Slow Cooker Burritos

My increasingly not so little ones are taking swim lessons.  They’ve been taking them for a while, but now I really feel like we’re starting to have swim, not just don’t be afraid of the pool, lessons.  They have a ball, and honestly I kind of love sitting in that humid air, watching them take instruction from someone else, splashing with their peers, laughing at themselves and at each other.  It’s good stuff.

The only problem is that the lesson happens at 5 p.m. on a school day.  Five o’clock is usually dinner prep madness and there’s nobody hungrier than two six year olds who’ve been in the pool kicking like mad and working on circle arms.  Here we come up against one of the reprted biggest drawbacks of scratch cooking – time.  So we arrive home at 6 p.m., half an hour after “usual dinnertime” and with two ravenous, cold, and exhausted children.  This is a carry-out dinner trap in the making…

Crock Pot, my old friend, do your thing.  While I admit to having scorned the Crock Pot in younger days, when one circulated at a White Elephant party I attended with aspiring teachers in their 20’s (I was a ripe 31 at that time), I knew they were missing out by mocking this lovely kitchen tool, and that I was about to score big.  My simple Crock Pot has been with me ever since.  Just two settings – Lo and Hi – and a timer that I bought to turn the lamps on when go on trips, but it’s still kicking and if it ain’t broke, don’t replace it with something fancy that will.

This Monday’s slow cooker offering was driven by a recipe in the Cooking Light Slow Cooker Cookbook.  As you know, I’ve developed a fondness for barley.  These barley, black bean and corn burritos caught my eye right away, so I set to getting everything going around lunchtime in order to come home to finished dinner, and the finished product did not disappoint.  As usual I made some changes based on what I had on hand and tipping the scales of possibility in favor of my most reluctant eater.  I’ll share my version with you, but feel free to check out the original for plenty of slow cooker suggestions.

Barley, Black Bean, and Corn Burritos

  • olive oil for pan
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans (or equivalent dry, soaked and cooked), rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz tomato (diced, crushed, whatever – I used 15 oz leftover homemade pasta sauce)
  • 1 c uncooked pearl barley
  • 1.5 c water
  • 3/4 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
  • juice of 1/2 small lime
  • 2 T Bragg’s or soy sauce
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t ground red pepper (opt – I omitted)

The recipe suggests putting all ingredients in the Crock Pot raw.  Personally, I prefer to cook my onions a bit first.  I REALLY don’t like onion crunch in cooked food, so I always sauté my onions for a few minutes and throw the garlic in for a few seconds once the onions are translucent.  I then moved the whole lot to the Crock Pot.  Follow with all of the remaining ingredients, stir, put the lid on and turn that puppy on low for 4-5 hours (ours took 5).

Once I got everything going in the crock pot, I chopped some fresh veggies and cilantro to go with the burritos so that I would literally simply have to take the bowl of veggies out, get tortillas out, a little cashew cheese for the parents, and serve it up.  Worked like a charm and my little man indulged in hungry swimmer thirds.  Picky pants was less impressed, but honestly wouldn’t you have been a little disappointed in her if she acquiesced in the face of several foods mixed together with a hint of cumin?  I knew it was a long shot and decided it just wouldn’t be her night (she had her favorite Crock Pot dish after last week’s lesson).  The rest of us were very happy. Delish.

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62 responses

  1. I have the same crock pot, but in blue. 😉 It’s definitely my friend. I have 2 kids in competitive sports, so they quite often take their dinners with them in a thermos or we are eating much later in the evening. Love your burritos recipe! I know everyone in the family will love this! It’s on my meal list for later this week (but I’ll have to use short grain brown rice because of our gluten allergy).

  2. Sounds yummy. I had to give in a buy a new crock pot today. Same devilish electronic ghost in my kitchen again…. only HIGH was working on my crock pot. Alas. The new one was on sale and I believe we will break it in with this very recipe.

  3. I agree- thank goodness for the slowcooker! I find myself forgetting it sometimes only to fall in love all over again when I dig it back out. This recipe sounds awesome. I could probably get everyone but my picky daughter to eat. She would just refuse out of principle even though she absolutely adores tacos and burritos. Teenagers!

    Thanks for linking up again with our Healthy Tuesdays Blog Hop- I love all your ideas.

    Kerry from Country Living on a Hill

  4. I just ordered barley last week and can’t wait to try this recipe with it! Thank you so much for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza – hope to see you there again this week with more of your deliciousness 🙂

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  10. These look really good, can’t wait to try them. My slow cooker (also old) is one of the most valuable tools in my house as well, although I think I might just have to pick up a timer. I never thought to use one of them for my crock pot, Thank you so much!

    • Ricki, when I first thought of using the timer I almost started laughing out loud at how simple it was and that I hadn’t done it before then – -just coveted those fancy shmancy new ones. 😉 I’ll take a $3 timer over a $50 dollar slow cooker any day! Thanks for stopping by!

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