Ellen’s Vegetarian Entreés

By Ellen Siefke

Features Editor|

That’s right, I’m back! I hope that you all enjoyed your relaxing and meat-free summers. What’s that you say? “Ellen, I ate meat with my family every day because I never knew what else to eat.” Well that is precisely why I am here. I bring you delicious, fresh, exciting (cue corny Jewel Osco commercial), and of course MEAT-FREE recipes. So brace yourself for a brand-new year of vegetarian immersion.
Whenever a new school year starts, the first few weeks or even months are a period of transition; this typically involves figuring out your schedule, getting used to the daily amount of homework, and etc. If you are a student athlete like me, nothing feels better like coming home after a hard practice to a great meal. However, if you are even similar to me, your family is cruel and forces you to make your own meals. So, coming home after a long practice only incites more pain as you remember that your dinner will not make itself. Luckily, I happen to have a few quick and easy recipes in my head at all times. Here I share just one with you. This dish literally takes five minutes to make, and it’s an absolute lifesaver for those long days filled with hard workouts and mounds of homework.
No-Brainer Bean and Green Tortillas
-1 can black or pinto beans, with liquid. I recommend the pinto beans if you’re someone who likes a little kick to your food. Otherwise, stick with the black beans.
-1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon ground coriander. Don’t confuse this with cilantro. Coriander is actually the seeds from cilantro. They provide a slight lemony flavor, which complements the other ingredients nicely.
-2 cups chopped greens or kale (if you’re really desperate, just use some lettuce)
-Tortillas. Flour or corn works here, but be sure to not use the shells, just the flat kind
-Toppings: guacamole, salsa, cheese, tomato, etc.
1. Dump the beans, including the liquid, into a pot with the coriander, cumin, and garlic. Heat on medium heat for around 2-3 minutes. Here, there is no need to put any water in the pot because you already have some liquid from the beans. Give the ingredients a nice stir, so all the flavors will blend together.
2. While the beans are heating, chop the greens. Put them into the pot and cover with a lid.
3. Let the greens steam; this should only take a minute or two. If the liquid from the beans appears to have cooked away, you can add a few teaspoons of water now.
4. While the greens steam, take a flat pan and add a little olive oil. As the pan warms, take the tortillas and sprinkle a little cinnamon on both sides. If you like heat, then sprinkle on some chili powder instead. Or heck with it, put some cheese on them if you are a cheese lover. You know what, just prepare the tortillas how you like them.
5. Place the tortillas on the pan. Toast them for around 45 seconds per side. This does involve flipping the stuff in the pan with a spatula, in case you were wondering.
6. Spoon the beans, greens, and fillings onto the shells. Fold and eat. This will probably serve more than one person. So, show your family that you’re an amazing child who makes them dinner. Just remember, you might have forgotten to mention the part about the food being meatless. Enjoy!