Tortillas for a Healthy Meal

Posted by in Food and Recipes

tortilla, tortilla recipeWant a quick dinner that is both healthy and delicious? All you need is a tortilla, tortilla recipe, and your favorite toppings for a meal guaranteed to please. Also, tortillas contain fewer calories and less fat than other options, making them a good choice if you’re counting calories.

And you can’t beat the flavor of homemade tortillas–or their versatility. You can use in your favorite enchilada recipe or serve them with eggs for huevos rancheros.

Flour or Corn?

You can make your tortillas from either all-purpose flour or corn flour. You’ll find corn flour or masa harina in your grocery store’s baking section. Both recipes contain basically the same ingredients: flour, salt, water, and a fat source.
You can use canola oil or melted shortening or lard. The fat keeps the tortillas flexible and soft for easy filling. Both types are simple to make. The corn tortillas have the added advantage of being gluten free. The choice is yours.

Basic Tortilla Recipe

The basic tortilla recipe contains a 1:2 ratio of water to whatever flour you are using. Add both to a food processor for easy mixing. Add 1 tsp of salt and 2 to 4 tbsp of fat. Your goal is to create a mixture that resembles coarse crumbs. Pulse a few times to mix. Remove the dough mixture from the food processor onto a surface dusted with flour.

Knead the dough until it comes together in a ball. Then, place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest while you prepare your other ingredients. The rest time gives the dough a chance to hydrate for easier handling when it comes time to make your tortillas.

If you used one cup of flour, you’ll have enough dough to make about eight tortillas. Divide your rested dough into eight golf ball-sized balls. To make the tortillas, cut the side off of a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, leaving the bottom intact. Open the bag, and place a dough ball in the center, covering it with the other half. The bag will keep the dough from sticking.

You can either roll the dough into a 7-inch round with a rolling pin or place it on a tortilla press to flatten it out. Repeat with the remaining dough, covering the prepared tortillas with a damp cloth. Heat a cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan on high heat. Carefully, peel back one side of the plastic bag and flip onto the hot skillet. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes on both sides until golden.

Tortilla, Tortilla Recipe, and Your Fillings

Now, comes the fun part. Let’s start with the main ingredient. Tortillas are a great way to use up leftovers and sneak some vegetables into your family’s diet. Rotisserie chicken also makes a healthy protein choice that is quick and tasty. For a vegetarian option, you can add heated refried beans. And with a bit of cooked rice, you have a complete meatless protein.

Vegetables add to the nutritional punch of your tortilla meal. Lettuce, tomatoes, and jalapenos provide additional nutrients and flavor. Top with shredded cheese and your favorite salsa, and dinner is served.

Making tortillas is a quick and easy way to prepare a healthy meal. The recipe couldn’t be simpler. Whether it’s dinner for just you or the entire family, put tortillas on your meal rotation. All you need is a tortilla, tortilla recipe, and your imagination. Chris DR

photo credit: Mmm…chorizo and egg burrito via photopin (license)