Guest Post – Chimichangas!

I am so excited to start this week off with a guest post from one of my friends, Lindsay.  Lindsay is my real friend, but I’ve never met her in real life.  Is that weird?  I met her on a photography forum years ago and decided that I wanted to stalk her and be her actual friend, so I did it.  And I’m pretty sure I gave her some excuse as to why I needed her phone number and then I started texting her.  And sending her children gifts on their birthdays.  Oh wow.  I sound absolutely terrifying.  I’m not.  But the point is, I love her.  She is a mom to 2 incredibly beautiful and smart kids.  She homeschools them.  She photographs them. She instagrams them.  She is one of those moms who you are super jealous of because she is so cute and so sweet and a really good mom and really smart — and then you aren’t jealous anymore, you just think she’s freaking rad.  Totally Lindsay.

Oh, and she’s vegetarian.  (I may or may not be trying to be just like her).

Today, Lindsay is sharing a recipe with us that her whole family loves, young children included.

And check out her blog HERE!

Okay, take it away, Lindsay:

Starting January 1st, our family decided to try this radical concept:  Budgeting.  I know, I know.  We are trailblazers.  One place that we were spending way too much money was eating out.  On the reg.  (I feel like Ruthie’s blog deserves a little extra sass.  I wouldn’t ever say “on the reg” in my daily conversations.)  We were feeling extra heavy and our wallets were feeling extra light.  So, we decided to see if we could go an entire month without eating out.  Anyone who knows me knows that means I needed lots of new recipes to keep my attention.

Rules of Engagement:

Meals had to be homemade.

Meals had to be vegetarian (We haven’t eaten meat since I read SkinnyB*tch a year ago.)

Meals had to be something in the realm of possibility that everyone would like.  (Luckily my kids aren’t super picky.)

The best part of this challenge?  All the family dinners.  Bar none.  Did you know families who eat together have less of a chance of having teenagers with drug problems?  (link:  http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/parenting/studies-find-that-dinner-makes-a-difference-family-day-spreads-the-word)  True story.  (These are the things that keep me up at night.)

The second best part was all the new family favorites we gained.  And these chimis are at the top of the list.  My 6 year old was legitimately mad when I made them for a friend who has a new baby and she didn’t get any and was reduced to eating homemade pizza.  The horror.

Oven- Baked Bean Chimichangas 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the tortillas

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

2 teaspoon garlic, zested

1 4-ounce can green chiles

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1.5 teaspoons ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

Juice of one lime

1 can vegetarian refried beans, with some salsa mixed in.

Mexican Mix cheese

Soft-taco size tortillas.  I think mine are about 8 inches and it makes 6.

Toppings we love:  salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, avocado, olives, green onions

Pre-heat the oven to 400*.

Chop onion, because every good meal starts with some onion.  Heat 1 T olive oil in a pan over low-medium heat, depending on your oven and cookware.  Drop onions in and season with a bit of salt to draw out the liquids.

garlic (1)

Smash and then zest your garlic.  I know this is a little odd, but I learned this from Rachel Ray years ago. (isn’t Food Network where everyone learned to cook?)  I have this handy dandy microplane.  My family loves garlic, but they do not love big chunks of it.  This helps me get things good’n’garlicky without anyone crying about chewing on a piece of it.

grilled-ish onions (1)

I like onion to be on the grilled side for dishes like this.  Especially in vegetarian cooking you are looking to add flavor at every step.  That way when people come to your house for dinner and think they are going to leave starving, they are very, very wrong and feel like they’ve eaten a 5 star meal.

chiles

Add your garlic.  While I like my onions to be grilled-ish, the first thing that will ruin any dish is burnt garlic.  So, if you burn your garlic, seriously start over.  Its ruined.  The best way to know your garlic is ready for the next ingredient is when your whole house smells like garlic bread.  As soon as that happens (15-30 seconds of cooking time) toss in the next ingredient, which happens to be your green chiles.  Then add your ancho chili powder, cumin, and your lime juice.

While that is cooking, let’s talk about ancho chili powder for a second.  For serious, you need some.  A lot of mexican dishes call for chili powder and sometimes I feel like it makes everything taste like… well, chili.  Like, the beans and meat kind.  This ancho chili powder is just a little different of a flavor, but still warm and and spicy (not in a heat way, though).  I finally found it at Target and have already used half a jar.  Its a worthy investment.

 black beans

Now that we have that situation under control, add your black beans.  Let that warm up and you’ve got one filling done.

beans and salsa

Now mix some salsa into your refried beans.  Look at that!  Another filling done, you rockstar, you.

assembly

chimichangasassembly

Now its time to assembly line.  On each tortilla spread some refried beans, your black bean mixture and some cheese.

Then fold up like the perfect little gift to your kiddos its about to be.

fold 1 fold 2 fold 3 seam side down (1)

Lay all your chimis in a greased baking dish, seam side down.

olive oil painted chimies (1)

Find a new, or at least semi-clean (I kid, go with new) paint brush and paint those babies with some olive oil.  (Or, you know, an actual food brush will work, too.)

Pop them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes and they will puff up and get crunchy.  Its magic.

finished product

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One thought on “Guest Post – Chimichangas!

  1. Pingback: Guest Post | Tiny Spark Academy

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