Use up leftover ingredients with these black bean burritos [Recipe]


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You’ve spent most of your Sunday parked on the couch watching football, and now it’s late, you’re not keen on preparing an elaborate meal and you have a can of black beans, some whole-wheat tortillas and an assortment of veggies that look like they won’t make it to Monday night’s game.

Make a black bean burrito! Yes, even if you’re out of lettuce and tomatoes. It’s your kitchen, and your rules. You’ll be surprised at some of the meals that result from combining whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 small red onion diced

  • 3 ribs celery, chopped

  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced

  • 2 handfuls of spinach, chopped

  • 1 can low-sodium black beans (or kidney beans), drained

  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (optional, or you can add at the end, substituting for sour cream)

  • 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, gruyere, whatever you have)

  • Garlic power, oregano, salt and pepper to taste

  • Whole-wheat tortillas


Nota bene:

Have tomatoes? Go ahead and dice a medium-sized one and include it. This particular recipe did not call for tomatoes because the Vitals editor was fresh out and didn’t feel like trekking to the supermarket. The combination of flavors in this recipe, however, works so well, you really won’t miss them.



  1. In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and celery, stirring them so they don’t burn, approximately three minutes.

  2. Add the bell pepper and continue to stir, approximately two minutes.

  3. Add the chopped spinach, and keep things moving in there while waiting for the spinach to wilt.

  4. Add the beans, stirring occasionally, approximately five minutes.

  5. Add garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.

  6. For a creamy burrito sans guilt, add 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt. Add 1 cup grated cheese. Cheddar is standard, but gruyere was what was on hand for this recipe and was quite tasty. Mix until the cheese melts.

  7. Voila! Remove from heat and let stand for a minute or two while everything cools and thickens.

  8. Warm up the tortilla for a minute or two and assemble your burritos. If you’re feeling decadent, add some more shredded cheese, but it’s truly unnecessary.

  9. Now go watch the rest of the last game and enjoy your black bean burrito knowing that regardless of how your team did, you not only prepared a relatively healthy meal but also managed to use up the vegetables before they ended up in the trash can again.