Viva la color in every recipe

My daughter loves refried beans and tortillas. She would eat them daily if I let her. Tortillas are her bread of life. And because I wanted to thank her for a job well done, I made her a festive feast for supper last night.

It was one of those non-recipe recipes. In other words, I made it according to my own conclusions. If you have ways to improve upon it, have at it!

Tortillas de colores

Brown 1 pound of ground beef in a skillet. Season to taste with cumin, chili, paprika, Kosher salt and if you prefer, Ancho chili pepper. Drain and set aside.

While beef is browning, finely chop a generous handful of baby spinach leaves. Dice half a red onion. Slice red, yellow and orange bell peppers into strips.

Heat peppers and onion in a skillet with a little olive oil. Saute until softened. Add cracked black pepper to taste. I also used a couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Yum!

While beef is browning, heat refried beans in a small saucepan. I added about 1/2 cup of shredded quesadilla melting cheese to make the beans creamy and cheesy.

While vegetables, beef and beans are cooking, heat tortillas if desired.

I wanted to build the plate on a crispy tortilla. I attempted to brown them under the broiler. It would have worked had I been paying attention. I was not. After burning them to a blackened crisp, I chose the skillet method.

Add  1/2-inch of vegetable oil to a deep skillet. Prick tortillas with a fork so they don’t puff up. When oil is hot, gently lay a tortilla in the pan. Flip after 10-15 seconds. Drain on paper towels.

When all elements are cooked and crispified, arrange an assembly line of sorts for your hungry brood. Start with a tortilla, layer with beans, cheese, beef, spinach, and peppers and onions.

And if you must, fold your tortilla into a taco shell. You could also serve plain tortillas, slightly warmed. And this would be great with steak slices rather than ground beef. Or grilled chicken. Or shredded pork. Take your pick. However you compile it, this meal is sure to please the Mexican food lovers in your family!

And the color? Completely scrumptious and good for you!


P.S. Is there such a thing as a tortilla toaster? Or maybe I could have held them over the stove flame to toast them. Maybe not. Any suggestions for crispy tortillas?

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.


  • comment-avatar
    Raquel January 18, 2012 (3:12 pm)

    I use the same skillet method as you do for making shells crispy. You definitely have to be careful not to char them! Now I’m craving taco night & those look delicious : )

  • comment-avatar
    Sal January 19, 2012 (8:49 am)

    Yummy! tacos for lunch sounds great!

  • comment-avatar
    Taryn January 19, 2012 (5:30 pm)

    I don’t use oil, I put butter in the skillet and do about 20 seconds on each side, they taste yummy and aren’t to firm to where they break when you fold them over! I’ll have to send you my awesome crock pot chicken enchilada recipe! I bet they would LOVE it!