Karin Calloway

Food columnist for The Augusta Chronicle.

Lunch Box: Freezer Burritos

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My teenage daughter has occasionally gone on kicks on which her favorite food was frozen burritos, heated in the microwave. To satisfy her craving, I came up with a more wholesome version that I make ahead and stash in the freezer.

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  CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
CHRIS THELEN/STAFF

For the filling, I like a combination of canned chili beans, cooked brown rice and reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese. I favor this combination because the beans provide enough sauce and seasonings that I don’t need to add anything, making these extremely quick and easy to prepare. Chili beans come in cans labeled “mild” or “hot,” and I like to use a can of each in the filling.

There are many ways to personalize the burritos. Add ground beef or shredded chicken, use refried or black beans in place of chili beans, and use Mexican or yellow rice in place of plain white rice. Whatever combination you choose, you’ll need one-half to one cup of filling per burrito, depending on the size of the tortillas.

Place the filling down the center, leaving a little more than an inch on both sides. Fold in the sides and then roll. Place seam-side down on a square of aluminum foil and wrap in the foil. I store the burritos in a large bag in the freezer.

To heat it up, just remove the foil, wrap the burrito in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for about three minutes. Microwaves vary, so you might want to start by heating a burrito for two minutes and checking whether it is still frozen in the center.

FREEZER BURRITOS

2 15-ounce cans chili beans or refried beans

3 cups cooked brown or white rice

2 cups reduced-fat shredded cheese

8 burrito-size flour tortillas

Combine the beans, rice and cheese in a large bowl.

Place one tortilla onto a flat surface and spoon about 1 cup of the bean mixture in the center of the tortilla. Fold into burritos and wrap in foil. Repeat with remaining burritos.

Place foil-wrapped burritos in a zip-top plastic bag, removing as much excess air as possible. Freeze for up to six months.

To heat one burrito: Remove a burrito from the plastic bag. Unwrap and discard the foil. Wrap in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 3 minutes.

Makes 8 burritos.

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