I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t get excited about a quick, healthy and cheap meal option for those rushed, mid-week dinner times when you’ve got kids running off to hockey or piano lessons and parents hustling to evening meetings or appointments.
That’s why I decided that it is high time I shared with everyone my no-fuss black bean quesadilla recipe. Here’s why I’m in love with this devastatingly simple recipe.
#1: It’s easy. As you will see below, you literally dump a can of black beans into a bowl, smash them up, add some salsa, spread it on a wrap with some cheese and/or other toppings and you’re done. Finito! No sophisticated cooking skills required!
#2: It’s healthy. Research shows that there are numerous health benefits associated with eating more plant-based proteins. Not only do black beans provide us with a vegetarian/vegan-friendly source of protein, but also an abundance of satiating fibre, bone-building calcium and energy-boosting iron too.
#3: It’s cheap. Here’s the full cost breakdown: $1 for beans, $3 for tortillas, $3 for a jar of salsa, $1 worth of cheese, $1 for a bunch of green onions, $1 for fresh cilantro, $2 for an avocado = feed a family of 4 for $12 or $3.00 per person. I think that’s affordable.
#4: It’s quick. Like I said, without having done any prep, I can get this meal on the table in under 15 minutes - even less if I have help or if I prepped the cheese, onions and cilantro in advance.
Mind you, this is certainly NOT the fanciest black bean quesadilla recipe around, nor the most elegant, but is it ever tasty, as confirmed by my 4 and 6-year-olds. My eldest always tells me that he prefers black bean quesadillas over pizza when he is in the middle of eating them! :)
Quick and Easy Black Bean Quesadillas
Ready in 15 minutes; makes 4 servings (1 serving = 1 large tortilla folded in half)
1 package of large whole grain whole wheat tortillas (or tortilla of your choice)
1 can (540 mL) black beans
1 jar of salsa (1/2 cup in the recipe + additional as a topping)
1/2 to 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
1 small bunch green onions
1 small bunch fresh cilantro
Plain Greek yogurt
Drain the can of beans and rinse lightly. Place the beans in a large bowl. With a potato masher, smash the beans until they are mushy with some whole beans left for texture.
To the smashed beans, add ½ cup of salsa and stir. Set aside.
Remove the leaves from the cilantro and chop roughly. Set aside.
Chop both white and green parts of the green onions. Set aside.
Grate the cheese. Set aside.
To assemble: arrange the tortillas on a flat surface and spread 1/2 cup of the black bean/salsa mixture onto HALF of the tortilla. Top the bean mixture with your desired amount of grated cheese, chopped onion and cilantro. Fold the other half of the tortilla over and press gently.
You have two options for cooking:
To bake: place quesadillas in a pre-heated oven at 375F and bake until warmed through and cheese has melted, about 15-20 minutes. To fry: heat some canola or olive oil in a frying pan and fry on each side until golden brown and cheese melted (approximately 2-3 minutes per side).
Cut into wedges and top with your choice of salsa, avocado (or guacamole), and/or plain Greek yogurt. Serve quesadillas with a garden lettuce salad or veggies and hummus to round out the meal. Voila!
It is easy to double or triple this recipe by doubling or tripling the filling and buying an extra 1 or 2 packages of tortillas.
If you are looking to use less canned foods (many cans are lined with BPA) then before you leave in the morning, cook dry black beans in the slow cooker by combining the following 3 ingredients and cooking on low for 8-10 hours. (You may need to drain excess liquid depending on your slow cooker and/or length of cooking).
1 cup dried black beans, rinsed
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 ½ cups salsa
Take it one bite at a time,