LuAnn's Creamy Black Bean
and Spinach Burritos

Extraordinary, "better than a restaurant!"

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Real dairy cream cheese and sour cream can be substituted for the non-dairy alternatives suggested in the recipe, but if you can find the vegan products, I encourage you to try this recipe as written to see just how DELICIOUS well-prepared vegan food can be!

Ingredients

Tortillas

  • 8 large flour tortillas (I used Mission Whole Grain tortillas for the added fiber content)

Filling

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano (milder) OR 2 jalapeno peppers, deseeded, deveined, and finely chopped, optional (for very delicate palates, substitute a diced green bell pepper)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (or for a milder sauce, diced tomatoes without chiles
  • 1 (8-ounce) tub container non-dairy cream cheese (such as Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (do NOT substitute frozen spinach)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauce

  • 2 cups vegetarian “chicken” broth (or 2 cups water plus 2 teaspoons vegetarian chicken-style seasoning, such as McKay’s or Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base)
  • 1 cup non-dairy sour cream (such as Tofutti Better than Sour Cream)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Paprika or mild chili powder or chipotle chile powder

Garnish and accompaniments

  • Fresh cilantro sprigs
  • Additional non-dairy sour cream
  • Salsa or pico de gallo

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Tortillas

  1. Set the tortillas out of the refrigerator to warm to room temperature. (Leave the package sealed so the tortillas don’t begin to try out).

Filling

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat (or spray the bottom of the skillet liberally with no-stick cooking spray). Add the onion, red bell pepper, and poblano or jalapeno peppers (or green bell pepper), then saute for about 8 minutes, or just until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic, oregano, and cumin, then continue sautéing for a minute or two.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes and non-dairy cream cheese, heating until the sour cream has melted smoothly.
  4. Carefully fold in the fresh spinach leaves and heat the mixture just until the spinach wilts, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add salt to taste. Set skillet aside, allowing the filling to cool slightly while making the sauce.

Sauce

  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan, blend until smooth with an immersion blender (or blend in a conventional blender before adding to the saucepan). Bring the mixture just to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat.

Assemble and bake the burritos

  1. (If necessary to soften the tortillas, working one at a time, use your hand to spread a few drops of water across the top surface of the tortilla, then place the tortilla on a microwave soft plate and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds).
  2. Place a tortilla on a large plate, then spoon about 1 cup of the filling mixture onto the center of the tortilla; spread into a 2-inch wide strip from one edge to the other, then carefully roll the tortilla around the filling. Slide the filled tortilla from the plate into the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling, arranging the filled tortillas side by side in the pan.
  3. Pour the sauce evenly over the burritos, covering completely. Sprinkle lightly with paprika or chili powder.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until bubbly hot.

Garnish and accompaniments

  1. Garnish baked burritos with fresh cilantro leaves and a dollop of non-dairy sour cream. If desired, serve with salsa or pico de gallo.

Yield: 8 large burritos

Recipe by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals I and II, a two-volume collection of family-approved, plant-based recipes.