This blog post will be a bit lengthy as it includes three different recipes. I have mentioned before, we LOVE Mexican food in this house. If I ask my husband for any sort of request, you can bet tacos will be one of them. These are basically our tacos, made into a chimichanga! I LOVE chimis, but there is no way you will ever find me deep frying: I just can’t bring myself to do it, I guess I know too much about the health!! So how do you create a crunchy, crisp exterior with out the deep fryer? I’ll teach you!! Your fillings can be whatever you want, but THIS time, I used my Spanish rice recipe, my refried bean recipe, and some deli chicken that needed to be used. I have also made this with ground meat filling, and pulled pork fillings…..so do YOUR thing to it too! Consider this a technique lesson and do all the fillings yourself! It’s also noteworthy that this meal usually takes me about 30-45 minutes (depending on how many garnishes I prepare and how many times I scramble to find another exciting wooden spoon for the baby to chew on!) It looks like a lot, but it’s really not so bad (but it WILL use a lot of pots!). And once the chimichangas are in the oven, you have time to clean up before dinner!
Yield: About 6-8 chimichangas
- 2 cups cooked and shredded or chopped chicken
- 2/3 cup of your favorite salsa
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
- 1/2 cup Daiya cheese or favorite shredded cheese
- 2 green onions, chopped
Beans: (6 servings @ 79 calories, .7 g fat, 13.3 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 1.3 g sugars, 4.4 g protein)
- 1 14 ounce can pinto beans, w/ soaking liquid
- 1 slice bacon, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons Fiesta chili powder
- (OR use 1 can of your favorite refried beans!)
- 1 1/2 cup long grain rice
- 2 tablespoons oil of choice (I prefer coconut oil )
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 can tomato paste*** (see tip) or tomato sauce if it is what you have
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
About 6-8 brown rice tortillas (or flour tortillas if you can have them, however, even my husband LOVES these with the brown rice tortillas, especially crunchy and crisp!)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Start your rice. Heat oil over medium high heat in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Add in the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Continue to cook and stir every minute or two to toast the rice (see picture). When it looks like mine, you’re ready to move on. This normally takes about 5 minutes or so. Add in the salt, garlic, paste and cumin, stirring to blend. Add in the chicken broth, stirring to blend again. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender.
- Meanwhile, cook your beans! Saute the bacon in a small pot until crisp and browned. Pour in the whole can of beans with their liquid, and add the spices. Partially mash the beans with a potato masher or fork. Simmer while you prep the remaining items.
- Stir together all your chicken filling ingredients.
- To assemble: Heat a teaspoon or two of oil/fat in a pan large enough to accommodate the brown rice tortilla. (As a side note, anyone who had used these knows, if you try to roll them up cold, they will break. I have also had NO luck using the microwave to heat them for rolling. By heating the tortilla in fat, you are adding the oil to make the tortillas super crunchy in the oven too) Heat the tortilla until soft and pliable, about a minute, remove. First spread some beans, then the chicken. There is no science to how much of each, you just want to make sure you can roll it up! Once filled, roll the tortilla tightly up, placing seam side down on a cookie sheet. Make the remaining chimichangas. If you used no oil or flour tortillas, brush the chimichangas with oil before baking them.
- Bake for about 25 minutes until crisp and golden. Garnish with any extra cheese, salsa, avocado, chopped lettuce, or hot sauce. Serve on a bed of Spanish rice.
***to save unused tomato paste for another use, I open both ends of the can with an opener. I push one lid all the way through to the other side to deposit to whole cylinder onto a piece of waiting plastic wrap, close it up and freeze it. I find this quite handy as so many recipes only call for a tablespoon here or there, and I hate any food to go to waste! I slice off the frozen paste as I need it.
This recipe was shared on Lunchbox Love, Allergy Friendly Fridays, Gluten Free Wednesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Whole Foods Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Real Food Wednesday, Pennywise Platter, Full Plate Thursdays, Thriving on Thursdays, Freaky Friday, Feed My Soul Friday, Fight Back Friday, Lunchbox Love, Sugar Free Sunday, Monday Mania, Melt In Your Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Things That Make You say MMM, Creative Corner Monday, The Better Mom’s Linky, Real Food 101, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Hearth & Soul,