Slow and Simple Tortillas, Beans, and Rice

There are times when we all need a fast meal.  We are overbooked. We are overtired. We are overworked. There are also times we need a slow meal. We are overworked. We are overtired. We are overbooked. So we stop and go to the kitchen and pull out ingredients to make a meal that is comforting, that is universally accepted in the home, that everyone can help make. We bring our consciousness back to the basic reality of finding nourishment and achieving flavor. We bring our attention back to the domestic, in the very best sense of the word, the hearth, the heart of our existence on this earth. We use our hands to turn ingredients into a basic meal. We are still likely overbooked, but less tired, and the work is restorative, the motion therapeutic, the company a balm. Slow food. Breathing. We CAN wait a few more minutes. Especially if it means we get homemade tortillas.

Whole Wheat Tortillas - adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

  • IMG_99152c whole wheat flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 3/4 c water

Mix flour, salt and baking powder in bowl.  Sprinkle in oil and mix with your hands to combine. Add water and mix with your hands to combine. Form into a ball.  Let rest for 15 minutes. On floured surface, divide ball into 8 equal portions.  Roll each portion into a ball.  One at a time, roll out each ball as thin as you can. Use a rolling pin. Roll top to bottom, side to side, on the diagonal one way and then the other.  Or let your six year old do it and let go of the desire for circular tortillas.  If stickiness causes problems, add a dusting of flour. Add flour between tortillas.  While rolling the last few, turn the stove on under a pan – about medium heat.  Let the pan get good and hot. Place the tortillas in the pan one at a time.  Let the tortilla cook for about a minute and then flip.  Cook about a minute and remove from the heat. Next tortilla. Stack finished tortillas on a plate and keep in warm oven or keep under cover until you’re ready to eat.

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What to eat with your splendid meditation on flour? Why not some simple beans and rice? There are a million variations on beans and rice, and I make no claims to any particular version here – other than the simple lazy kind of rice and beans.  Hey, if I’m meditating on flour, I’ve gotta keep the rest simple.

Easy Peasy Rice and Beans

  • IMG_9908cooked brown rice in adequate quantity (cook with veggie stock or bouillon for extra yum)
  • black beans (soaked and cooked or if canned, drained and rinsed)
  • chopped red onion in amount that will give oomph without overwhelming
  • shake of cumin
  • shake of chipotle
  • shake of salt
  • chopped cilantro
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • drizzle olive oil

Combine. Stir.  Done.

We served ours with chopped fresh veggies and my favorite chimmichurri.  Absolutely divine and just what I needed.  Simple, satisfying, perfect stolen moments in the kitchen with my flour loving daughter.  Delish.

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21 responses

    • They’re so much better than store-bought and the cost and preservative savings?! I wish I’d made more, although they don’t keep very well, and now that Ms. Picky Pants likes rolling them out, we can have them more often. ;-)

  1. This looks delicious. I’ll can’t wait to give this a go. I’ve seen many recipes for homemade tortillas but they just look off. Yours on the other hand, look wonderful. I only buy one brand of tortilla currently because it’s one of the only decent ones I can find (that’s not loaded with terrible stuff) but I like the idea of homemade much better.

  2. I love the idea of slow cooking, but until my kids get a bit older I’m sad to say fast is the only way. Unless of course my husband is willing to take them outside! I do miss that kind of cooking… looking forward to getting it back :)
    -Dana

    • little hands roll little tortillas? I know what you mean. We’ve just started having sensible and meaningful assistance around here. I wish I’d pushed them a little harder earlier and let them try more (control freak, much), but sometimes you just need to get the job done. Hang in there Momma!

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