Make THIS! Not THAT! Beef and Bean Burritos



beef and bean burrito

If you have kids (or even if you don’t) you can appreciate how hard of a pull frozen hand held snacks can have.  As moms, there is this gap we all eventually face between preparing our kids food for them when they are younger to them fending for themselves in the kitchen.

The geniuses behind the marketing of frozen products help bridge that gap for us by enticing kids to not have to lean on Mom and Dad for snacks.

How do they do that?

Just take a look at the commercials on TV showing kids popping everything from pizza rolls to bagel bites to burritos in the microwave. Mom is breathing a sigh of relief that snack time is taken care of and the kids are happily eating their snack feeling a sense of grown up pride.

Well, I’m here to squash it!  (Did you hear that scratching record player sound?)  Once you learn what is in these frozen burritos you will hopefully never give your hard earned money to any one of these companies ever again.

I made 16 fajita size beef and bean burritos in about as much time as it took to ground some beef and roll them up.

Click here for my Beef and Bean Burrito recipe and here for my Refried Bean recipe.





I’ve done quite a few posts on Make THIS Not THAT, but I think this one may be the winner as far as number of ingredients go as well as the shock when I learned something new!

Ready for this?  A WHOPPING 103 ingredients go into this burrito and heeeeeeere they are:

Ingredients (103):

Flour Tortilla, Wheat Flour Bleached Enriched, (Niacin, Iron Reduced, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid (Vitamin aB), ), Water, Soybean(s) Oil, Tortilla(s) Flour Blend, Salt, (Baking Powder, Bicarbonate of Soda, (Starch, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate,), Whey, L-Cysteine Monohydrochloride,), Sodium Metabisulfite,), Filling, Beef Pattie Mix, (Beef, (Vegetable(s) Protein Textured, Soy Flour, (Caramel Color, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Ammonium Bicarbonate, Yeast Extract Autolyzed, (Wheat Flour Bleached Enriched, (Wheat Flour Bleached, (Bread Crumbs, Calcium Pantothenate, Bean(s) Cooked, Cottonseed Oil, Crackermeal, Flavor(s), Folic Acid (Vitamin aB) Garlic Powder,), Guar Gum), Pepper(s) Chili Ground, Lactic Acid, Leavening, Lecithin, Maltodextrin, Monocalcium Phosphate,), Niacin, (Niacinamide (Vitamin aB), Soybean(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenated, and/or, Bean(s) Pinto, (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (HCL), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Salt), Sodium Bicarbonate, Soy Sauce, Soybean(s), Spice(s), Sugar, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12, ) Water), Wheat, (Yeast, ), Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Sodium Pyrophosphate, (Savory, Flavor(s) Natural


Seriously? If I had to write a little blurb about all these items that are highlighted and considered controversial, we’d be here all day. That should say something just by itself!

So instead I just added some links for you to click on to read about those items as they are commonly found in a lot of processed foods and I’ve covered them before.

But I did come across something in the year and a half I’ve been doing this that I never heard of before today. It’s what’s in the BEEF part of the filling…textured vegetable protein.  I decided to address the ‘beef’ part of our burrito first.

Beef Pattie Mix:  Beef (Textured Vegetable Protein) – Have any of you heard of this before?  I guess it’s pretty common in the vegan diet as it’s a source of protein.  The definition (hold on to your stomachs) is…. it is a “DEFATTED SOY FLOUR PRODUCT” and it’s used to replace or extend meats.  It’s commonly called “mock meat” that has been cooked under pressed and then dried.  My understanding is you add water or broth to it and can shape it to look like whatever you want.

The problem with this is it is a highly processed version of soy (which for starters is genetically modified).  Soy isolates have been under the microscope because the process used to make them results in high levels of aluminum in the final product, which is toxic to your kidneys and nervous system.

Bleached Enriched Wheat Flour – you can read about that here

Caramel Color -you can read about that here

Yeast Extract – you can read about that here

Natural Flavors here, herehere and here ~ Natural Flavors are a HUGE pet peeve of mine if you couldn’t tell

Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil – according to, this is one of the MOST harmful ingredients in processed foods.  You can read more about that here.

Soy Sauce – you can read about that here and  here.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not very hungry anymore.

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