Kelly Caiazzo

Plastic-free July had me thinking about the places in my life where I still struggle with single-use plastic, and it is undoubtedly food packaging.

It can feel like convenience = plastic.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Frozen burritos are a great example. They’re so easy to make yourself, and when you do that, you can eat leftovers when you’re craving a burrito instead of the day after you’ve made Mexican.

The last time we had taco night, I spent a few minutes after dinner making burritos from all the leftovers. I made 10 burritos and froze them in parchment paper inside a rectangular pyrex container I popped in my fridge.

They won’t last as long without freezer burn as they would in plastic wrap, but mine didn’t even make it two weeks before we’d (ok, I’d) eaten them with a little thrill of self-satisfaction at finding a healthy and delicious meal in my freezer that could be ready for me to eat in just minutes.

The USDA estimates that 40% of food in the United States is wasted; what if we could get back in the habit of freezing our leftovers and eating them instead of packaged and processed convenience foods?

Food for thought!

How to:

1. Use room temperature or lightly warmed tortillas, they roll better!

2. Choose hearty fillings that freeze well; beans, rice, sweet potato, cooked spinach (but not fresh), refried beans, corn and sauteed red peppers are some of our favorites. Avoid freezing guacamole, salsa or leafy greens – those are best added fresh after reheating.

3. Roll your burritos and then wrap them tightly in compostable parchment paper to help keep the air out and keep them from sticking together.

4. Place them in an airtight freezer-safe container and pop them into your freezer

5. Reheating varies based on burrito size; unwrap them from the parchment and start with 45 seconds in the microwave at power level 7 on each side for small burritos, and up to 90 seconds on each side for larger. You can invert a bowl over the burrito to help steam up the tortilla if desired!

Tip: Make some mini burritos for snacks – they’re a great savory hand-held snack for after a workout or to combat your mid-afternoon slump!

You can even bring a frozen burrito to work if you have a microwave; it’ll stay cold enough to be food-safe until lunch time.