Recipe: Smoky Black Bean Quesadillas

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Chipotle chiles and dark brown sugar add a smoky-sweet note to black beans that are spread over a tortilla and topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions. Top with sharp cheddar cheese and grill for a quick main dish on any weeknight. Simply omit the cheese to make a vegan quesadilla.

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Servings: 6
Time: About 20 minutes active; 30 minutes total

1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2–3 canned chipotle chiles
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sherry
12 6″ corn or flour tortillas
3 oz cheddar, grated
6 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1. In a food processor, mix beans, chiles, brown sugar, oregano, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add up to 2 tablespoons water to make a smooth bean spread. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, onions and garlic and stir to break up. Add cumin, chili powder, black pepper, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and sherry. Cook until mushrooms and onions are soft and sherry has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

3. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat (or simply use the mushroom-onion skillet) and spray with cooking spray.

4. To assemble quesadillas, spread about 1/4 cup bean mixture on one side and sprinkle with 1/2 oz grated cheddar. Add about 1/3 cup mushroom-onion mixture and top with other tortilla. Grill for 2–3 minutes per side until browned and cheddar is melted. Serve with salsa, sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and above all, tasty, lifestyle.