Cheap Eats — Burritos

by Katy on April 19, 2010 · 9 comments

The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!

Sometimes I have time to prepare a wonderful, complicated dinner for my family . . . but often I don’t.

Especially during soccer season.

Does this mean I order pizza or get take out?

No way.

I pull together a meal from what I have on hand. And it’s not uncommon to make up a quick batch of burritos.

Take today for example. I didn’t have much food on hand, so I threw a few cups of pinto beans in the crock pot early in the day. By dinner time they were thoroughly cooked. I mashed them with a fork and added in some leftover rice from a few nights ago. Added salsa and salt lent some flavor.

I keep a bag of Quaker Harina Preparada tortilla mix in the freezer at all times. It’s literally a just-add-water endeavor. These tortillas cook up quick as lightning and are to-die-for. So yummy, that we have an official policy that you have to eat a burrito before you can eat a plain tortilla. And that goes for the adults as well.

A little cheese, some lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and sour cream — and you’ve got a complete meal in a pinch.

The ability to make a quick meal out of available ingredients will not only save you money, but will aid to prevent food waste in the home.

Click here to learn more about issues related to food waste.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy Balazy April 21, 2010 at 6:47 am

Mmmmm, thanks, Katy, I’m going to buy some Harina Preparada and do the same!!


Kristin April 22, 2010 at 10:53 am

Hi Katy, thanks for this suggestion, it looks great and I want to try it. Yesterday in my local Aldi’s I spotted a similar product, called La Mas Rica Instant Corn Masa Mix which is for making corn tortillas, it is a just-add-water product but it calls for mixing up the dough, dividing it into “dough balls” and then using a “tortilla press” to make the tortillas, which then get placed on a very hot skillet to cook. How do you make your tortillas from your mix? Do you shape them by hand and then cook them in a skillet?


Katy April 22, 2010 at 11:03 am


I roll them out by hand and then cook them on cast iron skillets. I have made the corn tortillas before, and they’re for difficult (at least for me) as the dough doesn’t have the same cohesive quality.

They are yummy though!



Kristin April 23, 2010 at 7:18 am

Thanks for your timely response! I appreciate the info. The Corn Masa mix was cheap enough (under $3 for a 5-lb bag) that I don’t mind experimenting with different techniques to see what works. I have also found a bunch of “tortilla making” videos on line that are helpful. I just don’t want to buy a tortilla press, they don’t look terribly expensive but I don’t want another gadget in my kitchen, so I’m glad to hear you roll yours by hand. And for the record, I consider you and your family to be “Frugal and Happy”, not “Miserly and Miserable”!


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire May 4, 2010 at 7:51 am

Hi, I found your blog through Like Merchant Ships. I wanted to comment on tortilla presses. I have one, and I find that it doesn’t get the tortilla dough flat enough, so I have to further roll it out by hand anyway. So don’t waste your money. I mean, it’s nice for getting the basic circular shape, but it’s not worth it considering I still have to use my rolling pin and pastry board. I’ve only tried flour tortillas, though, so I suppose it may work better with corn tortillas.


Samantha May 5, 2010 at 10:50 am

I had the same issue, until my sister’s mother-in-law (the homemade tortilla queen) pointed out that presses are really meant for corn tortillas and not flour. According to her, for good, thin flour ones you have to roll by hand (darn!).

I make homemade flour tortillas from flour, shortening or lard, salt and water – all of which I always have on hand and are super cheap!

Julia May 2, 2010 at 7:08 pm

where do you find the Quaker product? I’ve never seen it in any store and just looked online—the shipping cost is about 3 times higher than the product!


amanda May 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I found some at a local hispanic grocery store. I went to several and only 1 had it. I guess it’s a hit or miss.


Rachel May 4, 2010 at 8:16 am

I like to keep some masa harina around too. It makes great, and easy!, pizza crust too.


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