Vegetarian Redux: Smothered Burrito

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I love Mexican food, but then again, who doesn’t. I built this oversized unhealthy body on two things, beer and Mexican food. Years of eating burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and chile rellanos, two or three times per week, then washing it all down with copious amounts of beer have finally pushed me over the edge into Type II Diabetes.

Something had to change.

I’m pretty sure you know someone who loves Mexican food, but shouldn’t eat it, at least as it’s traditionally served.

But what if you could have your smothered burritos, and eat them too?

Well, that’s what I aim to do. Take all of those wonderful foods I grew up eating in New Mexico, and re make them so that they are still terrific, but much healthier. Here is the first installment of healthy Mexican Redux recipes.

Smothered Burritos

Burritos, like sandwiches, can be filled with pretty much anything. Growing up in New Mexico, smothered burritos were usually filled with ground beef, beans, and cheese, and then covered with enchilada sauce, more cheese, and garnished with lettuce and diced tomatoes and onions. Of course, you can stuff a burrito with anything, but the aforementioned was pretty much the standard. Sometimes, the burritos were smothered in green sauce or if you had trouble making up your mind, you could order your smothered burrito like “Christmas”, half red sauce and half green sauce. Either way, the burritos were stuffed full of saturated fat from the ground beef, refried beans, and cheese. The beans, yummy, but they were full of bacon grease and often butter.

The Redux

For the recipe redux, I replaced the ground beef with Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles. Instead of traditional refried beans, I made my own fat free. I replaced the shredded cheese with 2% fat cheddar cheese, and finally I swapped the traditional tortillas for low carb tortillas. As a result, each burrito went from 400 calories all the way down to 225 calories. All of the reduction in calories came from removing saturated fat and carbohydrates.

The Recipe

Ingredients for 16 burritos (serves 8):

  • 16 oz can of fat free refried beans
  • 16 oz bag of shredded 2% sharp cheddar cheese
  • 16 low carb tortillas
  • two 8 oz cans of red enchilada sauce

For the meatless filling:

  • 16 oz bag of Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles
  • 1 cup of diced onions
  • 2 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup water

For the salad topping:

  • 4 cups of shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups diced fresh roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup of diced onions


  • Heat the beans and enchilada sauce in two separate sauce pans.
  • Prepare the meatless filling. Note: It is important that you use a nonstick pan when using such small amounts of oil. Otherwise your meatless filling will stick to the pan. Also, ALWAYS cook the onions first. They take longer to cook than the Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil to large nonstick pan, add one cup of diced onions and cook over low to medium heat for about five minutes, until they become soft and translucent.
  • Stir in the Crumbles and saute for 5-10 minutes until they are heated throughout. Stir in the water and then all of the spices, and cook until the water has reduced out of the mixture.


  • Note: I like to heat my tortillas to make them more pliable.
  • Roll sixteen burritos using 1/4 cup each of beans and meatless filling and 1 tablespoon of cheese.
  • Put two burritos on each plate, cover with enchilada sauce, shredded cheese and the salad topping.
  • Serve with your favorite low calorie beer!


You can be flexible with these burritos and I encourage you to make them to your taste.

  • You can top the burritos with regular or fat free sour cream.
  • If you can’t find, or don’t like 2% cheese, you can use regular, just go a bit easy on it.
  • Of course, you can substitute green sauce for red or make it Christmas in July!
  • More Love Mama prefers to use corn tortillas and she stacks instead of rolling hers.
  • Feeling lazy, you can use a bag salad or no salad on top of your burritos.
  • Feel free to use your favorite salsa on top.

But Were They Good?

Yes, surprisingly so. I would not have been surprised if they were pretty good, but they were more than that. They were terrific! I didn’t miss the traditional smothered burrito at all. If you want to continue to eat the Mexican food that you love, then I can’t recommend you trying this recipe enough. What have you got to lose besides weight……….and your Type II Diabetes.

One Last Thing

Canned beans are not nearly as good as the beans you can make yourself. I have a really good and super simple recipe for making fat free pinto beans that you can serve with rice and cornbread. Then, you can use the leftovers to make superior refried beans for your burritos. But there’s a catch. I’m only making the recipe available to my loyal followers who are subscribed to Timeout, my weekly email. So, to get Timeout and my recipe for tasty, easy, fat free, pinto beans, by clicking on the icon below.

I sure hope you enjoy this recipe! Your questions are welcome and so are your comments and pictures of your smothered burrito creations!!

Until next time….

Brian at Daddy Go To Timeout

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