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Zesty Zucchini Black Bean Burritos

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ABOUT THE RECIPE:

Zesty Zucchini Black Bean Burritos features shredded zucchini, which stands in very nicely for shredded cheese. Black beans provide substance and protein. The lettuce and salsa stand in for a side salad, but if you prefer, you can serve the burritos over cooked brown rice or quinoa, in place of (or in addition to) the lettuce.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups firmly packed shredded zucchini (about 1 medium) (see note)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 heaping teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small sweet onion, minced
1 cup prepared salsa
4 whole-grain tortillas, (8- to 10-inches in diameter)
3 cups lightly packed, shredded Romaine lettuce (see note)
1 cup diced sweet red pepper

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INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving 4-inch wings on two lengthwise sides of the pan. Top the foil with unbleached parchment paper, leaving 4-inch wings on the two lengthwise sides of the pan.

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Put the zucchini, 1 teaspoon olive oil, tamari, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, and turmeric, in a medium-sized bowl. Toss gently to thoroughly coat. Let the mixture stand while preparing the black beans.

Put the black beans, minced onion, 2/3 cup salsa, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, in a medium-sized bowl, and mash until chunky using a potato masher or large fork.

Put a tortilla on a large dinner plate. Spoon one-quarter of the bean mixture, and one-quarter of the zucchini mixture, into the center of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and place it seam side down on the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

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Bring the sides of the parchment paper over the burritos, fold it over, and seal tightly. Bring the sides of the foil over the burritos, fold it over the parchment, and seal tightly. (This will keep the burritos from drying out as they cook.) Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from oven, and carefully uncover the burritos (the steam will be very hot!). Bake for 5 minutes more, or until the edges of the tortillas are slightly golden. Put the pan on wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

While the burritos cool, put the shredded lettuce and 1/3 cup of the prepared salsa in a medium-sized bowl. Toss to coat the lettuce with the salsa.

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For 2 (very hearty) servings, arrange 1 1/2 cups of the shredded lettuce/salsa mixture in an even layer on a large dinner plate. Top with 2 burritos, per person. Sprinkle ½ cup diced peppers over the top, plus any beans that “escaped” the burrito while baking.

For 4 (lighter) servings, arrange 3/4 cups of the shredded lettuce/salsa mixture in an even layer on a medium-sized dinner plate. Top with 1 burrito, per person. Sprinkle ¼ cup diced peppers over the top, plus any beans that “escaped” the burrito while baking.

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Chef’s note: If preferred, you can use 1 to 2 cups vegan shredded cheese in place of the shredded zucchini.

VARIATION: If preferred, try serving these burritos over cooked brown rice or quinoa, in place of (or in addition to) the lettuce.