Burritos, built from leftovers, the pantry, and the freezer

The easiest way to get your freezer stocked without a lot of extra work is to “feed the freezer”.  Any time you make something that is freezer-friendly, like soup or chili, make double and freeze half.  To keep track of everything, I magnet a sheet of computer labels to my fridge so I can find them easily.  I label my freezer food with the dish and the date (including the year – I found this out the hard way), and when I see a busy night on the horizon, I pull something out of my freezer stash.

You can even do the first part of a recipe and freeze it…. just the boring or PITA stuff like chopping veggies and cooking meat….. then all that’s left to do is assembly on the busy day when you use it

Here’s a recipe for something I almost always have in the freezer – burrito filling.  If I am really pressed for time, I just eat it out of a bowl like chili for an instant meal.  It’s also a great way to use up leftovers.

Burrito Filling

½ to 1 pound cooked meat – fried ground beef, leftover chicken, just about anything

1 jar of prepared salsa (or 1 can diced tomatoes plus Mexican seasonings)

1 can of low-fat refried beans

1 can of black beans, drained (optional)

Chopped bell peppers and/or canned green chiles

Stir all items together in a pot or bowl, and freeze in sealed containers for up to 3 months

To make the burritos:

Thaw filling in fridge or microwave until you can stir it

Place ¼ cup of filling and 2 tbsp. grated cheese on a tortilla and roll it up

Place burritos in a pan, top with salsa and grated cheese, and bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and tortillas begin to brown.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole and salsa

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