Burritos Refried Beans Vegetarian Sandwich Spreads

 Meatless Monday is on its way.  Here are some ideas for lunch and dinner.  I’ll be having veggie pate sandwiches for lunch and refried bean burritos for dinner.

Vegetarian Bean Burritos are great for lunch or dinner, hot or cold.  A hot variation is refried beans and brown rice.

For lunch, make burritos at home or purchase premade frozen bean burritos–it won’t be as hearty as what you’d make at home, but sometimes there isn’t enough time to make everything.  For homemade burritos, the basic ingredients are:

  1. tortilla wraps
  2. refried beans or other filling
  3. “fixings”, such as grated cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and chopped green onions
  4. condiments–perhaps salsa and sour cream.

For a Vegweb recipe,  click Refried Beans.  This recipe includes tomatoes–which could be optional—in the past I haven’t used tomatoes–the key ingredients are pre-cooked beans fried with lots of garlic, onions,  hot or sweet pepper,  and seasonings, such as oregano and cumin.  The beans are partly mashed as they fry and taste best the next day when the flavours have deepened.

For instructions on how to roll a tortilla, take a look at “How to Make Bean Burrito Bites” a video by Expertvillage.  Burrito bites are a cold variation that are presented as an appetizer, but also would work for lunch.  The burritos are spread with cream cheese and filled with refried beans,  chopped cilantro,  raw pepper slices, and cucumber strips.

More Lunch Ideas

 In a previous blog I introduced the idea of buying or making  vegetarian pate for sandwiches.   Since then I made the Vegweb veggie pate  recipe, as I was unable to find a premade version in the store.  It was fairly easy to make, once the ingredients were assembled (as is often the case). 

The pate consists of ground nuts, grated raw vegetables, oil, soy sauce, nutritional yeast and other seasonings.  A coffee grinder is handy for grinding the nuts.  Nutritional yeast adds flavour and texture.  The mixture is spread in a large baking dish and baked in the oven.  The result is delicious hot or cold.

I experimented with a variation of the recipe, accidentally and on purpose.  I used only ground sunflower seeds and now realize that the recipe also calls for ground sesame.   The recipe uses shredded carrots, beets, and zucchini.  I used shredded carrots, mushrooms, and bok choy stems—what I had on hand.

Another quicker idea for a luncheon spread is to mix tahini (or another favourite seed or nut spread) with grated carrots, nutritional yeast, mayo, and chopped green onions.  For proportions, take a look at “Vegan Sandwich Recipes” on  the Toronto Vegetarian Association website.  As usual, improvising is the way to go.  If you don’t have nutritional yeast on hand, try a small amount of soy sauce and reduce the mayo.

Nutritional  yeast is  sometimes referred to in recipes as brewer’s yeast, torula yeast or engevita yeast—it’s not an active yeast that would be used in bread making.  I used “debittered” brewer’s yeast from a local natural food store. Yeast deepens flavours for spreads, soups, stews, and sauces etc.–it also has nutritional qualities as a source of protein, iron, and vitamin B.   I’ve tried it on popcorn with spices, instead of butter and salt.

Enjoy your vegetarian meals for Meatless Monday–experiment with new foods, but keep it simple!

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