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#IndoTexMex: Healthy Quinoa Burritos – The Perfect ‘On The Go’ Lunch

Whilst they may be the ideal lunch for a busy day, you can have these Healthy Quinoa Burritos for breakfast/brunch/lunch or even as a filling and healthy snack.

They work great if you want to take along something for your friends.

Burritos are a kind of Mexican or Tex-Mex food involving soft whole wheat tortillas fully wrapped around the filling as opposed to tacos which remain open on one side.

The fillings mainly include beans and as an American addition, Mexican style rice or plain rice along with guacamole, salsa, cheese and sour cream.

This recipe has quinoa instead of rice; Indian cottage cheese instead of cheese and sour cream.  It is therefore low in starch and fat, yet filling and healthy.  The intention here is to have a clean, easy-to-pack lunch on the go and one which you can chuck in the freezer as well.

When at leisure, additions such as guacamole, salsa can be made.

Quinoa may not be as popular as rice or wheat, however as opposed to these two firm favourites, quinoa is packed with dietary fibre, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, as well as the eight essential amino acids.

It is easy to cook, easy to digest too and gluten-free.  Why would anyone not wish to include this super grain in their diet?  One thing to bear in mind with quinoa is it needs to be washed well when still raw, otherwise it tends to be slightly bitter.   I suggest rinsing it well under clean running water on a fine strainer and before use.  Follow the instructions on the pack for cooking.

Now, these Quinoa Burritos With Veg And Chickpeas are full of healthy veggies, beans and chickpeas and flavoursome too.  Wrap the prepared individual burritos with aluminium foil and freeze them for use later.

Defrost them overnight in the fridge, remove the foil, warm it up in the microwave just before use.

In case paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is not available or you wish to avoid it, use grated tofu or sprinkle grated cheese at the end, over the filling while making the wrap.

Ingredients:

½ cup of raw quinoa cooked as per the instructions on the pack
400 grams of chickpeas.
200 grams of red kidney beans.
2 spring onions – both green and white sections, finely sliced.
1 ½ cups of finely chopped red, green and yellow bell peppers
1 long celery stick – finely chopped.
½ cup of sweet corn – fresh or frozen.
1 tomato – de-seeded and finely chopped.
1 cup of finely chopped baby spinach.
1 cup of grated paneer.
1 green chilli – finely chopped.  Alternately you can use Jalapeno peppers, finely chopped.
1 teaspoon – garlic powder.
1 teaspoon – cumin powder.
1 teaspoon – smoked paprika or red chili powder
Juice of half a lemon.
2 – 3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh coriander.
1 tablespoon of olive oil.
6 – 8 large tortillas.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

First rinse the quinoa well under running water, add additional water and cook following the instructions on the pack.
While the quinoa is cooking, chop all the vegetables and keep them ready.
In a large deep pan, heat the olive oil.
Add sliced spring onions, green chilli and saute until they soften.
Add all the chopped veggies – red, green, yellow bell peppers, celery, sweet corn and saute and cook until they soften.
Add the cooked chickpeas, red kidney beans and saute for a couple of minutes.
Add the cooked quinoa and garlic powder and combine.
Now add chopped spinach, grated paneer and chopped tomato
Add salt, pepper, cumin and red chilli powder.
Combine everything well.  Turn off the heat.
Mix in the lemon juice and chopped coriander.
To prepare the burritos, place the tortilla on a plate.
Place the filling over it to one side leaving some area along the edge free to allow for folding.
Folder over the smaller side.  Fold over the sides – this ensures the filling doesn’t leak or slip out – as you roll to create the covered wrap.
Cut along the middle to serve.

Notes:

Your choice of tortillas can be used to prepare the burritos.  Make sure you wrap the filling tight when folding over the tortilla.  I have used lots of vegetables with chickpeas and beans.  Instead more of the beans can be used if preferred.  The filling in itself can be served as a fulfilling salad.  Adjust spicing according to tolerance.

{module Anu Nagraja – Author }

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