Food Stamp Challenge Day 23: Fail! Looking for a Few Good Tortillas

| September 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

I’ll let you in on one of our dirty little secrets:  Mr. Green Hedonist and I eat a lot of tortillas.  As in, a lot.  Low-carbers would shudder.  We love them as quesadillas, as breakfast burritos with homemade green sauce, wrapped around hummus and crunchy veggies, PB&J with seeds & raisins, you name it.  The understanding is, “If we have tortillas in the house, we have food.”

Our drug of choice is the La Mariposa Organic tortillas, made right here in Colorado. Delicious, soft, and great for those nights when you’re starving and will collapse if you don’t eat within 17 minutes of arriving home.

We DO sometimes make our own corn tortillas and even own a tortilla press, and when you have time, there’s nothing better.  A stack of just-cooked tortillas wrapped in a cloth, some black beans and good cheese and spicy cabbage slaw*, a couple of cold beers, and we go somewhere else in our minds, somewhere where it’s always 75 degrees and sunny, and the tomatoes are always ripening.

But for keeping something in the refrigerator at all times, it’s hard to beat La Mariposa.

This month, with the Whole Foods Market Food Stamp Challenge going, we thought we’d try to make our own Mariposa-style whole wheat flour tortillas – flour ones being big enough and stretchy enough to do the kind of serious wrapping we’re into. On our first try we ended up with greasy thick circles of questionable texture (I wanted to post a photograph, but it made me cry, so I couldn’t). Not wanting to waste the flour or the oil, we used them up in various ways — next time I plan to oven-fry them into chips — but in the aftermath I start hunting another recipe to create the thin, flexible circles I usually pay $2.99/dozen for.

After some experimentation, below is what we ended up with, and while they didn’t turn out quite as thin as the ones you buy in a plastic bag, they were thin enough, tender and tasty, and cost about 30 cents for a batch of 8 — AND tasted pretty spectacular.  I adapted this recipe from the swell Lean Green Bean web site (thanks to Lindsay) at

Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas
Makes 8 tortillas

2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2/3 c warm water, plus extra if needed

In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then mix in the oil with a spoon or your fingers until it’s evenly distributed throughout the flour. Slowly stir in the warm water until the dough hangs together. If your flour is pretty dry (as ours often is at altitude) you may need to add a little extra water a spoonful at a time until everything is damp and doughy.

Turn the dough onto the counter and knead for about a minute. Return it to the bowl, cover, and and let rest in the fridge for an hour.

Divide the dough into 8 equal balls, then using a tortilla press or rolling pin, roll each ball into a thin circle. Hint: if you do this between two sheets of plastic — a heavy duty ziploc bag cut into two sheets works great — it’s easier to peel it off and cook it.

Photo by Julia Frost (Flickr)Heat a heavy skillet or cast iron pan over medium high heat and grease lightly. A tiny spritz of olive oil or a superquick shot of cooking spray works well.

Drop each dough circle into the pan and let it cook on one side until bubbles form- about 1 minute.

Flip it over and cook another minute, pressing down with a spatula if needed. The first one is your guinea pig – it will tell you whether your heat is too high, if you’re cooking each side too long, etc.  Adjust accordingly for the second one!

Repeat with remaining dough balls, stacking the cooked tortillas on a plate or basket and covering with a cloth to keep them warm and moist.

We mostly eat these immediately (we can’t help it) but you can also refrigerate or freeze them.


*Spicy Cabbage Slaw is:

the juice of a lime
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups shredded cabbage, red or green
a shredded carrot
a minced hot chili pepper
about a tablespoon of minced scallion
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk together the juice and oil in a bowl, then toss everything else in and toss it together well, salt to taste, and roll it up in tortillas with black beans, refried beans & cheese, any meat filling, etc.  Yum.





Category: Cooking, Food, Food Stamp Challenge Recipes, Money Saving, Organic, Recipes, Whole Foods Challenge

Leave a Comment