Friday, January 27, 2017

Roasted Veggie Chimichangas

Chimichangas!!! Mmmmm. My mouth is watering just thinking about these. I had the idea last night as I was roasting some fajita style veggies and wondering what I wanted to do with them (besides the obvious fajita use). I don't usually fry things, mainly because I don't want the added fat, but these chimichangas just sounded sooooo yummy. Plus I had all the stuff to make them, which is a rare feat! I decided to go for it, but I used whole wheat tortillas to make them healthy...oh who am I kidding? Let's just call it a cheat day :)

I ended up combining my favorite roasted veggies, vegetarian refried beans, lime juice, cilantro, and ooey-gooey cheddar cheese; stuffing them inside whole wheat tortillas; and then pan frying them to golden brown perfection. I finished them off with another squeeze of lime, and a healthy dollop of sour cream flavored with garlic and chives. It. Was. So. Good. I already can't wait to make these again, and, as an added bonus, I had lots of roasted veggies left over to use for other things. The wheels are already turning.

Getting Started

To make the roasted fajita veggies, start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F. While your oven is preheating, Cut your tomatoes, onion and bell peppers into big chunks. This is actually the main reason I love making these: I HATE cutting up onion. I have even gone so far as to use goggles while chopping them. It may sound silly, but no tears! Refrigerating the onions also helps, as does being efficient about chopping and not dilly-dallying. But with this I can just cut them into big chunks and be done with it! They will simply obliterate in the oven.

Next mix your veggies together with the olive oil and fajita seasoning (I used the same fajita seasoning from my Grilled Eggplant Fajita recipe). Once well coated, toss them into a large, dark roasting pan and bake for 20-25 min. This will make much more veggies than you need for this recipe, but they make great leftovers. If you want just enough for the chimichangas, you could cut the recipe in half.

Side note: I kinda wished I would have tossed a seeded, chopped jalapeno in for some spice - I will leave that decision up to you!

Once your veggies are getting cozy in the oven, you can get started on the beans and sour cream. For the bean filling, mix one can of vegetarian refried beans with 1 Tbs finely chopped cilantro, 1 tsp crushed, dried oregano; juice from half a fresh and juicy lime; and a generous pinch of salt. Mix your sour cream with the finely chopped garlic and chives. Now, really you could mix all of those things into the beans and just top with plain sour cream - it's up to you.

To assemble your chimichangas, lay your tortilla flat and add a good spoonful of the bean mixture, some of the veggies, and a good amount of finely grated cheddar cheese right into the center. Be careful not to add too much filling because you won't be able to roll them up nicely. Now to get the perfect burrito roll. Start by pulling one side across to meet the other side, then pulling back to squish the ingredients into the fold. Next fold in both sides, and then tightly roll it up...hopefully that makes sense! While assembling your burritos, heat enough vegetable oil in a large skillet to cover up to the sides of the chimichangas. Wait until the oil is hot (see note below), then add two to three burritos at a time, seem side down first, and cook on each side until golden. If the oil is not coming up high enough on the sides, use tongs to hold your burritos on their sides in the oil to finish them off. Finally, take them out of the pan and let them cool on a paper towel - this will help soak up some of the excess oil as well. Once they have cooled a little, top with another fresh squeeze of lime (don't forget this part! So yummy!), top with a generous amount of sour cream, and devour.

Note: About heating the oil - I'm not an expert on frying! I'm not sure what exact temperature your oil should be. I just toss a tiny piece of tortilla in to test if it's ready or not. If the piece of tortilla sizzles when you drop it in, then it should be good to go. This often leads to several tiny pieces of tortilla floating around in the pan, but it works! If you have a better suggestion, please feel free to leave it in the comments!


Roasted Veggies:
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow onion
1 lb cocktail tomatoes (or whatever kind of tomato you like)
2 Tbs fajita seasoning
Olive oil to coat - 1-2 Tbs

Fajita Seasoning (this makes more than you will need, but you can store it for a while and use it again later):
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp crushed oregano

Bean Mixture:
1 can vegetarian refried beans (15-16oz)
Juice from 1/2 lime or 1 whole lime if it's dry
1 Tbs finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp crushed, dried oregano
Generous pinch of salt - 1/2 - 1 tsp

Flavored Sour Cream:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 Tbs chives, finely chopped

6-8 whole wheat burrito sized tortillas
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (I forgot to measure this part, so it may be more or less depending on how much you use in each chimichanga)
Vegetable oil for frying
Extra lime wedges
Hot sauce,  guacamole, and salsa if desired

Looking for something similar? Check out these yummy Grilled Eggplant Fajitas!

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refried beans

sour cream
1 tbs chives
1 large garlic clove


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