsp garlic (minced)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups cooked black beans
1 Tbs chili powder
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)

1. Saute’ garlic, onion, rice, and turmeric in oil until onion is tender, stirring often.

2. Add broth and mix well; simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed (about 15 min for white rice; 40 min for brown rice). Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes, and fluff with fork.

3. While rice cooks, heat 1 T oil in frypan on high heat. Add garlic and spinach, one handful at a time as it wilts, adding a little water as needed to prevent sticking. Spinach should be moist, with loose leaves, not clumped together.

4. Mix black beans and chili powder in a bowl. Layer ingredients in a 2 quart casserole dish as follows: 1/2 spinach, all the rice, all the beans, remaining spinach.

5. Sprinkle 1 C cheese on top. Cover and bake in a preheated oven at 375F until sizzling, 45 minutes. Or heat in microwave about 10 minutes and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve by spooning into warm flour tortillas and garnish with all the fixins: salsa, sour cream, etc

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