Apologies for my absence, blogfans—I’ve been super-busy. And being busy has meant not cooking and, accordingly, eating out and eating lots of frozen meals, including crappy frozen burritos for lunch.

It finally occurred to me that it was silly to be reheating inadequate frozen burritos when I could make a giant pan of burritos, to my precise specifications (vegetables! whole wheat tortillas! lots of cheese!), in about half an hour. And then reheat those for lunch.

Apologies, Amy's--these are better.

I require lots of vegetables in my burritos, but if you require meat, or rice, or just beans, then have at it. This recipe is endlessly adaptable, and a cinch. These burritos aren’t fine dining, but they’re a whole lot better than the alternative.

Vegetable burrito casserole
Adapted from Gourmet

1 onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup plain tomato sauce
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
eight 7- to 8-inch flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack (about 6 ounces)
guacamole and tomato salsa as accompaniments

In a large heavy skillet, cook the onion over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the bell pepper and jalapeño and cook until bell pepper begins to soften.  Add cumin, garlic, and salt and pepper; cook for one minute. Add beans and mash half of them coarsely with a fork.  Add tomato sauce and simmer, stirring, for 3-5 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro.

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Working with one tortilla at a time, spread about three tablespoons of the filling down the center of each tortilla and roll the tortillas, enclosing the filling but keeping the ends open. (If the tortillas crack, warm them in the microwave before filling.) Place each burrito, seam side down, into the baking dish. When all burritos have been rolled, sprinkle them with the cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 10  minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with guacamole and salsa.

Serves approximately 6.