Butternut and black bean burritos with red pepper and tomato "salsa"

DSC_1527I'll be brief--this week/month is packed, and today my head is swimming with that treading water feeling. I have no time...but who does? It's August (just about), and the "dog days" don't let you laze around in the shade like I wish they would sometimes. Good things, mostly, but preoccupying. In addition to life as we know it lately, a few exciting extras: With LiveWell Longmont, Melissa and I have been taking Plot to Plate concepts around the town, at the Farmers' Market and preschools, and we're buckling down and working on building an after-school curriculum on it; I'm also thrilled to have the opportunity to get paid to play with awesome Ancient Harvest products (more on that later!); Leadville is coming up FAST and Dave's not the only one feeling the stress of it; and, eclipsing all of that, our Little Monkey is less than a month away from turning ONE! How can it be, so soon!? So... today, aside from the rambling I've already fallen prey to,just the basic goods on these burritos...because they are so good.


Originally, these were supposed to be these scrumptious-looking burritos from amazing Oh She Glows, only my fridge's stock redirected,incorporating kale and red onion, and leaving out cheese. I also added a red pepper tomato "salsa", of which I had a whole Vitamix-worth. They don't look beautiful, but they would have if I'd taken them this week instead of last. (Yes, I am getting a little bit better at taking pictures!! I've been PRACTICING!)

Yes, "salsa" is in quotes for a reason. Because it's not salsa. It's sauce. It read as salsa on a website I can no longer find, and I was considering making a version of it for one of our LiveWell edible art nights at the Farmers' Market. The recipe intrigued me, mainly because I wondered how something that was prepared so saucily could emerge as salsa. It didn't. Curiosity satisfied, but plans to use at the Market scuppered.

Enter these delicious burritos. The salsa-sauce added a tasty, almost tangy layer to the filling, easy to make and boasting notes both sweet and savory. That said, I happened to have this sauce that was supposed to be salsa. When (not if) I make them again, will I use any old salsa instead? Probably yes. So take the method below with a grain of salsa (ok, salt).

Butternut and black bean burritos with red pepper and tomato "salsa" This looks like a lot of steps, but it's easy when you prep the squash, salsa/sauce, and rice in advance (even days) while you're doing other things!

Makes 4 burritos

For the main filling:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • Dash sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
  • Dash each of chili powder and cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups kale, ribs and stems removed, chopped
  • One 15-oz can black beans (about 1.5-2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 1 recipe red pepper tomato sauce (see below)
  • Toppings (I used avocado and cilantro, salsa)
  • 4 tortilla wraps (large or x-large)


1. Roast the squash however you like. I throw it all in an oven on foil, whole, when I'm cooking at 400 F or so, about 40 minutes. Let cool, then remove seeds scoop out squash. 2. In a medium saucepan, cook brown rice in 1 cup water with a dash salt. Bring to a boil, stir, and reduce heat to low. Simmer 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered. While rice is cooking, prepare sauce/salsa. 3. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, onion, and garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt and seasonings and stir well. 4. Add chopped red pepper, kale, black beans, butternut, cooked rice, and red pepper sauce. Cook, stirring at regular intervals until kale is tender and filling is heated through (add water or stock as needed). 5. Scoop filling onto tortillas, add toppings, and roll to serve.


For the salsa/sauce:

  • 1 roasted red pepper, skins and seeds removed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • dash each of sea salt, pepper, chili and garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a  blender and process until smooth.