Tuesday, November 19, 2013

transcendental burritos

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In his book on meditation, director David Lynch credits the practice with helping him conceptualize some of his most unique and imaginative ideas. I credit my personal meditation practice with the concept for this burrito. So on a creative genius level, I can TOTALLY relate. And while I’m fairly certain many meditative gurus might fail me for turning my savasana into a 15 minute lunch fantasy; I emerged from the mat that afternoon energized and inspired. What could possibly be more Zen than that?

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It's pretty funny (slash typical) that when I travel to the depths of my subconscious I emerge with burritos. But the resulting burrito was, in fact, totally transcendent and I must spread the word.  I would fully start a meditation-based lunch cult based on these burritos and I would hope that you would join me in this spiritual quest. Much like my favorite veggie tacos this is more a collection of ideas than a traditional recipe, but each component is simple to prepare, fairly healthy and tastes delicious. This would make a great “Meatless Monday” dinner option, or just a healthy, yummy meal perfect for the middle of the week. The squash only takes about 5 minutes to prep and 20 to cook and while it’s roasting in the oven you can make everything else you will need.

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Smoky Roasted Acorn Squash with Lime and Honey

1 acorn squash, seeded and sliced
Juice from one lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
Generous pinch sea salt

Preheat oven to 425. Split squash and scoop out seeds; slice into 1 inch thick slices and place into a large bowl. Pour over the olive oil, lime juice and honey and toss well to coat. Sprinkle in paprika, cumin and salt, tossing to coat evenly. Set to roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until fully tender and bronzed on the edges, flipping once.

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Refried Black Beans

1 can black beans, or 1 ½ cups homemade cooked black beans
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin

Empty black beans into a blender or food processor and pulse a few times until slightly more liquefied, but uniform smaller chunks of bean are still present. Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat, add garlic and cumin and stir together for about a minute. You want to ideally toast the cumin, but not singe the garlic; adjust the heat if necessary. Pour in pureed beans and stir together. Let simmer and allow the liquid to reduce a bit, about 10, minutes, stirring often and reducing heat if the beans start to scorch. Add a few pinches of salt to taste. Serve immediately.

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Spicy Sriracha Yogurt Sauce

¼ cup Greek yogurt
2-3 tablespoons Sriracha
Juice from ½ lime
½ - 1 teaspoon cumin
Pinch sea salt

Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork. Taste and increase hot sauce/adjust seasonings if necessary.

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I used wild rice because I had some leftover in the fridge, and it really worked well here. You could sub in any rice that you prefer, whether it be white, brown or yellow; or even toss some quinoa in if you’re feeling super virtuous. Each of these recipes is delicious separate from this particular dish: the black beans are awesome with traditional tacos or enchiladas; or even dropped onto nachos with guacamole. The acorn squash is great to have alongside fish, chicken or pork or would even make a dead-simple Thanksgiving side dish. The Sriracha yogurt is my go-to sauce for fish tacos but would also make a great condiment for a grilled chicken wrap or an egg sandwich. They are all star players in their own right.

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But no matter how well they function independently, know this: together, along with a few slices of ripe avocado and some crunchy salted pepitas, this group of components is so much greater than the sum of its parts. This burrito has every texture and flavor that I want to experience at one time: salty, crunchy, tangy, soft and creamy, slightly sweet and spiced. If this is what transcendence feels like, I’m into it.

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