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Monday, September 1, 2014

How to Be Awesome at Breakfast Burritos

When we started eating more "Real Food" and trying to cut out processed food as much as possible, one of the first things we did was go through the food we ate on a regular basis to see where we needed to make replacements or get rid of stuff.  We got rid of the Pop-Tarts and instant oatmeal packages that Brian had been using as his breakfast, and started trying to find replacements that were easy and affordable, and still tasted good.

For a while, I made homemade instant oatmeal for him.  Then, in an effort to find something with more protein and more "staying power," I thought I would try breakfast burritos.  I could make them ahead of time and freeze them, and then he could just heat them one at a time.

I went through a bunch of recipes on Pinterest, but what I found was, there wasn't really any special "recipe."  It was basically just, "put whatever you like to eat inside a burrito and mostly it will be fine."  After making these over and over, I've pretty much perfected my version, so I thought I'd share it.

My breakfast burritos include:

1 Dozen eggs, scrambled
1 Onion, sauteed
Spinach (or Kale)
1 Bag Tater tots
Half a Package Turkey Bacon
8 ounces Cheddar Cheese
2 8-Count Packages Large Tortillas

One batch makes approximately 16 burritos.

First, you have to prepare all your ingredients.  If you have time, and have no toddler begging for your attention, make the bacon first, so that you can make the veggies and eggs in the skillet using the grease from the bacon.  It makes it taste really good!

But if you do have time constraints, make the bacon ahead of time and put it in the fridge or even the freezer until you need it.  That way you have less to do all at once.

Also, you can slice the cheese ahead of time.  I use 8 ounces of cheddar cheese, and cut the block in half horizontally first, and then into long rectangles.  However you do it, you just want to end up with sixteen pieces, so you have one for each burrito.  I guess you could shred it, too, but I hate shredding cheese, so...

The first thing to do is get your tater tots in the oven.  I started off using hash browns, but they usually have to be cooked in a skillet, which takes extra time, and plus, I am horrible and flipping those stupid things.  Tater tots are the way to go.  Put them in the oven to cook while you work on the rest of the stuff.

(And yes, I realize that tater tots don't count as "Real Food," but I learned the hard way that if you don't use a potato product, the burritos don't stretch nearly as far and don't fill Brian up as well.  And since there is no way I'm making enough hash browns by hand to do burritos, tater tots it is!)

Then make your eggs with veggies.  I chop and saute an onion first, and then add a dozen eggs and scramble.  Right at the end, I throw in a couple of handfuls of spinach or kale, whichever one I have.  I usually have some in the freezer so I can just crush it with my hands while it's frozen in the bag and not have to chop it.  Saves time.

Oh, and don't put salt on your eggs until the end.  It makes them tougher and chewier if you put salt on while they're cooking, so I've read.

Once everything is ready, make an assembly line, like so.

In each burrito, put on a tortilla a scoop of the eggs/veggie mixture, like, four tater tots, a piece of cheese, and crumble one piece of bacon on top.  (NOTE:  Get the name brand tortillas.  Trust me.  I tried using Aldi ones and they were not soft enough, so they kept tearing when I would try to roll them up.  Splurge on the good ones at Wal-Mart!)

Roll them up so they are closed on both ends, wrap them in plastic wrap, and lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Stick them in the freezer overnight.  Then you can transfer them, still wrapped, to a Ziplock, and just pull one out as you need it.

Now, here's the trick.  You have to take the burrito out the night before and let it thaw in the fridge overnight.  Otherwise, you're gonna pull a Hot Pocket and have a half-frozen, half-boiling breakfast.  Let it thaw overnight and then heat it up in the microwave for about a minute.  Eat, enjoy, and have a great day!

Husband approved!

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