Proper burrito folding ability is a necessary life skill.
Nutrition at a glance
-Sweet potatoes are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, particularly when you leave the skin on (why would you not leave the skin on?).
-Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C as well as vitamin b-6, and particularly high in the mineral potassium.
-Black beans are high in carbohydrates, and particularly high in fiber.
-Black beans are also high in the carbohydrate-metabolism supporting b-vitamins thiamin and folate, and high in various minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and manganese. Because of their high mineral content, they are great to eat after exercise to help replace what you lose in sweat.
About two weeks ago we went and hiked Mt. Whitney – the tallest peak in the lower 48 states. Instead of making the 22 mile round trip trek (with about 8,000 feet of elevation gain) in a single day like we had talked about, we decided to break it up, enjoy the trip, and spend a night out on the trail. Not only did this mean that we’d be getting bad sleep at 12,000 feet, it also meant that we’d have to carry enough food with us for a few meals and to fuel the effort.
I have an interesting relationship with backpacking food – and by interesting I mean, I don’t like it much at all. I find everything about it to be a little off. It kind of tastes like it’s supposed to, but not quite (on this particular trip, the off-notes could have also been due to the fact that I ate some dehydrated chili that expired in 2008); “meaty” dishes often times rely on soy proteins to imitate real meats, and they do a mediocre job at best; and there is something incongruous to me about eating dehydrated foods with excessive amounts of additives out of flexible metallic packaging in pristine natural settings. Call me a purest snob, I guess. To be fair, backpacking food has some benefits as it is light, easy to transport, easy to prepare, and does a pretty good job of nourishing…all things considered. But on a short trip – 1 or two nights – I much prefer to bring real food when possible (note: snow-melt high sierra streams offer a great refrigeration option). It hits the spot when you are uncomfortable, tired, and cranky.
On this recent Whitney trip I made a few “real food” options that work particularly well out on the trail, including some tuna sandwiches we ate our first day for lunch, made with my favorite Homeboy Bakery sourdough (the best bread in LA), as well as these chorizo, black bean, and sweet potato burritos. We may not have made history by summiting Mt. Whitney, but I can damn near guarantee we were the first to eat chorizo and black bean burritos at 14,500 feet.
This is not the first time that I’ve fueled adventure or athletic performance with a version of these burritos. In fact, they used to be my pre-race meal of choice. I made them plenty a year while camping at Wild Flower triathlon, and often make them before races or big training days still. They have a great balance of complex carbohydrates and lean protein (and some chorizo for flavor….I grew up in Long Beach, what can I say?). Give ‘em a go for your next outdoor adventure or to fuel a big effort.
-1 sweet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
-1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
-2/3 lb ground chorizo
-8 eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
-1/4 cup diced red onion
-4 large whole wheat flour tortillas or wraps
-fresh feta cheese
-olive oil, salt, and pepper
Total time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 burritos
To start, boil the cubed yams until soft, about 6-7 minutes. Remove and drain. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a large heavy skillet and bring over medium-high heat. Add the boiled yams, season with salt and pepper, and allow to brown for about 3-4 minutes. Once browned, add the chorizo and cook, breaking apart with a metal spatula.
Once the chorizo is cooked, add the beaten eggs and cook. Once cooked, stir in the black beans. Warm the tortillas, and fill each with chorizo-egg mixture, then top with fresh cilantro, red onion, and fresh feta cheese. Fold, top with Tapatio, and enjoy.
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Recipe ID: 1625