Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Old El Paso Restaurant Challenge #YouMexiCAN


As an Old El Paso Canada ambassador, I was recently presented with a challenge. My kind of challenge. Old El Paso sent me and my family off to a Mexican cantina to dine, with the expectation that I would later recreate my restaurant meal at home. Just so you know, I am always ready to go out for dinner!


At the restaurant, this happened. Yep, I couldn't resist having a strawberry margarita with a Coronita overturned inside. I am not a beer drinker by any means, but the combo was yummy. And the drink was big enough for my husband and me to share. We will be recreating this one at home another day.


I ordered a vegan burrito filled with refried white beans and Mexican rice.


The restaurant didn't have any vegan cheese so I took a photo of my son's cheese burrito as inspiration for dressing up my home version of the burrito.


Back at home, I started by making Mexican rice (recipe follows). This rice is easy to make and uses ingredients you would usually have on hand. It also fills the kitchen with a savory aroma. Even the kids commented on the delicious smell. Not to brag, but I was a little impressed that this rice turned out to be similar to the restaurant version. My family didn't seem all that impressed though. Tough audience.


I then made refried white beans. That recipe follows too. I used white kidney beans and found they were a nice change from pinto beans.

To make the burritos, I filled flour tortillas with rice and refried beans.


Then I called on my husband to roll the burritos. He has more patience (and success) with that kind of stuff.





They use bigger wraps in the restaurant, but the effect was pretty much the same.


We topped the burritos with tomato sauce, made quickly from jarred passata heated with a little bit of dried parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper and chili powder. I then topped my burrito (above left) with Daiya vegan cheddar shreds. The others had regular cheddar cheese.

The burritos went into the oven (preheated at 350°F) for 10 minutes.


As we didn't have any vegan sour cream in the house, I dressed my burrito up with chimichurri sauce. It's from Argentina, but what the heck.

We ate the burritos with Mexican rice on the side. It was a filling and tasty meal and overall I would say this Old El Paso challenge was a big success! We will definitely have these burritos and the rice again.

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Mexican Rice



by Joann MacDonald
Keywords: vegan rice Mexican
Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup diced frozen vegetable mix
Instructions

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add rice. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the rice. As the rice cooks, add salt, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir in onions and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, veggie broth and frozen vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes. Don't remove the lid until the time is up. Fluff rice with a fork.

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Refried White Beans



by Joann MacDonald
Keywords: vegan beans
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • pinch of cayenne
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 19-oz can white beans such as white kidney or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh or frozen cilantro
Instructions

In a medium size pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, brown sugar, cayenne and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Add the beans, broth, salt and pepper. Simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, mash the beans with a fork as desired. Mix in the cilantro.

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Disclosure – I am participating in the Old El Paso Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of General Mills, and received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

31 comments:

  1. Well that looks like a great meal ... and it seems easy too! But the drink is what caught my attention. I've not seen this before and don't quite understand it. Maybe it makes more sense after you've had a few of them ;) Wendy

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    1. Yes, it's nice and easy!

      You don't have to understand the drink, Wendy. You just have to drink it. ;)

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  2. Now that is my kind of challenge!! I absolutely adore Mexican food-- and your recreation looks better than the restaurant version!

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    1. I love Mexican food too Taby!

      Thanks!

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  3. Now that looks really, really good! Now you have me interested in making the rice AND drinking the strawberry magarita with the upside down beer! Great dishes! Angie

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    1. Thanks Angie! The rice is super easy. I have yet to try making the margarita, but that's next. ;) Have a wonderful week!

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  4. Great. Now I NEED some Mexican. And a margarita. Dang it.

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    1. I'm guessing no margaritas for you for quite a while Ruthie! Have some Mexican food though. ;)

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  5. Hey now I know how to fold a burrito properly! I do it the wrong way (I assume) because stuff plops out. Or maybe I overfill it! I love Mexican food so this was a good challenge to read about :)

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    1. I always have lots of stuff plopping out! That's why he rolls! :)

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  6. Looks so good!
    x
    http://sassyc0c0.blogspot.fr

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  7. Yummmmy! That food looks SO good - love your photo tutorial for wrapping a tortilla!

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    1. Thanks! I'm lucky to have a willing "chef" for the tutorials. ;)

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  8. this looks delish!! I think we need to have a mexican night soon!

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    1. I know eh! I'm thinking Fajita Friday again this week! :)

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  9. Yummy! Mexican is my favorite!
    P.S. That strawberry margarita with a Coronita overturned photo is hilarious and a little bit genius.

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! I know! I wonder who came up with the idea for that crazy drink? :)

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  10. Oh that looks delicious! We're huge Mexican food lover and eaters in this household. That Strawberita looks pretty delicious too. I've made a couple of those this past Summer, they're delicious.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, great summertime drink! :)

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  11. I have never had a burrito before. Shocking hey? These look yummy. I am just unsure about the refried beans though. hehe!

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    1. I'm a little bit shocked. ;) Seriously though, if you don't like the look of the homemade beans, try canned refried beans in your burrito (Old El Paso has some). They are smoother and my daughter likes them a lot...and she is picky. Thanks Brandy!

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  12. Mmmmm, seriously want a taco now!! :)

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  13. That looks so extremely yummy I can't even tell you. I would use normal cheese like your family b/c I'm a gluten for punishment and love it. Never though of using different beans from pinto, will be trying this soon!

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    1. Thanks so much Jodi. I hope you enjoy it! :)

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  14. I agree with Taby jean----your meal looks better than the restaurant dish. I'll try your rice recipe soon.

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  15. Mexican food is really delicious! I love burritos :) Looks like a great meal.

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  16. Your burritos look professional ;) I'll have to try this myself sometime.

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  17. Upload more! I've had a burrito once, from Chipotle, but I really didn't know what I wanted in it and there was a line so I just pointed out at stuff that I thought it would taste good. I took about three bites and stopped. I want to make your version, it looks delicious. Making Picadillo and Mexican rice tonight! Your rice looks delicious too. Cheers!

    Ana - San Antonio, TX

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