I’m a big believer in eating a good breakfast to start your day. A healthy, high-protein, low-fat breakfast provides the fuel you need to get going in the morning.
The problem is that most mornings are really busy. When your alarm goes off, you have to take a shower, get dressed, find your stuff, complete a little task or two, and if you have kids, help them get ready for the day as well. To put it simply, most mornings we don’t have time to prepare such a breakfast.
Of course, one could stop by a fast food place or a coffee shop for a quick breakfast, but that eats five or ten minutes during the commute – and is ridiculously expensive, too. A tiny breakfast burrito from a fast food restaurant costs two bucks, is pretty unhealthy, and doesn’t taste all that great, either. A cup of coffee and a pastry from Starbucks might hit the spot, but is it really worth five or six bucks every day?
My solution to all of these problems is pretty simple: just make a big batch of healthy breakfast burritos during the weekend and freeze them up. Not only are the burritos really healthy, they’re also very cheap to prepare, and they’re very convenient in the morning since you can microwave them as you’re getting ready and eat them on the go.
You can make a big pile of healthy, tasty breakfast burritos for less than seventy five cents a pop in less than an hour. In fact, I recently did it myself and I’ll walk you through the whole process.
The Stuff You Need
All you need for your basic burritos are 32 burrito-sized flour tortillas, two dozen eggs, four cans of black beans, a jar of salsa, some saran wrap, and some green onions (optional) and shredded cheese (optional).
That’s all you need to make thirty two delicious breakfast burritos. Let’s figure up the total cost.
Three dozen tortillas – $8.85 ($2.95 per dozen)
Two dozen eggs – $4.40 ($2.20 per dozen)
Four cans of black beans – $6.00 ($1.50 per can)
Saran wrap – $3.95
Jar of salsa – $2.95
Total cost – $26.15 ($0.72 per burrito)
You can easily save $4 on the black beans by buying a bag of dried black beans and boiling them yourself, but it would add some significant time to the cooking process. (And remember to take advantage of the opportunity if you have a cash back credit card with a grocery bonus.)
Preparing the Burritos
If you’re adding any vegetables (see below, “Some Optional Ideas”), put these in a medium pot and cook them over medium high heat for a few minutes before doing anything else. This caramelizes onions and peppers, for example.
Open up all of the cans of beans and drain off the sauce. I put the beans in a strainer and run water over the top because I do not like the sauce that beans are packed in.
Crack all of the eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork until they’re roughly consistent. Pour this egg mixture into a medium pot (with the vegetables, if you’re using them) and begin cooking the eggs over medium heat. Stir them constantly, scraping any cooking eggs off of the bottom of the pan. As soon as the eggs just start to cook, add all of the beans to the pot.
Keep cooking the egg/bean/vegetable mix, stirring continuously and scraping eggs off the bottom and side of the pan, until the eggs are thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat.
Take out a single tortilla and put a large spoonful of egg mixture onto the tortilla (about two heaping tablespoons). Put a tablespoon or so of salsa on top, along with anything extra (see below, “Some Optional Ideas”). You’ll want to put the eggs and salsa in the middle of the burrito, near the bottom, as shown below.
Folding these up is easy. First, fold over the sides of the burrito, mostly covering the ingredients…
… then just roll this up from the bottom tightly.
Burrito’s done! Just wrap it in Saran Wrap and move onto the next one.
In the end, I wound up with thirty two burritos and a bit of leftover eggs and beans which I’m saving for lunch.
The entire process, by myself with no help, took about an hour. The burritos themselves cost about seventy cents a piece, though I could have done things to make them cheaper (like using dried beans and cooking them myself and using cheaper ingredients).
Some Optional Ideas
Here are a few good optional things that can jazz these up some more.
Spicing the eggs While cooking the egg mixture, add one or more of these: tarragon, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper.
Green onions or peppers Chop up some green onions or peppers and cook them in the pan for a few minutes before you add the eggs. Tip: if you do green onions, use scissors to cut them up directly over the pot instead of using a knife.
Cheese Put a bit of grated cheddar cheese on top of the eggs and salsa just before you close up the burritos.
Warming Up the Burritos
Reheating these burritos is quite easy – and they don’t have to be dry, either.
Simply take a burrito out of the freezer, take off the saran wrap, and wrap the burrito in a paper towel. Put it in the microwave on defrost for two minutes, then cook on high for a minute and a half or so. This will produce a warm, moist burrito. You may need to play with the exact times a bit depending on your elevation, your microwave, and the size of the burrito you made.
Let it cool for a minute or two in the microwave, then you can easily carry the burrito with you in the paper towel. The paper towel will help prevent any leakage and can provide a napkin when you’re finished.
These burritos are ovo-vegetarian, quite healthy, delicious, and packed with protein. You can prepare them in just a few minutes in the microwave when you’re busy in the morning and, best of all, they cost less than a dollar.
Sounds like a deal to me.