Good looking, vegetarian, easy, inexpensive, and satisfying. Vegetarian Slow Cooker Burritos for the dinner win! There’s even a good chance your kids will eat them without complaint. Burrito sales pitch done.
Let’s be honest, dinner is hard. I even enjoy cooking at least 70% of the time, and still, dinner is hard. But I read somewhere once that the person who does the majority of the cooking (mostly mom since we’re still being honest) is the nutritional gatekeeper, i.e. the person held responsible for the family’s health and well being. As if there wasn’t already an elephant sized load of guilt built into the mothering gig, I am now painfully aware every day at 6 PM that the frozen pizza I want to cook may or may not condemn my children to a life of obesity and illness and it will be all my fault.
These Vegetarian Slow Cooker Burritos are one of those dinners that save the day over and over again. Dinner can be hard, but let’s not make it any harder than it has to be. I put that Crock Pot to work and rest a little bit easier knowing that I’ve lived up to my nutritional gatekeeper duties.
Slow Cookers get a bad wrap, as do busy moms sometimes, but often undeservedly so. With these Vegetarian Slow Cooker Burritos, there’s no mushy, colorless, bland crock pot sludge. Even after hours in the slow cooker, the barley is still delightfully chewy in a meaty-with-no-meat-grain kind of way. The corn, tomatoes, and bell peppers keep it colorful, and the beans round it off in a good protein kind of way. It’s a good looking recipe. This is a crock pot meal you can get behind.
I am a single mother, which means in addition to dinner, I’ve got to pay the bills (the mortgage, the utilities, and all other expenses that pop up and remind me daily that nothing, absolutely nothing, is free), take care of all those kids of mine – four kids might as well be twenty some days, work work and more work, and occasionally, when time allows, shower and wash the dishes. I tell you this only because I want it to be very clear when I say “this is a totally manageable dinner recipe” that I’m very qualified to say so.
I’m going to pull my single mom card here and say: If I can get this dinner on the table, so can you.
Here are few ways to make it work:
- Put it in the crockpot the night before. In the morning, transfer it to the fridge, then when the end of the day sneaks up and it’s dinner time, all you have to do is reheat and serve.
- Put it in the crockpot in the morning. Assemble warm burritos for dinner in the evening.
- Put it in the crockpot whenever you can squeeze it in. Assemble the burritos when you find 5 available minutes (leaving off the salsa and sour cream), wrap them in foil, then refrigerate or freeze until it’s time to eat (at which point you can add the salsa and sour cream).
- Get a nice crockpot with a timer on it to really make your life easier. It’s worth it and you won’t regret it. I have this inexpensive Crock Pot and it works well – I especially like that it switches to warm when the timer is up, which comes in handy often.
- If you have a few extra minutes before dinner time, assemble the burritos then spray a grill pan and heat it to medium high heat, then cook those burritos for just a minute or so on each side. Then you can enjoy a crispy, warm burrito with those yummy looking grill marks that make it taste 10% better.
- Serve it with mixed greens and/or baby spinach so you can feel really good about yourself you good-looking-nutritional-gatekeeper-you.
- Use the leftovers and make burritos to send in lunchboxes the next day – this is my kids’ favorite!
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (10 oz) can Rotel, Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
- 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
- 3 cups broth
- 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- flour tortillas
- shredded cheese
- mixed greens and/or baby spinach
- 2 cups salsa
- 1 cup sour cream
- Place all of the ingredients for the burrito filling into slow cooker and stir until well combined. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or until barley is tender and liquid has been absorbed.
- Assemble burritos by spooning mixture down center of tortillas, sprinkle with cheese and fresh cilantro. Serve with salsa and sour cream. Optional, serve with mixed greens and/or baby spinach for a more complete meal.