Spiced Black Bean, Corn, and Avocado Quesadillas

I had a friend yesterday ask me what my form of “chicken” was since I am a vegetarian- that one food that I can cook any way I like and eat all the time. I am not sure that I have any one food I depend on that much in my regular diet. I enjoy a great variety. I do cook tofu a good amount, and tofu can be prepared in numerous ways. (Check out my Teriyaki Tofu and Pineapple Bake recipe here!) However, if I were to be honest, the answer might be beans! I love beans! Beans are so healthy for you, high in protein and amino acids, and can be thrown in just about anything- taco salad, beans and rice, bean dip, the list goes on! This recipe is my favorite bean, corn, and avocado quesadilla recipe. It’s seriously delicious, and really filling! Cut your quesadilla up and serve it as an appetizer, or use it as the entrée for a meal as I usually do.  You can’t go wrong!

 

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • ¼ cup sliced cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Salsa (for dipping)

Directions:

  1. Empty the can of black beans and sweet corn into a small stovetop pot and heat until warm, 5-8 minutes. 
  2. Once warm, empty the beans and corn into a strainer, removing the excess liquid. Return the beans and corn to their pot and add the cilantro and spices. Mix well.
  3. Spread a thin layer of olive oil onto a frying pan, preheating it to medium/medium-high heat.
  4. Place one tortilla on the pan and sprinkle a thin layer of cheese. Top with a scoop of beans and corn- evenly distributed across the tortilla. 
  5. Arrange 3-6 thin slices of avocado across the beans and corn and top with another thin layer of cheese and a second tortilla.
  6. Once the first layer of cheese has melted and the bottom tortilla has slightly browned, flip the quesadilla and heat for a few more minutes. Be careful in the flipping process, it is easy for beans and corn to fall out!
  7. Once all the cheese is melted and the tortillas are lightly browned, remove the quesadilla from the heat and place on a cutting board.
  8. Using a pizza cutter, slice the quesadilla into wedges, and serve with salsa. Enjoy!

 

Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 2 full quesadillas (about 12- 16 wedges)
  • If you like this recipe, check out my Southwestern Eggrolls

 

Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

When I declared my vegetarianism as a sophomore in high school, my wonderful mother, who does all of the cooking in our house, handled it like a champion. Instead of complaining or leaving me to fend for myself in my new herbivore world, she starting going through cookbooks and altering her regular menu in order to include me. I didn’t thank her enough for that. She was amazing. This recipe, like the spiced beans and rice recipe (see the link below!), is one of the vegetarian recipes that quickly became a staple in our house. Here’s why:

  1. This recipe is really very simple, everybody loves that.
  2.  These quesadillas keep so well! Throw the left over quesadillas in a zip lock bag in the fridge, then microwave them under a damp paper towel the next time you want them. Viola! Meal number two!
  3. The ingredient list calls for sweet potatoes AND goat cheese. (whaaaat?!?! Apart from chocolate those two ingredients are my favorite foods ever. This is food heaven. You’re welcome.)

The sweet spice of the cinnamon and nutmeg paired with the melted goat cheese and kick from the green chilies makes this ensemble one that could easily become a staple meal in your kitchen as well.

Ps. Thank your mother for something today. They are the best.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies, drained
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, and more if needed
  • 6 flour tortillas, about 10 inches

Directions:

  1. Place sweet potatoes in medium saucepan and add water to just cover.  Cook over medium heat until sweet potatoes are just fork-tender.  (Cook potatoes until they are about as tender as you would for potato salad)
  2. Drain and place potatoes in a large mixing bowl.  Add butter, goat cheese, chilies and seasonings.
  3. Mash together the potatoes and other ingredients with a fork until just combined.  (Do not mash until smooth like mashed potatoes; leave them slightly chunky.)
  4. Divide the sweet potato filling among the six tortillas and fold over to create the quesadillas.
  5. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Place the filled tortillas, one at a time, in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crispy and brown.  Repeat with remaining filled tortillas, adding more oil as needed.
  6. Cut each quesadilla into thirds.

Notes and Tips!:

  • Cut the quesadillas using a pizza knife!
  • To serve as an appetizer, prepare the dish as usual, but when cutting, cut into smaller slices. Pile the slices up on a plate and you will have people grabbing for them all night long!
  • To find the beans and rice recipe mentioned above (another delicious vegetarian recipe in my household), click here!